One successful action strategy to get out our word is to write letters to the editor. Come to our monthly drop-in sessions at Beyond Bread (or until our pandemic is over, get the link from our website events calendar) to get ideas and support so you can submit your own letters or contribute to others' ideas.
The Most Important Legislation Pending in Congress by Lea Anderton
Protecting our right to vote is the most important legislation pending in Congress. More important than funding for infrastructure, health care, education or environmental protections because if we lose our representative form of government nothing else will matter.
After the 2020 election, many state legislatures began looking for ways to limit who votes so they could control the outcome of future elections. The Brennan Center for Justice finds 19 states, including Arizona, have enacted 33 laws that will make it harder to vote. These laws make mail-in voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements and make faulty voter purges more likely. These restrictions will affect the poor, elderly and minorities the most.
The For the People Act, already passed by the House but hung up in the Senate, would eliminate state voter suppression laws. It would create on-line, same day and automatic voter registration, prevent voter intimidation, extend early voting, prohibit gerrymandering , and restore felon voting rights.
Contact your senator today before it's too late.
SACRIFICING LIVES FOR POLITICAL GAIN by Thea Chalow
“Arizona has caught up to New York when it comes to reported deaths per capita….” So begins a 10/25 news story in the Washington Post.
New York’s peak death rate occurred when transmission routes and mitigation measures were unclear and vaccines didn’t exist. Today, Arizona is approaching the same death rate even though we know how COVID is spread, how masks reduce transmission, and how vaccines can protect us.
Why are we in this death spiral? Because Arizona's extremist Republicans are stoking the “personal freedom” movement for political gain. They rile their base by saying people should be free to go unvaccinated and maskless even if it spreads virus and kills others. Do they carry that logic to being free to drive without a license or drive drunk and kill others?
When you vote for new state leaders in 2022, choose carefully. Arizona needs leaders who will protect all our residents instead of extremist Republicans willing to sacrifice lives for political gain.
OUR FOREFATHERS HAD MANDATES by Di Alexander and Thea Chalow
State Senator Vince Leach, who represents Oro Valley, Catalina, Marana, Casa Grande and Maricopa, recently issued a press release denouncing business vaccine mandates. In his press release he justifies his opposition saying, “our country has always honored personal medical decision making….” His statement is not true. In 1777, George Washington ordered mandatory small pox inoculation for all his troops.In 1792, the Commonwealth of Virginia passed laws making any person knowingly spreading smallpox a criminal to be fined up to $1,500 or imprisoned for six months. Our forefathers understood that while personal freedoms are important, when confronting public health threats, all citizens have a responsibility to one another.Evidence shows that employer-issued Covid-19 vaccine mandates are an effective tool for overcoming vaccine hesitancy and quickly increase inoculation rates which protects all citizens. When the 2022 election comes around, voters in Arizona should look for representatives who support scientifically sound public health measures that protect the public and are proven to work.
THE AUDITER OF THE ABSURD by Thea Chalow THEATER OF THE ABSURD: A form of drama using bizarre means to portray that human existence is absurd, meaningless and devoid of purpose. AUDIT: An examination of records to check their accuracy. AUDIT OF THE ABSURD: An bizarre examination of voting records, using absurd means to search for bamboo fibers, blacklight watermarks, peculiar paper folds and other meaningless artifacts conducted by COVID-catching, computer-related, grown men who fantasize they’re mercenaries from feudal Japan. GOLDEN FLEECE AWARD: Tongue-in-cheek award given to public officials in the United States for their squandering of public money. ARIZONA’S NEWEST GOLDEN FLEECE AWARD WINNERS: Every Arizona Senate Republican (in Southern AZ, that’s LD11’s Vince Leach and LD14’s David Gowan) who squandered public money and public confidence in elections with their lie-induced theater production hoping to portray voting as absurd, meaningless and devoid of purpose – unless, of course, Republican candidates win and then in that case everything is just hunky-dory.
Need politically balanced districts by Eileen Hollowell The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) is currently drawing maps for state and federal legislative districts. Creating districts that strongly favor one political party results in the election of extremists. LD 11, where Republicans heavily outnumber Democrats, has repeatedly sent extremists to the Arizona Legislature. QAnon follower, Rep. Mark Finchem, is a Trump-endorsed promoter of the Big Lie and the “fraudit.” Recently resigned Rep. Bret Roberts promoted legislation to prevent private businesses from adopting COVID work-place safety requirements. Senator Vince Leach promotes public funding for private schools despite Arizonans' rejection of such programs. Leach also brags about passing a tax cut that heavily benefits the top 1% at the expense of the 99%. Because LD 11 Republicans far outnumber Democrats, these legislators can be elected and reelected without having to consider the wishes of anyone but their far-right base. As a result, the voters of LD 11 are not being fairly represented. The IRC must avoid creating districts like LD 11.
