Hello District 5 Residents and Friends,


April has been a busy and productive month, full of community events, neighborhood meetings, and exciting developments. In this edition of Neighborhood News, learn about the City’s acquisition of the “old Kmart building”, our Earth Day and Arbor Day events, the Heat Relief Outreach, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and more. 



Acquisition of the Old Kmart Building -
“Innovation 27”

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On Wednesday, April 20th, the Phoenix City Council voted unanimously to begin the purchasing process for the ‘Old Kmart Building’ – 2526 W. Northern Ave.

On my first day in office, I met with one of my neighborhood leaders, Jeff Spellman from the Violence Impact Project Coalition, and he presented me with his ‘27th Avenue To Do List.’ In the months that followed we met regularly to discuss our shared passion for revitalization and community investment - the conversation kept leading back to this building.

We know District 5 has a strong need for career advancement and educational opportunities for our youth. This was magnified by the economic impacts brought on by the pandemic, as we have witnessed displacement in the workforce - especially in the service industry. We have worked closely with the Saia Family (the current owners), our economic development team, and the broader community to build a shared vision for the property offering education, workforce training and career opportunities.

As we bring new life into this property we have decided to call the project ‘Innovation 27.’ Look out for more announcements in the coming months as Innovation 27 develops.

Thank you to all my colleagues, our economic development team lead by Christine Mackay, the partners she has brought on board, and most importantly the strong support of the community for making this possible.



Three Earth Day Events in District 5!

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Friday, April 22nd, we joined neighbors at Homestead Park for the new community garden dedication and Happy Feet movie showing. It was great to enjoy this beautiful space with families from around the community. Thanks again to Tiger Mountain Foundation, Maricopa County Health Department, the Parks & Recreation Department, and Office of Environmental Programs, in addition to the neighborhood groups.


Saturday, April 23rd, the Estrella Supermoms and 6 x 6 Foundation led the Adopt a Block Street Clean-up for 75th Ave. between Thomas Rd. and Indian School Rd. Our team joined over 70 volunteers, including students and their families, to clean up the neighborhood. I'm always inspired by the commitment of these awesome groups to keeping our neighborhood and the planet beautiful. 

Immediately after, Chispa Arizona hosted an Earth Day festival at El Oso Park with music, food, games, and information about environmental programs like their Clean and Green Campaign. It is always good to end a long day with a party!

Earth Day Clean-up at El Oso Park


More Tree Planting on Arbor Day and Beyond

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Thanks to our Parks and Recreation Department, 89 new trees were planted at Mariposa Park this week, as part of the department’s goal to plant 1,500 trees per year.

Planting trees around the City helps increase shade canopy, improve air quality, and decrease the heat island.

Today, Friday, April 30th at 10 a.m., in honor of Arbor Day, we will plant 30 trees at Starlight Park at 78th Ave and Osborn Rd. with Keep Phoenix Beautiful

Then, Saturday, May 7th at 8 a.m., help us plant 75 trees at Borman Elementary with Trees Matter. Please register to volunteer here.

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Welcome New District 5 Team Members:

Melina & Brookelynn


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Melina Sandoval is our new Constituent Service Specialist. Melina comes from the small town of Nogales, Arizona. She has an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Development and has worked for the City of Phoenix Human Service Department of Education as a Family Advocate for four years. Prior to that, she was a preschool teacher for eight years. She loves helping others, especially little ones, but now she is happy to serve her community in other ways. 


Brookelynn is our communications guru, helping get the good word out to the neighborhoods! She is a Phoenix native, graduated from ASU, and has worked in government, on campaigns, and for non-profits across the state. She's an avid concert-goer, so if you see her at Crescent Ballroom for a show - say hi!



Heat Relief Outreach

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The City of Phoenix is gearing up for another warm summer, filled with heat relief outreach.

You can help with these efforts by volunteering with the We're Cool and Cool Caller programs, spreading awareness on heat-related issues.

We’re Cool volunteers engage community members in public spaces, providing maps to cooling and hydration stations and tips on staying healthy in the summer. Outreach will be focused on our underserved communities, transit locations, and parks and trail heads throughout Phoenix.

Cool Callers volunteers call community members who opt into the program at regular intervals during the summer, with a focus on days with National Weather Service Excessive Heat Warnings in effect. Volunteers conduct short questionnaires to assess residents' health and safety and their ability to access sufficient cooling at home and in their neighborhood. Where necessary, volunteers can help guide residents to City and regional resources related to home cooling and heat safety. 

Register to volunteer here:



Are You or a Family Member Interested in College?


College Depot’s GRIT (Graduating Ready, Independent, and Tenacious) program provides students with personalized, consistent, and long-term support throughout their senior year to successfully start college.

Students and advisors will develop an individualized plan and meet (virtually or in-person) to ensure students are on track and are college-ready. Click here for more information.



Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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The City of Phoenix's partnership with the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence and the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance seeks to raise public awareness about Sexual Violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.

As part of the partnership, the City of Phoenix holds monthly workgroup meetings focusing on four key areas:

  • Teens and Youth: focusing on prevention and youth issues.
  • Education: focusing on building community capacity to appropriately respond to survivors of sexual assault.
  • Advocacy: focusing on identifying service gaps and improving service provision for survivors of sexual violence. 
  • Leadership: focusing on making Phoenix a national model and planning for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

Fore more information, please visit the Let's Talk Teal page.



     Thank you for reading and sharing the April Neighborhood News with family, friends, and neighbors. As always, please contact our office for your comments, questions, and concerns, at (602) 262-7446 or council.district.5@phoenix.gov. For daily updates, follow us on our social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.



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This email was sent by Phoenix Council District 5 Office of Councilwoman Betty Guardado at 200 W. Washington St. 11th floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003.

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