American West Briefing Tour: City of Peoria & Dane Waters
By Kelly O'Keefe
PHOENIX, Arizona: On Saturday, the City of Peoria, Arizona gave us a warm welcome. We heard from municipal court judge George T. Anagnost and city council member Ron Aames. They told us a bit about Arizona’s history and state constitution. We even learned this fun fact: for every Arizona state legislator, there are eight registered lobbyists. The highlight of our meeting with Peoria city officials was when they gifted us with Toblerone candy bars. They also gifted us with a copy of a book about the Arizona constitution, but between you and me, I was more excited about the Toblerone.
Saturday’s dinner featured a talk by Dane Waters, director of ballot campaigns for the Humane Society of the United States. The Humane Society is one of the most prolific organizations when it comes to using the initiative process. Between 1990 and 2010, animal rights activists have been involved in 44 statewide ballot measure campaigns. They have won 30 of these campaigns, resulting in a 69% rate of success. You can learn more about these initiatives by reading about animal rights on the ballot.
We wrapped up the Arizona portion of our tour on Sunday morning with a tour of Taliesin West. This was especially exciting for me because I grew up next door to the other Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Our tour guide, Samantha, led us through an informative tour of the house and property.
Before we knew it, it was time to pile back into our giant van and head to the airport. Then it was time for the most important part of the day: singing happy birthday to Al in German, Swiss German, Italian, Icelandic, Spanish and English.
Now we’re en route to Oregon, where we’ll update you on our adventures in Portland and Salem.
On tap for tonight: dinner with Sam Adams (the mayor of Portland) and perhaps the other Sam Adams (a nice cold mug of beer!)
Stay tuned for more updates!
- Current City: Phoenix
- Next City: Portland (September 25)
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- 2011 Briefing Tour of the American West
- About the 2011 Briefing Tour Of Modern Direct Democracy in the American West
- 2011 Briefing Tour of the American West/News updates