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.

I’m going to begin by relating facts. Facts do not lie although they can be manipulated to prove either side of an issue. Here are some of those stubborn facts:

  • Glendale’s population is between 253,000 and 256,000, depending on which site is used to obtain information.
  • The number of active voters in Glendale is 118,846 or 46% of the total population.
  • In the 2020 election (mayoral contest with higher voter totals), 37,761 people voted or 32% of all active voters in the city.
  • In the Ocotillo district there are about 12,000 registered voters.
  • Aldama captured a little over 1,200 votes or 15% of all the registered voters in the district.
  • The Cholla, Sahuaro and Barrell districts (generally north Glendale) account for 60% of the total votes cast and Cactus, Ocotillo and Yucca districts produce 40% of the votes cast.
  • A majority of voters (over 55%) are age 50 or older.
  • A voter turnout of 32% is slightly lower than many other valley cities. Less than 40% of all registered voters (or less than 20% of the total population) will decide who becomes the next mayor.

Glendale is not an anomaly and is typical of many cities. Less than half of Glendale’s residents vote. That is not surprising considering that many people are focused on making a living and paying the bills. If it’s not a NIMBY (not in my backyard) issue, they generally do not care about or focus on who is running the city. I remember polling done during one of my many election races when people were asked to identify the mayor from a list of names, only 3% could identify who was the Mayor of Glendale.

What do these facts signify? Aldama is going to have a very difficult race. It’s been demonstrated that he is not wildly popular in his own district, Ocotillo. It will be difficult for him to gather a majority of votes in the three northern districts.

In Aldama’s recent announcement, the Arizona Republic said, “Aldama then pointed out that in 2018, when he ran for reelection, Weiers endorsed his opponent, Emmanuel Allen.” That was 5 years ago. Is Aldama’s internal motive for running payback for Weiers’ previous endorsement of someone else? Does Aldama feel disrespected by Mayor Weiers?

Also, the Arizona Republic said that Aldama wants to find consensus among the city council and to unify the city. Let’s look at these public goals. He wants to become the great unifier. I defy anyone to find a city council where all 7 members agree. That is how democracy works. What Aldama does not say, as part of a minority on council, is that he wants his side to become the majority.

As for unification of the city, that’s just meaningless rhetoric. What does that really mean? Unification along racial, ethnic or income standards? All of these identifiers produce people who have had different experiences and knowledge which may not lend themselves to unification. Ask Aldama how he’s going to create unity between someone living in a million dollar home in north Glendale with someone living in a $250,000 home in south Glendale.

The Republic reported that, “Aldama also said he plans on holding one of the largest meetings with Glendale constituents…asking them for input…” If this were to happen, I suspect the attendees to be the usual, small group, current activist portion of the community each representing a specific issue.

As a representative form of government, councilmembers are elected by their district constituents to represent them…to lead. That’s what Aldama was elected to do. Sometimes council decisions are difficult. That’s when I turn to my constituents asking for their point of view on the issue. Perhaps his time would be better spent reaching out to his district constituents and asking them for their input so that he can truly represent them.

Lastly Aldama is quoted as saying, “…we’re going to start the healing and we’re going to bring respect back to the dais and we’re going to start to unite the community…” I ask what healing? Aldama’s hurt feelings? I ask what respect? Does Aldama feel disrespected? I certainly don’t and I suspect that is shared by most of the councilmembers. I ask what unity? On what basis? A majority of this council is unified and their decisions have brought about many positive results for Glendale.

Having sat on the dais with Councilmember Aldama for years and having observed his actions and listened to his rhetoric, Aldama will not be my choice for Mayor of Glendale.

© Joyce Clark, 2023     


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