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Q&A: New City Councilman Leandro Baldenegro

Lifelong Glendale resident represents Ocotillo District

Posted 5/14/24

New Ocotillo District council member Leandro Baldenegro took office on the Glendale City Council April 23.

Baldenegro resides in the same house in downtown Glendale where he was born and raised. …

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Q&A: New City Councilman Leandro Baldenegro

Lifelong Glendale resident represents Ocotillo District


New Ocotillo District council member Leandro Baldenegro took office on the Glendale City Council April 23.

Baldenegro resides in the same house in downtown Glendale where he was born and raised. He graduated from Apollo High School and attended Arizona State University.

Here’s some more background, in Baldenegro’s own words.

Age? 50

• Hometown: Beautiful Downtown Glendale, Arizona

• Occupation? Welder for the Glendale Elementary School District

• Family: Antonia and Gilbert Baldenegro (parents), four sisters, three brothers-in-law, and more than 20 nephews and nieces.

• What about Glendale convinced you to stay your whole life? It’s where my story began, and I have every intention to have it be where my story ends. I have only known Glendale to be where I ever have wanted to be. I have lived a life of being very proud of where I was born and raised. I have heard so many stories from so many friends and family that reinforce my beliefs that Glendale is the best place to ever want to be. Could I have left? Of course I could, but why would I? I have everything that I need here, restaurants, entertainment, sports venues, historical places, schools, churches, hospitals, fishing opportunities at local parks, history, traditions, culture and some of the best people from all walks of life that have had a real impact on my life. The better question would be why would I ever leave?

• How are you involved in the local community? I coached Pop Warner football on and off for about ten years, and at least seven of those were here in Glendale. I would like to get back into coaching because I miss it, but I also understand sometimes you just need to “retire” and let someone else take over. I participate in a lot of events throughout the elementary school district including career day, as well as Read Across America.

• What are the opportunities you see for growth and improvement your community? There are several opportunities throughout the community. It would be great to have new businesses and companies fill the vacant buildings in the area. I would like to see vacant lots purchased and have something new in the area sprout up. It would be great to have downtown become a stronger “destination” spot for the metro Phoenix area. It will take a little time, but I am very confident that it can be done.

• What caused you to decide to apply for the City Council vacancy? I had a trusted member of the community suggest that I consider this opportunity. She felt that I would do a really good job if I got the position. She knew that I have lived in the neighborhood all my life and she pointed out the things that I could accomplish that I hadn’t even thought about. She made a very compelling argument that I had to agree with. I never felt that the city wasn’t in good hands, but my perspective with a fresh set of eyes and ears will definitely help, not only in my district, but throughout the city.

• What advice would you give to people wanted to serve the public? Make sure you are fully aware of the time and effort required before you make the commitment. Sometimes things fall into place nicely, while other times it can be a struggle to do everything that you want to accomplish. Most people don’t realize that I still work a full-time job on top of all my city council duties. I have a great director of maintenance and operations who trusts me to find the necessary balance to be successful in both jobs.

• What did you want to be as a child? I wanted to be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. I have been a fan since I was a little kid. I remember watching Danny White play for the Cowboys after his time at ASU. I thought I could do it just like him. I even played quarterback for two of the Pop Warner teams that I played on as a kid. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the height to make it happen.

• What do you do in your downtime? I like fishing, DIY projects, spending time with family and friends, “camping” up north in Heber, listening to music and making people laugh. I like to read about the complexity of the universe, and I enjoy reading about WWII. I like watching romantic movies like The Matrix and John Wick. One of the best things that I like to participate in is ice cream happy hour in the front yard with my parents.

• What’s one thing you want people to know about you? You will be totally wrong if you judge the book by the cover. Get to know me, ask some questions, and you will be surprised with what you find out.

• How do you define success? I am a firm believer that one’s decisions impact the success or blame you receive. You are responsible for what you receive and you either get the credit or the blame. I am proud to say that I have been given credit many more times than I have been blamed. I think that is a good definition.

• What is your main goal for the Ocotillo District and your mission as its representative? I would like to continue the successful steps that were taken by my predecessors and venture into new directions that will help everyone. I have a few ideas that I am working on right now to accomplish those goals. I understand that politics is not easy to navigate, but if I do things with creativity and a good heart, I am confident that my team and I will not just meet expectations but exceed them. If, at the end of my tenure; whenever that is, the residents, business owners and city employees can say “he is a good man and was always on our side,” then I will know that I did my job.