June 2022 Network News

June 23, 2022

By Jessica Vaile

Thoughts from Dawn Wallace

Shortly after college graduation, a dear friend moved to Australia to study at the University of Melbourne, married an Aussie native, and never left. We’ve stayed in touch over the years, and last week, we happily connected in-person for the first time in eight years. During a lovely dinner, and perhaps after a little too much wine from the Land Down Under, the conversation veered into a political no man’s land—elections. Usually not the best place to head into at the end of a pleasant evening, but in this case, it truly was an enlightening experience.

I learned voting is compulsory in Australia and has been since the early 1900s. And according to my friend and the Australian Electoral Commission, ignorance is strictly enforced with a $20 fine. Since voting is mandatory, all aspects of the process are designed to help citizens comply: 1) registration is automatic at age 18, 2) ballots can be cast in any polling place in the home state, 3) early/mail-in voting is allowed, and 4) candidates are chosen using preferential or “ranked choice” voting. And not unexpected in a country known for “throwing shrimp on the barbie,” you are more likely to be offered a “democracy sausage” or a cupcake, than an “I voted” sticker. To no one’s surprise, voter turnout in Australia is consistently between 90-95%. 

Voting–Civic Duty or Natural Right?

The main argument for compulsory voting centers around candidates for office, and how political parties engage with the electorate. No voter can be ignored under this system, and persons from all socio-economic backgrounds are encouraged to participate. Without the burden of driving their voters to the ballot, politicians and their surrogates avoid appealing to their “base,” and speak to the totality of their constituencies, in and outside of their chosen party. Proponents believe that mandatory voting, particularly with youth and marginalized communities, compels these groups to be more inquiring about their leaders and issues, and for education to drive discussions, rather than political rhetoric. 

The opposite viewpoint contends that obligatory voting in a democratic process is decidedly undemocratic as an infringement of personal liberty. Moreover, a person’s freedom of conscience is a natural right that should not be domineered in the pursuit of protecting those freedoms. From a practical perspective, some argue that if forced, votes will stem from uninterested and/or uninformed people who do not care, and when preferential voting is in place, will result in an increase in donkey votes, where the voter ranks the candidates based on the order they appear on the ballot itself. 

I’m in no way endorsing or rejecting the ideas of mandatory voting or preferential voting, but I am confident that healthy, robust conversations that balance the desire to promote access to an informed and active electorate and the preservation of integrity for the most important expression of our democracy, are not mutually exclusive. 

Over the last two years, I’ve heard the many concerns from across the Flinn-Brown Network on the increasingly divisive nature of our state’s political climate, its impact on the quality of candidates for office, and lackluster voter engagement in our state and local elections. I’ve also heard from Fellows from all political perspectives who believe there is common ground on potential changes in our electoral process. The Convention Planning Committee is considering this theme for Convention, so if you have thoughts or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.


Past and Upcoming CivEx Webinars

Watch the CivEx about digital equity ecosystems

Erin Carr-Jordan (2013)

Thank you for joining us yesterday as Flinn-Brown Fellow Erin Carr-Jordan (Chandler, 2013) hosted a deep dive into how the state is addressing its focused approach to achieving digital equity, including leveraging technology to connect the under and unconnected and improve process efficiencies.

She was joined by a panel representing state and national organizations engaged in strategic initiatives to expand access, value, and participation through increased connectivity, including Flinn-Brown Fellow Mignonne Hollis (Sierra Vista, 2013), executive director, Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation; Derek Masseth, executive director, Sun Corridor Network; Rufus Glasper, Ph.D., president & CEO, League for Innovation in Community Colleges; Angela Siefer, executive director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and Jeff Sobotka, vice president & state broadband director, Arizona Commerce Authority. Watch here.

Save the Date
2022 Legislative Wrap-up
Wednesday, July 13 at 9:00 a.m. (Virtual)

This Fellows-only event will feature lobbyists Meghaen Dell’Artino of Public Policy Partners, Geoff Esposito of Creosote Partners, Lourdes Pena of Triadvocates, and Jay Kaprosy of Veridus. These capitol insiders will break down what happened during the 2022 legislative session, including legislation, budget, and how redistricting and the upcoming midterm elections impacted topics and issues at the state capitol. Beth Lewallen of Italicized Consulting will provide an opening overview of the session and moderate the panel discussion.

If you are interested in seeing any past CivEx sessions, please check out our CivEx page.

