Family and faith have taught Adam Metzendorf something about the community.
That if you can serve it and make a difference, do not sit on the sidelines.
The former executive for the Phoenix Suns wants to be the new House Representative for the newly formed Congressional District (CD) One and vanquish the ethically challenged and policy fringe devout David Schweikert.
As a representative, he pledges to listen to all points of view and work to build consensus solutions.
If elected to the House, he will focus on:
- Improving the economy and creating jobs.
- Protecting the state and local water supply.
- Expanding access to quality and affordable healthcare.
- Safeguarding freedoms like the right to vote, choose, and privacy.
Mr. Metzendorf graciously took the time to respond to questions about his candidacy for the House of Representatives.
The questions and his responses are below.
- Please tell the readers two reasons you like to become the next House Representative from Arizona Congressional District One.
“I’m running because I was taught growing up, through my faith, through my family that when something’s wrong and you have the ability to make a difference, you can’t sit on the sidelines.
So, I resigned from my dream job. I was working for the Phoenix Suns, but I wanted to go make a difference. I live in Scottsdale and love where I live. I absolutely can’t stand who represents me.
I think people should vote for me in this district because I think David Schweikert is beatable with the right approach. He’s someone that gets by because he stays silent. He’s just as extreme as Biggs and Gosar are in the way he votes. But he doesn’t vocalize that so somehow he gets a pass as a moderate. I think in a district like this, which because of redistricting where it’s now only a two percent Republican lean at the congressional level, the fact that he has primary opponents is doing two things. Josh Barnett continues to push him farther and farther to the right, calling him out for not vocalizing his support of Donald Trump. So Schweikert sought and received Trump’s endorsement for the first time. It will help him in the primary and will absolutely hurt him in the general in this district
And then you have Elijah Norton who actually sent a full-color page comic book called the misadventures of shady Schweikert to every single Republican-leaning, independent, and Republican in this district. What that’s caused is effectively people that are independent that have been Republican at some time, I hear over and over identifying as Goldwater Republican, are now disillusioned with what’s going on the Republican side. It’s unrecognizable and they need a reason to vote for a Democrat. So, I’m someone that lives in the district. I understand through my work, how to invite in discourse and hear perspectives and if you can do that with these independents and these moderate Republicans that don’t like extremism, and just show that the right thing to do can also be economically sensible.
It’s a perfect cycle to flip the seat.
The other reason that I think people in this area should vote for me is something that I think is extremely important – showing up. I am not going to Washington for the reputation or to represent my congressional coworkers. I’m going because I want to represent this constituency. I want to hear the issues I want to legislate based off of those issues and I have experience bringing people together to actually get things done.
So, when it comes to that and my vision of this district, I talk to a lot of people that still don’t even know what a legislative district is, whether they’re in LD 28 or LD 4 now or any of those things. I just think you have to have someone that’s going to pound the pavement and understand the bottom-up approach and what the macro impact of something like that is. This is one of the most competitive races in the country.
On August 2, whoever’s the nominee is going to have the resources available to them. I want to divert those resources to all of our races because when I talk to people at the doors, Their issues aren’t just federal. They’re also municipal and state and if we can have an actual coordinated approach where the person running for school board understands my platform, as well as I, know theirs and all across the ballot that increases the number of voters that we can actually knock on doors from somewhere in the tens of thousands to somewhere in the hundreds of thousands. And so those are the biggest reasons for me that I want to get across to the voters.
One I’m uniquely qualified because I can speak across the aisle and two, I’m going to show up, I’m doing this for the right reasons. And I understand what’s at stake, not just in my race, but every single race below.”
- Please tell the readers, what are the least two qualifications you have to serve in the House of Representatives?
“The first is I show up. I live in this district. I’ve been a precinct committee person for about two years. At this point, I have not missed a legislative district meeting within our congressional district since March of 2021. I’m a member of the black engagement committee, the LGBTQ plus committee, the Latino outreach committee. I show up. I make sure I hear people and I go out and execute that way. One thing I want to make inherently clear to your readers, for more than a year, I’ve been showing up and making sure that this was the right thing and the right time to do this, to make a difference for my community.
