Caption: Mayor Stanton and Councilman Daniel Valenzuela at a neighborhood meeting.
Ensuring vibrant, safe neighborhoods has always been my top priority. Throughout my nine years on the City Council and as mayor, I have been committed to working closely with residents, businesses, the faith community, and other key stakeholders on the preservation and revitalization of our neighborhoods. In order to succeed as a city, we must maintain strong partnerships with all of our Phoenix neighborhoods and ensure that our city government is inclusive and transparent. In Phoenix, we are all in this together. When one neighborhood is strong, our city is stronger.
Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee
As mayor, it is essential to keep the lines of communication open with neighborhood leaders and residents from across the city. That’s why one of my first actions after taking office was to establish the first-ever Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of a diverse group of neighborhood leaders and meets six times per year to advise me on issues that impact Phoenix neighborhoods. The mission of the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee is to assist my office in developing neighborhood initiatives, to build partnerships between neighborhoods, to enhance communication with the city, and to increase the collective impact of neighborhoods citywide.
Neighborhood Bus Tours
I was proud to have facilitated a number of neighborhood bus tours this year with members of my Neighborhood Advisory Committee. The tours gave committee members a first-hand look at one another’s neighborhoods and helped them to better understand the challenges and issues impacting each neighborhood. It was encouraging to see the level of dedication among committee members to learning about each other’s communities as well as each other’s successes and challenges. These tours helped to promote information-sharing and foster greater communication between neighborhood leaders. When one community benefits, we all benefit.
The city has implemented a fantastic program to help educate Phoenix residents on the multitude of programs, services, and resources available through the city. Through the Neighborhood College, residents can sign-up online for classes and workshops offered by a number of city departments. The classes are free and are open to all Phoenix residents. If you are interested in participating in a class, please call 602-534-4444 or visit the Neighborhood College website.
In order to continue to thrive as a city, we must ensure that city hall is open and accessible to all residents. We also must take steps to involve more and more residents in the decision-making process. In Phoenix, our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. We must invite residents of all backgrounds and levels of experience to participate. From experienced neighborhood leaders, to those who have never been active before, all input is vital and important.
Therefore, we have teamed up with the Phoenix Revitalization Corporation to implement a Leadership Academy in the city to train the next generation of community leaders. The academy is open to residents of all ages and provides training, support and information on city and community resources. Under the leadership of Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, the program recently expanded into Council District 5. To date, there have been 26 academy classes, which have trained 223 residents ages 12 to 72.
Anti-Graffiti Task Force
Graffiti is a crime that impacts our entire community. It not only decreases property values, but can encourage additional crime to occur. In order to keep our neighborhoods safe and beautiful, the city formed an Anti-Graffiti Task Force, chaired by my colleagues Councilman Simplot and Councilman Nowakowski. The task force was devised to brainstorm methods to address graffiti in Phoenix, explore outreach methods to attract more businesses and residents to join anti-graffiti efforts, identify opportunities to provide education on the impact of graffiti, and highlight the city’s anti-graffiti campaign. The Task Force makes recommendations to the City Council regarding how to best alleviate graffiti issues in the city. Working together, we can seriously reduce the occurrence of graffiti in our city.
Graffiti-Free Phoenix/Wipe it Out
In partnership with the Anti-Graffiti Task Force, our Neighborhood Services Department organized a city-wide “paint out day” this past November. The results were amazing! Over 3,000 community volunteers participated in the day long event. Members of neighborhood association and block watches, the business community, faith-based groups and non-profits all came together to paint out thousands of graffiti sites across the city. Although we are tackling this issue head-on, graffiti is still a problem in our city. To report graffiti, call 602-534-4444 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also download the smartphone app “MyPhxAZ,” which enables you to report graffiti by taking a picture and sending it to the city via the app. If you are interested in joining the city’s Blight Buster Volunteer program, where you can learn how to keep Phoenix free of graffiti and other blight, please call 602-534-4444 or visit the Neighborhood Services Department's Blight Busters webpage.