Phoenix Unanimously Bans Homeless Camps Near Schools, Daycares, Shelters, Parks and City Property

Homeless Camps

The City of Phoenix on Wednesday approved an ordinance that will ban the homeless from camping within 500 feet schools, businesses that provide child care, shelters or parks.

Effective on September 1, the ordinance was approved unanimously by the Phoenix City Council according to KTAR News, which reported violators “will face a $100 fine for the class 3 misdemeanor.”

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Phoenix Approves Over $1 Million for Homeless Shelter amid Concern ‘The Zone’ Could Reemerge

The City of Phoenix last Wednesday approved just over $1 million to Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS), which operates the city’s largest homeless shelter.

Phoenix made the payment using leftover federal funds originally earmarked for COVID-19 recovery, but CASS warned the organization still has a shortfall of around $500,000 that could threaten its ability to provide shelter services, explaining that it filed three state grant requests that were denied by Arizona.

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Arizona State Representatives Request Investigation into Transfer of Unclaimed Firearms to Ukraine

Two Arizona Republican State Representatives have filed an SB 1487 complaint with Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes requesting an investigation and report into an ordinance the City of Phoenix passed in June authorizing the transfer of hundreds of unclaimed firearms to the National Police of Ukraine.

The National Police of Ukraine is the national, and only, police service of Ukraine.

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Arizona House Judiciary Committee Members Call on Phoenix City Council to Rescind Ukraine Firearms Ordinance

Chairman Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott) and Vice-Chair Selina Bliss (R-Prescott) of the Arizona House of Representatives Judiciary Committee have sent a letter to the Phoenix City Council asking its members to rescind a recently-approved ordinance that allows for the transfer of approximately 500-600 unclaimed firearms to the National Police of Ukraine.

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Goldwater Institute and Others Stop City of Phoenix’s Illegal ‘Prevailing Wage’ Mandate

Less than a week after receiving a letter from the Goldwater Institute critical of its “prevailing wage” mandate for contractors, the City of Phoenix repealed the ordinance. The Goldwater Institute said there was “a high risk of litigation,” pointing out to the city that the hurriedly passed law violated A.R.S. 34-321, which prohibits prevailing wage laws.

Goldwater Institute staff attorney John Thorpe said in an article after the victory, “Yesterday’s repeal is good news for businesses, their employees, and all taxpayers — and it’s a reminder that Goldwater will never stop fighting to hold government accountable and to defend Americans’ economic freedom from burdensome, counterproductive regulations.”

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Goldwater Institute Demands Phoenix Repeal ‘Prevailing Wage’ Ordinance

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute (GI) sent a letter to the City of Phoenix Thursday, demanding it repeals a new “Prevailing Wage Ordinance for City Projects” ordinance.

“It’s important that the public be aware of burdensome mandates that will hurt not only businesses and employees, but all taxpayers. Concerned taxpayers can reach out to their councilmember to urge them to repeal this mandate,” a GI spokesperson told The Arizona Sun Times via email.

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Business-Aligned Democratic Allies Prevail in Phoenix City Council Election

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.

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City of Phoenix Announces Hiring of First Public Health Advisor

Phoenix City Manager Jeff Barton Announced Monday that Nicole Dupuis-Witt would become the City’s first Public Health Advisor on the leadership team beginning October 17.

“The addition of public health expertise to our leadership team strengthens our ability to address public health needs across the City,” said Barton. “Public health is a central tenant to many of the City’s top priorities including heat response and mitigation, housing and homelessness, food systems, senior services, transportation and more. I am confident that Nicole’s experience and data-driven approach will further position Phoenix as a resilient and prosperous place to live, work and play.”

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Arizona Traffic Fatalities Rose to a 15-Year High in 2021

The Arizona Department of Public Transportation (ADOT) unveiled its Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report (AMVCF) Wednesday, which showed that traffic fatalities rose for a second consecutive year in 2021, reaching a 15-year peak.

“The 2021 report shows an increase in all categories in terms of number of crashes, injuries and fatalities over 2020 as more people began to travel once again to work, school and other places. A month-by-month breakdown in the crash report shows an overall increase in the number of crashes as the year went on, with October being the peak month for crashes,” according to ADOT.

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Phoenix Hires New Interim Police Chief

Arizona’s largest city has officially hired a new interim police chief after the City Council approved his contract. 

“I want to thank City Manager Jeff Barton for this opportunity to work with the women and men of the Phoenix Police Department [PPD] and the communities which make up the fabric of Phoenix,” said Interim Chief Michael Sullivan. “I also want to thank Mayor Gallego and the City Council for approving my employment agreement. This is an important time for the City and the Phoenix Police Department.”

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City of Phoenix to Vote on Increasing Phoenix Police Officers’ Starting Salaries by 40 Percent

The Phoenix City Council is set to vote next Wednesday on a salary hike for new recruits that would lift their base pay from $48,942 (or $51,459 if they have college degrees) to $68,661. Officers making less than the new minimum base pay would be brought up to $72,779, and pay grade steps from recruits to assistant chiefs would increase. Other Phoenix Police Department (PPD) employees would receive a 3% pay increase in October.

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Poll: Phoenicians Blame Democratic Mayor and City Council, Not Police for Public Safety Problems

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.”

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COVID Vaccination Incentives for City Employees Could Cost Phoenix Up to $29 Million

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.

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Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio Demands Vote on City of Phoenix Vaccine Mandate for Employees

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.

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Grassroots ‘America Pack’ in Scottsdale Draws Large Crowd to Discuss Election Fraud, More

Woman voting at booth

A new grassroots patriotic organization has sprung up in the Phoenix area, America Pack. Led by founder Valerie Grosso-Turley, it seeks to get involved at the local level in a way many conservative groups fail to — boots on the ground, not just sitting around listening to speakers.

Grosso-Turley urged the crowd, which was composed substantially of precinct committee people, to get involved at the school board level. She cited the Biden administration weaponizing the FBI to squelch dissent by parents. She said this is because parents speaking up is having results, “They wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t matter.” 

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Phoenix to Use Federal Funding for Universal Basic Income Pilot

Phoenix City Council Building

One thousand lucky Phoenix families will get $1,000 in taxpayer funding a month in 2022. 

The Phoenix City Council has approved $12 million for a “Financial Assistance for Phoenix Families Program,” a lottery-based form of universal basic income that will begin in January 2022 if not sooner.

The program, which has yet to be finalized, will send approximately 1,000 families a monthly stipend of $1,000 for all of 2022. According to a city document, the funds would be limited toward “basic household necessities” such as housing, childcare, food and other staples. 

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Moses Sanchez Announces Campaign for Phoenix City Council to Replace Term Limited Sal DiCiccio

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.”

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Phoenix City Council Allocates $8 Million in CARES Funding for Homeless Shelters

Phoenix City Council approved $8 million in CARES Act Funding for two nonprofit organizations to provide homeless shelter services. The contracts began on Thursday and end June 2023. 

These contracts are the latest effort to mitigate over 7,400 individuals that make up Phoenix’s homeless population – an estimated 11 percent increase from the 2019. Currently, there are only enough shelter beds for approximately 23 percent of the city’s homeless population.

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