District 8 Staff
Stephen Vital, Chief of Staff
Stephen has lived in the Valley for seven years and is originally from California. At the age of 10, he relocated to Las Cruces, New Mexico and after graduating high school, enlisted in the United States Navy. During, his time in the Navy he was deployed on a Westpac to the Pacific Ocean with port calls in the Middle East, Australia and Asia, to name a few. Stephen joined the District 8 Office in May 2006 upon completing a graduate student internship with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon’s Neighborhood Resource Office.
Stephen has held positions in District 8 as an Intern, Council Aide and Research Analyst prior to becoming the District 8 Chief of Staff. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society with an emphasis in Criminal Justice from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Arizona State University.
Nikki Hicks, Research Analyst
Nikki Hicks has lived in Phoenix for 24 years and is originally from California. She now serves as a Council Aide for Vice Mayor Michael Johnson. She joined the District 8 team in April 2012 and is no stranger to public service and Phoenix City Hall. Nikki previously held positions in former City of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon’s Office as an Assistant to the Mayor and as a Council Aide for Councilman Michael Nowakowski, District 7. Nikki is an alumni of the National Urban Fellows, a premier leadership development organization, where she received a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College in New York City. During this time, Nikki successfully completed a mentorship program with the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota, City Council Research Team. She is a proud Sun Devil, having completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University, and is an alumnus of the Valley Leadership Development Program.
Gracie Marquez, Council Aide
Gracie is a native Arizonan with more than 30 years of public service experience. She is currently a Council Aide for Vice Mayor Michael Johnson's office. Prior to her arrival in August of 2012, she worked for former Councilman Claude Mattox (District 5). Gracie retired from her last position as an Environmental Specialist – Lead after 30 years in the city’s Public Works Department. She welcomed the opportunity to share her wide range of skills in the District 8 office. Gracie enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandson, Simon.