Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego aims to build a more centrist City Council voting bloc in the Nov. 8 election.|| Wikimedia Commons
The city must grapple with broad issues such as water management, climate change and affordable housing.
By Taylor Seel || Arizona Republic
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego is looking to build a more centrist Phoenix City Council majority in November’s election.
Gallego has led the nation’s fifth largest city since 2019, but has at times found herself pulled further left than she preferred by more progressive council members on police reform, or breaking with them, for instance, on some labor-related issues.
Though the council is technically nonpartisan, the nine member’s votes often fall along party ideologies, with Democrats in the majority.
While Gallego is a Democrat, she cast a deciding vote against setting a higher wage standard for construction workers on city-funded projects a year ago, an initiative supported by four council members.
She further staked out her platform in this year’s State of the City speech. “I have never, and will never, defund the police,” she said in April. Two months later, she and an overwhelming council majority voted for nearly $20 million in police pay hikes despite the protest of some community activists.
Now, Gallego has put her political heft behind Kevin Robinson, a former Republican turned independent and a former Phoenix assistant police chief who is running for City Council in District 6. She describes him as someone the city always relied on to help sort out divided perspectives.
“Residents of Phoenix expect results and they want to elect people who will bridge divides and get things done,” Gallego told The Arizona Republic.