SCOTTSDALE, AZ — At the State Capitol, lawmakers are battling over election laws. Things like who should regulate utilities and whether women should be charged with murder if they have an abortion. Issues that are important to many people.
But in conservative, Republican represented Legislative District 19, you don’t hear much about those things.
What you do hear from people like Gary is, “we are obviously wearing our masks. We want an environment that is safe,” and from Rich, “I’m an anti-mask guy personally.”
Seniors out for some mid-day exercise and conversation, the ever-present dog walkers, and parents taking their children to the playground. Just part of the daily traffic making its way thru Chaparral Park in Scottsdale.
What matters with the people we met Monday is how the government deals with the pandemic. “100% with him [Governor Ducey] on the virus,” says Joan. “We were talking to all of our friends. We’ve gotten the first shot very efficiently. If Ducey is in charge of that, he’s done a wonderful job,” she said.
While there is agreement COVID-19 should be the priority, there is no shortage of opinions on what to do about it. Some people, like Chris, believe the state is already too restrictive and she supports limiting the governor’s executive power. Her state Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita has authored several proposals to do just that.
“Personally, I think we are a little too safe honestly, and we should be able to make more choices as far as our options for wellness,” she says.
Not far from Chaparral Park, a shopping complex along Loop 101 shows the signs of the pandemic, with several restaurants closed. It’s not lost on Rich, who was out on his daily walk.
“There’s like three restaurants in a row up here that went out of business forever,” he said. “And it’s all because of masks. I mean, who goes to Hooters if you got to do take out?”
Walking right behind Rich, Ginelle and her husband believe the government needs to do more to protect people from the virus. “We haven’t seen our kids in over a year,” Ginelle said. “They’re in another state, and we want to be safe. So do they.” The way Ginelle sees it, everyone has to make sacrifices.