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3 Ways Local Government Violated Arizonans’ Rights in 2023

December 20, 2023

From outright refusing to enforce the law to imposing mandatory “green” mandates, examples abound of local governments violating Arizonans’ rights this past year.

Here are three of the worst ones:

1. Phoenix: “The Zone”

It’s one of the most tragic cases of government gone wrong. Phoenix’s homeless “Zone,” where law and order gave way to death and destruction, was once the largest homeless encampment in America, with more than 1,000 individuals sleeping on the streets in front of businesses and public property. After a group of law-abiding property and business owners in The Zone sued the city for maintaining a public nuisance, a judge ruled that the city was not only blatantly refusing to enforce simple laws, but also actively perpetuating the life-threatening situation in The Zone. (Goldwater filed briefs in support of the business and property owners and published investigative reports exposing the crisis and the city’s inaction.) While officials were forced to clear out The Zone—which included cleaning up tents, feces, urine, needles, and other biohazards that have been overrunning this area for the last four years—their years of inaction will forever stand as a blemish of disgrace.

Read the rest of the op-ed at the Arizona Daily Independent.

Austin VanDerHeyden is the Municipal Affairs Liaison at the Goldwater Institute.



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