Phoenix City Council to hold public session on vaccine mandate

Nov 24, 2021, 1:15 PM | Updated: 1:25 pm
(Bodo Schackow/dpa via AP)...
(Bodo Schackow/dpa via AP)
(Bodo Schackow/dpa via AP)

PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council is planning to hold a public session next month regarding its new COVID-19 vaccine requirement for municipal employees.

The city abruptly announced last week that all its employees had be fully vaccinated against the virus by Jan. 18 or face potential termination.

The decision was made during an executive session, without a public hearing.

Councilwoman Ann O’Brien said Tuesday that Mayor Kate Gallego agreed to her request to address the topic during the previously scheduled Dec. 7 policy session.

“It is a very important topic that I believe should be discussed in public and not behind closed doors to give our employees and the community a chance to weigh in,” O’Brien, who joined the council representing District 1 in April, said in a press release.

O’Brien said the vaccine mandate will be the only item on the agenda. The mayor’s office confirmed to KTAR News 92.3 FM that the item was on the agenda, which must be posted online no later than 24 hours before the meeting under city statute.

“I am not anti-vaccine; I am anti-mandates,” O’Brien said. “I am pro-personal choice and I believe that Phoenix employees will do the right thing and make decisions that are best for themselves and their families.”

Thursday’s policy announcement explained that Phoenix had enough federal contracts to itself be classified as a federal contractor, and therefore all municipal workers fall under President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio told KTAR News 92.3’s Arizona’s Morning News last week that while Phoenix does receive federal funding, it was “a bunch of B.S.” to consider every city employee a federal contractor.

“On Dec. 7, I encourage the public to let their opinions be heard about this executive order – an issue that has negatively impacted the morale of our employees, an issue that has divided our organization and an issue that could greatly affect the city services we provide,” O’Brien said.

In response to the Phoenix mandate, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich added the city as a defendant Monday in his ongoing lawsuit against Biden’s vaccine policies.

Brnovich, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022, also added the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and United Phoenix Firefighters Association Local 493 as plaintiffs in the suit, which was originally filed in September.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Maricopa County flag...
Kevin Stone

7 finalists revealed for vacated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seat

Seven finalists have been selected for the interview stage in the process to replace Steve Chucri on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
20 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Wendy Rogers), (Wikimedia Commons photo/Gage Skidmore)...
Associated Press

Former President Trump endorses 2 Arizona audit supporters for state Senate

Former President Donald Trump has given his influential endorsement to two Arizona legislative candidates who gained national notoriety for promoting the state Senate's partisan review of the 2020 election.
20 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Department sketches)...

Reward increased for information on suspects of Phoenix cold case from 2013

Monday marked eight years since a man was murdered at a Phoenix apartment complex and authorities are increasing the reward to help solve the cold case.
20 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Cesar Chavez High School)...

1 injured, suspect outstanding in shooting at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix

A teen boy was injured and a suspect was outstanding following a shooting at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix on Monday, authorities said.
20 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)...
Kevin Stone

Grand Canyon National Park transitions to winter operations this week

Grand Canyon National Park is modifying shuttle routes, Mather Campground reservations and North Rim access as part of its annual winter transition.
20 hours ago
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness (Bureau of Land Management Photo/Bob Wick)...
Associated Press

Arizona ranches, ghost town find new life as conservation areas

A pair of ranches and a ghost town in southern Arizona will be conserved for wildlife and recreation under separate deals brokered recently by nonprofit land trusts.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Phoenix City Council to hold public session on vaccine mandate