PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has asked Governor Doug Ducey for a statewide mandate in her virtual State of the City 2020.

Being that Arizona is going through another surge of COVID-19, Gallego believes it is important for a mask mandate.

Mayor Kate Gallego

"I have asked Doug Ducey to issue a statewide mask mandate and keep that order in place until we have wide distribution of a vaccine, more effective treatments, or both," Gallego said in a series of tweets.

Gallego said Governor Ducey has not personally spoken to her for months. While she has issued a city-wide mask mandate in Phoenix, she said she's bound from enforcing more.

“The Governor’s executive order reserves those steps for him. So, he has preempted from cities moving forward,” Gallego said.

Gallego said in her State of the City that she believes that science has proven that masks work but needs to be statewide, not just city by city. 

"Until we have a vaccine, masks are the single best defense against the virus. While Phoenix has had a mask requirement in place since June, there is still no statewide mandate. We can stick to this piecemeal approach or we can do it right."

But the pandemic isn't going anywhere anytime soon. 

"I will say it again- the pandemic is not over. No matter what, I will continue to insist we follow data & science. I will not settle, back off, or back down when the lives of Phoenix residents are at stake."

In addition to COVID-19 discussions, Gallego went over her plans for the next four years at mayor of Phoenix. Some of her plans include working with climate change and utilizing the innovation the city has access to to help the city evolve.

"This has been a good year in spite of everything COVID-19 threw at us. The virus did not defeat us. It made us stronger. As Phoenix emerges, we will be better than ever. Let’s get to work!"

If you would like to watch Mayor Gallego's full State of the City 2020, click here

Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar said she's experiencing similar issues with trying to speak with Arizona's Governor. She last talked to Governor Ducey in May and also wants a statewide mask mandate.

"We can't go beyond what the executive order said, or else we'll be in big trouble, so for me, it's a matter of collaborating together," she said. "If Governor Ducey doesn't step up and act soon, we'll again be the laughing stock of the nation in regards to COVID-19."

But Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said he appreciates the governor's flexibility for cities. While Hartke implemented a mask mandate for Chandler, he is glad he got to make that decision.

"We have to follow the science and make our decisions based on that, and I think he's been doing that," Hartke said.

But he also hasn't talked to Ducey for several months and would like to see more.

"We had a lot of communication at the onset of this with weekly mayoral calls from the governor's office. It might be time to ramp up the communication and let local leaders be more in the queue of what's going on," Hartke said.

Arizona’s Family asked the Governor’s Office why he hasn’t been in direct contact with these elected leaders. We were provided the following statement:

Our administration has worked closely with officials around the state to prioritize public health and keep people safe. When those efforts have required communication directly with the governor, that has taken place.

The Department of Health Services provides daily updates on COVID-19, both through its data dashboard and regular communications to community stakeholders. All metrics, data, guidance and more are posted and updated frequently. We've also maintained a strong working relationship with the Department of Education. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better partnership between a governor's office and department of education in recent memory.

ADHS also works closely with county health departments across the state, including Maricopa County, which take the lead on public health issues. Throughout this pandemic, the department has also coordinated with hospitals, labs, care settings, university experts, federal partners and more. Take for example the $19 million grant announced recently with the Department of Education or the joint briefing with Dr. Christ and Superintendent Hoffman last week. Or the work with Secretary Hobb’s Office around ensuring safe elections. We won’t hesitate to collaborate with anyone if it can help keep people safe and healthy and serve Arizonans.

The governor’s press conference will be Wednesday at 2 p.m.


Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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