Don’t let the failed Kansas flat tax experiment become Arizona’s future by Margo Nichols In the last legislative cycle, our one-vote Republican majority passed a massive flat tax that will cut revenues here by an estimated $1.9 billion!Recall “the Kansas experiment” in which the 2012 Kansas legislature, working from rosy job growth projections, passed a flat tax which by 2017 had nearly bankrupted that state.The projected job growth did not materialize. Schools closed early – no money for staff. Roads and bridges crumbled – no money for maintenance. The legislature had to vote to roll back the tax cut. In an email exchange with Sen. Leach (LD11-R), I expressed concern with the effects of such a drastic cut.His response was that he foresees strong growth for Arizona. I can be as optimistic as the next person but what if those projections are as disastrously off as they were in Kansas? It will take a challenging super-majority in our legislature to overturn this tax bill.Find a place where you can sign the referenda to put this on hold until we can vote!
New tax bills hurt our state by Jacolyn Marshall and Rachel Rulmyr Arizona’s new tax bills permanently reduce the General Fund by $2.4 billion. That’s $2.4 billion not funding our public schools, our police and fire departments, our public roads, libraries, and parks. They will overburden all our public agencies, provide negligible tax benefits for the average taxpayer, and grant huge tax savings for Arizona’s wealthiest. These bills defy the will of the people who passed Proposition 208 to support public education. By removing 86% of the money designated for public schools, they will ensure that our schools remain among the most poorly funded schools in the nation. The 1.2 million students who attend our K-12 public schools deserve better than last place. If you believe all our public agencies must have adequate funding, you can prevent these bills from becoming law. By signing three petitions, you can put these measures on the 2022 ballot and vote against them. Check your local libraries and organizations to find out where to sign.
Voter Suppression Petitions by Eileen Hollowell and Karen Harris Like other red states, in 2021 Arizona’s Republican legislature passed a number of “election integrity” laws.But the real purpose and impact of those laws is to suppress voter participation, especially by minorities. Three of the recently passed laws, SB1819, HB 2569 and SB 1485 are especially egregious.SB 1819 will effectively make secret ballots impossible.HB 2569 bars any private funding to assist election officials, which will negatively impact the Navajo nation and other underserved communities.SB 1485 will purge voters from the Permanent Early Voting list.It is important to sign petitions to get these laws on the 2022 ballot so we, the citizens of Arizona, can ensure that voting rights in our state are not restricted.You can find information about where to sign by doing an internet search for “petition signing in Pima County” or check in front of your local library where several different groups have set up signing tables.
Protect the Integrity of Your Ballot By Jacolyn Marshall with Lois Postil Do you want your 2022 ballot to contain a bar code that identifies you? Do you want Senators to have access to your identity when they choose to audit future elections? Do you want the Senate to prohibit the Secretary of State from upholding our election laws? Do you want to be automatically dropped from receiving mail-in ballots if you fail to vote in an election or choose to vote in person? Do you want election officials barred from accepting grants to help run elections, register voters, and provide drop boxes for voters in remote areas? These actions are part of three bills that are currently being challenged by citizen petitions. With enough signatures, each of these bills will appear on your 2022 ballot, allowing you to vote against them and preventing them from becoming law. To protect the integrity of your ballot and our voting process, check your local libraries or organizationsto find out where you can sign.
Combat Voter Suppression by Jacolyn Marshall Three disastrous voter suppression bills will soon become Arizona law unless we act now. One bill requires ballots have a QR code containing your name and address; alters registration requirements; allows the Senate to audit every election; and authorizes the Senate, not the Secretary of State, to certify ballots. Another replaces the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) with the Active Voting List (AVEL) that drops voters if they fail to use their mail-in ballot regularly, eliminating tens of thousands of voters and negatively impacting 80% of Republican, Independent, and Democrat voters alike. Whether the legislature provides adequate funding or not, another bill prevents officials from receiving private grants to help run elections, register voters, and provide drop boxes in remote areas. You can stop these bills from becoming law.By signing three petitions, you will put these bills on the 2022 ballot, allowing you to reject them all. To protect your ballot and your right to vote, go to linktr.ee/TAGGAZ to find out where to sign.
