Ahwatukee used to speak with a unified voice on the things that mattered most to the people in it. Like a family, we’d squabble a bit among ourselves as we sorted out issues, but ultimately we’d stand together. That worked successfully for us in the past to solve problems and create opportunities.

That “Team Ahwatukee” approach is how we argued and lobbied our way into getting the senior center – with people working hand-in-hand to create a home away from home for seniors in our neighborhoods.

It wasn’t that many years ago that Ahwatukee had a single police officer protecting our community. Thanks to engaged and unified community support, we’ve managed to grow that to 33 patrol officers – with a few more slated to be assigned here in the coming precinct restructuring. We had no ambulance stationed here, and teaming up to speak with one voice gave us the strength and standing to fill that gap.

To deal with the South Mountain Loop 202, I brought together a kitchen cabinet of people in Ahwatukee Foothills who hold the full range of opinions to work together and speak with one voice, from Lakewood and Foothills homeowner groups, from neighborhoods to business interests. This group is brainstorming ideas to find an Ahwatukee solution, an alternative to the Pecos alignment that disrupts our community, something all Ahwatukee factions can agree on and stand together for.

The group is chaired by Clay Schad, founder and former publisher of the Ahwatukee Foothills News, and Chad Blostone, an Ahwatukee resident who’s been involved in this issue and who also sits on the Foothills HOA board. They’re helping drive this exploration for an alternate to the current plan. They have had one session so far, where our community found common ground.

The city of Phoenix – and particularly a single councilmember – doesn’t have the lion’s share of the decision-making authority on determining exactly where that will go. If Ahwatukee speaks strongly and unified, though, our voice will be enormously magnified, and we have an opportunity to influence the decision.

This is how we’re going to approach our problems and opportunities from now on, as the Ahwatukee family, with a unified voice. If you have any ideas on the freeway location or plan, please feel free to send them to my office at council.district.6@phoenix.gov.

 

Sal DiCiccio was elected twice to the Phoenix City Council in the 1990s and was appointed to the council in January after Greg Stanton resigned. He can be contacted at (602) 262-7491 or council.district6@phoenix.gov.

 

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