F3 was founded more than 25 years ago as a citizen-based organization committed to ensuring the long-term livability, vitality, and happiness of the Flagstaff community. The citizens who formed F3 recognized that protecting the high quality of life of the greater Flagstaff area takes the active participation of a broad range of people who are willing to grapple with complex issues and strive for a positive, collaborative outcome.
Over the years F3 has been a leading citizen voice, helping to educate our residents and elected officials on innovative approaches to strengthening communities—and advocating for policies and actions that improve local life.
For the past several years, Friends of Flagstaff’s Future operated without a full-time executive director. Volunteers stepped in to maintain the organization but the increased complexity and urgency of issues facing our community called for a full-time executive director. In 2019, Friends of Flagstaff’s Future reinforced its organizational infrastructure, expanding its executive board, creating an advisory board, establishing fund-raising and membership committees, and re-establishing our ties with both the Grand Canyon Trust (the organization that originally fostered F3) and the GeoFund, a long-time supporter of the Friends of Flagstaff’s Future. Our goal was to fund-raise to support the position of a full-time executive director and extend our membership base.
In 2020 in addition to continuing our fundraising efforts, we completed a very successful lapsed member drive and began started a new member drive. In the spring we launched F3 Communications, an online newsletter. During the election season, we conducted two candidate questionnaires. Then, in October of 2020, with strong infrastructure and financial stability in place, we realized our goal and hired Michele James as our full-time executive director.
With Michele on board, we are confident that we will once again become the leading citizen’s voice to advocate for policies and actions that will help to ensure a healthy, just and sustainable Flagstaff. Michele is attending Council meetings and relevant Commission meetings, tracking issues and advocating for F3 positions; working with city staff to understand and participate in planning-related work; developing programs to educate Flagstaff’s residents on issues of importance; and planning and promoting public conversations that sustain our vibrant community.
The community of Flagstaff will be a better place because of our citizen-powered organization. Flagstaff’s future depends on ALL of us!