In the vice presidential debate last week, an eighth grader asked how citizens could be civil if our leaders aren’t modeling cooperative, positive behavior.
I wasn’t satisfied with the answers given by either candidate.
Scottsdale is a Golden Rule City. Our fundamental values of kindness, empathy, respect, and civility need to be more than just words buried deep inside the city’s website; we need leaders who embody these ideals. At a time of great national strife, it’s vital that we lead at the local level, where ideals meet pragmatism.
Several of my challengers have spoken throughout the campaign of replacing what they see as the current “council majority” and creating their own bloc to force the decisions they want. This is acceptable thinking for an activist, wanting to “win” their issue at all costs, but this is not what governance is about.
Our council should be a deliberative body of seven open minded, fact-based, qualified, thoughtful people who will each bring their unique perspectives and experiences to collaborate, on behalf of everyone in our community. The goal is to count to seven, not four. A good outcome is when everyone leaves the table feeling like they got at least what they need, if not everything they want.
My challengers speak of needing councilmembers that listen more to residents, but they are only listening to a narrow group. They continue to drive the idea of “us” vs “them,” those who promote growth vs those who want to shut things down, those who are registered with the Republican party vs those that identify with a different political party, or none at all.
Those that opposed one high profile development project vs those that supported it. This is not the way to choose leaders, and this is not the way to lead.
We need to model the Golden Rule behavior. After this election, we all must shake hands, roll up our sleeves, and deal with a public health crisis. Our tourism industry is decimated, many businesses are still shuttered or struggling, and my kids are still doing school from our kitchen table.
We need leaders who are not ideological or driven by a single issue, but creative and skilled and open to negotiation — who judge each issue on its own merit, in the context of its surroundings, and make the best decisions for the good of our city.
Leaders who can solve the problems we are facing today, and prepare us for tomorrow. Leaders who can rise above the petty bickering and point-scoring, and work as a team to bring Scottsdale forward to a better, brighter future.
We have an opportunity to build back more prosperous, more prepared, and better for everyone.
For the last few weeks my challengers have accused me of plotting to ruin our city in one way or another. This is deeply offensive. For the last 20 years I have poured myself into building a successful business and raising a family in Scottsdale.
I have been heavily involved in my children’s schools, my faith community, and various civic groups. I donated my time for three years serving on our development review board, maintaining the quality of development in our city.
I want Scottsdale to be even better for my kids than it’s been for me. I’ve spent a year campaigning tirelessly to be a positive, forward-thinking voice on our City Council. I am ready to serve my community, and I would be honored for your vote.
Editor’s Note: Tammy Caputi is a candidate for Scottsdale City Council in the Nov. 3 general election, and president of Yale Electric West.