Effective leadership is visionary, not reactive.
Virginia Korte’s lengthy and consistent track record on nondiscrimination places her on solid footing to address the recent economic and public-safety crises that are now layered atop what was already shaping up to be a contentious election for our next mayor.
Virginia has been standing ready for years.
During her two terms on City Council, Virginia repeatedly recognized that inclusion is not just an aspirational issue. It’s a human rights issue. Translated for those focused on the bottom-line: it’s a municipal asset that directly affects recruitment and retention.
I have encountered hundreds, if not thousands, of Scottsdale residents who embrace diversity and walk the talk. Our city’s lack of a nondiscrimination ordinance fails to reflect those values, and could be a deterrent to progressive corporations considering relocating to what has historically been our economically-thriving environment.
It’s reasonable to assume, for example, that a company with a comprehensive internal nondiscrimination policy would be more attracted to a city whose laws reflect its corporate culture.
Remaining steadfast in her position notwithstanding council’s failure to adopt a nondiscrimination ordinance in 2016, Virginia emphasized that a business should serve the public regardless of “what color they are, or what race, or if they are gay or transgender.” “Let’s make ourselves the most livable city for all of our residents and visitors,” she continued.
Just as the NFL recently admitted that “we were wrong” to ignore inequality and oppression, it’s time for the City of Scottsdale to fix its fumble on the nondiscrimination ordinance. Electing Virginia Korte as our next mayor would demonstrate our citizens’ commitment to do just that.
Virginia was also one of the first city leaders to address the recent peaceful protests that tragically devolved into looting and destruction. Condemning the violence and emphasizing public safety, she also recognized that the systemic, underlying causes deserved equal attention.
Virginia’s recent recommendation for a race-relations task force would supplement the important work of the city’s seven-member Human Relations Commission, which acts as an advisory board to City Council on cultural awareness issues generally.
The task force, in contrast, would seek a broader and more inclusive perspective on an acute and multifaceted opportunity. I commend Virginia for speaking out so promptly and specifically on these issues, and have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the difficult dialogue ahead.
Editor’s Note: Marc Miller is a longtime Scottsdale resident whose numerous community leadership roles over the past 35 years include President of the Scottsdale Rotary Club, President of the Scottsdale Artist’s School, and President of the Scottsdale Charros. In 2009 he received Drinkwater Leadership Award.