In 48 hours, over 9,000 people have signed two petitions calling for Scottsdale City Council member Guy Phillips’ removal from office.
News of Phillips’ “I Can’t Breathe” moment has swept throughout the U.S. making headlines on nationwide morning news shows and dozens of national newspapers.
In a joint statement, the two petition sponsors said “Scottsdale’s reputation has been stained by a City Council member standing on Civic Center property with a Confederate flag in the background uttering those words.
His feeble attempts to apologize, have done nothing to slow down the pace of new signatures calling for his removal. If anything the pace is increasing.
Josh Miller, a Scottsdale resident born in Phoenix who moved back to Arizona after high school, has watched Scottsdale politics for 32 years. Until now he was a relatively quiet observer.
He says: “I really have never been very active politically... I just was disgusted by what I saw yesterday,” when explaining why he launched his change.org petition titled “Guy Phillips Must Resign from Scottsdale City Council”
With no promotion, over 3,500 people have now signed his petition more than 10 times the number of Miller’s Facebook followers.
Not realizing that Miller had already started a similar petition, Mike Norton’s petition, “Call For Resignation of Scottsdale City Council Member Phillips” has added more than 1,200 signature to those Miller generated. Miller and Norton met only when they learned of each other’s petitions.
“The longer we allow Guy Phillips to remain in office, the greater the damage to Scottsdale’s reputation and the longer it will take to clear the shame that he has brought to our community,” Norton said. “Our Governor, a U.S. Senator, and a dozen local officials and candidates have all called for Phillips to step down. That sentiment has crossed all political lines. Arizonans have chosen to stand up to bigotry meaning that Phillips must sit down and leave office.”
Before the next City Council meeting, Miller plans to deliver the signatures that he and Norton collect to our mayor and City Council members.
“I hope that 10,000 people sign before that meeting,” said Miller. “This issue isn’t going to go away until Phillips steps down.”
Editor’s Note: Josh Miller and Mike Norton are Scottsdale residents. Mr. Norton is a member of the SCOTT Project and is a vocal community member.