The mission of Friends of Flagstaff’s Future (F3) is to promote an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and economically prosperous Flagstaff through community education, citizen engagement, and advocacy.
In 2014, F3 developed 11 focus areas also known as our Community Visions. While this is a long read it will give our members and anyone interested in what we do a comprehensive understanding of the values we hold. Visions are listed in no particular order and include Climate Change, Energy, Land Use and Growth, Education, Water, Food, Civic Engagement, Cultural Diversity and Social Justice, Open Space, New Economy, and Transportation.
1. Climate Change
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes that climate change is occurring as a result of human activities that increase the concentration of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The effects, specially to the Southwest Region, will likely include increased incidence of drought, species extinction, increased length and intensity of fire seasons, and land use changes. We base our statement on the most recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and on the latest studies from climate scientists. The widely accepted conclusion among ninety-seven percent of climate scientists is that the Earth’s climate system is changing in response to growing atmospheric burdens of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and absorbing aerosol particles as a result of human activities. Based on these findings we support regulations and direct actions that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and where possible mitigate climate change. We also support taking steps towards building a resilient community that can adapt to the unavoidable deleterious climate change impacts.
Friend of Flagstaff’s Future works to reduce fossil fuel energy use in our community by supporting the enactment of the most updated energy codes in the city’s building regulations. These codes are good for our community as they are part of the global effort to respond effectively to climate change, and they reduce the utility bills and cost of living for new homeowners and renters.We support smart growth land use policies that reduce the dependence on the automobile which is a primary contributor to climate change.We support policies that reward residents for retrofitting their homes to increase energy efficiency such as rebates and other means of financial support to lower the cost of living, especially for our most vulnerable residents.
3. Land Use and Growth
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future supports policies that promote smart growth, including compact development, mixed uses, historic neighborhood preservation, and walkable neighborhoods. We believe that infill and redevelopment projects should result in “No Net Loss” of affordable housing. We support limiting our growth to the availability of our water resources and promoting the preservation and protection of open spaces within city limits. We believe that growth should pay for itself and should not be a burden on our community. We support development fees which cover the costs of growth, not just for police and fire protection but for all infrastructure including new roads, water and sewer expansion. We believe that, through the discretionary zoning review process, neighbors and other concerned citizens with an interest in the health of the whole community should have as much influence on the process as the property owners, developers and business interests who profit from these changes.
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes in the importance of education for all. Beginning with preschool through the post-secondary level, we believe access to education is a basic human right. We believe K- 12 programs should provide each child with a healthy, safe, supportive and challenging approach to education. Research demonstrates that one of the best investments that can be made (for health of citizens, and economic improvements) is in high quality early education. Therefore, we support State and local funding for early education programs and increased State funding for K-12 schools, at a time when the state of Arizona is ranked 47/50 in per-student spending. We also believe in the value of post-secondary education and support adequate state funding for colleges and universities. We recognize the positive impact that Coconino Community College and Northern Arizona University (NAU) have on our community, providing both affordable college education as well as needed training for members of our community. F3 recognizes educational opportunity as the foundation for a strong participatory democracy and as a vital component of a healthy community.
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes that given the scientific evidence and predictions of climate change our region will experience a drier climate and increasing droughts. Therefore water conservation measures are crucial to ensure the well-being of current residents and future generations. Growth needs to be limited to the carrying capacity of the Coconino aquifer. Water catchment and collecting systems need to be prioritized and encouraged and xeriscaping techniques should be employed. Reclaimed water must be thoroughly tested and treated for compounds of emerging concerns, and once proven safe beyond reasonable doubt, reclaimed water should only be used to recharge the aquifer as well as circulated for household uses. All water sources must be priced to reflect its true cost and water should never be privatized, but always remain a public commodity.
