All Tempe candidates’ forum January 15, 2020

Youtube link is here. One hour 25 minutes.

This forum was sponsored by the Tempe Interfaith Fellowship. You can find them on facebook. Two leftist ministers ask 10 softball questions. Randy Keating is absent, so there are 6 panelists. Eighty-five minutes divided by 60 yields response times of a little over a minute each. There is almost no clash at all. Casey Clowes prefers the subject of climate change, and when she is served with that question (48:35) she has such ready answers that the other candidates fall over each other agreeing with her. At the end (1:20:10), Mark Mitchell admits that the Arizona Legislature might not agree that the city has any role in addressing these issues.

1. What is your #1 priority (4:00)

  • Mitchell: quality of life.
  • Woods (5:00): affordable housing. He is for it.
  • Garlid (6:15): bring people together in forums like this.
  • Navarro (7:20): homelessness and addiction. He is against it.
  • Norman (9:30): homelessness and affordable housing. He wants to tax new development.
  • Clowes (10:30): sustainability.

2. What will you do to provide affordable housing? (11:30)

  • Garlid (14:50): introduced I Help (link here) to her church.
  • Navarro (15:50): get homeless out of parks, off streets.
  • Norman (17:30): trying to help people who can be helped, such as local high school students who are couch-surfing.
  • Clowes (19:05): we should invest in I Help, affordable housing.
  • Mitchell (20:10): wants to improve quality of life for all residents, especially the homeless. Goal of 16,500 affordable units.

3. How will you work with the faith community? (22:20)

  • Garlid (22:50): it’s a good idea.
  • Navarro (24:00): 142 churches in Tempe. City should be a “router.”
  • Norman (26:05): Can we park a trailer and get electricity?
  • Clowes (26:50): wary of breaching wall between church and state.
  • Mitchell (27:40): cites work of Agency Review. Assure no effort is duplicated.
  • Woods (29:15): only rotating shelter in Tempe is faith-based.

4. How will you protect LGBTQ people? (30:55)

  • Navarro (31:20): ASU, parks, and downtown are all assets.
  • Norman (32:45): Everyone should talk.
  • Clowes (34:05): LGBQT people need state-wide protection. Require sensitivity training. Ban conversion therapy.
  • Mitchell (35:15): cites achievements, such as 100% score from Human Rights Coalition (HRC).
  • Woods (37:05): claims credit for rise in HRC score from 72. Claims people can be fired in Arizona for having a picture of a non-traditional partner on their desk. Many homeless are LGBTQ.
  • Garlid (39:25): build on existing non-discrimination ordinance.

5. How can you improve parking in downtown for faith-based groups, such as the Mosque? (40:15)

  • Norman (41:25): “Good luck with that!”
  • Clowes (42:10): invest in public transit, bicycle infrastructure. Can’t single out faith-based groups.
  • Mitchell (42:40): cites achievements, such as free Orbit, Park & Ride.
  • Woods (44:20): cites Tempe employee Adam Jones as parking expert.
  • Garlid (45:25): more, better communication.
  • Navarro (46:20): Tempe is the best at solving this kind of problem.

6. What can you do about Tempe’s carbon footprint? (48:35)

  • Clowes (49:00): invest in Orbit, plant trees for shade, build more, better bus shelters, improve bicycle infrastructure, “traffic demand management,” encourage employers to allow off-peak commute schedules, dis-incentivize private cars.
  • Mitchell (50:30): goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. Multi-modal transport. Dedicated revenue stream. Spending $3m to alleviate congestion at Rural & University. Free youth bus passes.
  • Woods (52:40): agree with Clowes. Valley-wide light rail. Make it go where people actually want to go. Telecommutation.
  • Garlid (54:30): ditto to Clowes. Especially likes tree canopy.
  • Navarro (55:35): 200,000-300,000 commuters inbound every day.
  • Norman (57:40): ditto to Clowes.

7. How will you help public education? (58:15)

  • Mitchell (58:40): neighborhoods, parks, schools very important. Cites achievements such as Tempe’s pre-K. Most important considerations for prospective residents are quality of K-12 and public safety.
  • Woods (1:00:45): schools are lifeblood of community.
  • Garlid (1:02:30): cites Beans & Rice program to provide snacks at school breaks.
  • Navarro (1:04:00): have two coordinators on Tempe payroll. Maybe need more. Cites Kid Zone for after-school care. Hopes Tempe pre-K will have a waiting list.
  • Norman (1:06:20): trying to get homeless kids to graduate.
  • Clowes (1:07:20): likes Tempe pre-K. Tempe also funds mental health counselors for the school districts.

8. Feminine hygiene products are no longer available in city bathrooms. Can they be restored? (1:08:20)

  • Woods (1:09:10): as a man, he cannot represent women. Needs help.
  • Garlid (1:10:30): cites a charity that may provide this.
  • Navarro (1:11:25): communicate and coordinate. Set priorities.
  • Norman (1:12:45): doesn’t spend time in womens’ bathrooms.
  • Clowes (1:13:30): this is a public health issue.
  • Mitchell (1:14:05): admits he did not know about this.

9. What keeps you awake at night? What are your hopes and fears? (1:15:05)

  • Garlid (1:15:30): have I served others adequately?
  • Navarro (1:16:40): did I do right?
  • Norman (1:18:50): combating homelessness.
  • Clowes (1:19:30): the climate crisis.
  • Mitchell (1:20:10): fear of preemption by the Arizona Legislature.
  • Woods (1:21:30): seeks to wipe the slate clean every day.

10. Addressed only to the mayoral candidates. Are you willing to meet with the faith-based community at least once a year? (1:22:45)

  • Mitchell (1:23:25): every month.
  • Woods (1:23:50): every week.