Senator Allen is, if nothing else, a person of strong convictions; and, an equally strong commitment to honoring those convictions with her vote and her leadership on the issues of the day. At a time when politics in Arizona and nationally is becoming increasingly rancorous and partisan, Senator Allen stands as an example of a political leader who is willing to work across the aisle and let the merits of an issue determine her support.
Throughout her long career, Senator Allen was a leader on many issues, including; healthcare, economic development, support for public education, the arts and state trust land reform. Her style of leadership never varied; get the facts, assemble a coalition and stick to your guns. As she is fond of saying about her adversaries over the years, “They might not like me, but they respect me.” This leadership style served the citizens of Scottsdale well. In my periodic conversations with her over these last years, Senator Allen never failed to draw the conversation on any issue back to what her constituents thought on the issue. Senator Allen took the constituent outreach and service part of her job very seriously. She always had her finger on the pulse of what was happening in Scottsdale. This allowed her to be an effective advocate for those that she served.
As Senator Allen departs the political stage, one can only hope that there will be others who step up and put partisanship aside to work for what’s best for all Arizonans. The problems that we are facing as a state are huge and don’t lend themselves to a highly political and partisan solution. We will need leaders from all sides of the debate to work together for the benefit of all. Those that step up to lead next would be well served to emulate the career of Senator Allen as we face the challenges of tomorrow together.