Democrat Kevin Robinson will replace Republican Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio in District 6, and Democrat Kesha Hodge Washington unseated incumbent Councilman Carlos Garcia following a runoff election on Tuesday.
Republican Sam Stone, who was up against former police officer Robinson, quickly conceded after seeing the results at his election night party in north Phoenix. Stone worked for DiCiccio and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
A survey conducted by OH Predictive Insights on behalf of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) found that Phoenix voters overwhelmingly fault Democratic Mayor Kate Gallego and the Democrat dominated City Council for public safety problems. More than three in five Phoenix voters (62%) blame them, while only 15% say the Phoenix Police Department is responsible. Hispanics were slightly more likely to blame the mayor and city council, 64%.
“It is evident that the recent anti-police rhetoric within the Phoenix City Council does not match voter sentiment within the City of Phoenix,” said Michael “Britt” London, President of PLEA. “Phoenix voters value our police officers and recognize that we need additional resources to protect our community and bring crime rates down. Voters clearly want the Mayor and Phoenix City Council to take action and direct additional funding and resources to the Phoenix Police Department to keep residents safe.”
The city of Phoenix will offer bonuses up to $2,000 to vaccinated city employees, costing the city between $25 million to $29 million.
The Phoenix City Council voted, 6-3, this week to approve the bonuses, which will go out to full and part-time employees by Jan. 18. City employees who do not have the option to work remotely already were set to receive $500 bonuses from American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Councilmembers decided to grant an additional premium bonus to those same employees if vaccinated.
During a press conference announcing his lawsuit with police officers and firefighters against the City of Phoenix over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich was asked by Arizona’s Family political editor Dennis Welch whether he was vaccinated. His press secretary waved the question off as “inappropriate.”
However, Brnovich, who is running for U.S. Senate, responded, “Do you have an STD?” After a brief pause with some laughter from those present, he went on, “It’s not a ridiculous question. The question should be, once you allow or cede this authority to the federal government, where does it stop? And my own health information is my own health information.”
Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio is requesting a meeting and vote on the City of Phoenix’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In a letter sent to the mayor and other members of the city council on November 22, he expressed concerns over public safety, employee retention, and whether the Biden’s administration mandate even applies.
“This decision will compromise vital citywide services to our residents, including public safety, which this Council has been aware of the alarming crime data and how the city is struggling to hire and retain personnel,” he wrote. “A more thorough determination needs to be made on whether, under federal law, the City of Phoenix and its 13,000 employees are considered ‘federal contractors’ for the purposes of this mandate,” he wrote.
The City of Tucson is joining two lawsuits against the Arizona Legislature with amicus curiae briefs. The first is a lawsuit filed on August 12 by the Arizona School Boards Association, the Arizona Education Association and other education organizations and activists over HB 2898, SB 1824, and SB 1825, which prohibit mask and vaccine mandates, ban Critical Race Theory, and establish a legislative committee to review the findings of the state Senate review of the November 2020 election results in Maricopa County.
The second is a lawsuit filed by the City of Phoenix over HB 2893, which sets the qualifications for members of civilian review boards including requiring training. It also allows a legislator to submit a request to the Arizona Attorney General for an investigation of “any written policy, written rule or written regulation adopted by any agency, department or other entity of the county, city or town.”
The City of Phoenix filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona on Tuesday, contending that new legislation regulating police review boards and expanding the Attorney General’s powers of investigation violates the state constitution. HB 2893 requires that the members of police misconduct boards be partially composed of police officers, but the City set up its own review board a month before the legislation was passed which says police officers or former police officers shall not sit on its police review board.
Similarly, the City objects to the qualifications laid out in the law for civilian review boards; the City merely wants non-City employees serving on it, but the legislation requires that board members have some training. And finally, the City objects to a provision which states that when requested by a legislator, the Attorney General may investigate laws or rules passed by lower levels of government that appear to violate state law, and withhold state funding if a violation is found.
With popular conservative Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio term limited, local activist and professor Moses Sanchez, a Republican, announced he is running for the District 6 slot based in Ahwatukee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Phoenix in 2018, a difficult race for Republicans since Phoenix has more Democrats, but District 6 leans Republican.
“I’m proud to call Ahwatukee home,” he said in a statement on August 11. “I’ve raised my family in Phoenix, served on our local school board, run for Mayor, and worked to grow a small business. I’m running for Phoenix City Council to provide the same opportunities this city has given me and stand up for the most overlooked community in Phoenix.”