Dedicated to the PHX East Valley
The East Valley Partnership is a coalition of civic, business, educational and political leaders from Apache Junction, Chandler, Florence, Fountain Hills, Gila River Indian Community, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Salt River Pima- Maricopa Indian Community, Tempe and Pinal County dedicated to the economic development and promotion of the East Valley of Greater Phoenix, Arizona. We actively advocate in areas such as economic development, education, transportation and infrastructure, arts, behavioral health, and other important areas.
A Vibrant History
In 1980, The Wall Street Journal described the East Valley of metropolitan Phoenix as one of the most vibrant growth centers in the United States with extremely high residential and market potential. For many years, the East Valley stood in the shadow of the superior political clout of Phoenix with little united strength to win government funding or allocations for the individual cities comprising the East Valley. At a time when critical decisions were being made on transportation, health care and social services, leaders from the East Valley met to establish an effective coalition to advance the needs and interests of the combined East Valley cities
In spring 1982, Mesa Tribune’s then Publisher, Charles Wahlheim, Mesa United Way Director Milt Lee, Empire Machinery’s Jack Whiteman, Bashas’ Inc.’s Eddie Basha, farmer Dwight Patterson, United Bank’s John O’Neill, Evans Management’s Bob Evans, Tempe Daily News Publisher Paul Wolfe, held the first meeting to create guidelines for an aligned coalition that became the East Valley Partnership.
A Non-Partisan Group
An executive committee was formed and appointed a selection committee to identify a list of influential leaders from the East Valley. By early 1983, the non-partisan East Valley Partnership had become a functioning body made up of legislators, city and county officials, business leaders. Primary concerns were identified as transportation, court system decentralization, water issues, economic development, and human services funding.
In ensuing years, the Partnership championed Proposition 300 in 1985, and Proposition 400 in 2004, which enacted a regional sales tax to build the Metropolitan Phoenix freeway system and founded Kids Voting Arizona. The Partnership addressed other issues including the Cardinals football stadium, tourism, behavioral health funding disparities, and founded the East Valley Silent Witness Program. More recently, the East Valley Partnership has managed several special initiatives of regional interest. Presently, the Partnership has numerous standing committees that address issues of regional concern.
While the East Valley Partnership was originally conceived as a small, restricted group of top leaders, today it has broadened to include leading individuals from all areas of business, education, government and civic enterprise united as a bold entity representing the interests of the East Valley.