Fellows Book Recommendations

Each month, we feature suggestions from Fellows to create a virtual Network library of books about public-policy issues, the practice of leadership, professional development, or other areas that would be a worthy share. This month, our book recommendations come from Amanda Lomayesva (Tucson, 2015) and Rose Winkeler (Flagstaff, 2018). 

Amanda Lomayesva (2015)

“Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River” by David Owen is a book I would recommend. I would think anyone in Arizona would be interested in this excellent description of “where the water goes” and all the attendant issues and problems surrounding the river we all share.—Amanda Lomayesva

Rose Winkeler (2018)
The Sentence
by Louise Erdrich

This novel tells the story of a Native bookstore employee haunted by a deceased customer. Despite the seemingly magical narrative, it is set in Minneapolis in 2020 and authentically integrates the onset of the pandemic and the George Floyd protests and how they are perceived by and impact the narrator, her family, and her colleagues at the bookstore. Also of note, the author in fact owns the Native-centered Birchbark Books in Minneapolis and litters this story with excellent book references and recommendations.—Rose Winkeler

Flinn-Brown Convention

We are excited to share that the annual Flinn-Brown Convention will be held this year at the Desert Botanical Garden on Friday, Nov. 4.

Fellows Paul Perrault (Phoenix, 2016) and Josue Macias (Phoenix, 2019) have agreed to be our Convention co-chairs, and Fellows Patrick Tighe (Phoenix, 2019), Candace Park (Gilbert, 2018), Kate Ali’varius (Phoenix, 2012), Pearlette Ramos (Avondale, 2018), Pele Peacock Fischer (Phoenix, 2013), and Nicole Barraza (Tucson, 2020), have also joined the Convention committee. 

If you would like to participate on the planning committee, please let us know.

We invite sponsorship opportunities to help provide a high-quality, professional learning experience for our Fellows at the Convention. Sponsors may showcase their support through presenting, reception, and breakout sponsorships, including prominent logo display, brand recognition through social media, and recognition on the event website and program. To find out more about sponsorships, see the brochure.

We also invite you to promote your organization at the Convention through free promotional and marketing items. This is an excellent way to market organizations represented by the Network, and we are happy to collect and distribute to event participants.

Please contact Dawn or Jennifer to donate items.

Fellows Spotlight

Amanda Lomayesva (Tucson, 2015)

General Counsel
Casino Del Sol Resort

Twitter | LinkedIn

1. Can you please describe your work and how public policy impacts how you manage your organization?

I am the general counsel for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s Gaming and Tribal Enterprise Divisions, Casino Del Sol, AVA Amphitheater, and Sewailo Golf Club. In my position, I advise the enterprises, review agreements, and work on gaming compact related issues. The policies of the tribal government affect my work very directly as the enterprises are wholly owned divisions of the tribal government. Federal Indian law and policy also affects tribal entities. The casino operates under a compact with the state of Arizona, so that agreement with the state is of utmost importance to my work.

2. Do you have a favorite quote that is meaningful to you?

I have many, but I do love the quote by Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

3. How has the Fellows Network been useful to you?

The Fellows Network provides a resource of people that you can feel good reaching out to for opinions and ideas. I’ve enjoyed being a part of it.

4. What do you see as potential opportunities strengthening civic health in Arizona?

I think working toward full engagement in the election process, making sure Arizona keeps voting as accessible to all Arizonans, including tribal members and those living in remote parts of the state, is of utmost importance. I see that as an incredibly important opportunity.

If you missed a Fellows Spotlight, you can view them on the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership website now.

Fellows Running for Office

We are excited to share that we have many Flinn-Brown Fellows running for office in 2022. If you would like to have your name included, please let Dawn know.


Naketa Ross (Phoenix, 2019)
Matt Gress (Phoenix, 2015)
Representative Joanne Osborne (Goodyear, 2012)
Senator Raquel Terán (Phoenix, 2018)
Representative Jennifer Pawlik (Chandler, 2018)
Representative Morgan Abraham (Tucson, 2014)
Representative Chris Mathis (Tucson, 2011)
Janelle Wood (Phoenix, 2013)


Juan Ciscomani (Tucson, 2011)
Representative Daniel Hernandez, Jr. (Tucson, 2011)


Vice Mayor Becky Daggett (Flagstaff, 2014)
Mayor Kevin Hartke (Chandler, 2014)
Mayor Kell Palguta (Prescott Valley, 2019)
Mayor Mila Besich (Superior, 2019)
Mayor Cecilia McCollough (Wellton, 2018)

