You could call Phoenix mom Alexandra Arboleda a water nerd and she’d be flattered. She’s passionate about water — specifically about protecting this precious resource for future generations.
Her family moved to Arizona when she was 7, and she grew up hiking and horseback riding in the Tucson area. At an early age, she developed a deep and abiding respect for the importance and scarcity of water in an arid environment.
She focused on water law in law school and practiced in that area of specialty for 10 years, so she really understands such terms as “general stream adjudications” and “surface-water rights.”
Alex also is a writer, which is how I came to know her. She was with some other moms who who met me over coffee a couple of years ago to learn about contributing articles to Raising Arizona Kids.
Alex was intrigued by the idea of creating a “village” of parents who would comment on important and sometimes controversial topics: parenting in blended families, teen dating, overprotective parenting and more. For almost two years, she curated a feature she called “Voices From the Village” — selecting topics, finding parents to contribute and pulling it all together for publication.
One of those topics — raising multi-ethnic, multi-cultural children — hit home for Alex, whose husband, Carlos, was raised in Venezuela and Colombia by parents of Italian and Spanish ancestry. They have two children: Isabel, 15, and Nicolas, 12.
As I got to know Alex, I grew increasingly impressed. She’s a person of great emotional depth and professional integrity. She’s smart, hardworking and honest. She is incredibly curious and loves nothing more than meeting someone — or learning something — new.
Alex suspended her writing for RAK about the time she decided to start her own water-law practice in Phoenix. Not too long after that, the devoted athlete (she’s also certified to teach yoga) had two hip-replacement surgeries.
Recently, I learned that Alex is running for a position on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors. And I thought, “Well, of course she is!”
It makes perfect sense to have a water law expert on the nonpartisan board, which operates and manages the 336-mile Central Arizona Project canal. The most important role of the CAWCD is to ensure safe, secure, affordable water supplies for present and future generations.
But as political campaigns go, running for the water board doesn’t get much attention. Water planning is a complicated and, let’s face it, mind-numbingly dull topic to most of us. As long as we can turn on the tap and see running water, we rarely think about where it comes from or how much remains to meet our community’s growing demand.
Thank goodness for people like Alex, who find the topic of water delivery and its many-layered challenges both intriguing and energizing.
Five positions on the 15-member board will be filled during the upcoming November elections. The race is “down ballot,” meaning the candidates are listed near the bottom of the ballot, where they’re often ignored by weary voters. On top of that, the board positions are nonpartisan, so if you tend to vote your party when you don’t know much about the candidates in a particular race, that strategy won’t help you here.
Because the race is nonpartisan, and because I know what a good person Alex is, and because I believe her credentials are critical to a board tasked with ensuring our water supply, I’m hoping you will remember her name. Learn more at alexandra4az.com.