Arizona Mayors Demand More Action From Ducey As COVID-19 Soars

Published: Friday, November 20, 2020 - 1:01pm
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Gov. Ducey this week acknowledged Arizona is experiencing levels of COVID-19 spread not seen since summer, but announced no major policy changes. Some Arizona mayors say Ducey needs to take more decisive action. 

The Democratic mayors of Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and Tolleson are calling on the Republican governor to put aside partisan politics and work with them to combat the spread of the virus. 

First on their list of concerns is Ducey's refusal to issue a statewide order to require Arizonans to wear face coverings. Ducey has encouraged mask use and has pointed out the majority of Arizonans live in cities and counties with local mask mandates. But the mayors say the patchwork system of regulations in Arizona sends mixed messages and makes the rules harder to enforce. 

“We need to send a strong message. You can’t say you believe in it and not implement the policy," said Phoenix mayor Kate Gallego in a call with reporters Friday. 

The mayors are also calling for the governor to put limits on large gatherings of people and to require visitors to the state to quarantine upon arrival.

“The last thing that we want to hear is one of our constituents dying a needless death. And for them, all they’re asking for, their family members, is that we bring forward solutions," said Tolleson mayor Anna Tovar. 

The four mayors say Ducey has not been communicating with them about local needs. Gallego said she hasn’t heard from the governor since June and his office hasn’t held briefings on the virus for mayors in months.

“I joined this group of mayors in participating in the calls the governor’s staff had with mayors until he canceled them. If the governor or his staff would convene those calls, I would happily participate again,” Gallego said.