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes that access to healthy, high-quality food is a basic human right, and that all citizens of Flagstaff should be afforded the opportunity to grow, buy, and prepare nutritious food despite their socioeconomic status. Further, we believe that food should be grown with the health of both human and ecological systems in mind, ideally in ways which rely less on fossil fuels to grow and transport. To that end, F3supports the growth of a regional food system that promotes local food choices, uses healthy and sustainable growing methods, supports local growers, creates a viable and economic incentive to garden/farm, creates new jobs, supports cultural diversity, enhances social engagement and equity, and which ensures food security for the region in the event of a major crisis. We support such efforts as farm to school programs, school gardens, community gardens, greenhouse development, backyard farming, alternative water conservation growing methods, composting, food reuse, food redistribution, and food equity programs. We believe that health and safety oversight is critical to the welfare of food consumers, but we support methods, procedures and protocols, which are fair, equitable, relevant, and attainable by local producers and they should be scalable to the various sizes of operations
7. Civic Engagement
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes that all residents should have an opportunity to influence decisions that affect them. In the spirit of community engagement, we call for the City of Flagstaff and other governmental agencies to reach across traditional lines differences including race, socioeconomic class, age, and language to connect with and educate residents. After the low turnout in the 2012 City Council and Mayoral Elections, we support efforts to increase voter turnout and education to ensure that elected officials truly represent residents. We hold the vision that community members should participate fully at every level of decision-making including needs assessment, planning, implementation, enforcement, and evaluation. We endeavor to partner with the city, county, NAU, local organizations, and independent residents to create opportunities for civic engagement. We also support efforts of residents to self-organize to find novel solutions to community problems without relying on government.
8. Cultural Diversity and Social Justice
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes in a community that is inclusive, and that all people of Flagstaff should feel a sense of belonging. We support Flagstaff’s cultural diversity which enriches our community and provides vibrancy and new perspectives. To encourage deeper connections within our community, we promote inclusivity and equitable access to resources, services and justice. We believe that a sustainable community ensures a higher quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner. We envision a community that sustains the needs of all residents regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, racial classification, ethnicity, religion, language, socioeconomic status, ability, or national origin. We value public policy based on mutual respect and justice for all peoples, free from any form of discrimination or bias. Lastly, we call on Flagstaff residents to make choices that honor the limited resources of our planet by consciously choosing to challenge prevailing norms and reprioritize their lifestyles to ensure the health of the natural world for present and future generations.
9. Open Space
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes that open space is one of Flagstaff’s most treasured and defining characteristics. Our open space protects environmental quality and diversity, allows for wildlife corridors in our backyards, protects our watershed, our iconic view sheds and our dark skies. Access to these public lands is one of the primary reasons that people move to Flagstaff and choose to make this town their home. F3 believes a designated open space system should work toward a goal of ensuring that every resident can access open space within a 15-minute walk from his or her front door. The City of Flagstaff and Coconino County should take every possible measure to ensure that the iconic lands weaving through and around our town remain as open space, including City-owned, State trust, County and Forest Service lands. Our City and County representatives should continue to expand and strengthen our first rate urban trail system and provide open space buffers adjacent to United States Forest Service lands. F3 believes that there is sufficient land located within the current City boundaries for development including empty land and areas in need of infill or redevelopment. Our open spaces should not be sacrificed to development.
10. New Economy
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes in a strong, local, and equitable economy that takes into account fair distributions of wealth and equal access to work. We want to help grow and develop successful, sustainable and profitable local businesses that: 1) recognize resource and energy limits, and explore steady state or even de-growth scenarios, 2) move to localize the economy of Flagstaff, 3) consider new types of business-social contracts, where the marketplace and businesses are fair and serve the public good, and 4) move towards shared equity and a wide range of ownership models, including cooperative and community ownership. We wish to engage directly with local businesses, and create a draw for their goods and services within the community. If the local community builds relationships with the local businesses, and local professionals are trained to deliver the services (and/or create the products) themselves, our money stays in our community. We believe moving to new models of business will help to build a more viable, equitable and resilient economic system in and around Flagstaff.
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes that modes of transportation which use less fossil fuels, such as biking, walking and public transport, make for a more livable, healthy, and vibrant city. F3 promotes the idea of building more infrastructure to support these alternate modes of transportation, such as additional sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as additional connections to the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS). We also support the creation of safer biking corridors through downtown, train crossings, and along major thoroughfares (such as Milton and Butler Avenues) and should be made a priority as well as the overall reduction in single-occupancy vehicle commuting. F3 celebrates the accomplishments and improvements of NAIPTA (Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority), including it’s commitment to offer additional bus services and the use of alternate fuel sources to power its fleet. We support the addition of more bus lines, and increased services to outlying sections of the county such as Doney Park, Kachina Village, Mountainaire, Baderville, and Bellemont. In addition we support the creation of a state-wide transportation system that can serve students needing to commute home on the weekends to reduce the number of cars used by NAU students in Flagstaff. Finally, F3strongly supports the ideas of incentives for using alternative transportation, such as employer provided bus passes, better delineated and increased numbers of bike-ways, and safe and secure bicycle parking structures.