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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

This morning, Friday, August 03, 2018 started out as any other day. The Chamber held its First Friday breakfast with its usual compliment of about 100 attendees. Everyone in attendance is given about 30 seconds to say something about the business they own or represent. Usually the Mayor attends and occasionally a councilmember or two will be there. I was not there but my phone starting ringing the minute the breakfast broke up.

Emmanuel Allen, candidate for the Ocotillo district council seat, was there and during his brief remarks announced that he was endorsed by 5 councilmembers; the Mayor and Councilmembers Hugh, Malnar, Tolmachoff and me.

It so happened that the current Ocotillo councilmember Jamie Aldama was also in attendance this morning. His allotted 30 seconds turned into a 3 minute speech. During his remarks Aldama referred to the action of five councilmembers endorsing his opponent, Allen, and accused us of “corruption.” Everyone in the room sat in stunned silence. Mayor Weiers did respond to Aldama’s accusation saying that he took exception.

Aldama is desperate and running scared that he may not be reelected. However, when he makes that kind of accusation he better damn well be able to prove it.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Who would you vote for today?

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If you were to vote today, who is your choice?

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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Several Ocotillo residents emailed me their copy of Jamie Aldama’s latest mailers. Here is the front and the back of the first one. My apologies if they did not reproduce well.

It appears that Aldama is having difficulty getting endorsements. To my knowledge, Mayor Weiers, I and Councilmembers Hugh, Tolmachoff and Malnar are endorsing his opponent, Emmanuel Allen. The only councilmember not endorsing Allen is Councilmember Turner. That should not be a surprise as Turner and Aldama have voted in lock step on some important Glendale issues such as light rail.

As you can see on the front side of this mailer his wife and daughter endorse him. On the back side is his announcement of reelection and a reminder to vote. In my humble opinion, the mailer is a ‘nothing burger’. It would have been a golden opportunity to remind potential voters of all of his successes within the Ocotillo district. But then again, what wins for the people of the Ocotillo district can he point to?

Here is the second mailer.

Note that it is paid for by A Better Glendale, the fire union PAC. It is filled with generalities and platitudes. One line reads “Better for Education.” It seems I have to remind folks every election when Aldama uses this, that Glendale government has no control over schools. That is the responsibility of district school boards. Aldama, as a city councilmember, has no ability to make Glendale’s schools ‘better’.

If anyone out there knows how Aldama is better for Glendale, families, education and community I hope you will share with the rest of us. Also note the endorsement from the Police FOP. It could be the state organization but it is not the Glendale police union. The same is true for the Arizona Police Association.

Aldama is a nice person but choosing someone to represent you is not a popularity contest. Your choice should be based upon your representative’s performance and making sure the candidate’s positions on the issues align with yours.

I became concerned about Aldama’s performance with regard to the issue of council’s decision to place School Resource Officers in all Glendale high schools. During consideration of the initiative by council Aldama never once stated that he did not support the decision due to reason A, B or C. It was surprising to all councilmembers when he did not show up for the Press Conference to announce our decision.

Instead immediately after the press conference, Councilmember Aldama offered a Guest Commentary in the Glendale Star on March 27, 2018 saying, Clearly this was an insensitive headline-grabbing political response to a larger problem than just having an officer in each high school, or on any or all school campuses in Glendale. To suggest this action taken by the city of Glendale is a solution to preventing future school shooting incidents is misleading.”

His commentary was followed by Perry Vandell’s story in the Arizona Republic of March 29, 2018. Vandell stated, Glendale City Councilman Jamie Aldama this week hammered the city’s quick decision to add police officers to all of its traditional public high schools.”  Aldama is quoted within the article saying, “The police and fire associations were told of the adverse impact on their memberships, but not consulted with.” His stance on the issue earned Aldama this rebuke in an Arizona Free Enterprise Club mailer:

 

 

 

 

Yet, by June 8, 2018 in remarks promoting his “Glendale Today” edition on the city’s Glendale 11 TV show he said, “Glendale’s School Resource Officer program is an important step toward ensuring communities are safe and protected. As a current school board member here in Glendale, I recognize firsthand how imperative this issue is to our community.”

Then in July of 2018 in his message in the city’s “Connection” sent to every water household in the city he said,  “It is with great pleasure to announce that I am working with city council and city staff to make our schools safer by implementing a School Resource Officer program…I am very supportive of the SRO program.”

