Former Phoenix mayor to speak on open elections-open government

The League of Women Voters of Sedona-Verde Valley (LWV-SVV) is pleased to announce that former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, co-founder and chairman of the Open Elections-Open Government Committee, will be the honored guest speaker at its anniversary luncheon on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 11:30 a.m., to 1:30 p.m., at the Agave of Sedona Event Center, 1146 W. Highway 89A, in West Sedona. Turn north at the light at Airport Road; take immediate left to the Agave Event Center.

Johnson will talk about a citizen-led effort seeking to place an initiative on the 2012 Arizona ballot that will reform and fundamentally change the election process, opening it up to more voters and candidates. The focus of the initiative is to open the process to all individuals, regardless of their party registration.

While the League has not taken a position on the proposal, the local L

eague is devoting full attention to voter education and civic engagement activities. "This meeting is an opportunity for citizens to learn more about the Arizona primary system and consider possibilities for changes," said Ellie Bauer, LWV-SVV president. "We are concerned about voter participation, this is a timely topic, and we are pleased to bring Mayor Johnson to the Verde Valley," she added.

Paul Johnson served as Phoenix mayor from 1990-1994, after serving on the Phoenix City Council from 1985 to 1990. While best known for his time in politics, he is also a leader in economic development, has also founded companies, has large real estate holdings, and serves on several boards.

The luncheon is an annual event for the League, attended by local government officials, civic leaders, League members and involved citizens. The public is welcome. Cost of the lunch is $30 ($25 for LWV Members), including tax and gratuity.

A gift raffle will also be held. Reservations are requested no later than Feb. 3. Contact Donna Pratt at 282-6428 or dlpratt@esedona.net; or Liz Danbury at 282-5061 or ldanbury@esedona.net.

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