Sign a Petition by Eileen Hollowell Republicans in the Arizona legislature hold only a one seat majority in both houses but that did not stop them from passing radical bills including implementing a flat tax that primarily benefits the rich and another law permitting legislators to overturn the popular vote. Thankfully Arizona’s constitution gives us a way to reject bad laws by using the initiative process but enough signatures must be gathered to put the laws on the ballot.
Currently seven different initiatives are being circulated to put the worst of the laws up for approval. Close to 120,000 signatures per petition must be gathered by mid September. You can learn more about the seven different petitions and where to go to sign them by visiting the Pima County Democratic party’s web site or the Facebook page of the Arizona Ground Game or be on the lookout for tables in front of your local library. Please inform yourselves and preserve the right to directly legislate by signing petitions to undo Republicans’ extremism.
Governor Ducey Disappoints by Lorene McLaughlin and Jacolyn Marshall As much as I wanted to believe Ducey would govern well, his actions have been disappointing. His leadership role within his party has been lacking. After certifying the 2020 election and praising our process, Ducey failed to influence his fellow Republicans, which resulted in a baseless, embarrassing, and fruitless audit that will cost millions in voting machine replacements. He also demonstrated questionable leadership when he vetoed dozens of bills as punishment for Republicans’ tardiness in passing a budget. Nor has Ducey fulfilled his role to improve the lives of Arizonans. His order prohibiting mask and vaccine requirements in public schools is irresponsible, inexplicably punitive, and biased, since no such restrictions apply to private schools. In addition to his total disregard for the health of students attending public schools, he continues to withhold over a billion dollars owed them each year, robbing all three of my children of the education they deserve. For his lack of leadership and an unwillingness to improve our lives, Ducey disappoints.
WINNING SLOGAN FOR 2022 by Thea Chalow and Di Alexander Dear AZ Democratic Legislative Candidate: When you run in 2022, your message should be simple. “It was AZ Republican legislators who voted to deny your children protection from the deadly Delta variant.” That’s all you’ll need to say. By election time, we’ll have seen far too many news stories about children who’ve died or been debilitated by Delta while attending public schools where Republicans voted to deny officials the ability to protect students from the virus. (Don’t worry about the Republican legislator’s kids, though. Our tax dollar vouchers will be paying for their kids to go to private schools which are totally free to mandate protection.) So, keep it simple, dear Democratic candidate. Just say, “It’s only Republicans who vote to deny your children protection.” And dear voters, in 2022, we must all hold Republicans accountable for failing to protect our children.
LEGISLATORS NEED A LESSON By Thea Chalow Great news! Arizonan’s agree on something! A recent Gallup poll found that 92% of all Arizonans agree action is needed to ensure our public schools have highly qualified teachers.Unfortunately, LD-11’s Republican legislators, State Senator Vince Leach and Representatives Bret Roberts and Mark Finchem all support legislation to vastly expanded Arizona’s voucher program. Their votes to expand vouchers take tax dollars from public schools where teachers must be certified and give tax dollars to private schools where no certification or qualifications are needed. Arizona private schools are “free to operate as they see fit.” They can hire anyone and teach anything. Children can be taught the world is flat or the Holocaust never happened—and your tax dollars help pay for it. If Arizona is to get the highly qualified public school teachers that 92% of us say we want, voters need to elect different legislators in 2022.It’s time to teach LD11 Republicans a lesson!
Model Legislation Camp by Leadawn Anderton On July 28th, many Arizona Republican legislators will be in Salt Lake City to attend the secret annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Some will accept “scholarships” to cover their expenses so ALEC can “educate” them about cookie-cutter legislation wanted by Big Business and out-of-state special interests.
ALEC writes draft legislation for representatives to bring home and propose as their own. Just some of the problem laws promoted by ALEC include the Stand Your Ground Law which resulted in George Zimmerman being acquitted of Trayvon Martin’s murder; laws creating for-profit prisons which cost more than state run facilities; and legislation to expand Charter Schools, also motivated so owners can increase profits rather than improving education for children.
Before your State Legislators leaves for the ALEC meeting on 7/28 contact their office to remind they should be working for you, not ALEC’s corporate funders.
