The conversation about Arizona’s Senate Bill 1062, the state-sanctioned LGBTQ discrimination ordinance, has showed that there are two Arizonas. There’s the Arizona that is wanting to be a part of the 21st Century international marketplace. On the other side, there’s the Arizona that wants no place in the international community, instead seeking to be isolated from it.
The former Arizona—the 21st Century Arizona—is present in our cities. Cities are the powerhouse for innovation in this new economy and they’re the places that are getting it. They’re building light rail, they’re doing economic development, they’re realizing that density and diversity are strong assets.
The latter Arizona—the isolationist Arizona—is present in the reactionary State Legislature. They see the 21st Century as a threat to “traditional” values (whatever those might be) and the notion that Arizona can exist on its own.
Time marches on and the international economy will seek team players. Isolationist economies and societies will wither and fade off into the sunset.
Phoenix is watching. This state is watching. The world is watching.
Which Arizona will we be?