AZ Republic: Kuby, Schapira Will Team Up As City Council Candidates

Tempe Republic, Friday, January 17
by Dianna M. Náñez

Former Arizona Sen. David Schapira and long time Tempe political activist and community leader Lauren Kuby told The Arizona Republic this week they will run as a team in the Tempe City Council election.

Although the council race is nonpartisan, Kuby and Schapira are considered powerful Democrats, who would likely draw avid support from the party. Their candidacies could also attract similarly high-profile Republicans to enter the 2014 Tempe election.

With council members Onnie Shekerjian, Shana Ellis, and Robin Arredondo-Savage’s terms expiring this year, the race will have three open seats. Ellis and Arredondo-Savage have filed paperwork that will allow them to seek the seat, while Shekerjian has not yet done so.

Kuby has lived in Tempe for 25 years and has partnered with Tempe Community Council and served with Tempe Leadership Class XXV. She works as a manager of events and community engagement for Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

Kuby is known for her work with the homeless community and worked with Schapira when he ran unsuccessfully for the state’s Congressional District 9 seat. She told The Republic that she will draw on her 17 years of experience at ASU and longtime community activism to create partnerships between the nation’s largest college campus and her hometown.

“ASU is Tempe’s treasure and Tempe is the city where ASU is embedded and there’s great opportunities for economic development and sustainability practices,” she said. “I will be a voice for urban-sustainability initiatives. I’ll be a connector, someone who brings partnerships together, an advocate for human services and for veterans, especially homeless veterans.”

Although Tempe council candidates are required to form their own committees, she and Schapira chose to mark themselves as a team. “We have very similar values about the community…and bringing people together,” she said.

Harry Mitchell, a former U.S. congressman and longtime Tempe mayor, will serve as Kuby’s chairman. Mitchell is Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell’s father.

“The way he (Mitchell) embraces people and works for the community, he I s the model I strive to be,” she said.

Schapira is the assistant superintendant of the East Valley Institute of Technology and a governing-board member of Tempe Union High School District.

Others who have filed paperwork to seek the seats include Matthew Papke and Bruce Nester.

Papke, an Arizona native and longtime Tempe resident, served in the Marines, works in advertising and has campaigned for lowering city taxes, according to his campaign website. Nester is a business analyst at Honeywell, according to his campaign paperwork.

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