For some in our city, domestic violence is a daily problem. Councilmembers Nowakowski, Williams, and myself teamed together to make ending domestic violence a priority. As a city we embarked on a “Paint Phoenix Purple” campaign that was very successful. The goal was to continue raising awareness for this debilitating behavior and elevate domestic violence as an important policy issue.
In December 2012, the Phoenix City Council directed staff to develop a Roadmap to Excellence: a five-year plan to make Phoenix a national leader in preventing and responding to domestic violence. The plan centered around five pillars: 1. Community Awareness, 2. Phoenix as a Model, 3. System Reform to Focus on Domestic Violence, 4. Coordinated Service Delivery, and 5. Partnerships to End Domestic Violence.
In order to achieve the five pillars, a workgroup of 50 community leaders came together to develop the plan. They were able to put together a strategic, comprehensive plan that will lead Phoenix into the future in the struggle against domestic violence. In March 2013, the council approved the Roadmap.
Public-private partnerships will be critical to effectively implementing the plan and see the best results. The city will be working hand-in-hand with the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the O’Connor House, who have been two of the leading advocacy groups in Arizona for some time.
In the short time the plan has been in place, I am happy to report significant progress has been made on many fronts. City staff has been fully engaged and the private and nonprofit sectors have stepped up, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Circle K, Arizona State University, Maricopa Community College, United Way, Greater Phoenix Chamber, and many others.
The “Paint Phoenix Purple” campaign was a hit. The campaign was coordinated with other state and local awareness activities to maximize messaging. Participants were wearing purple, changing outdoor light bulbs to purple, using social media to spread domestic violence facts and messaging and many other ways. Even Tovrea Castle got in on the action by installing purple lights.
Continuing to find solutions for domestic violence has been a priority of mine for a long time. I am extremely proud of not only Ahwatukee for your participation, but the community as a whole.
We still have much work to do, but with efforts like those in October I know we are making progress.
• Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio represents District 6, which includes Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 262-7491.