What is troubling was his failure to inform city council in March that he did not support the SRO program for various reasons (take your pick) and failed to show up for a council press conference announcing the program yet three months later (and just before the Primary Election) Aldama does a 180 and full throatily supports the SRO program.

Taking a position in opposition to the SRO program and emphasizing that decision by failing to attend a council press conference and then announcing support for the program just before the Primary Election appears to be a case of political expediency.

Aldama had the opportunity to make his case in his political mailers and failed to do so. I’m for a better Glendale, and can say I’m better for families, education and community…and so can you. With that criteria I guess we all qualify to be the Ocotillo district councilmember.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On July 13, 2018 a new political action committee (PAC) registered with the Glendale City Clerk. The PAC’s name is A Better Glendale. Sounds very benign, doesn’t it. Don’t let the name of the PAC fool you. The registered Chairperson is Tim Hill. Mr. Hill happens to be the Executive Editor of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona magazine and is Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona (PFFA). The treasurer of the PAC is Mike Colletto. Mr. Colletto is Legislative Director for the PFFA and is a PFFA honorary fire fighter. Both men have a long history with the Phoenix fire union.

It is not uncommon in any local election to have various big money, interest groups create a temporary PAC for the purpose of influencing an election by supporting a specific candidate. In the opposite, the PAC will go after that candidate’s opposition.

The political function of this PAC, A Better Glendale, is candidate-related independent expenditures. What that means is that Their PAC has one purpose only. They are about to flood the voters of the Barrel and Ocotillo districts with pro Aldama and pro Turner political mailings and anti Strahl and anti Allen mailings.

The problem with these fire union mailers is that they often massage the truth. They look for something, anything with which to denigrate the opposing candidate. They often take a phrase or sentence out of context and then use the exaggeration to smear the opposing candidate. By the time they are done they would have you believe the opponent was the Devil himself/herself. Mailings such as these are rarely grounded in the truth.

So be forewarned. When you receive those political mailings and you will, look for who is paying for it. If it says A Better Glendale now you know it’s the fire union spending PAC money in our Glendale election to support candidates who will support their empire building agenda or to trash candidates who have indicated that they will give everyone a fair hearing.

Take my advice and place them in your circular file otherwise known as your trash can. I ask all voters to do their homework. Ignore the spin. Ignore the hyperbole. If you can, call the candidate and ask what his or her position is on the issue in which you have an interest. In a local election that is easy to do. Local candidates are readily available and eager to talk to voters.

Speaking of fire fighters, as many of you know, Glendale fire fighter Danny Valenzuela is running for the position of mayor of Phoenix. This past spring I had the opportunity to have coffee with Danny. I asked if he was going to resign as a Glendale fire fighter if he were elected. His response was ‘no’.  He believed he could do both jobs adequately. Both are full time positions.

I can tell you as a councilmember of Glendale I am required to attend a lot of events and meetings, both regional and local. Can you imagine the schedule of the Phoenix mayor? Did you know the Phoenix mayor has security at all times? I would love to see members of Valenzuela’s security detail riding on a fire truck with him. You and I know that’s an unworkable situation on so many levels. No matter what responsibilities are assigned to Valenzuela as a Glendale fire fighter he will have a security detail with him. In addition, he will have so many commitments as mayor he cannot adequately fulfill all the hours in his firefighter work week.

It is totally unrealistic for Valenzuela to remain as a fire fighter if he is elected. It’s not as if he will be penniless. As Phoenix mayor he would pull a salary of $87,998 and the job is recognized as a full time job. If Valenzuela continues to believe that he can perform two full time jobs then voters should be questioning his decision making capabilities. If he makes that kind of decision on this issue, what else can he make poor or reckless decisions about?

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner

Who would you vote for today?

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If you were to vote today, who is your choice?

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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Just as with Ray Strahl I also arranged an in depth meeting with Emmanuel Allen, candidate for the Ocotillo city council district seat. Once again, I did not know Emmanuel and had only seen him at city events. And once again, an hour interview turned into several hours.

Mr. Allen was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up there as well.  His Mom worked in the insurance industry but her life’s passion was fostering children so in addition to Emmanuel’s  sister, twin brothers, a step brother and a step sister there were always foster children too. Emmanuel’s Step Dad was a police officer and spent time as a special agent with the state of Wisconsin and with the Drug Enforcement Agency. His Step Dad was also a pastor and gave Emmanuel his first love of pastoral work.

