Scottsdale Coalition of Today & Tomorrow outlines focus of effort

A newly organized nonprofit organization is hoping to provide a positive and proactive voice for Scottsdale and the challenges it confronts by creating a platform that promotes greater understanding and engagement.

The Scottsdale Coalition of Today & Tomorrow — adopting the acronym SCOTT for short — held its official launch party Wednesday, Sept. 20 at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort in the Town of Paradise Valley.

City officials, business leaders and residents were introduced to the organization’s mission during a short program that featured remarks by several of SCOTT’s board members and supporters.

“Simply put, the Scottsdale Coalition of Today & Tomorrow is a group of business and civic leaders who share one fundamental value: a passion for the city of Scottsdale — from the McDowell Mountains to McDowell Road, and everything in between,” said Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT.

The organization is hoping to build a large base of followers that will work together to “educate and engage” fellow citizens on issues important to the city.

“(SCOTT’s) mission is straightforward: educate more people about important issues in the city and activate and enable them to get more involved,” said Mr. Henninger.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane commended SCOTT for its mission to engage residents and promote positive — and civil — discussion of important issues.

“Keeping people educated — and talking to each other — is very important and will help move Scottsdale in a very positive way,” said the mayor.

Mr. Henninger said SCOTT will initially focus its attention on four categories:

  • Financial stability within the city and identifying key projects and how to fund them.
  • Downtown Scottsdale: Working with other organizations to help bring focus to what’s needed downtown.
  • Desert Edge proposal and its “potential to be a highlight for the city.”
  • Transportation in Scottsdale.

Mr. Henninger said the organization is first looking to build an audience by creating a database and promoting its mission through a strong social media presence and its website.

SCOTT’s sponsors and board of directors include many of the city’s largest businesses: APS, DMB, Skysong/ASU/Plaza Companies, Honor Health and more.

The organization’s advisory board includes a number of key Scottsdale organizations, including the Scottsdale Charros, Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, Experience Scottsdale, Scottsdale Association of Realtors and more.

Mr. Henninger said SCOTT will “look for opportunities to bring people together to learn more about issues they need to pay attention to.”

The group intends to be active on the speaking circuit — providing speakers to local clubs and organizations on myriad topics — and eventually hosting “Issues & Experts” forums and roundtables.

In an era where “fake news” can distort the conversation, and online critics can often shout louder than their counterparts, Mr. Henninger acknowledges that one of SCOTT’s primary goals is to bring the debate back to a more civil and courteous level of discussion.

“We embrace constructive criticism and we know there is hard work ahead for all of us to keep our city special. But we will come at things from a “can-do” attitude, not a “can’t-do.”

Go to scottnow.com.

Editor’s note: The Independent has a policy to declare any potential conflicts of interest to its readers. Mr. Henninger is a member of the board of directors of Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA, the company which owns the Scottsdale Independent.

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