Ballot Proposition Recommendations

Recommendations on Tempe’s Ballot Propositions

Tempe's City Elections include three ballot propositions which Council placed on the ballot for voters to decide:

Prop 402 will make Papago Park a desert preserve

Prop 403 will require that dark money groups spending money in Tempe's elections reveal the original source donations. It is the Public’s right to know who is trying to influence their local elections

Prop 404:  simply allows the City to spend the revenues that we receive.


VOTE YES on Proposition 402: Creating a Papago Park Preserve

By Councilmember Lauren Kuby and Council Candidate Genevieve Vega

Papago Park is 1,500 acres of scenic and easily accessible open space in Greater Phoenix. Home to the beloved Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Heritage Center, and historic Eisendrath House, this city park is replete with rolling hills, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and lagoons..

Tempe has adopted its 300-acre share of this unique resource as a treasured icon of our past and a valued resource for our future.

In 2016, North Tempe residents, seeking safeguards for this desert ecosystem, gathered over 1100 signatures to petition the City Council to refer a charter amendment to the ballot that would transform the Tempe portion of Papago Park into Papago Preserve.

“Preserves” are different from city parks due to their unique landforms, habitats, or cultural resources. Currently, “A” Mountain is our City’s only designated preserve, affording our beloved butte more protection.

If Tempe voters pass Prop 402 creating “Papago Preserve”:

  • Future Tempe City Councils will be prevented from selling, trading, or removing land from the Preserve without a public vote.

  • The City will preserve Papago in its natural state “to the maximum extent practicable.”

  • The City will preserve archaeological, paleontological, and historical resources and sites.

  • The City will maintain and replace City facilities as needed.

Additionally, future City Councils wishing to seize upon cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities designed to heighten appreciation and enjoyment of our desert environment will need 6 of 7 votes.

Vote YES for the City of Tempe to manage Papago’s desert ecosystem, native plants, cultural resources, and animal communities as a fragile and irreplaceable resource.

Vote YES to ensure that future generations will enjoy the natural beauty of Papago Park.

VOTE YES on Proposition 403: Keep Dark Money out of Local Tempe Elections

By Councilmember Lauren Kuby and Former Councilmember Corey Woods

If Tempe voters approve Prop 403, an amendment to Tempe’s charter (our city’s constitution), the “Keep Dark Money out of Local Tempe Elections” ordinance will become law. Tempe will be the first city in Arizona to require dark-money groups to disclose their donors.

Asserting our authority as a charter city, Tempe has been leading the way on reducing the influence of money in politics. Campaign Finance Reform. With voter approval, we lowered the cap on campaign donations from over $6000 to $500. We established a lobbyist registry to chart those seeking to influence Council decisions. Most recently, we began to require that Council candidates report donations from lobbyists doing business with our City.

This charter amendment takes the next logical step -- requiring that Independent Expenditure groups (a.k.a. dark money groups) that choose to spend money and seek influence in our City elections, disclose their original source donors.

While the Supreme Court, in the Citizens United decision, affirmed that these groups have the right to spend money to influence elections, Justice Kennedy wrote, in the majority opinion that disclosure was necessary:

“The First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens

and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way.

This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give

proper weight to different speakers and messages.”

So, while the courts currently allow dark money groups, there is no requirement that they hide the origin of their funding from the public. In fact, the public has a right to know.

In these troubling times, with historic distrust in the governing process, cities can lead the way in shining the light on those who secretly seek to influence our elections.

Please vote “YES” so Tempe voters can keep our elections free of the influence of dark money.

Vote YES on Proposition 404:  Adjusting the State-Imposed Expenditure Limits

Almost 40 years ago, the State Legislature established base-expenditure limits for cities. Although the limit is adjusted annually for inflation and population growth, the limits have not kept pace with city revenues and city services. This adjustment simply allows the City to spend the revenues that we receive.

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