by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on October 2nd, 2017

The Glendale Star 

Councilmembers could not reach a consensus during the Sept. 5 workshop to approve a resolution that would have the city’s possible support for Expect More Arizona’s statewide education efforts, including support for Gov. Doug Ducey’s Achieve60AZ initiative.
The initiative sets a goal of getting 60 percent of adults, ages 25 to 64, to obtain a professional certificate or college degree by 2030.

“Expect more Arizona approached Glendale staff to inquire about our possible support for their program,” said Jenna Goad, intergovernmental and council services manager, public affairs. “This is a request for council to discuss possible support for their efforts by registering as a partner city.”

Expect More Arizona is a statewide nonprofit education advocacy organization, and the Center for the Future of Arizona, announced new long-term education goals for Arizona.
Their goals for education were released earlier this year as part of the Arizona Education Progress Meter, a source for individuals to learn about how Arizona’s education systems can be improved upon, was first launched in 2016.

“Numerous cities have signed on as partners, including Camp Verde, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Tempe and Superior, among others, including registering numerous education groups, including Glendale Union High School District and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce,” said Donna Davis, Expect More Arizona Community Engagement manager. “There is no cost to participate and becoming a partner gives the city acknowledgement on the Expect More Arizona website and also a first-class education logo for the city.”

Expect More Arizona is a statewide, non-profit organization that includes officials from Maricopa Community College District, APS, Wells Fargo, Ernest and Young, and University of Phoenix on their board.

“They work with communities across the state and are looking for diverse partnerships, because they believe education takes a diverse coalition to make meaningful progress and they take a broader community around our school to get to those goals,” Goad said.

City staff was recommending a resolution - that was not specific - stating that the city “understands that our future economy and workforce demands will require more than a high school diploma and only 42 percent of Arizona adults currently possess a degree, certificate or industry credential.”

Expect More Arizona has issued an eight-point meter that measures the progress that includes post-secondary attainment, post-high school enrollment, opportunity youth, high school graduation, eighth grade math, third grade reading, preschool enrollment and teacher pay.
While councilmembers pointed to supporting education, they all had issues with the general proclamation that staff was requesting the city adopt, especially since it did not account as to how things would be funded.

“Reading the resolution, basically, it is asking to increase funding to districts, but I don’t see who is placing accountability for that,” Sahuaro Councilmember Ray Malnar said. “We are lacking on the accountability in our education system and getting on board something that does not address accountability is tough for me to agree to.”

Expect More Arizona is pressing for increased funding and better teacher pay, but does not say how to fund those requests. Councilmembers were afraid of retribution from the Legislature if they approved the general resolution.

“Even though you are not asking for funding and this would not cost the city anything, I believe this resolution may be taken to Legislature saying, ‘Look at all these who have signed on.’ and you may ask for more money,” said Yucca District Councilmember Joyce Clark.

Mayor Jerry Weiers also feared possible retribution against the city should they sign on and could not support the resolution, but would consider a mayoral proclamation.

“Without real details on this, and it is so vague that it wouldn’t have bite, we all support education up here and until we have something more finite, I can’t support this at this point,” Weiers said. “I might be able to bring back a proclamation that isn’t damaging to this council in the future.”

Councilmembers Bart Turner (Barrel District) and Jamie Aldama (Ocotillo) were the lone councilmembers in favor of the resolution, but were outnumbered, and staff was not given consensus to continue the possible resolution.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 27th, 2017

​For the greater part of Saturday, representatives from support agencies, businesses and non-profit groups came together to help those who have sacrificed to serve our country.

Arizona veterans gathered on the west side, needing assistance with legal matters, health, schooling and employment.
Stand Up for Veterans was started by Mayor Jerry Weiers and for the fifth year, was hosted at Glendale Community College. Assistance came from many educators, employers , vendors, veteran assistance groups and more.  

The half-day event offered a variety of service and programs available for veterans, including free legal advice and aid. There were several court representatives on hand to discuss legal issues. There was an opportunity to perform community service for reduction of fines.
Veterans with a photo identification had the opportunity to get a driver’s license. Employers were ready to interview and hire on the spot.

Veterans wanting to polish a resume, or start one, could receive professional help. Veterans had the opportunity to learn about higher education opportunities at Glendale Community College, learn about local social services available to veterans and their families, and if needed, apply for health care and other benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Phoenix Veterans Affairs “Welcome Home Event.” Plus, there was a free lunch and a free haircut, thanks to Rolf’s.
​City of Glendale Legal Services was on hand, as well as other legal entities  to help resolve old warrants, fines, and just to offer legal advice to the veterans.