The second thing that I think qualifies me is actually what I did at the Phoenix Suns. I was the Director of Membership Experience and what that means is I oversaw our season ticket bases for the Suns, the Mercury, and for the Rattlers. And thinking about that as a constituency base, it’s 10,000 people. It’s the full political gamut and it’s $60 million and I was the person that had to create the strategy and execution around, retaining everyone through a pandemic. You do that with proactivity, empathy, and with transparency. And then even if you do that, still people aren’t going to agree with everything you have to do. You have to listen to people that see it differently and get them on the phone because when you have the ability to invite in that discourse and hear perspectives, even if you don’t agree with each other one, you can isolate what the primary objection is and be able to address that head on and two when people feel heard, they’re open to hearing things. Through that, we had a 96 percent retention of all of our members, which was the best in the sports industry and I shared those best practices with our direct competitors because that’s what it takes. I think looking at that and translating that into this district, which doesn’t like extremism, if you can just hear perspective from people that see it differently and move people literally from here to here, you can flip the seat and you can do it in a way where people aren’t going to spend the next two years trying to undo everything that you try to accomplish. Also, if you can just get it from here to here on a macro level right now, with so much at stake and flip a house seat, there’s a huge impact there.”
- What are the three most important issues facing Arizonans and the American people? Please explain.
“There are three things I want to focus on.
The first is the economy and job creation. How do we execute the bipartisan infrastructure bill in a way that actually stimulates our economy? I think investing in manufacturing jobs back in Arizona, that can shore up some of our supply chain gaps and help ease the housing market a little bit with the cost of living. The other thing within the economy and job creation with the infrastructure bill is bolstering our solar infrastructure as well as supporting what’s continuing to make us known as the electric valley.
In terms of the second policy platform for me, that’s water. You look at the Rio Verde. You look at Cave Creek within our district. They are running out of groundwater. They’re going to run out very, very soon. The rest of the state’s not far behind. You look at all the states that get water from the Colorado River and we’re at the bottom of that pecking order. So, we have to act now before the federal government comes in and interjects anyway. I want to create the Southwestern State Water Caucus where we work federally and collaboratively to solve our water issues as a region instead of state by state. I want to go as far east as the plain states, like Oklahoma which have a water surplus from flooding, and partner with states that border the Gulf and the Pacific, and partner with countries like Israel which have a similar arid environment to ours. If we do that the right way, because water is this tangible thing that people can see, I think it can be the catalyst. If everyone’s going back to their district with wins, we can bring bipartisanship back to the climate before it’s too late.
The last pillar is healthcare. Simply put, we need better access and transparency. We need to lower the cost of life-sustaining prescription drugs. I talked to too many people at the doors that have been prescribed something that is not covered by their insurance, and it’s caused them to make very difficult decisions. The federal government has real purchasing power. We need to negotiate down the price of these life-sustaining prescriptions.
The fourth thing is not really a policy platform. It’s just something that I categorize as being a human and an American. I mentioned Schweikert staying silent. We need a voice speaking out and showing up in the face of hate. So combating antisemitism, racism, hate rhetoric against our LGBTQ community, and hateful rhetoric against our public educators is important to me and something I will never be silent about. When it comes to legislation around abortion, gun rights, and voting rights, inevitably, whatever the bill is in the House, I’m going to support it. I can’t control the filibuster. I cannot control court packing. So I’m a big believer in something President Obama subscribes to: the perfect can’t be the enemy of the good. So with these bills, what can we take out of them to get something passed? Because doing nothing right now in my opinion is unacceptable.”
Do you favor the Bipartisan Innovation Act?
“From the perspective of combating inflation, national security, and ensuring that our supply chains and technology are keeping pace, passing this out of the conference is of key importance. It will benefit not only our larger companies but also allow for small businesses and entrepreneurs to benefit. I also particularly like the proposed funding of manufacturing institutes with a preference for going to minority-serving institutions and to institutes located in economically distressed areas. Similar to what I had referenced in our conversation about perfect not being the enemy of the good, while we may not be able to get everything from the COMPETES ACT, I do think that what the Senate has proposed will still be greatly beneficial.
My hope is that an agreement can be reached this summer. If so, my goal would be to ensure execution in a way that continues to stimulate Arizona’s economy and brings jobs and advancement to all of our communities. If it is not passed before the election, I would undoubtedly make passing this bill through Congress one of my priorities.”
- Please explain your views on border security and immigration reform.
“When it comes to border security and immigration reform, I just want to just mention that I think building a wall is fiscally irresponsible, the opposite of fiscal conservativism in the 21st century. I don’t think it serves a purpose at all. People can get in through the air, through the sea, and through other areas, besides our Southern border. I do think we do need to address the border and the way we do that is the right way is to bolster infrastructure, both in terms of technology and in terms of staffing, because the real issue is there’s no incentive to safely, efficiently, and transparently enter this country legally.
