All Posts By

Solange Whitehead

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Gateway

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the largest urban preserve in the nation!  As a Councilwoman, I will ensure that a Desert EDGE/DDC in the Preserve requires voter approval.
After all, the Preserve came into being at the ballot box and voters should have the final word on any major changes involving the Preserve.  I think Scottsdale voters will decide to keep the Preserve…. preserved.  If that is the decision, we should celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Preserve’s Gateway Trailhead with a small plaque that reads:


Which may cause some to wonder, “How did this land get protected the first time?”  And, “Who is ‘Carla’ anyway?”  Let me share a bit of history…..

Carla, famously with no last name, was one of the first people to dream of a McDowell Sonoran Preserve and then ACT on it!  She devoted over a decade of her life, inspiring leaders and fellow citizens to join her in an effort to preserve a large swath of arguably the most expensive and beautiful desert in all of Arizona.  Scottsdale voters supported the vision and approved multiple tax hikes to acquire and protect the land forever.  The creation of the Preserve is almost as miraculous as the desert it encompasses and our community has a miracle maker named Carla to thank!

I count Carla as a good friend, and today she sends her thanks to the many people standing up for our McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the “People’s Preserve”!

Photo: Dru Bloomfield


Voting for my Mom

This November, I will vote in my first election, and I am excited that my first ever official vote will go towards my mother. My mom is truly one of the most extraordinary people I know; she is passionately devoted to helping others, not because it is in her best interest, but simply because that is just who she is. She taught us (me, my brother, and my sister) these same morals. For instance, as a child I remember pulling off on the side of the road on many occasions simply to help an animal that had been hit by a car, it didn’t matter if she was just going to the store or late for a meeting, her first mission was always to help the unfortunate little critter who could not help its self. Not only this but my mom also has a unique perspective on life, she is able to see the beauty in anything, this is why she has worked tirelessly the past two years to protect our preserve. While many Scottsdale residents may drive by this land every day without thinking twice, my mother is still infatuated by its beauty, even after living here for over 20 years. This November, I not only get to vote for my mother, I also get to vote for a genuine, compassionate woman, and my biggest inspiration. I love you, mom.