By Don Henninger
EDITOR’S NOTE: Over 60 Scottsdale business and community leaders have endorsed the “Declaration of Community Values” listed below. Their names are at the end. To add your endorsement, email email@example.com .
The sounds of silence often can be damaging.
That point comes to light after recent events in Scottsdale have presented an image to the national and international media that does not reflect the values embraced by the majority of community and business leaders in the city.
Some of those images have harmed the city’s reputation, and we don’t know yet what kind of effect that will have on the city – socially, culturally or economically – on a longer-term basis.
These events – even the words and actions from a single individual – do not reflect the city we are proud to call home.
Good reputations built over a lifetime can be shattered in an instant. Perhaps that’s not fair, but that’s the way it works.
Based on conversations over the past two weeks with a score of community and business leaders, it’s clear they are concerned that these events have stained the city’s brand.
Many leaders, individually, have posted comments on social media and been quoted in traditional media abhorring some of the things that have happened here.
But there has not been a collective voice that has spoken as one community, and as the summer drags on the opportunity lessens for that to occur on a prominent stage. I’ve been asked to draft a statement that reflects our values and share them collectively at a time when silence is not acceptable.
“Declaration of community values:
“In Scottsdale, we think that everyone of us has a leadership role that is reflected in our thoughts, words and actions. If we live here, each of us represents the character and values that collectively determine what our city is all about.
“We believe that every person who lives, works or visits this city deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. There is no room for discrimination in our city and we will not tolerate racism.
“We embrace taking actions that are in the best interests of the community as a whole, and we respect the rule of law. When we disagree with it, we do it in an orderly fashion and in ways that are not disruptive or disrespectful.
“We believe that diversity in every way it’s measured – ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age – makes our city stronger and a more desirable place to live, work and visit.
“We know the city is not perfect, and we are willing to roll up our sleeves and do the work required to solve our challenges.”
If these values reflect yours, consider endorsing this statement and sharing it with your individual and professional networks and see if they’ll support it, too.
Let’s not allow the events of the past few weeks tarnish a reputation built by generations before us. Let’s protect it and make our city even better for our children and the generations to come.
Let’s break the silence and tell everyone what we stand for in Scottsdale.
Don Henninger is executive director of SCOTT and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Endorsed by: Scottsdale Community College, Chris Haines, interim president; Scottsdale Leadership, Lee Ann Witt, executive director; Scottsdale Together, Jason Alexander, editor;
Kenneth Allen, Andrea Alley, Todd Bankofier, Brian Bednar, Peter Bezanson, Denny Brown, Bill Callahan, Sam Campana, Tammy Caputi, Julie Cieniawski, Dana Close, Doug Craig, Brion Crum, Bill Crawford, Joe Cusack, Carol Damaso, Todd Davis, Brendan Denker, Jim Derouin, Wes Frank, Bob Frost, Amy Greer, Don Hadder, Jesica Hays.
Also: Richard Hayslip, Bill Heckman, Steve Helm, Mark Hiegel, Emily Hinchman, George Jackson, Frank Jacobson, Michael King, Jason Kush, Larry Kush, John Little, Al Maag, Kevin Maxwell, Sean McGarry, Alex McLaren, Fred Mercaldo, Cory Miller, Mike Norton, Randy Nussbaum, Rachel Pearson, Todd S. Peterson, Mary Platner, Denise Pulk, Dennis Robbins, Laraine Rodgers, Yvonne Rosales, Jon Ryder, Rachel Sacco, Dan Schweiker, Gary Shapiro, Enid Seiden, Charlie Smith, Paula Sturgeon, Neil Sutton, Douglas Sydnor, Linda Tucker, Lawrence Tucker, Steve Tyrrell, Carter Unger, Josh Weiss, Sasha Weller, Raoul Zubia
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