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November 01, 2017

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Stanton should win that seat unless he fails the litmus tests the Bernie Bros are busy formulating.

I return to Arizona about once a year, which is enough of a time lapse to see some interesting changes. Tempe really stands out but central Phoenix has made significant strides as well. Roosevelt Row no longer feels organic but it is undeniably urban in its scale. That there are also high-rise apartment buildings under construction downtown is fairly stunning even if they're leveraged with tax abatements. I may not live to see it, but downtown could walk again decades after its self-induced paralysis.

One way of measuring urban vibrancy is the food culture cities evolve and Phoenix is doing much better here than before. That there is a buzz about various chefs and restaurants is a good sign that the city has a creative class eager for something better than Applebee's and Red Robin. Martini bars, concert venues, and independent movie theaters are other signs. Politically, the bluer Phoenix (and Tempe) get, the more likely Arizona will trend purple. Arizona's long right-wing captivity might be drawing to a close. C'mon, boomers! Die already!

Terry Goddard was the first Arizona public official who understood the significance of urban assets. He pushed for historic preservation in a city that still preferred the sterilized landscapes of drive-by crud. That he saw Phoenix's potential represented a vision of the state not dependent on growth for growth's sake. Yes, that city would need good transit, public art, and human diversity. What else matters? The energy and beauty of great cities is the premier human achievement. That Phoenix chose to sleepwalk its way to mediocrity is tragic but if there are second chances available, seize that day.

Goddard spearheaded the District system in Phoenix. Is that what we wanted? Before District city government was an adjunct of the movers and shakers who owned the big businesses. They wined and dined out-of-state CEOs to move HQs and/or operations to Phoenix and it worked, worked fabulously.

Since District the city's elite have been absent from elective positions and policy making, leaving that to lobbyists and campaign contributions. The city of Phoenix has no social cachet within its own community and the effect has been noticed in its economic progress in comparison to its neighbors.

Stanton is(was) the mayoral version of Hillary. Small ball, risk aversion, decisions made on narrow political calculations, not principle or vision.

This is just an observation, and I believe a fair and true one, for those deciding whether to support him or not. I'm not stating this to re-start the debate on what type of leadership is most effective, realistic, or "grown up".

No worries Ex Phx Planner, Trump country Arizona will replace Sinema with someone possessing the principles and vision of the current occupant of the White House.

Excellent appraisal of ex mayors and the state of Phoenix,especially Goddard who got railroaded by the developer industrial class. Stanton would be a good fit for Synemas seat.

Until Arizona decides to become more cosmopolitan, accepting of "difference," and philosophically open to the rest of the world, Phoenix will always have the "drag" of the rest of the state (all apologies to Tucson and Bisbee)to deal with. The world is changing rapidly--especially demographically, and until Arizona embraces those trends, Phoenix will be seen through the lens of Arizona's stodgy and reactionary extreme conservatism.

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