City Council

Trista Guzman Glover (Mesa, 2019)
Councilman Fernando Shipley (Globe, 2011)
Councilman Matthew Herman (Casa Grande, 2019)
Shane Leonard (Higley, 2019)

Community College Governing Board

Fernando Shipley (Globe, 2011)
Demion Clinco (Tucson, 2013)

School District Governing Board 

Stephanie Parra (Phoenix, 2020)
Christine Thompson (Phoenix, 2017)
Ruth Ellen Elinski (Cottonwood, 2014)

Justice of the Peace

Kristel Ann Foster (Tucson, 2015)

Special Districts

Ben Graff (Phoenix, 2011)
Alexandra Arboleda (Phoenix, 2018)

Fellows In The News

We are always more than happy to help promote your work through social media, so please reach out to us if you would like us to officially recognize a professional accomplishment, event, or program with which you are involved.

Morgan Abraham (Tucson, 2014) made a case for water conservation in an op-ed for tucson.com.

Christian Baca (Phoenix, 2020) and her team at the Innovation Studio at Maricopa County received the National Association of Counties 2022 Achievement Award for the Maricopa County Sequential Intercept Model, a project designed to improve the criminal justice system in Maricopa County.

Carla Berg (Tempe, 2020) is now the deputy director at Arizona Department of Health Services and was featured in an op-ed about heat related illness.

Teniqua Broughton (Phoenix, 2013) was honored as the 2022 Arts Legend at the 2022 Achieving My Purpose, Inc. Celebration of Women reception. 

Demion Clinco (Tucson, 2013) wrote an op-ed in tucson.com about wine and water in Arizona. 

Becky Daggett (Flagstaff, 2014)  wrote an article for the Arizona Daily Sun sharing her ideas for spending the state’s $5B budget surplus.

Adam Deguire (Mesa, 2020), Derrik Rochwalik (Phoenix, 2018), Christina Spicer (Phoenix, 2013), and Alec Thomson (Phoenix, 2019) were recognized as Phoenix’s 40 Under 40 2022 honorees. 

David Engelthaler (Flagstaff, 2022) was quoted in an article about COVID-19.

Sean Goslar (Tucson, 2020), Brendan Lyons (Tucson, 2020), Yvette-Marie Margaillan (Tucson, 2020), and John Winchester (Tucson, 2018) are members of the Tucson Metro Chamber Emerging Leaders Council.

Daniel Hernandez (Tucson, 2011) was featured in a 12News article about gun control.

Dana Kennedy (Phoenix, 2016) was quoted in a Fronteras story about nursing home complaints in Arizona.

Tomás León (Phoenix, 2022) was interviewed by Arizona Horizon about the Blue Zones Activate initiative to improve the health of residents in South Phoenix.

Brendan Lyons (Tucson, 2020) is now the Deputy Director, Southern Arizona for the Office of the Arizona Governor. 

Alberto Olivas (Phoenix, 2011) was quoted in an ABC15 article regarding the Get Out the Vote campaign launched by Chicanos Por La Causa to engage and register Latino voters.

Robyn Pouquette (Yuma, 2020) has accepted a new position as risk management specialist at Yuma County.

Sam Richard (Phoenix, 2017) was quoted in an AZMIRROR article regarding record recreational marijuana sales in Arizona.

William Ring (Flagstaff, 2011) co-authored an opinion piece in Arizona Daily Sun about investing in child care and early education to strengthen Arizona for future generations.

Sue Sisley (Scottsdale, 2011) was featured on the cover of the 2022 Summer issue of AZ Physician magazine and she shared her journey with researching medical cannabis.

Jami Snyder (Phoenix, 2013) was interviewed for a KJZZ podcast about the impact of the pandemic on Arizona’s Medicaid program.

Christina Spicer (Phoenix, 2013) was quoted in an AZ Big Media article for her nomination of Lauren Hawks as Teach for America’s May 2022 Star Teacher.

Benjamin Taylor (Phoenix, 2019) was quoted in a 12News article regarding the legal ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overruling of Shinn v. Ramirez.

Christine Thompson (Phoenix, 2017) was interviewed for a KJZZ podcast about the impacts of COVID-19 on the third K-12 school year.

Alec Thomson (Phoenix, 2019) was appointed to the AZ State Lottery Commission.

