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Flagstaff City Council To Vote On Property Tax Hike This Tuesday

On Tuesday at Flagstaff High School, the Flagstaff City Council will be holding a Truth In Taxation Hearing on their proposed 7% property tax increase. If you have an opinion on this tax hike, please consider attending and speaking at the meeting or emailing council at:
 
council@flagstaffaz.gov
 
More information here:
 

A Toast To Liberty (Join FLA For Drinks & Discussion)

Join Flagstaff Liberty Alliance for drinks and discussion at a casual meeting at The Mayor (409 S San Francisco St) on May 25th at 6:00 pm.

This meeting will not be a structured meeting. Instead, it will be an opportunity to meet and talk to other liberty minded people in Northern Arizona and discuss liberty issues.

We will also have Safer Arizona petitions at this meeting if you would like to sign.

As always, our meetings are open to the public so please invite your friends and bring your family. Kids are always welcome.

FLA Letter To Governor Ducey Supporting Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Dear Governor Ducey,

In keeping with our core values of Individual Freedom, Personal Responsibility, and Protecting Civil Liberties, Flagstaff Liberty Alliance strongly supports the Civil Asset Forfeiture reforms in HB 2477. As you know, this bill was passed unanimously in both the Arizona House and Senate and is headed to your desk for your signature.

HB 2477 protects the basic right to due process for Arizonans by requiring clear and convincing evidence that seized property was linked to a crime. It also increases transparency by mandating more detailed reporting of how property and cash is seized and how law enforcement plans to spend it. Finally, HB 2477 closes a Federal loophole in the Equitable Sharing forfeiture program that has allowed law enforcement agencies to bypass state laws when seizing property to get around forfeiture limitations.

HB 2477 provides much needed forfeiture reform and has strong bi-partisan support. We urge you to sign this very important law. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

The Flagstaff Liberty Alliance Board of Directors

Coconino County Board Of Supervisors Now Streaming And Posting Meetings

In March the Coconino County Board of Supervisors started live streaming and posting all of their meetings on the County website. This is something that Flagstaff Liberty Alliance has advocated for for a very long time and we are very happy to see the County embrace this kind of transparency and accessibility. You can watch live and past meetings here:

http://www.coconino.az.gov/1589/BOS-Video-Stream

FLA At April First Friday Art Walk

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance is excited have a table outside the Steep – Leaf Tea Lounge in Downtown Flagstaff for the April 7th First Friday Art Walk starting at 6:00 PM. Our table will include live music and literature promoting liberty and volunteerism. We will also be displying art from local artist Micheal Rodriguez who is a custom wood worker and photographer.

Thanks to the Steep – Leaf Lounge, located at 1 E Aspen Ave, for allowing us to participate in the April Art Walk. Be sure to stop inside and get some tea! You can find their facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/steepleaflounge

Council Meeting On Flagstaff Living Wage This Tuesday

On Tuesday, February 14th at 6:00 PM the Flagstaff City Council will be holding a public hearing on Proposition 414 (Flagstaff’s $15 wage) and then voting on possibly holding a May special election to amend the law.

If council supports a special election, voters will have an opportunity to again revisit the $15 wage in May before 414 becomes law in July of this year. If council rejects the special election, the changes will be on the November, 2018 ballot, well after Proposition 414 goes into effect.

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance has not taken an official position on revisiting proposition 414 but before the November 8th, 2016 election we had this to say:

“Living Wage

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance is recommending a NO vote on Proposition 206 and Proposition 414. The minimum wage is generally an entry-level wage for beginning workers with no skills. The reality of the labor market is that a large majority of previously unskilled workers earn more than the minimum wage as soon as they acquire minimal jobs skills and work habits and can demonstrate their value to employers. Furthermore, a mandatory living wage criminalizes employers who are willing to hire those individuals who voluntarily and freely offer their labor at a price lower than the government mandated minimum. It is imperative to note that the unintended consequences of these propositions are far reaching. Small businesses and nonprofits on a shoestring budget will be hit much harder than large businesses who can absorb the cost. Mandating a one size fits all “solution” will eliminate entry level jobs, increase costs and hurt many of the people these laws are supposed to help.”

If you have an opinion on the proposed special election revisiting proposition 414, please consider attending Tuesday’s council meeting and expressing your thoughts. If you cannot attend, you can email the entire Flagstaff City Council at: council@flagstaffaz.gov

FLA Will Have A Booth At Earth Day And Upcoming Art Walks

Last night the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance Board of Directors held our January meeting to discuss activities and events for 2017. Monthly meetings are still on the back burner since there appears to be a lack of interest in the community for a monthly get together. If/When we do bring them back, we may start meeting somewhere other than downtown since parking meters are going in and it may be too costly for some people to attend. If you have an opinion on monthly meetings and meeting locations, we’d love to hear from you.

