Local elections are important because they address issues that directly impact local communities.
To help their employees be more involved in local government, Cox Communications hosts “Cox Votes” events that inform their employees on political issues in Arizona.
“Our Cox Votes events are designed to provide a nonpartisan forum in an intimate setting. This is where employees are invited to listen and participate in the discussion,” Cox Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager Rachel Aja said. “We do this in mind with how it may impact the community and most importantly you, our employees.”
According to Cox, the company feels strongly about its employees exercising their right to vote because every vote is important. Cox Votes allows Cox employees the opportunity to engage with political leaders about issues that impact the community.
“The reason we put on Cox Votes events is we want to engage our employees and try to provide information so they can make decisions on things that impact them, their lives [and] their families,” event organizer and Cox Senior Communications Liaison Jamie Boyett said.
During election season, Cox Votes focuses on candidates and their platforms as they run for office. Past events have included Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Congressional District 8 candidates Congresswoman Debbie Lesko and Hiral Tipirneni and most recently Phoenix mayoral candidates Kate Gallego and Daniel Valenzuela.
In the off-season the forums focus on policies and specific issues, like the most recent event, which discussed economic development, including the two Phoenix propositions being voted on August 27th.
“I think it’s very important, they learn a lot about what’s going on,” Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams (LD-1) said before the forum. “From my perspective, anything in Phoenix impacts the entire Valley. Cox is everywhere in the Valley and I’m sure they want to know what’s going on [and] what’s projected to happen.”
Anthony Cavone, a safety and risk management consultant at Cox, said he enjoys coming to the events because it gives him an opportunity to learn what is going on in the community and how he can make a positive impact.
“I’m interested in the growth of the city,” Cavone said. “There’s a lot of traffic and it’s probably an important thing for me to understand. I see them widening roads and such…so I’m very interested in the public transportation including the light rail.”
Cox Votes began as a grassroots movement to encourage employees to get involved in local government and has been around for nearly 20 years.
“[Local politics] impacts our entire lives,” Boyett added. “My favorite part of putting it on is, I think, feeling like we are helping our employees understand political issues so that they can make a good decision for themselves when they go to the polls.”
“We can all make a difference and if we don’t attend these kinds of meetings, we’re not going to understand what are the important issues at hand,” Cavone said. “If we attend meetings…we can say we are engaged, and we can understand where each person is coming from on a particular issue and how we can make a difference in the community.”
The Cox Votes August 14th panel about economic development included comments from Councilwoman Thelda Williams, Gilbert City Manager Patrick Banger and Economic Development Director for the City of Surprise Jeanine Jerkovic.