Alyssa Robis: The Rest of the Story

Alyssa Robis' appetite for politics was short-lived after she got a taste of political reality.
"Do I have any desire to run in the future? No," Robis recently told a reporter from the Arizona Republic after she aborted her campaign for a seat on the City Council.
The next time someone says, "We need to encourage more young people to get interested in politics," remember, not everyone agrees. Especially someone working on behalf of one of the candidates still competing for one of the three seats on the Council.
Robis, a first-time candidate, had virtually no name identification with voters and had raised very little money. She would have been running on one issue. Her opposition to the Desert Discovery Center.  
Makes you wonder: Who put a "concerned" citizen up to paying an expensive election law attorney to challenge the validity of Robis' nomination petitions? And which candidate would have had the most to gain without Alyssa Robis on the ballot?
While you're thinking about that ...  
One candidate's campaign manager who had seen the petitions Robis submitted to the City Clerk's Office called them a "f-ing mess." They said that Robis had not followed the letter of the law while gathering signatures, not even close -- and, as a consequence, "It was guaranteed she would have been disqualified."
Foreseeing a costly court battle, Robis decided that discretion was the better part of valor. So she voluntarily withdrew from the race.
No doubt Robis was politically naïve, and probably had no idea what running for the City Council entailed - including how to circulate legal nominating petitions. That's still no excuse, because there were people who would have helped guide her through the process.
However, it's disappointing that Robis, 28 years old, has left the race because of who and what she would have represented.
During Scottsdale's last general election in 2016, only 7% of voters between the ages of 25-34 voted. By comparison, those between 50-64 comprised 30% of the electorate. And voters 65 and older were 44% of the total vote.
If Alyssa Robis had remained in the race, would her candidacy have helped boost the turnout of millennial voters? It sure couldn't have hurt. And if she had qualified to be on the ballot, she may have been a voice who addressed the issues that matter to millennials.
But voters won't get the chance to find out.
Unfortunately, Robis didn't do millennials any favors. Her lackadaisical effort re-enforced the stereotype others have of her age group as the "distracted and disengaged" generation. And "entitled." Robis' accusatory statements after her withdrawal from the race also sent a message to millennials: "This further substantiated my belief that people or entities will do whatever necessary to prevent fresh voices from being heard."
Robis' disappointment is understandable. But she has no one to blame but herself. She blew it!
At least two seats could be open on the City Council in 2020. Suzanne Klapp will be termed out and Virginia Korte is exploring running for mayor. Guy Phillips may or may not run for re-election.
That should be an invitation for new voices and maybe some familiar faces to emerge. Maybe even a millennial or two.