Phoenix Announces Plan to Prepare City For 280,000 Electric Vehicles

Phoenix Announces Plan to Prepare City For 280,000 Electric Vehicles

By Corinne Murdock |

On Sunday afternoon, the city of Phoenix rolled out its draft roadmap to ready the city for widespread electric vehicle use. The city projected that there would be up to 280,000 electric vehicles in the area by 2030, and noted that total adoption of electric vehicles would align with their climate action plan. In order to accommodate that quantity of electric vehicles, the roadmap cited U.S. Department of Energy projections that the city would require around 3,500 charging ports. 

The city presented a five-step plan. First, prioritize equity by maximizing restorative investments in underserved communities, achieving transformational change with bottom-up decision-making, and helping institutionalize equity and justice from the inside. Second, educate and outreach by engaging in qualitative and quantitative information gathering, designing and launching an education and awareness campaign, and monitoring and tracking consumer attitudes and behaviors. Third, leading by example by growing the city’s electric vehicle fleets and installing electric vehicle charging for the city fleet and employees. Fourth, growing public charging by identifying locations for electric vehicle charging networks and installing base amounts of electric vehicle charging annually. Fifth, standardizing electric vehicle charging access by streamlining permits and updating the zoning ordinance and building codes by 2025. 

One of the core principles for forming the roadmap was equity — affordability and accessibility for the underserved and disadvantaged communities. One of their first proposed actions for achieving equity was to either hire or assign a current staff member to focus on equity throughout the electric vehicle rollout. Then, the city would adopt an “Environmental Justice” screening tool. 

The plan projected that the cost of electric vehicles would reduce at some point in the future.

The city also asked Arizonans to take a survey on electric vehicles. The survey asked individuals about their knowledge, attitude towards, and current use of electric vehicles. It also asked individuals whether they supported new homes and buildings to be required to have electric vehicle charging stations. 

The roadmap is the latest effort of the Ad Hoc Committee on Electric Vehicles, formed by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego last June. 

In September, the city hosted a webinar to educate citizens about electric vehicles.

Members of the committee are Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari; Autumn Johnson, Tierra Strategy Public Interest Policy Advocate; Caryn Potter, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project Utility Program Manager; Catherine O’Brien, Salt River Project Electric Vehicle Lead; Clark Miller, Arizona State University (ASU) professor; Court Rich, Rose Law Group Renewable Energy and Regulatory Law Department; Delbert Hawk, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 640 President; Jason Smith, Arizona Public Service (APS) Energy Innovation Program Consultant; Katherine Stainken, Electrification Coalition (EC) Senior Director of Electric Vehicle Policy; Kathy Knoop, General Motors Vehicle Grid Integration Solutions Manager; Lisa Perez, Public Affairs Consultant; Omar Gonzales, Nikola Corporation State and Local Government Affairs Manager; Tim Sprague, Habitat Metro Owner; and Vianey Olivarria, CHISPA Arizona State Co-Director. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Phoenix Mayor, Councilwoman Attend UN’s Climate Change Conference

Phoenix Mayor, Councilwoman Attend UN’s Climate Change Conference

By Corinne Murdock |

This week, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari are attending the United Nation’s (UN) COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference began Sunday and will last until next Friday. The attendees are meeting with the objective of realizing the Paris Agreement through finalization of the Paris Rulebook and acting on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Gallego’s spokespersons informed AZ Free News that the city didn’t pay for Gallego’s trip – the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group paid, a global network of nearly 100 mayors that collaborate on climate solutions. In May, Gallego was elected the vice chair for C40’s steering committee.

Ansari’s spokespersons didn’t respond by press time.

Gallego told Business Journal that she would be networking with companies who may potentially invest in the city. In a statement posted to Twitter, Gallego explained that this conference would bring fresh ideas on climate change initiatives to Phoenix, as well as serve as an opportunity to share some of Phoenix’s initiatives, like their cool pavement installations. “Excited to be attending the UN #COP26 Climate Summit. Phoenix is an innovative leader on climate solutions,” wrote Gallego. “We’ll share our success, and learn about successes from cities around the globe. #TogetherForOurPlanet”

Ansari’s message concerning her attendance reflected more urgency, claiming that lives were at stake. “After spending years working to get elected officials to commit to bold climate solutions, I’m heading to Glasgow for #COP26 proud to represent District 7 in Phoenix,” wrote Ansari. “We just passed our #climateaction plan. Lives are at stake— it’s time to implement.”

Prior to her election to city council, Ansari served as a climate advisor for the UN. She attributed her work as crucial to delivering the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The pair will discuss Phoenix’s climate initiatives, including their $2.8 million Heat Response and Mitigation Office. The purpose of the office is to reduce the effects of urban heat, a phenomenon in which urbanization causes higher temperatures. Phoenix is the only city that has an office dedicated to these efforts.

Phoenix’s latest climate action plan was approved last month. The city pledged to certain goals, such as becoming 100 percent carbon-neutral by 2050, eliminating all food deserts, and establishing 100 years of clean and reliable water supplies.

The COP26 conference claims that climate change is the greatest threat facing the world. Two of the goals listed were reaching net zero for emissions and limiting global warming by 1.5 degrees. The UN claimed in their promotional video for COP26 that “Earth is sending a message that we must not ignore.” They showed pictures of various natural disasters, mixed with happy scenes from nature.

“What is COP? The potential threat to the surrounding natural environment, what the UN is calling the world’s first climate change famine,” said the conference promotional video. “Even on our warming planet there are reasons for hope. We need to have the courage to try. There are going to be a lot more jobs created in the economy. Climate change is not the problem, climate change is the expression of the problem.”

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

The Worst COVID Tyrant You’ve Never Heard Of

The Worst COVID Tyrant You’ve Never Heard Of

By 

How Phoenix Mayor “Queen Kate” Gallego mismanaged (and exploited) the COVID-19 pandemic.

As normal life returns and Americans look back at the past year with clear eyes, it’s almost difficult to believe the actions that some local officials took to undermine their constituents’ recovery efforts.

Bill de Blasio at the gym. Muriel Bowser at a Delaware campaign event. Eric Garcetti’s threat to shut off water to families who invite private guests into their own homes. We remember these names. Throughout the country, though, local mayors outside of the spotlight followed similar paths, privately dismissing the gravity of COVID-19 while publicly leveraging ‘pandemic porn’ in order to advance political goals—and nowhere was that mismanagement (and personal exploitation) more prevalent, or less covered, than in the U.S.’s fifth-largest city.

There is a reason Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, who presided over a coronavirus hotspot in 2020, glossed over the pandemic during her second inaugural speech last Monday.

Gallego—née Widland, prior to her marriage to her now ex-husband, Congressman Ruben Gallego—always had her eyes on this prize. After working for the state party in her 20s, the Democrat’s career followed the trajectory of Peter’s Principle, by which people inadvertently are promoted to their level of incompetence. Gallego’s allies ushered her into various political positions for which she was little-qualified until finding a sweet spot: a safe-blue district on the Phoenix City Council, set to the backdrop of a low-turnout, odd-numbered-year election.

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