Chandler Sister Cities hosts networking reception to share volunteer opportunities
Volunteers with Chandler Sister Cities are hosting a meet and mingle reception for those interested in becoming involved with the nonprofit organization. Chandler Sister Cities has recently recruited a new president and vice president to lead the organization and its efforts to expand Chandler’s relationships with other cities around the world.

The informational reception will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5, starting at 6 p.m., at the Vision Gallery, 10 E. Chicago St. The Vision Gallery is located on the first floor of Chandler City Hall in downtown Chandler. Residents with ties to other countries or those interested in volunteering and learning more as this organization continues to grow are encouraged to attend.

The organization’s new leadership includes Mahfam Moeeni-Alacron, owner of Mingle + Graze, who will serve as Chandler Sister Cities president, and Liz Shipley, community relations director for Intel Corporation, who will serve as vice president. Currently, there are several positions on the board including, three to four at-large board positions and treasurer. In addition, there will be four subcommittees established, including Host/Special Events; Student Exchange; Fundraising/Marketing; and Membership.

During the reception, attendees will learn more about the organization and its mission, the different opportunities available to become involved and how to become a member. Those who are ready to join are encouraged to complete an online application at

Chandler currently has Sister Cities in two countries: Tullamore, Ireland and Tainan, Taiwan. For more information about the organization or the upcoming reception, interested applicants may call 480-782-2214 or visit

Tempe Raises Tobacco Purchase Age to 21, Implements New Licensing Rules
In a unanimous decision, the Tempe City Council recently amended its laws, raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. This change brings the city’s regulations in line with federal standards. The new ordinance, which reflects a growing trend in Arizona for stricter tobacco control, also introduces a mandatory annual licensing fee of $300 for stores selling tobacco.

The ordinance specifies penalties for non-compliance: a first violation incurs a $500 fine and compulsory tobacco retail training. Further violations escalate in severity, culminating in the revocation of the store’s license after the fourth offense.

Tempe’s move mirrors actions taken by Tucson and Flagstaff, indicating a broader regional shift towards tighter tobacco sale regulations. However, the ordinance does not address the sale of flavored tobacco products, which remain popular among younger users. According to CDC data from 2021, a majority of high school and middle school tobacco users prefer flavored products. The decision by Tempe City Council, following extensive public consultation, marks a significant step in regulating tobacco access to youth, amidst ongoing debates over flavored tobacco.

Chandler Now Accepting Applications for CIVIC Program
Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke and the Chandler City Council are pleased to announce that applications are open for CIVIC, an interactive, 13-session program providing Chandler residents with a behind-the-scenes look at city services.

This free program will again launch in January and is the latest offering by the city to help residents connect with their government. During each session, participants will meet with city of Chandler leaders, tour facilities that keep the city running, participate in interactive sessions, and learn how to stay engaged with their local government.

Applications are currently being accepted now through Friday, Dec. 8. Interested applicants may view eligibility information, the full program schedule and application. CIVIC sessions will generally take place every other Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at various locations throughout Chandler starting January through June 2024.

For more information, contact Government Relations Senior Program Manager Alexis Apodaca at 480-782-2216.

Tempe Seeks Nominations for MLK Diversity Awards
The city of Tempe, in collaboration with its Human Relations Commission, is calling for nominations for the esteemed MLK Diversity Awards. This prestigious accolade recognizes individuals and organizations that embody Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of diversity and inclusiveness. This year, the awards expand to honor not just individuals but also groups, including students, who are actively bringing Dr. King’s dream to life in Tempe under the theme “It Starts with Me.”

Nominations, open until December 10, will culminate in a celebratory breakfast on January 8. Eligible nominees include those who have significantly contributed to promoting diversity in Tempe, be they residents, workers, volunteers, or local businesses and organizations. Notably, current elected officials and Human Relations Commissioners are excluded from consideration, and past winners are eligible for re-nomination after three years for new or different projects.

The MLK Diversity Awards represent an opportunity for the Tempe community to acknowledge and celebrate those making a real difference in fostering an environment of acceptance and unity. For more information, visit