Axios Phoenix

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Happy Friday! Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, so let's all enjoy not changing our clocks this weekend.

☀️ Today's weather: It's expected to clear up with a high of 71.

Situational awareness: Congratulations to Denise L. for being the first reader to give us the correct location of yesterday's "Where in the Valley?" photo.

  • The spire is at Phoenix College, at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Flower Street.

Today's newsletter is 940 words — a 3.5 minute read.

1 big thing: Latino voter power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

About a quarter of Arizona voters who cast a ballot in November are expected to be Latino, according to an analysis by the NALEO Educational Fund released last month.

  • That mirrors the share of Latino voters in 2020 and represents an increase of almost 20% from 2016.

Why it matters: Latino voters, an increasingly ideologically and racially diverse demographic, have helped swing tight races in battleground states like ours and are expected to play a critical role in November.

The intrigue: In the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, Latinos favored Democratic presidential candidates over Republican ones.

Yes, but: Democrats, including President Biden, have slowly been bleeding support among Latino and Black voters.

  • A compilation of New York Times/Siena polls from 2022 and 2023 shows that Biden has lost the support of Black and Hispanic voters across ages, genders and education levels since 2020.

Between the lines: Latino men surprised pundits by more strongly supporting Donald Trump in 2020 than was expected, based on his 2016 showing.

  • A plurality of Latinos now says "neither" when asked which major political party cares more about them, according to a June Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll.

What they're doing: The Biden campaign is spending money early targeting young Black and Latino voters and sending Vice President Kamala Harris to targeted events.

  • In the last few months, the campaign has launched six different ads aimed at Latinos, showing them on streaming services and YouTube in Spanish, English and Spanglish.

The other side: Conservative groups say Republicans must change strategies to avoid losing gains made with young Latino voters in the past few election cycles.

What we're watching

2. Phoenix Rising prepare to start season as defending champs

Phoenix Rising FC head coach Danny Stone on Wednesday. Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

Things look different for Phoenix Rising FC this year as the Valley's professional soccer team prepares to begin a new season defending their USL Championship league title.

Driving the news: Phoenix opens its season at home tomorrow against Birmingham Legion FC.

  • "Every team we play … we will be a target and we will be something that every team will chase this year, so we need to be ready for that," new head coach Danny Stone said at a press conference Wednesday at Phoenix Rising Soccer Stadium.

The big picture: Besides a new coach, the Rising has a host of new players and some big holes to fill from last year's championship team.

Threat level: The team lost its two leading scorers in the offseason, with Danny Trejo joining the Polish team Korona Kielce, and Manuel Arteaga going to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, a Rising rival in the USL Championship league.

  • Midfielder Carlos Harvey also left to join Minnesota United FC in the MLS.

Zoom in: Stone is looking to returning forward Dariusz Formella, who scored 12 goals last season, and forward Rémi Cabral, who joined the team from the MLS' Colorado Rapids, to fill those shoes.

  • Phoenix has eight new players this season.

3. Capitol roundup

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed her first bill of the session when she nixed controversial illegal immigration legislation. She now has a big decision to make on legislation to alleviate Arizona's housing shortage.

🏠 A bill dubbed the "Arizona Starter Home Act" received final approval in the House and is going to Hobbs' desk.

  • It would bar municipalities from forcing people to form homeowners associations or from mandating certain aesthetic features and amenities requiring HOA maintenance. It would force cities of more than 70,000 people to allow single-family homes on 1,500-square-foot lots.
  • The bill has both bipartisan support and opposition and is opposed by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and numerous municipalities.
  • Hobbs told reporters yesterday she hadn't decided whether to sign or veto it but wanted to see a package of proposals instead of piece-by-piece legislation "that is negotiated as a compromise that everyone can agree on that will get us to a solution."

🚫 After shattering the single-session veto record last year, Hobbs rejected her first bill of 2024, vetoing legislation to make illegal immigration a state crime.

4. Chips & salsa: More East Valley violence indictments

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced indictments against three more people in the beating death of 16-year-old Preston Lord, bringing the number of people facing murder charges in the case to seven. (AZ Family)

🏢 A controversial affordable housing project in Surprise can move forward after the Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a group attempting to refer it to the ballot. (AZcentral)

🚰 States from the Colorado River's upper and lower basins, including Arizona, submitted competing water conservation plans to the federal Bureau of Reclamation. (Washington Post)

🍨 Mary Coyle Ol' Fashion Ice Cream closed its doors permanently after 73 years in business in Phoenix. (AZcentral)

5. Ostriches & artwork & race cars, oh my!

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🎡 Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival

The big birds are back. Chandler will host its 34th festival celebrating city founder Alexander J. Chandler's affinity for the flightless birds.

  • Say hello to the ostriches while enjoying live music, carnival rides and more this weekend and next. Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for kids.

🎨 Tempe Festival of the Arts

Browse sculptures, paintings, photographs and more today through Sunday at one of the Southwest's oldest art fairs.

  • The event is free and dog-friendly.

🏁 NASCAR weekend

Got a need for speed? Head to Avondale for this weekend's three NASCAR races.

  • Tickets start at $25 today and tomorrow and $50 Sunday.

3 more fun things

🏝 Jeremy is reading "Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia" and thinks it's absolutely fascinating.

💞Jessica was so touched by all the sweet pup pictures she received yesterday. She's grateful to live in and write for a wonderful community.

This newsletter was edited by Delano Massey and copy edited by Jay Bennett.

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