We also confirmed at our meeting that we will once again have a booth at Flagstaff’s Earth Day festivities in Heritage Square. Additionally, we plan to be part of the First Friday Art Walk downtown once the weather starts warming up. These will be great opportunities for outreach and community networking and we’d love for you to participate. Stay tuned for updates as these events get closer.

 

Coconino County Approves Body Cameras For Sheriff’s Department

This week the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved funding for body cameras for the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department. As today’s edition of the Arizona Daily Sun reports:

“The Sheriff’s Office is still crafting its policies for the cameras, but they will generally require that the devices be turned on for all enforcement and investigative contacts, including traffic violations, and any situations that may be criminal or adversarial in nature, the sheriff said.”

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance has been advocating for body cameras for all Northern Arizona law enforcement for several years. Accountability leads to respect and we believe body cams have proven to be a win win for everyone in municipalities that have adopted them.

Of course, body cameras only work when they are actually used. The Flagstaff Police Department has had several issues where body cameras failed, were not turned on or were actually turned off during high profile incidents. Now is the time to contact the supervisors/ sheriff’s office and tell them to make sure they get it right. They’re writing the policy now and need to put penalties for turning off or failing to use cameras into the policy.

For further reading see:

Police Body Mounted Cameras: With Right Policies in Place, a Win For All

https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/police-body-mounted-cameras-right-policies-place-win-all

Police Use Of Force Drops 60% When Officers Required To Wear Video Cameras

http://benswann.com/police-use-of-force-drops-60-when-officers-required-to-wear-video-cameras/

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance Annual Meeting

The Annual meeting of the Flagstaff Liberty alliance will be held on December 7th at 6:00 pm at the Weatherford Exchange Pub 23 N Leroux St. in Flagstaff.

As a member of the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance, your input is important to the direction of the organization. Please consider attending so a quorum can be reached and all discussions and decisions can be validated.

A number of issues will be discussed at this meeting, including:

The 2016 President and Treasurer’s Reports
Membership and fundraising
Call for new board members
5 year plan and the direction of FLA
Changes to the mission and vision statement
Proposed amendments to the bylaws

Everyone is invited to attend to give input, however, only dues paying members are eligible to vote and run for board positions during this meeting. If you would like to become a member you can do so at the beginning of the meeting, or at this link http://flagstafflibertyalliance.com/membership/ your membership not only gives you voting privilages it also helps fund the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance through the year. Please consider donating or becoming a member today!

We look forward to seeing you there! This event is open to the public and anyone interested in the work FLA does is welcome to attend.

Thoughts On Yesterday’s Election Results

Flagstaff Liberty Alliance watched yesterday’s local election results roll in with much interest and anticipation. At stake were a list of propositions that will impact Flagstaff for years to come as well as key races that were very important to the issues we care about. Unfortunately, voters chose a different outcome on most local races than we would have liked. This means that we have our work cut out for us in the coming years if we want to maintain and protect liberty in Northern Arizona.

We were especially disappointed that our strongest ally at the City, Flagstaff Councilman Jeff Oravits, lost his seat. Oravits has been a consistent advocate for liberty causes and played a key role in reducing restrictions on urban farming, getting City meetings streamed and posted for transparency, and supplying police officers with body cameras to protect both police officers and citizens. His advocacy and willingness to listen to citizen’s concerns and ideas will be sorely missed.

We were also very disappointed that former Flagstaff Liberty Alliance President Christine Gannon lost her race for Coconino County Supervisor District 3. Gannon would have brought a much needed liberty perspective to the County Board. Like Oravits at the City, she would have been a strong supporter of government transparency, urban farming and responsible spending.

Finally, we were disappointed that voters went the opposite direction on just about every proposition we endorsed and opposed. Some of these propositions carry unintended consequences that are a big threat to economic freedom and stability in the City of Flagstaff. Non-profit organizations will especially be hit hard by the passage of Proposition 414. Some Non-profits and businesses will be closing or moving out of town.

What this all means is that we have our work cut out for us in the coming years. Making a difference is never easy and we have to keep pushing and fighting for what we believe in. As these local changes go into effect, one thing stays the same: Flagstaff Liberty Alliance will be following City Council and County Board meetings closely and working tirelessly to protect your rights.