1. Can you please describe your work and how public policy impacts how you manage your organization?
I serve as the director of government relations for the city of Phoenix. In this role, I confer with the mayor, council members, city leadership and department heads to build and represent the city of Phoenix’s legislative priorities for the regional, state, and federal levels of government. In this effort, I work on issues that affect every department of the city. Public Policy influences everything my department does; specifically helping to manage the impact that state and federal policies have on the city. At times, we work to protect the city from unfunded mandates or erosion of our local control, and other times we drive big issues like the renewal of the transportation tax (Prop. 400) to help maintain and develop the region’s transportation and transit programs. Building the bridges of partnerships is the key to getting anything done in this area. It takes the public policy makers, business and community leaders, and neighborhood activists to create from consensus and get meaningful public policy created.
2. Do you have a favorite quote that is meaningful to you?
“For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
if only we’re brave enough to be it”
— Amanda Gorman, January 20, 2021 (Inaugural Poet)
3. Is there a book you would recommend to the Fellows?
“Credibility” by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. It’s a book about how leaders gain and lose credibility and why people demand it.
4. How has the Fellows Network been useful to you?
The Fellows Network is powerful. I have developed great friendships and working relationships that have extended beyond the class year. There is a shorthand amongst the Fellows that allows us to connect with and build trust with one another quickly—which has been a tremendous asset for me in my position. I work with Fellows across Arizona, and know that when we interact, we can both come from a place of shared experience and concern for our state.
5. What do you see as potential opportunities strengthening civic health in Arizona?
Arizona is a forward-thinking state rich in traditions, diversity, and culture. With the tremendous growth we continue to experience, we, as leaders, have to focus on expanding and maintaining our infrastructure, which serves as catalyst for our economic development and prosperity. Flinn is helping to address the social connectedness and community engagement required for civic health. As Fellows, we must honor our commitment to be involved in our communities, participate in the process, and take political action.
If you missed a Fellows Spotlight, you can view them on the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership website now.