Raquel Terán (Phoenix, 2018) was quoted in an article about COVID-19 related legislation. 

Lela Wendell (Phoenix, 2014) spoke with Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry about the findings of the “Untapped Potential: How Childcare Impacts Arizona’s Workforce Productivity and the State Economy” report, released in 2021 by the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) in partnership with the Arizona Chamber.

Zach Yentzer (Tucson, 2020) wrote an op-ed encouraging voters to support Tucson’s Prop. 411.

Avery Xola (Phoenix, 2022) wrote an op-ed in Tucson Sentinel about election law related to overseas and military ballots.

Updates are gathered from conversations, press releases, articles, social media, tipsters, and confessions. Have news to share? Send it to Danielle Underwood.

Board and Commission Openings

Serving on a board or commission is a great way to influence public policy on issues where you have expertise or a passion to serve.

The Commission on Judicial Performance Review is recruiting two public members to serve on the Commission. Interested applicants must be residents of Maricopa or Coconino counties and cannot be a judge or an attorney. Interested applicants may download an application and submit it via email to jpr@courts.az.gov.

The Governor’s office is seeking applicants to fill vacancies on the following boards and commissions:

You can apply for these positions at the Governor’s Office of Boards and Commissions here.

City and county governments frequently have vacancies as well.
County Board and Commission offices:

City Board and Commission offices (check your city’s website for local information):

Career and Professional Opportunities

Applications for Leadership West Class 29 are now open. Leadership West is the only program that offers a behind-the-scenes look into issues in the West Valley. The 150-hour flagship program is designed to transform already exceptional individuals into 4th Quadrant Leaders who generously utilize their knowledge, collaboration, and skills to make life better for everyone in their organization, community, and region. Apply here.

The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits is now accepting speaker applications for its annual ENGAGE conference on Aug. 25 and the virtual IDEA conference on Oct. 19.

Northern Arizona University has opened talent searches for two vice president positions:  

  • Vice President for Advancement, Foundation and CEO of the NAU Foundation, to lead a comprehensive capital campaign and build public and private partnerships, philanthropy, and engagement that supports the university’s mission of equitable postsecondary value.
  • Vice President for Capital Planning and Campus Operations, to provide leadership of the physical master planning process, the operationalization of bold and essential goals around sustainability in university operations, and development of the statewide infrastructure to support continued growth and development.

The National Civic League has a remote position open for a Development Director to oversee fundraising, membership development, and grant management for the organization.  

The Center for the Future of Arizona is hiring several positions, including four Project Managers, College and Career Pathways in various locations, a Coordinator, Operations, and a Program Coordinator, Civic Health.  

Pinnacle Prevention is seeking a Director of Communications and Outreach to develop and execute the organization’s communication and outreach plan.

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust is seeking a Director of Communications and External Relations

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is hiring a Program Officer, Capacity Building to lead the execution of the Trust’s capacity building program offerings designed to help nonprofits strengthen their management, operations, and leadership.  

OH Predictive Insights is looking for a strategic data and research leader who can create an “insights pipeline” of consistent, accurate, and meaningful analysis to be their Chief of Research.

Maricopa County Department of Human Services has an opening for a Program and Policy Analyst.

WestEd is seeking a Research-Practice Partnerships-Content Area Team Director

SciTech Institute is hiring for multiple positions including Arizona CSO Regional Lead and STEM Ecosystem Hub Coordinators for various regions. 

The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest is seeking to hire its first Director of Development and Marketing to professionalize and expand fundraising and grow the visibility of the organization’s work in the community.

Events & Conferences

The Opportunity Zone Expo will be held in Phoenix on July 13. Details and registration are available here.

Local First Arizona is holding its 15th Annual Rural Policy Forum in Winslow Aug. 3-5. Updates on event details can be found here.

The Arizona Housing Coalition, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Housing, is hosting the annual Arizona Housing Forum Aug.17-19. Registration and event details can be found here.

The Alliance of Arizona’s Nonprofits will hold the 2022 ENGAGE Nonprofit Conference on Aug. 25. Event details and registration can be found here.

Stanford Social innovation Review and Nonprofit Management Institute are holding a hybrid event Sept. 13-15 focused on encouraging greater cooperation and collaboration in what can feel like an increasingly divisive world. Event details and registration available here.

Did you miss a previous CivEx? Now you can find webinar recordings on our website. View past events.

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