Emmanuel graduated from Oak Creek High School in Wisconsin. He was a basketball player which made him quite popular with the young ladies. He had lots of friends and was a natural born leader. He worked hard at his studies and was a good kid. His only downfall was his dislike of his history classes. And that is where Mr. Reed comes in. Mr. Reed was his history teacher and mentored Emmanuel. At one time Emmanuel wanted to be a rapper and knowing that Mr. Reed challenged him. Mr. Reed told Emmanuel that if he could create a rap song that encompassed all of the semester’s course material he would give Emmanuel an ‘A’ and he would not have to take the final exam. Emmanuel earned that ‘A’ and his rap song was so impressive it was used by Mr. Reed every year to motivate each new crop of students.

After high school graduation Emmanuel went to Milwaukee Area Technical College to learn computer science. While there he also worked for Zerox. Emmanuel soon realized that he had no passion or patience sitting at a desk fiddling with computers all day.

Then Emmanuel received a wakeup call that would forever chart the course of his life. Several of his good friends were murdered or died. One in a traffic accident and one was shot while working at his Dad’s business. Those deaths were the catalysts for his entry into the Grace Christian College Seminary. Emmanuel was in an accelerated program and worked hard at his studies. It was there that he met his wife, Belinda. They were married shortly after both graduated from the Seminary.

Emmanuel tells the story of meeting his future wife. Mutual friends had arranged for them to meet at an indoor amusement park. Emmanuel and his brother showed up and neither knew who the girl Emmanuel was supposed to meet was. Emmanuel was not having a particularly good day when this girl approached him and said, “It looks like you’re having a bad day. Do you care to talk about it?” Emmanuel poured out his whole life story to this stranger, this girl he had never met before, only to learn that she was the girl his friends had arranged for him to meet. He thought she would never have anything to do with him after pouring out his soul to her but he was wrong. Belinda turned out to be a really good listener and what she heard did not dissuade her from Emmanuel. They have now been married for 17 years. They have one son, Christian.

After graduation Emmanuel and Belinda started a printing business. He said he worked the hardest he ever had in his life but it prepared him for the business world. He learned how to run and sustain a successful business.

In 2008 the national recession hit and just as with many other small businesses Emmanuel and Belinda literally closed their shop. Emmanuel’s Step Dad wanted him to take over pastoring his church but something was happening to Emmanuel. He was having constant dreams about moving and even had a date, January of 2009. But where? Where was he to move? He happened to notice a box, a box that had sat around forever but was generally ignored, which contained his wife’s hair dryer. On the outside of the box were the words “Destination Glendale Arizona.” He had a sign. He and Belinda were moving to Glendale, Arizona. It was a move embodied in faith. They gave everything they possessed away planning to start fresh.

They found a condo to rent in Glendale and quickly joined the Christ Community Church. The relationships they built among that faith community enabled Emmanuel to do what he always felt he must – establish his own church, Breakthrough Life Church. In the beginning he rented various spaces for his services finally landing at a small storefront at 59th Avenue and Glendale Avenue in 2012. It was there that he began his service in Glendale working with the Orchard Glen neighborhood in cleaning up the area. Two years later, in 2014, he reopened the abandoned O’Neil Community Center and began his work of serving the children of the O’Neil area.

Emmanuel’s philosophy is simple to state yet challenging to achieve. He believes in bringing people of all races, creeds and color together to create new hope. He says we all want the same things: a safe community, recreational and educational opportunities for our kids, and a renewal of the sense of neighborhood. Through working with the children he has been able to reach their parents building trust, credibility, transparency and a greater understanding of one another.

For years the city has unsuccessfully tried to build bridges with various communities in the Ocotillo district. It has failed time and time again. Emmanuel Allen is that bridge. He is here at the right time and the right place. He reminds me of former Councilmember Bob Hoffman, often considered the conscience of the council. Bob had earned the trust and confidence of the community he represented as Emmanuel Allen has done. Having a conscience of the council is good. Having someone who has earned the trust and respect of a part of our community often ignored is good. Having someone with the ability to effectuate change is good.  Emmanuel Allen is the right choice for the Ocotillo district at a time when it needs more attention than ever. I endorse Emmanuel Allen and hope if you are a Ocotillo district voter you will consider giving him your vote on your Early Ballot or at the polls on August 28th. Thank you.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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