Best of Phoenix

¡Andale Alcalde!: Gerardo Higginson

If you are brown in this town, you've gotta meet Gerardo Higginson if you want to get any type of business done. People call him the Latino mayor of Phoenix but, in fact, he works for that other mayor guy, Phil Gordon, as an executive assistant and liaison to several important constituencies, including gay, Hispanic, Asian and immigrant populations, as well as the arts community. After a long day of bridge-building on the 11th floor, you can find him lending his translation skills and elbow grease to a handful of charities and public events. And if that's not enough, he's the town crier of sorts. Higginson's originally from a small town in Peru, but he's the man who connects the dots in these parts, blessed with a huge e-mail listserv that's bigger and better than the circulation of any Latino-focused publication in the Valley. If you are lucky enough to be on his list, you'll receive the latest job postings, art events, scholarship leads, and political news of importance to the Latino community.

I arrived in Phoenix in April 1997, having relocated from San Francisco to work in the business direct division of Wells Fargo Bank.

When I’m stuck in traffic, I start working, including giving interviews to media on my cell phone, returning calls, setting up appointments, and incessantly checking my BlackBerry.

I never forget to TiVo Mayor on the Move, starring Mayor Phil Gordon on PHX 11.

One thing my mother doesn’t know about me is I skydive for leisure when time permits.

On Saturday night, you can find me working or watching a movie at home or a foreign film at the Camelview 5, visiting an exotic country, or in a restaurant enjoying an exquisite dinner. And checking my BlackBerry.

My favorite thing about summer in Phoenix is the warm weather, regardless of how hot it may be.

If I could redo my first kiss, I’d kiss the same special person.

The one dessert I refuse to eat is any entomological dish, and that includes chocolate-covered crickets!

If I were mayor of Phoenix, I’d have to take a big cut in pay. And it would be impossible to do more great things than Mayor Phil Gordon.

In high school, I was the kid who wanted to help everybody, including fellow friends and adults alike.

In another life, I was an Inca warrior and an Aztec builder.

The one place in Phoenix I don’t want anyone to know about is Cloud 9 and that's all I'm telling you!

On my nightstand, you’ll find a book by journalist and author Jorge Ramos, a rock en español CD, a pen, and some candles.

The fictional character I’m most like is the Thing from Fantastic Four.

One thing I want to do before I die is be a part of a comedy television sitcom.

The best thing about Phoenix is its people!

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Marcos Najera
Contact: Marcos Najera