The election to the Phoenix City Council can decide on Tuesday

PHOENIX – Tuesday is election day in Phoenix with two city council seats.

In doing so, we can find out whether Mayor Kate Gallego will be able to maintain a government majority on the city council. Turnout is low in District 7, where Cinthia Estela and Yasamin Ansari are in a runoff to replace outgoing city councilor Michael Nowakowski. There is a lot at stake.

The city council will shortly decide who will be part of the Accountability and Transparency Office, a police surveillance agency that will investigate the use of force by the police.

“It’s a shame cities have these important spring elections if voters aren’t careful,” said Barrett Marson, a political outreach advisor.

Police accountability is an issue in the District 7 race. Estela, who won elementary school, says residents in her district want more police, not another watchdog. Estela cites three groups created by the council investigating problems with police officers in Phoenix.

“Everyone wants public safety, everyone wants more police,” Estela recently told an online forum run by the Maricopa County Democrat.

Ansari also wants more police. She said she would press for more police stations in the district. But she also wants accountability.

“Police officers must also take responsibility for any wrongdoing that happens on their part,” she told the same forum of Maricopa County Democrats. Ansari added, “I am in favor of an accountability and transparency office.”

Ansari was part of the United Nations effort to curb global warming before returning to Arizona and moving to Phoenix. She has received a number of high profile recommendations, including one from Mayor Gallego. But Estela has been working for community groups and causes in Laveen for 17 years. The voters in the district know them. Both are running for the first time and voter turnout is low.

Councilor Deb Stark is running for re-election in District 3. Stark has supported efforts to bring reforms to the police department. Strongly running for re-election against Republican Nicole Garcia.

In a campaign video with pictures of last summer’s riots, she says, “There are decision makers who want Phoenix to look like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Chicago.”

Garcia promises to be with the police.

So far, more than 30,000 people in District 3 have voted, which bodes well for Councilor Stark, who has a reputation for working hard for her constituents. But Stark has not always sided with Mayor Gallego. So the result in District 7, where the first candidate to reach 10,000 votes could win the election, could very well determine how much of the mayor’s agenda sees the light of day.

Barrett Marson, who has gone through his part in local elections, believes, “How the Phoenix City Council is pushing much of the proposed police reform, whether Mayor Kate Gallego can get her agenda through the city council, whether she will have a governing majority on the city council in the elections.” Much is at stake on Tuesday. “

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