Governmental Overreach by Jackie Marshall and Lois Postil Our Republican governor and legislators say they believe in limited government, but their actions prove otherwise. Neither a scientist nor an epidemiologist, our governor usurped the authority of universities by prohibiting vaccine and testing requirements to protect students from Covid’s delta variant.His order endangers young lives. Neither doctors nor clinicians, our legislators usurped medical authority by preventing staff from protecting vulnerable patients’ health. Their law endangers women’s safety. Neither educators nor experts in curriculum, our legislators usurped the authority of our elected Superintendent of Instruction and school board members from thoroughly educating students. Their laws violate students’ right to learn and teachers’ right to free speech. Our legislators have usurped key functions of the Secretary of State and County Recorders, hindering them from fulfilling their duties. By passing laws that prevent experts and elected officials from performing their assigned jobs, our governor and legislators are guilty of governmental overreach. In 2022, we must remember their abuses and elect representatives who will put people above politics.
Need To Replace LD Legislators by Eileen Hollowell
I have the misfortune of living in LD 11. My legislators, Sen. Vince Leach, Reps. Bret Roberts and Mark Finchem, helped pass a budget that gives huge tax breaks to the rich and less than $100 to the rest of us. They also passed laws forbidding schools and colleges from implementing CDC COVID guidelines or from teaching anything about race that might offend white people. What they have not done is pass laws that improve broadband coverage or address the woeful condition of roads and other infrastructure in LD 11. They have not passed laws that address the water crisis caused by our 20-year drought and overallocation of our water resources. They have not passed laws to fully fund education or address the growing problems of homelessness and hunger in LD 11. Giving money to rich people and stoking cultural conflict is not the same as governing. We can and should elect better legislators in 2022.
Capitalism at Its Best by Misty Atkins Lack of a labor force is the new American crisis. As the economy opens up, people are going to the theater, eating out in restaurants and going to ball games again. Headlines declare that employers can’t find people to fill the number of jobs available. It’s simply the law of supply and demand. When something or, in this case, someone is in short supply, consumers pay more for it. To fill jobs, businesses need to pay more for scarce labor.
As businesses closed due to Covid and workers received unemployment, it became clear that many people were earning far less than the livable wage. Now that businesses are opening up, low-wage workers should realize they need not work full-time and still live in poverty. They are now in a position where they can demand a livable wage. The employer needs workers and workers need a decent living. The pandemic could help solve decades of suppressed wages as people realize how truly valuable they are.
Immigration reforms are taking place by Jacolyn Marshall Despite what some would have you believe, the border crises of the past no longer exist. Since taking office, Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary has been instituting much needed reforms. Hundreds of new facilities have been built to safely accommodate immigrants, which include new health and sanitation requirements.A system which allows migrants to register by phone is being created, the asylum system is being rebuilt according to the laws previously passed by Congress, foreign aid is being reinstituted to tackle the root causes of people fleeing, and safe and legal pathways for children and others to reach the US are being developed. Although most adults and families are still being returned to Mexico or their home country, no unaccompanied minors are being expelled. Instead, they are being sheltered until they can be placed with a sponsor or, for 80% of them, with a family member residing here. For President Biden, “securing our borders does not require us to ignore the humanity of those who seek to cross them.”
Unvaccinated risks too high to ignore by Karen Harris and Jacolyn Marshall If you are not yet vaccinated because you think you can avoid Covid or just get over it, you may want to reconsider. Covid long-haulers are those who recovered but remain severely debilitated from damage to their heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, nervous system, and PTSD. Their lives will never be the same. Long-haulers also include 73% of those who were never severely ill but now suffer from chronic fatigue; shortness of breath; rapid heartbeat; chest, joint and muscle pain; inability to concentrate, depression; anxiety; memory loss; distorted taste and smell. Their lives will never be the same. The new Delta variant is more contagious and more severe. Your chances of becoming infected have increased dramatically along with the likelihood of more serious illness and death. The unvaccinated now account for 99% of Covid deaths. Those most at risk are between 20-40. Current vaccines are effective for Covid and its Delta variant. Go to www.vaccines.gov to find a vaccination site near you. Your present life is worth protecting.
Governor, Rescind Executive Order by Jacolyn Marshall Governor, would you prohibit the MVD from administering tests to evaluate a driver’s competence and knowledge of traffic laws? Of course not. Having qualified licensed drivers is a matter of public safety that impacts us all. With the emergence of the highly contagious and more severe Covid Delta variant, infections are destined to rise. Why then would you deny a university its obligation to protect the health of its students? Parents send their children to school with a reasonable expectation that they will be safe. Hence, the vaccinations required by K-12 schools, which you acknowledged should be kept in place. Why should it be any different for college students? Are they less deserving of protection? ASU’s requirement that students either be fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing to ensure they remain Covid-free is not unreasonable. As a responsible leader, you have a duty to protect Arizona’s college students from another disastrous outbreak. As a matter of public safety, it is time to reconsider and rescind your executive order.