If a veteran had a fine due, the Glendale Community Action Program coordinated the public service activities at Sahuaro Ranch Park, where those wishing to work off their  fines were given the opportunity to do so. Repair and repainting of fencing was accomplished.

Kari Sliva, chief of staff  for Weiers, who was a volunteer at the event,  said, “The final number was 501. That is 275 veterans. The rest were family members or guests. The ‘bell’ was rung 39 times, meaning a veteran was hired on the spot, or has a job interview.”

​Jeff Turney, chairman of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Veterans Affairs Committee said, “The chamber of commerce’s military & veterans affairs committee was proud to partner with Mayor Jerry Weiers in this important event that supports veterans. This event grows larger every year and it makes us all proud to hear the bell ring every time a veteran was hired. The court services provided by Judge (Elizabeth) Finn’s office helped veterans restore stability into their lives and allowed them to stand up for themselves as valued members of our communities. We can’t thank all the volunteers and sponsors enough for all the support they provided today. A special thanks goes out to Glendale Community College for  providing the location, which let us all thank our military and veteran participants.”

​Weiers, the “father” of the event, extended a heartfelt statement: “I’m humbled with the turnout and results of this year’s Stand Up for Veterans. Thank you to everyone involved; 39 jobs and 501 served.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 27th, 2017

​By Mark Carlisle

​Glendale Today

All of the three city council members whose terms end in 2018 — Lauren Tolmachoff of the Cholla District, Bart Turner of the Barrell District and Jamie Aldama of the Ocotillo District — have announced they will run for re-election next fall. All three are in their first term on council.
No one has emerged as a challenger for any of the three seats yet as candidates do not officially file to enter the races until April 30 — May 30. City Clerk Julie Bower said that candidate packets will be available to pick up soon, which will show which residents are at least showing interest in running.

Ms. Tolmachoff announced her candidacy first, July 28 at a Lunch Mob event at the Rogue Tomato, 18561 N. 59th Ave. No. 122. Lunch Mobs are events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce in partnership with a specific councilmember. Mr. Turner also announced at a Lunch Mob Aug. 25 at Cheba Hut, 5925 W. Olive Ave. No. 2. Mr. Aldama announced most recently at a difference chamber event, the First Friday breakfast networking event, Sept. 8 at Cuff, 5819 W. Glendale Ave.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 27th, 2017

The Glendale Star 

​Open to entrepreneurs and those interested in conducting business with the Latino market, this conference takes place 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 30 at ASU - West Campus La Sala Room, 13590 N. 47th Ave. Admission and parking are free.
The event is hosted by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.
For more information, contact William Brashears at

​Lowrider Car Show and Hispanic Heritage Fair Sept. 30 at ASU West

See dozens of the hottest lowriders on display, enjoy inflatables, arcade games and performances 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30 in the ASU - West Campus Quad. Music and entertainment provided by DJ “Cruising with the Manic Hispanic.” A ¡Salsa-Salsa Fiesta! den offers a relaxing, cool-off area and food trucks will be on hand - Yellowman Fry-Bread and Ni De Aqui Ni De Alla. Admission, activities and parking are free.

Event is hosted by ASU’s Office of Government and Community Engagement and the Hispanic Honor Society at ASU West. For more information, contact Samantha Fritz at

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 18th, 2017

​By DARRELL JACKSON, Staff Writer 
The Glendale Star 

Councilmembers got an update on the revival of the Glendale Jazz and Blues Festival, a council item of special interest brought forth in March by Councilmember Jamie Aldama for possible council approval.
The event, which started in the 1980s, ran for 29 years before being eliminated in 2012 due to budget constraints. In the final year of production, it cost the city $158,000 and was a main item for discussion brought up at the Sept. 5 council workshop.

Four years after budget cuts forced the city to cancel it, the city council discussed at the Jan. 19 workshop the possibility of bringing back the festival in the near future.
Aldama originally requested in October 2015 that staff research the cost involved to bring the event back to life. The event was an award-winning festival that featured numerous national and local artists and food and crafts.

The event was held at Sahuaro Ranch Park for years, before moving to downtown Glendale, where it attracted thousands of fans every year.

