Opportunity for All​​​

Phoenix: A Welcoming Community

Fighting for Human Rights is in Phoenix’s DNA. Sixty-five years ago, local civil rights leaders Eleanor and Lincoln Ragsdale and the NAACP persuaded a Phoenix City Councilman named Barry Goldwater to join the fight to desegregate Phoenix schools a full year before Brown versus the Board of Education. And through a ballot initiative led by the Arizona Equal Suffrage Campaign Committee, women secured the right to vote here eight years before it was earned nationwide. 

Stanton continued this legacy by ensuring that Phoenix’s economy works for everyone and its community welcomes everyone, not just a lucky few.

Making Anti-Discrimination the Law

Stanton led the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance that established protections against discrimination for LGBTQ individuals and people living with disabilities. The comprehensive law served as a template for Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff and Sedona to adopt similar measures.   

As a result of the ordinance, in 2013 Phoenix became the first Arizona city to receive a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign on its municipal equality index. It was also recognized as an All-Star City for having anti-discrimination laws at the city that are stronger than those at the state, meaning the 100 percent score was earned entirely by the city and its residents. And Phoenix has earned a perfect score every year since. 

Phoenix made history again in 2016 when it became the first city in Arizona to offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to city employees and their families. The City now provides coverage for employees and their dependents who are transgender and need access to a range of care including hormone therapy or surgical procedures.  

Doug Mings is the mayor's liaison on LGBTQ issues in the community. He can be reached at doug.mings@phoenix.gov. 

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Under Stanton's leadership, the City Council updated its nondiscrimination ordinance to match the language of the federal Equal Pay Act to ensure women in Phoenix receive equal pay for equal work. The equal-pay requirement now also applies to contractors and vendors, sending a clear message that anyone who does business with the city should abide by the highest standards of equality.  

Additionally, the council-approved plan enhances recruiting and hiring practices at the City for traditionally male-dominated jobs, and empowers the Phoenix Women's Commission to develop more education and training opportunities for women. 


During his campaign for mayor, Stanton pledged to address homelessness, noting that a city is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable. He started by focusing on the homeless veteran population – especially those veterans who had been living on the streets for a year or more. In 2013, Phoenix became the first city in America to end chronic homelessness among veterans through an unprecedented coordinated effort between the city, state and federal governments, business leaders, and the faith and nonprofit communities.  

In 2012, Stanton launched the Phoenix H.E.R.O. initiative, which focuses on four key areas – hiring, educating, recruiting and organizing – to bring together veterans with the companies that can put them back to work. Through workshops and job fairs, human resource specialists coach candidates and help them translate military experience into civilian skillsets. 

Stanton also supports entrepreneurial veterans looking to start their own businesses. Funding from the City helped establish The Armory in downtown Phoenix, a startup incubator for veteran founders. Stanton is determined to make Phoenix the epicenter for vet-repreneurship in the U.S.

Supporting our Immigrants and Refugees

Phoenix is one of the most welcoming cities in the country to refugees who escaped unimaginable conditions to seek a better future. Supportive services like the College Depot program at City of Phoenix libraries, help these young men and women achieve higher education. Stanton believes it is a priority to foster the talent and the potential that refugee students bring to our community. The Phoenix community has built a bridge for immigrants and refugees – not a wall.