SENATOR SINEMA: END THE FILIBUSTER The pretense by Arizona Republicans about the integrity of our elections is well founded. However, the danger is becauseof the Big Lie.Arizona election results were twice verified, were certified by our Secretary of State and approved by our Governor. Republicans across America are not misguided naïve followers of Trump. They are calculating, well-funded, and determined that never again shall a Democrat win the White House – or other legislature – if they can prevent it. In Arizona bills are making it harder to vote by mail, kicking people off the early voting rolls, shortening the early voting periods, disallowing any post-election correction of early ballot omissions, gerrymandering election districts, and more. The antidote to this plague is for progressives to be as diligent and organized as those threatened by a broad-based electorate and to pass the For the People bill in Congress (HR 1). Republicans are vowing to use the filibuster to prevent its passage. Senator Sinema: you must see that it is now time to end the filibuster!
Do your part, Sinema by Jackie Marshall Is protecting the filibuster the sword you want to die on, Senator Sinema?Wouldn’t you rather make a name for yourself by protecting our voting rights, energizing our economy, and improving our lives?You know as well as we do, that will only happen when the filibuster roadblock to progress is removed. If the bipartisanship you seek were possible without ending the filibuster, it would have happened by now.As long as senators can pander to their narrow constituencies by sitting back and letting much needed reforms stagnate due to neglect, no advancements will be made.Only when senators do their job of reaching across the aisle, engaging in debate, and passing legislation to benefit all Americans will bipartisanship be achieved. We are tired of caustic partisan politics. We are tired of watching our nation suffer. We are tired of waiting. If you want to be an effective, influential changemaker, you must help eliminate the filibuster. It’s time to do your part to protect our national best interests.
Unforeseen consequences of costly and unnecessary Maricopa County election audit by Lea Anderton On November 20 the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors certified the results of the 2020 election after 2 audits.In April, theArizona State Legislature obtained a court order to take possession of all ballots and tabulation machines to conduct their own recount. They contracted with a company, Cyber Ninjas who had no auditing or election experience. They began by shining ultraviolet light on the ballots, and looking for bamboo fibers in the paper acting on a conspiracy theory that ballots had been shipped in from South Korea. The Legislature accusedMaricopa County Election officials of deleting files to thwart recount efforts later retractingthe accusation.Whatever the results,they will be suspect and at least three harms to our democracy have occurred:the voting machines may have been tampered with resulting in costlyrecalibration, the trust between State and County officials may have permanently damaged, and the people’s trust in the election process may have been irrevocablylost.
SENATOR SINEMA: END THE FILIBUSTER by Margo Nichols The pretense by Arizona Republicans about the integrity of our elections is well founded. However, the danger is becauseof the Big Lie.Arizona election results were twice verified, were certified by our Secretary of State and approved by our Governor. Republicans across America are not misguided naïve followers of Trump. They are calculating, well-funded, and determined that never again shall a Democrat win the White House – or other legislature – if they can prevent it. In Arizona bills are making it harder to vote by mail, kicking people off the early voting rolls, shortening the early voting periods, disallowing any post-election correction of early ballot omissions, gerrymandering election districts, and more. The antidote to this plague is for progressives to be as diligent and organized as those threatened by a broad-based electorate and to pass the For the People bill in Congress (HR 1). Republicans are vowing to use the filibuster to prevent its passage. Senator Sinema: you must see that it is now time to end the filibuster!
$1.3 Billion Owed to Arizona’s Public Schools by Jacolyn Marshall We pay our federal, state, and local taxes to fund public education. Yet an exorbitant amount of our taxpayer money is being spent on vouchers for private and parochial schools. Currently, parents are receiving $20,000 per student per year to be spent in whatever manner they wish with no strings attached. If the Voucher Expansion bill passes, that amount will double to $40,000 per student per year. By contrast, funding for children attending public school is less than $10,000 per student per year. Our State Constitution requires the legislature to provide for a uniform public school system. However, the funding for public schools and taxpayer funded vouchers for “private” schools is far from uniform. Our legislators need to do better. Our State Constitution also requires the legislature to increase funding to sufficiently maintain all public schools. The current funding for Arizona’s public schools is far from sufficient. According to US Public Education Statistics 2021, Arizona spends less on public education than the national average and less per capita, ranking 49th in the nation. Although Arizona received $9645 per pupil funding from our federal, state, and local taxes, our governor allocated only $8239 per pupil. The resulting deficit of $1406 per pupil amounts to a $1.3 billion shortfall in funds earmarked for our public schools. Our governor needs to do better. Although over 90% of our children attend public schools, our legislators continue to under-fund public schools in order to over-fund private school vouchers. Although over 70% of Arizona voters support public education, our governor continues to withhold our tax dollars specifically designated for public schools. Our students deserve better. Our governor and legislators are misusing our tax dollars and violating our State Constitution. As conscientious citizens and taxpayers, we must demand that Governor Ducey veto Voucher Expansion bill SB1452 and pay Arizona’s public schools the $l.3 billion owed to them. You can message him at azgovernor.gov or call him at 602-542-4331.