What we need to do to address that is the backlog. So, you look at 2011, you’re talking about just about 300,000 people are in the queue. Of those, just about 220,000 are processed. In 2021, you have 1.4 million in the queue and just about 115,000 processed. That’s unacceptable and inefficient. We need to find ways to make sure that we are addressing the actual problem and the actual problem is the backlog.
This is not just the Southern border. This is everywhere. I worked for the Brooklyn Nets before the Suns. A good friend of mine, his name is Corey. He was a client of mine in Brooklyn. At the time he was dating someone from Kenya and I talked to him during my first quarter fundraising to my personal network and he had married her. They have a daughter together and he went through every step in the process properly to just get his wife and his daughter to the United States. It took two years to get through the backlog. And that’s just unacceptable. And if you look at it through those terms where again, the right thing and the economically sensible thing are the same things.
If we can incentivize people coming in legally, we can solve that issue.”
- Please explain your views on finding the police in law enforcement reform.
“When it comes to law enforcement reform, I think that there are a few things that we need to address here.
The first is acknowledging that there’s systemic racism in a lot of society and we need to address that. We need to have conversations around that, and we need to find ways to build back the trust and the relationships between our marginalized communities and between law enforcement. And there are a few different things that I really want to do to explore that. The first is making sure that we can have more community intervention by investing in more ways to build up relationships in the community and not necessarily have a police presence everywhere. I think what we need to do is make sure that we can facilitate those conversations. Something that I really pride myself on is listening to people that have had a really bad experience with the police and hearing their issues and what they want to do.
One other thing I wanted to mention, is in regard to policing and accountability. When George Floyd was murdered and I was still at the Suns, I reached out to all of my employees just to check-in. When I spoke with one of my employees, RaShaun, he told me that he appreciated me reaching out to him, that I was the only person just in general that had, and his sentiment was this is the norm at this point and nothing was going to change. This was a real gut punch to hear. I immediately asked him what I could do to help, at least as a start. He told me my public support because of my position and what I looked like would be helpful because it helped show this isn’t a white vs black issue this is an everyone vs racism issue. Hearing this, I posted on LinkedIn. My post reached 17,000 people. I found myself in conversations with people that saw things differently, and through my conversations with them, helped them understand a different perspective and ultimately I had people let me know they changed the way they voted from speaking with me.
I spoke to you briefly about Schweikert staying silent and how I lead from the front. I think I have a unique ability to genuinely hear people who have experienced various forms of racism in policing and other forms of systemic racism. I am not afraid to call out what is wrong publicly. I know how to do that in a way, in our district, that can move people along with us, and shed light and perspective on situations for people that don’t see it because they have never experienced it. A goal of mine is to root out systemic racism and do it in a way that brings people together. Lastly, I just want to say the goal of an elected official should never be reelection. It should be standing up for what is right and what benefits the district and country as a whole regardless of whether or not it costs you your seat. Standing against racism and hate in general is something that is non-negotiable for me and if it costs me my seat, so be it.
But I think that’s only part of it. I think you have to, especially if you’re going to be a legislator, hear both sides. You have to invite discourse to have the solutions. So, hear what’s going on from a policy perspective as well and find solutions around it.
The other thing that I think is pretty important is when we look at incarceration. I think that we need to do a better job and invest in a lot more programs to decrease the likelihood of someone that just came out of a sentence and served their time from going back in. I think we do need to allocate some resources toward mental health, and programs to help people get a job, get back on their feet, and really make sure that they’re in a place where they have the resources to be successful in life. I also think that we really need to look at prison sentences in general and make sure that we’re taking a look at the system holistically in regard to that. In summation, it comes from having conversations with the community.
Addressing police reform head-on. Addressing the systemic racism that exists and making sure that we can move forward together in a way that allows the community to feel safe among the police and, and make sure that we can move forward together and root out some of these systemic issues.”
- Is there anything not mentioned in the first five questions that you’d like readers to know about you and your candidacy? Please explain.
“One thing that I really want readers to know is I’m not afraid to hear different perspectives. I’m not afraid to admit when I got something wrong. I’m not afraid to hear what’s going on with people and change how I do things.
I pride myself on showing up. I pride myself on listening. I pride myself on educating myself and others. And I pride myself on the way I carry who I am with integrity, and ability to do the right thing, and the ability to show up.
If you are looking for someone that’s always going to listen, that’s in it for the right reasons, and has the ability to flip the seat, then that’s me at my core and I am open to anyone and everyone reaching out to talk to me to address whatever we haven’t covered that they’re curious about.”
Please click on the below social media sites to find out more information on Mr. Metzendorf and his candidacy for the House of Representatives.