“This is basically a follow-up to Councilmember Aldama’s original request on this item and we are looking for direction from council on the scope of what you want,” Director of Public Facilities, Recreation and Special Events Eric Strunk said. “Staff is looking to develop a business plan and bring back in January a final plan on who, what, when and where for this request.”

The event once was a two-day event held on two stages; one exclusively for jazz and one for blues, and averaged 21 bands, with four being national acts. Councilmember Bart Turner requested the possibility of two smaller events, one for jazz and one for blues, but council was not in favor of that suggestion.

“It used to be such a large event and former city staff said, and I agree, that we should start with a smaller, maybe community event, with high school bands and local jazz bands,” Aldama said. “I am asking for city staff to go out, research this and gain sponsorships, so the city can gain from permit fees and recoup any costs. I just would like to see the return for the 30th anniversary event when it restarts.”

Because the event cost the city $158,000 during its final year, councilmembers were looking for ways to offset costs with a  possible sponsorship.

“I am all for the return of this event and can support it under one condition, that I don’t think the city should run this event,” Mayor Jerry Weiers said. “We should look at someone to hire to run it, or get sponsors, so it doesn’t cost the city.”

Weiers said, “I would love to see an outside business, or entity, to run this with city staff, to create a quality event that could bring in 40,000 people to downtown.”

​Some of the performers showcased at the festival in the past were the Kenny Garrett Quartet, Bernard Allison Group, Marcia Bell, and Carmen Lundy.

Staff said one of the benefits of the events was that it extended the festival season into April and merchants have requested the return of the festival and the possible increase in traffic to the downtown area.

“I have talked to (Chamber of Commerce President Robert Heidt) and he said he ran a jazz festival back east and it was successful,” said Sahuaro District Councilmember Ray Malnar. “Maybe we should look at the chamber being part of this with the new downtown manager and, if they are up to it, city staff should involve the chamber in the discussion and if it fits their organizational operations, they could assist.”

Councilmembers gave staff consensus to move forward and are expecting an update in November on the progress and future funding for the return of the event.

Strunk said the process would be broken up into three phases, with the first phase to identify the possible concepts for the new festival and phase two establishing a formal business plan that will be brought back to council for review in late November or early December.

Final vote could be in January or February.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 18th, 2017

The Glendale Star 

Councilmember Jamie Aldama joins two of his colleagues on city council, Barrel District Councilmember Bart Turner and Cholla District Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff, as he announces his bid for re-election to represent the Ocotillo Council District. He made his announcement Sept. 8, during the Glendale Chamber of Commerce First Friday breakfast event held at the Cuff restaurant.

He told chamber members he would concentrate his efforts on downtown, “make it a priority.”
Aldama said when he announced he was going to run for the office in 2014, he had friends asking him why he would want to do that. He said at the time, the city was in terrible shape. But, he said he wants to continue with his efforts to make Glendale the place to work, play and live.

He praised the council and city staff for all the things they do in Glendale, and he wanted to “get back to doing some heavy lifting.”

During his time on council, Aldama has pressed for more funding to help businesses and residents in his district. He gave a tour of the Ocotillo district in 2016, pointing out different areas that need more attention in the way of aesthetics, especially city-owned rights-of-way.
“One of my goals since being on council is O’Neil Park,” he said. “So, we put in funding for O’Neil. My goal is to have full attention to O’Neil Park to the liking of the community.
“I want to continue to be resourceful and responsive to our residents and make sure they have access to our council and staff.

“One thing, while the city had a lot of work to do last the three years, ahead, we have organizations in our city, Cardinals and Coyotes, I would like to see us create partnerships that benefit our youth and elderly and the entire city.

“My first campaign, I said many times, if I made it, I would help our council re-image what Glendale was into what it is today - a thriving, leading organization.”
Aldama said there was still a lot of work to do, and he wants council to continue working on the budget to keep it financially stable and inclusive. “Not get back to where we were four years ago,” he said, “but I think, collectively, we can do it.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 11th, 2017

​By DARRELL JACKSON, Staff Writer 
The Glendale Star 

Barrel District Councilmember Bart Turner officially announced his intention to seek re-election during a Lunch Mob event hosted Aug. 25 by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce at Cheba Hut, 59th and Olive avenues.

Citing both the city’s considerable accomplishments and numerous quality of life issues he would like to focus on for citizens, Turner made his announcement in front of a crowded restaurant.

