The August 4 issue of Sedona’s Red Rock News contained an editorial concerning the Voice of Choice and Highway 179.
The Red Rock News is entitled to their opinion on the development of Highway 179. Some people agree with them. Many others recognize how uniquely beautiful this highway is – one of the most scenic stretches of roadway in America. They also understand that Highway 179 is not the fundamental cause of traffic delays but rather it is the logjam in Uptown that cascades down Highway 179.
But this message is not to re-visit the pros and cons of Highway 179.
In their editorial, the Red Rock News made allegations of improper conduct by Keep Sedona Beautiful. They stated that KSB “cannot promote political issues.” And they further stated that KSB “has been in hot water . . . before” for this conduct. I find it regrettable that the Red Rock News put forth these inaccurate statements to the public, and I want to take this opportunity to set the record straight.
KSB has been a 501 (c)(3) organization for over 45 years. Throughout that time, we have rigorously complied with all of the requirements of 501 (c)(3) status. While a 501 (c)(3) organization cannot endorse or support any candidate for political office, it is entirely permissible for a 501 (c)(3) to engage in “political activity.”
One of the key reasons that KSB was formed was to develop a sign code for Sedona. Upon Sedona’s incorporation, KSB helped draft a sign code for the city, as well as a covered load ordinance. Throughout our years of operation, we have engaged in efforts to enact legislation or obtain governmental support for KSB’s mission “to protect and sustain the unique scenic beauty and natural environment” of this area.
Thus, in working on Dark Sky designation, commenting on the Coconino Forest Plan, working for trail protection and a host of other issues, we have advocated on behalf of our members and the larger community. This is lawful and appropriate activity, as engaged in every day by thousands of 501 (c)(3) organizations throughout the country.
We have never at any time “been in hot water” over any of our activities as they relate to our 501 (c)(3) status. To the contrary, we have only received commendations from government bodies and never any questioning of our activities as it related to our non-profit status.
Be assured that KSB will continue our preservation efforts (education, advocacy and hands-on tasks) so that residents and visitors can enjoy litter-free roadways, gentle but effective signage, starry night skies, protected open spaces, buildings in harmony with the environment, and much more. These activities will continue to be guided by the IRS Code regulating 501(c)(3) organizations.
Joanne Kendrick, President