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Lucier: Continuing a life of service


The son of two World War II veterans, I began my path of public service at age 19. I enlisted in the U.S. Army, became a Green Beret and served in Vietnam.

When 9/11 happened, I answered the call to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq. More recently, as a member of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame, I have advocated for the veteran community — for those who gave and give so much of themselves.

From my years of service, I learned the importance of “the mission” and having a clear and strong vision.

I also honed my leadership skills and reinforced my deep and abiding beliefs in truth, integrity, kindness and of course, citizen-driven democracy.

I've carried those values with me throughout my lifetime, learning from both successes and failures. I hold dear the values of inclusion and diversity, and I’m not afraid to admit when I’ve made a mistake.

Recently, I attended an event and misheard the name of someone I met there. I repeated his name erroneously and, in so doing, I offended and disrespected him, and that’s why, when I learned how he felt, I called and emailed to apologize.

He let me know he’d call me back when he can. It’s his prerogative to speak to me or not; I respect that choice. I have learned from my mistake.

I will carry my life experiences into the city council chambers where I hope to serve as an advocate for all citizens, not just moneyed interests, and transparency, not backroom deals.

If I can help it, there won’t be any more Coyote snafus (that’s a military term) or developer-written general plans on my watch.

Is it wise leadership to locate a gambling juggernaut inside a college town? While gifting millions to a billionaire?

Who defines a boundary for high-density development as “within a quarter mile of transit” without defining transit, thus putting our historic and residential neighborhoods on the chopping block? 

Intense focus on development and density leaves out the concerns of many residents and businesses who deserve to have a say in the future of our city.

Instead, my vision for Tempe is one that brings us back into balance, a balance characterized by listening to all stakeholders, including development and business interests, but especially our neighbors—both new and those who have been here for years.

We need to strike a balance between development interests and the preservation of the wonderful character of our existing neighborhoods. Financial success is good, but alone it does not build a livable, sustainable, vibrant community.

We also need transparency, especially, to stop developer money from dictating our politics.

No law will do the latter, it’s up to a candidate’s ethics and loyalties to determine whose benefit they are fighting for.

That’s why I refuse to take contributions from development interests —unlike other candidates. The exclusive developer’s club has had enough of a say.

When I listen to residents and homeowners, I hear time and again that we are no longer the citizen-driven community we once were. It’s time for a change, a time to listen to the people who call Tempe home.

In addition to these bedrock principles, balance means finding the golden mean among the issues of innovation, economic development, infrastructure, arts, amenities, traffic, affordable housing and solutions for the unhoused — with a positive, generous, and financially sound approach characterized by the empathy so often missing from our current politics.

Balance means embracing civil debate on our pressing issues and admitting when you’ve made mistakes or need redirection.

I love Tempe, all of it. I have lived most of my adult life in Tempe. I have always relished conversations about making our city more livable and sustainable. And now I feel called to serve once again, this time on the city council.

I ask for one of your three votes. Learn more at DavidForCouncil.org.