As one of the City's strongest voting block, North Central residents have been very involved in selecting our public servants. The NCPHA's goal is to provide fair and balanced information on our candidates in an effort to help you make an informed decision. We have asked both candidates to weigh in on five questions regarding issues that affect North Central.
Please read on for responses from candidate Daniel Valenzuela
NCPHA: Our City is blessed with having mature, established neighborhoods integrated near our commercial areas. What is your position on developers pushing inappropriate new development in those neighborhoods?
DV: As a city, we need to be mindful and respectful of the unique character of our neighborhoods. Instead of approving any development that comes in front of the Council, we should be thinking ahead and working with neighborhood associations to make sure changes to those communities are in line with the character and uniqueness of each neighborhood. I was the first Councilmember to speak out against the housing development on the North Phoenix Baptist Church campus because I knew it didn’t fit with the community’s character. We should also strengthen the process of plans going through Village Planning Committees by making sure a diverse array of perspectives and representation are on those committees. I have been the most accessible Councilmember and I will be the most accessible Mayor we’ve had when it comes to listening to neighborhood groups and working with them on solutions.
NCPHA: Where do you see new development occurring once you are in office?
DV: I want to see smart and responsible growth throughout our city, but that will differ depending on the neighborhoods. In places like Laveen and some parts of North Phoenix, we still haven’t built sidewalks and proper water infrastructure. That must be a priority when it comes to development and representing all parts of our city.
NCPHA: Corruption and back room deals have infiltrated our public process.
What will you do as mayor to ensure unethical behavior in our City (both paid and volunteer positions) is eliminated?
DV: Transparency is one of the most important aspects of city government and I believe we must do better at City Hall. Citizens should know that they can trust their elected officials, have access to speaking with them, and know they aren’t being bought off by special interests. I fully supported the recent ballot propositions, including Prop. 412, to hold elected officials accountable for their actions in office as well as those who serve on boards and commissions in our city. As Mayor, one of my first priorities will be to protect our city’s brand by finally establishing an Ethics Commission that has oversight of our Council. During this campaign, I’ve held and have scheduled free meet and greets open to the public in every district in the City to let people know I am listening and I will be accountable to their concerns. As Mayor, I will continue this practice by holding quarterly meet and greets in each district.
NCPHA: How will you reduce the homeless problem in our City?
DV: As someone who spent nights in a cot with my mother in a homeless shelter, this issue is a personal one for me. There is never one sole reason for homelessness, and there’s not one simple solution to fix it. Government alone cannot solve the problem of our homelessness crisis. I believe it will take a multi-faceted, holistic approach that creates partnerships between municipal governments, non-profit associations, the health care and business community, and concerned community leaders. As Mayor, I would bring stakeholders together and create solutions that combine the areas of health care, housing, and job training. We need to treat our fellow Phoenicians with the utmost dignity and respect, and make sure they have the tools they need to get back on their feet.
NCPHA: Traffic, in some areas, is at an all-time high. The City of Phoenix has turned a blind eye to this. What will you do as Mayor to address the traffic and vehicular safety problems?
DV: We need to make vehicular and pedestrian safety a priority in the City of Phoenix. Our residents should not fear collisions while walking to a park or a local restaurant. As Mayor, I will make sure we pass the Complete Streets guidelines that will make our city safe for drivers and pedestrians. Additionally, I want to look at creative ways like bringing artistic displays to sidewalks and crosswalks to reduce our traffic issues.
NCPHA: What is your position on illegal immigration? Will you make Phoenix a sanctuary city?
DV: Phoenix is not and will not be a sanctuary city.