Change is hard.
When I promised Pima County that I would distribute a weekly review every Friday afternoon, I did so in an effort to make this The People’s Office: transparent and accessible to the community. Internally, however, transparency is an incredibly difficult balance. It is not appropriate for me to share personnel issues with other employees or the public. It is not professional for me to respond to outbursts of frustration. It is not productive for me to complain about how certain parties are still at war, unable to accept the results of last year’s election.
I can and will, however, be completely open about this: In 1996, there was a three-way Democratic primary for the Office of the Pima County Attorney. That year, the voters chose the platform of the candidate that was “toughest” on crime. That was the mandate, and “tough on crime,” which had been the mantra of this Office since 1976, continued to be the mantra for the next 24 years.
In 2020, the historic voter turnout and blow-out mandate went to the criminal justice reform candidate. This has been hard for some staff and attorneys who devoted their careers to the previous administration. They didn’t ask for reform; the community has demanded it from them. They don’t have to accept the new platform and policies. They are free to set off for new adventures. I wish each and every one of them well.
I also welcome the contributions of those willing to stay and work to wholeheartedly carry out the direction of the voters. There are new leaders emerging every day, stepping into supervisory and mentorship roles that deliver what this Office needs. Last year my brother said to me, “When given space and permission, you will see people really spread their wings. Wait for the helpers to speak up to help you lead.” He was so right. And, the new wave of attorneys and staff who are walking through our doors to work inside The People’s Office are answering the call of Pima County.
Change can be brutally hard. But it’s necessary. It’s healthy. And it’s here.
Undistracted and undeterred,