Powers: SGA branding exercise was transparent, not exclusive

You can’t satisfy 100 percent of the people all of the time.

By Kyle Powers

My bet is the Scottsdale Gateway Alliance was aware of this old adage long before they undertook a generous, inclusive, and extensive community-inspired rebranding initiative to encourage the revitalization of south Scottsdale.

However, the hostile and reproachful tone taken by Mr. Richard attacking the process seems misplaced.

If Mr. Richard dislikes the new hummingbird logo that is his opinion and he is welcomed to it, but to question the integrity of a process that he himself admits to participating in is disingenuous.

When the Scottsdale Gateway Alliance says they embarked on a multifaceted campaign which included door-to-door visits, encouraged participation through a literature drop (Mr. Richard notes he received both), hosted events at local businesses, held over a dozen focus groups, and created an online community (in which Mr. Richard admits participation), I believe them.

I believe them because I was fortunate enough to participate in many of exercises myself.
Throughout the months-long branding campaign, Scottsdale Gateway Alliance was completely transparent. Did the unveiling event have south Scottsdale business owners? Of course. They were mingling with hundreds of long-time south Scottsdale residents and newly arrived residents, and other community stakeholders eager to see the results of the community collaboration.

That’s why the conference room at SkySong was packed and seating was limited.
Scottsdale Gateway Alliance shares and promotes the energy, enthusiasm, and excitement we all feel about our community. They deserve a thank you, not criticism.

This exercise and presentation had little to do with height or density. It was about identifying and promoting the things that make south Scottsdale unique and special. Scottsdale Gateway Alliance and all of the participants identified four distinct branding pillars that perfectly define our community — the location, our outstanding quality of life, the love and appreciation for unmatched outdoor recreational opportunities, and finally our affinity for unique architectural style that embraces modern and mid-century modern design. These are the qualities that define us and our community.  I couldn’t be more proud of the work or the result!

The organization arose from our neighborhoods with the promise to work together with the community on reimagining south Scottsdale. Some individuals were more active than others but suggesting the process was closed to certain residents couldn’t be further from the truth. Over 2,500 people openly and freely participated in a survey, and literally hundreds attended focus group and joined the online community. This demonstrates a groundswell of support!

I’ve lived in south Scottsdale for 23 years. I love south Scottsdale and I love our community. And, many of us are excited for the next chapter in south Scottsdale’s history. Things are looking bright. Mr. Richard’s may not share the excitement for what revitalization means, but to insinuate the organization’s motivation or process was anything but pure, he is living in the dark.

Mr. Richard, and his small group of agitators represent a small, but vocal minority of south Scottsdale residents who oppose everything.  The majority of south Scottsdale residents support economic development and redevelopment that will spur revitalization in the area.

Editor’s note: Mr. Powers is a resident of Scottsdale

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