Tag Archives: robert leger

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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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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Teamwork, great projects make us want to dance

By ROBERT LEGER, Class 21
Opinions editor of the Scottsdale Republic and Phoenix Republic

The tune was current, one all the elementary school children recognized as they ate lunch. They started dancing. A few minutes later, the youngsters were joined by silver-haired women who quickly learned the shuffle.

It was one of those “aha moments.” No one had planned this. It just happened, giving the people who put together this day of sharing between young and old all the affirmation they needed. Two generations connected.

Feel-good movies tell us one person can make a difference. But what can happen when seven talented, motivated people get behind an idea? Scottsdale Leadership has an answer, and it is amazing.

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

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