Authentic leadership with a heart for service



Doreen Garlid takes a pragmatic approach to leadership that operates from a place of shared values and common goals. Here are Doreen’s current thoughts on some of Tempe’s most pressing issues:

Giving neighborhoods a voice:

As the current Chair of Tempe’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission, I’m on the front lines of the successes and challenges we face in Tempe’s neighborhoods every day. Each neighborhood is so unique and diverse. From the historic districts like Maple Ash or University Park to the low-density agricultural areas like Buena Vista Ranchos or Tally Ho Farms, each neighborhood reflects its residents in a way that is unique to that part of Tempe. I believe our greatest potential lies in empowering the people in Tempe’s neighborhoods to speak up for their community and holding our city leaders accountable to really listen and act on those recommendations.

Advocating for affordable & workforce housing:

We don’t have enough affordable and work force housing available in Tempe to meet current and future demand. I am currently working with organizations like Newtown Community Land Trust and others to find unique, innovative and cost-effective ways to provide more affordable and workforce housing in our landlocked city.

Serving people before politics:

I have a heart for service and helping those in need. Over the past 30 years I’ve led dozens of grassroots efforts in Tempe, everything from chairing the East Valley National Charity League to leading the Parent Teacher Organizations at my children’s schools. I’ve developed the necessary leadership skills to bring diverse people together around a common cause, organize our efforts and create positive change. I care deeply about the people of Tempe, regardless of their background or political party and I am not a career politician with higher political aspirations. As your councilmember, my only job and number one priority would be serving the people of Tempe. I want to elevate a culture of service in Tempe, something that I believe transcends politics. This reflects one of my most deeply-held core values: caring about people and supporting them to achieve their best possible quality of life.

Balanced Budgets and Fiscal Responsibility:

Every budget I have ever managed has remained in the black, whether it’s at my workplace, a nonprofit organization, or my family budget. If elected, I promise you I will work to ensure our city operates within a balanced budget. I believe we must make fiscal responsibility and good stewardship of our taxpayers’ money a priority.

Climate Change and the Environment:

I believe governments have a reponsibility to act on climate change. Tempe is headed in a positive direction with our current and future sustainability measures, but there is so much more we can do. My highest concern is ensuring access to a clean and safe water supply in the future as our rivers, lakes and streams become overdrawn, coupled with ongoing drought and rising temperatures. Tempe can have an impact by helping homeowners reduce their water usage through programs like WaterSmart, which I fully support and encourage in my own neighborhood.

Growth & Development:

How we approach development is important to our city’s economic future and our residents’ quality of life. I believe that we need to be smart about growth and development so that we don’t lose the character of our city, increase traffic, lengthen commute times and create more parking problems. I want to find innovative ways to improve quality of life in our landlocked city through smart growth and development, and through open and ongoing dialogue between the city, ASU, residents and developers.

Honoring and supporting our city’s veterans and military families:

I have a very special place in my heart for veterans and military families. I grew up in a military family with my father serving in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, my brother serving in the U.S. Army for 23 years, my great uncle serving as a Navajo Code Talker in the U.S. Marines, and my nephew set to be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 2021.  Thanks to the visionary leaders before us, Tempe has made veterans’ services a priority and I want to continue that commitment by supporting the many ways we honor and care for those who’ve served our country. I want to join forces with other veterans’ advocates on our council and maintain a strong network of support services for our veterans and their families.

A welcoming city for all:

Tempe is known for leading the way in promoting and celebrating diversity. I am a pro-equality candidate; I firmly believe that Tempe must be a welcoming place for people of all ethnic backgrounds, abilities, religions, genders and sexual orientations, and I support our city’s nondiscrimination ordinance and ongoing equality efforts. It is simply the right thing to do and Tempe should continue to lead the way and set the example.

Check back soon for more on Doreen’s vision for 2020!