“Three year ago when I first ran, I wanted to help get the city back to financial stability, stop subsidizing sports teams and quit fighting the casino and we have done that,” Turner said. “We are on a roll and headed in the right direction and there is more to be done and that is why I am running again.”

Now, Turner said he wants to focus on more issues that citizens are requesting.

“Now I want to look to more qualify of life issues like restoring library hours and continue improving our local roads, along with more quality-of-life issues, and I am in for another four years and looking forward to working for the citizens,” Turner added.

Turner was elected to represent the Barrel District in 2014. The next general election is Nov. 6, 2018.

The Barrel representative is the second sitting Glendale councilmember to announce their candidacy for office at a chamber event. Cholla District councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff announced her plans to seek re-election earlier in August.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 11th, 2017

The Glendale Star 

After lengthy discussion and a local resident’s request to have an American flag permanently placed atop Thunderbird Conservation Park, council is closer to approving the request.

Council heard an update during the Aug. 15 workshop and directed staff to research an ordinance that would allow the existing flagpole to remain at Arrowhead Park.

Mayor Jerry Weiers has pushed for a permanent flagpole on top of Arrowhead Point for more than a year and after conversations with members of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, has been spearheading the effort.

“They have already committed to raising the needed money and will raise every penny and partner in placing the flagpole,” Weiers said.

About 25 to 50 military veterans, wearing red shirts and hats, and supporters carrying hand-held American flags, attended the meeting. Those residents were present at the workshop to listen to the proposal, with most leaving once the flagpole discussion was completed; they seemed in favor of the flagpole.

According to Weiers, hundreds of citizens in the area of the park have signed a petition in favor of a flag on Arrowhead Point and are in favor of a permanent flag.

“I see it as a great way to honor service members who have fought for this country,” said Walter Smolden, who attended the workshop dressed in a Navy hat. “I served in the Navy and would be honored to have our flag, which I fought to protect, placed at this location.”

Other people in attendance even said they would volunteer to maintain the pole if council approves it installation.

“I would be honored to go up once a week to maintain the pole and remove any trash,” said Peoria’s Robert Rodriguez, who also was in attendance. “I just think it is a nice way to honor those who have served and would be nice to see a flag flying over the city from the park.”

Weiers said the proposal to put a lighted flagpole in the parking lot was not popular with the interested groups, but they will not oppose it if the peak option was not feasible.

“The message to me was clear,” Weiers said. “They don’t want it in the parking lot. They want it on top of the hill, so it is viewable.”

Councilmembers were in favor of the flagpole, but questioned the size of the pole and believe the current one is acceptable.

“It’s a conservation park,” said Cholla District Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff. “I like it the way it is. People who use the park like it the way it is. Many people love to climb up to the top of the rock and get their pictures taken with the flag, which would be impossible with a pole as tall as a two-story house.”

Council gave staff consensus to move forward and bring an ordinance back to a future meeting for approval.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 11th, 2017

By: John Genovese, abc15

GLENDALE, AZ - Glendale is working to add a modern twist to an area that dates back to the 1800s. 

"Downtown has the full attention of the council and the staff," said Council Jamie Aldama, who is helping lead the effort. 

Last month, the Chamber of Commerce hired a Downtown Manager to work as a liaison between business owners and the city. An entertainment district was established earlier this year, allowing bars and liquor stores to open on a case-by-case basis near churches and schools -- and construction is underway to make a second alleyway more pedestrian friendly, with brick walkways, benches and lighting. 

"What we were looking for is a nightlife," Aldama said, who added those efforts are already paying off with new restaurants opening in the area. 

"I'm hoping that it's just going to explode," said Lisa Dowd, owner of A Shot of Java coffee shop. Dowd believes to lure in the next generation of shoppers and visitors the downtown area needs more diversity.

"We need different businesses -- not a lot of the same businesses," she said. 

A challenge has been getting past the "nine to five" mentality, she said. 

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on August 30th, 2017

​The Glendale Star

Glendale Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Robert Heidt was beyond pleased Thursday evening. His organization was the host chamber for the West Valley Biz2Biz Expo, which was a sellout. Co-hosted by six West Valley chambers of
commerce, the crowd arrived way before the 4 o’clock opening. And they came from all parts of the Valley.  There was plenty of food, and visitors were taking advantage of raffles and turning wheels to win tickets to one venue or another.