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Phoenix city workers get OK to be more political away from job

(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX — Municipal employees for the city of Phoenix will be able to publicly share their opinions about candidates running for city office, after local government leaders approved the move this week.

The Phoenix City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the measure Tuesday to change the City Code and allow its workers to express their private views online and elsewhere.

Besides posting to social media sites, they can also sign nominating and recall petitions and display political signs for city elections in their yards and other nongovernment property.

“This change actually brings the City of Phoenix more into line with the federal government, the state government, and several other cities around the state and across the country,” Councilwoman Laura Pastor said in a statement after the policy session.

“And just like all of our rights granted by the Constitution, they must be made equally available no matter where we work.”

Phoenix employees remained unable to participate in political activities while working or wearing a city uniform and can’t initiate or circulate nominating or recall petitions.

“It’s unfair that Phoenix employees have to worry about losing their careers for putting up a campaign sign, discussing politics with neighbors, or posting their opinion on their own time on their personal Facebook page or social media feed,” Councilman Daniel Valenzuela said in a statement.

The changes take effect Nov. 9.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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