Tag Archives: arizona republic

The Primaries are on August 24: Republicans, Democrats and Independents, it’s Your Turn to Have Your Voice Heard

By MELISSA RZEPPA, Class 23
Partner & PR Director – Serendipit Consulting

My fellow Class 23 classmate, Mike Cassidy, wrote a great blog earlier this week that left everyone with the message of the only wrong vote is the one not cast.

I of course, could not agree more. What’s really important to understand is that your vote doesn’t only matter in the general election, but it matters just as much (if not more) in the primary election, when parties will choose the candidates to represent them in the general elections. On August 24, you will have your chance to go out and vote in the primary election.

A recent article in the Arizona Republic from Bill Hart, a senior policy analyst at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU, stated that most Arizonans “seem oblivious to the primaries.” Typically, only about 25 percent of registered voters turn up to vote.

According to the Hart article, as of June 1, Republicans made up 36 percent of registered voters, Democrats had 33 percent and Independents 31 percent. That means that the number of Independent voters is on the rise and Independent voters have a huge, unrecognized opportunity to really influence the vote.

Yet, Hart points out that typically, primary election voter turnout from Independent voters is significantly lower than both major parties. He believes that this is because most Independent voters simply don’t know that they can vote in the primary election. The fact is: they can. Independents who wish to vote in any Republic or Democratic primaries (excluding only Arizona’s presidential preference-election) can request the appropriate ballot at their place of polling; their status as a registered independent is not affected. In a separate article by Robert Leger in the Scottsdale Republic, Leger states “the primary election is the election that matters. If you skip it and wait until November, someone else has already made the decision for you.”

Harts other reason for Arizona being “oblivious” to the primaries, is that Arizonans are lazy voters. Let’s prove him wrong! We have the opportunity, no matter what party we stand for, to choose the candidates that will be on the ballot for the general election in November.

Mark August 24 on your calendar, see you at the polls!

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If a Vote is Cast in the Desert Does it Make a Sound?

By Michael Cassidy,  Class 23
Senior Executive Director at Valley of the Sun YMCA

“People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote – a very different thing.” -Walter H. Judd

Family gatherings, golf outings, weddings, speaking or training gigs, any location that serves adult beverages and on my blog – there are two subjects that are absolutely off-limits: politics and religion.  As this is a guest blog, I will brush against one of those subjects.

“I may not have had 2 cents, but I always had my vote,” my grandfather once said.  Those Depression Era kids are always good for some priceless pearls of wisdom.

In this age of technology we are deluged with information, 24/7, 365.  There is so much information that a channel exists dedicated to just “headlines” – dig deeper on your own time if you’re so inclined.  The NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL have their respective seasons, even elections have their seasons, however politics has become seasonless – they are always on.

Millions of dollars are invested in our “education” as voters.  According to a recent article in the Arizona Republic, apparently it takes significant funding to over-inform us of what is actually important to us.  Would the truly bipartisan move be to have all candidates agree to simply write a check to the state coffers and everyone is provided 10 minutes on the eve of the election?

Photo: Reuse of campaign signs to create shade structure (An Arid Zone Shade Structure Jason Griffiths, ASU)

Every election we apply our noise filters (values, background, experiences, goals, opinions, industry, profession, life stage, etc.) sift through all the rhetoric and cast our vote.  Asking someone how they voted is akin to asking what they weigh – a dangerous proposition.

Despite what the seasonless political soothsayers have proscribed, I’ve yet to see the chaos of Armageddon when the nice volunteer hands me my “I voted” sticker.

There is no such thing as an “informed vote”, there is only your vote.  It is yours to cast after doing the diligence you determine is necessary.  There is no shortage of those telling us what to do with our votes, as always we will do what we determine is right for us, our family, and our community.

One voice, one vote, be sure to use it, otherwise you will not be heard.  The only wrong vote is the one not cast.

Guest post by Mike Cassidy, a non-profit Senior Executive Director specializing in membership development, engagement and retention. His ramblings can be found at www.membershipjedi.com

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Developing vision like a tango, but it takes more than two

By ROBERT LEGER,  Class 21
Opinions editor of the Scottsdale Republic and Phoenix Republic and an assistant editorial page editor of the Arizona Republic.

The first question answered itself:

“Does Scottsdale have a vision for its future?” the audience member asked a panel that had spent nearly an hour discussing vision and how a community develops one.

The city hasn’t been through a formal visioning exercise in nearly two decades. City staffers have sought residents’ thoughts about specific areas, such as the Airpark or downtown, but not for the city as a whole. No one has updated the vision adopted in the early 1990s that, among other things, called for creating a large Sonoran mountain preserve.

Does the city have a map to its future?

“Yes,” replied former City Manager Dick Bowers, who moderated the discussion. “Whether it’s in concert with the views of citizens is a question you have to answer.”

If he was tempted to leave it at that, the temptation didn’t last long.

“Vision is not something that seven people sit in a room and create. It’s not only the loudest voice,” Bowers said. “Vision comes only from conversation with the entire body that will carry it out. In my view, no, there is not a clear vision. It’s up to you to determine what it should be.”

Many in the crowd at the Scottsdale Leadership community forum left ready to do that. Board members said they will bring up the idea of promoting a vision process at their next meeting. Scottsdale Community College President Jan Gehler offered her campus as “neutral ground for difficult conversations.”

Here’s hoping the passions of the morning don’t fade away. Every community needs to regularly re-examine its goals. Scottsdale is due.

To read the rest of Robert’s blog on the Arizona Republic’s website click here.

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Leadership Experiences should be shared

By RACHEL BROCKWAY, Class 23
Scottsdale Leadership Marketing and Resource Development Manager

In today’s Scottsdale Republic an article by Russell Helwig titled “Share Leadership Experiences” was very engaging. From time to time you may read articles by John Hersey or books like Stephen R. Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but how often do you share your experiences? We each have knowledge that could benefit others.  To make a difference in our community we need to not only listen to what others have to say but also contribute our knowledge so others can learn.

The article discusses how we should be taking the lead and share a story, tip or leadership lesson. Helwig says “Leadership is not about thinking you have all the answers” and I agree. He is asking you and I, as leaders, to voice our opinions so we can share are experience with all.

Now I want to know, what knowledge will you share today?

Inspirational speaker Russell Helwig writes a leadership column for the AZ Republic.  He can be reached at 623-334-1641 or russ@inspireandlead.com.

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‘Pay It Forward’ Project Inspires Scottsdale Citizens to Think Big

By MELISSA RZEPPA, Class 23
Partner & PR Director – Serendipit Consulting

Suzanne Paetzer, a member of Scottsdale Leadership‘s class 24 (and soon-to-be graduate) wrote a great “Letter to the Editor” that was published in the Arizona Republic – Scottsdale Edition today about the Pay It Forward projects and the positive impact the projects had on Scottsdale citizens.

In the article, Suzanne says that she is “inspired to think big and deliver big results.” We hope that everyone who attended the presentations left with that same inspiration! Read the full article on AZCentral.com here.

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