Jerry Weiers, Mayor of Glendale, Arizona

Jerry is a businessman in Glendale, Arizona. Frustrated with the direction his community was going, he ran for Mayor 9 years ago and change started to take place! His faith dictates his direction. Several years ago he brought back the Christmas Parade and it’s currently the largest parade in the state of Arizona!

Going Where Christ Leads

Jerry Weiers: Glendale, Arizona we're a population of more than 260,000. Well, my background basically born in Deadwood, South Dakota family moved here in the late sixties, mid sixties. Small business owner of multiple different businesses. Got into politics because quite honestly, government was always messing with me. City of Glendale was in dire straits at the time, triple B minus bond rating almost $30 million in a hole. Businesses didn't want to come here and citizens were fed up.

What I knew that was wrong with the city was the fact that the city was in trouble. To me you try to improve the lives of the people that you serve, and if you live that every day, I've seen that that could be a positive impact on our citizens. I think my faith plays a role in how people look at me and know that I'm someone that they can trust.

I had a general tell me years ago, every once in a while, when you're leading, look over your shoulder. If there's no one behind you, you're not leading, you're wandering around. I truly believe it. I'm not telling you that I'm, I'm the savior of Glendale, Arizona. I'm not. It's my faith and the fact that a lot of people were put in place that I didn't have control over, and yet I think because of the direction I was going, people believed in that direction. I think that was able to help generate the successes that we've had. I actually am in politics and it's a profession that I hate. I don't like politicians. I don't like the guy that will tell you exactly what he thinks that you want to hear, and two minutes later tell somebody else exactly the opposite. That's not who I am. So I'm always going to tell you what I believe.

And some people don't like that. They don't like the facts, but everybody will always tell you, you know what? The guy's always going to be straight with you. People want to know that they can trust.

Bringing Christ to the Forefront

When I was running for a mayor, I had several citizens say, well, the city used to do a fire parade. They would run their fire trucks down the street and all their firefighters and people loved a parade. Who doesn't love a parade? Right? I committed to several people that believed in me that once I became mayor, the first thing I was going to do is work as hard as I could to start a Christmas parade. Celebrate the very reason for the season. Now, here's the thing that really shocked me and amazed me. After I got elected, I started working towards that and I kept getting doors slammed in my face every day.

As soon as I'd say the word Christmas, people were done listening. And at the time we had an acting city manager and I said, I am going to do a Christmas parade. And he said, yeah, we can't help you with that. And I said, why? And he goes, well, because of Christmas. And I said, because of what he said, because of Christmas. And I said, okay, so if you guys won't help me, I'm going to do this on my own. This isn't going to be a city of Glendale parade. It's going to be a Christmas parade. It's not going to be a holiday parade. It's going to be a Christmas parade that's in the city of Glendale. Runa And basically organized by the mayor of the city of Glendale. And he said, we can't stop you from doing that, but you'll have to pay all your own expenses.

So be it. This started off with nothing. It's now the largest parade in Arizona, not the largest Christmas parade. It's the largest parade flat out in Arizona. But we do have the largest amount of people participating. We average over 130 entries, and an entry could be 300 people. So it's massive. We have a lot of people that do believe in it. They love it. It's a lot of fun. And the byproduct of this Christmas parade is the money that I raised over our actual expenses. We then turn around and give to our local food bank to help our citizens that are in need. We're improving the lives of the people that we serve, and I get to do something that I love and I get to stand out there boldly tell people, Merry Christmas. And I don't have any problem doing that.


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