Republicans Must Reach Out to Represent Arizonans by Eileen Hollowell Republicans in the current Arizona Legislature hold a razor thin one vote majority in both houses. Rather than make an effort to represent all of the people in their districts by pursuing bipartisan legislation, the Republicans in both houses have passed one radical right-wing bill after another.Up to 20 voter suppression bills have been introduced to address a nonexistent voter integrity problem that Republicans insist must exist to explain Trump’s defeat.Republicans like to complain that liberals are trying to “cancel” conservatives and their ideas, but Arizona’s Republican state legislators are passing bills that attempt to erase all ideas that do not conform to their right wing view of America.Arizona cannot prosper under such a radicalized legislature.We must vote them out in 2022.
Finchem has disgraced his office by Lorene and Jackie Marshall I was dismayed to learn that our legislator Mark Finchem participated in the insurrection at our Capitol in January. More recently, I was horrified to learn that he and his fellow Oath Keepers orchestrated the assault in order to drive our nation into a civil war. By doing so, Finchem betrayed his oath of office and his country. I vote because I believe in our system of government, and I believe that my vote counts. I expect and accept that our legislators will vigorously disagree on many policies and issues, but I cannot accept nor condone anyone’s attempt to overthrow our system altogether. I cannot support Mark Finchem. He has disgraced his office, and he has disgraced his party. He and all those like him need to be voted out of office. I have already signed the petition to recall Finchem. I recommend that you do likewise.
Recall Finchemby Rachel Rulmyr and Jackie Marshall Representative Mark Finchem is unfit to serve in our legislature. Those who have followed him on social media know that he is a vocal and avid member of Oath Keepers, a radical right-wing, anti-government militia group. In recognition of his zealous affiliation with Oath Keepers, Finchem was paid over $6000 to spread misinformation about our national election and recruit participants for the January 6th assault on our Capitol. Although he did not address the mob as planned, Finchem marched with them, tweeted encouragement throughout the attack, and incited violence. Three members of Oath Keepers who have since been indicted for conspiracy related to the insurrection admitted that the group had been preparing for a civil war since November 2020. There is no place in our government for those who would seek to overthrow it. Finchem must be removed from office. If you are a registered voter in LD 11, go to recallfinchem.com for the nearest location to sign his recall petition.
Another Attack on Public Education by Lois Postil and Jackie Marshall The legislature’s newest anti-sex education bill seeks to prohibit history, science, and health teachers from covering required course material. This bill is in violation of the State Board of Education, which is solely responsible for determining curriculum and setting specific instructional standards that teachers must meet.It would prevent teachers from doing their job and deprive students of information necessary to keep themselves safe and healthy. This bill is in violation of their First Amendment rights. Justice Fortes (1969) ruled that “teachers and students do not shed their constitutional right to freedom of speech at the schoolhouse gate, and students may not be regarded as closed-circuit recipients of only that which the State chooses to communicate.” Parents who want absolute say over what their children can and cannot learn have the right to home school them or send them to private or parochial schools. They do not have the right to micromanage public schools. Demand that Governor Ducey veto SB 1456.
They call themselves pro-life by Jackie Marshall I am appalled by our so-called “pro-life” legislators who seek to restrict abortions and criminalize the women who require them and the doctors who assist them. If they were truly pro-life, they would prevent the need for abortions by passing bills to raise families out of poverty, address domestic violence, and provide adequate housing, food security, and counseling. If they were truly pro-life, they would provide for every child beyond the womb. They would raise the minimum wage so families could afford adequate childcare; they would fully fund public education so every child could be well educated; and they would invest in afterschool programs and expand social services so every child could lead a safe and healthy life. Our legislators ought to live up to their perceived notion of themselves. To do so, they must act prevent the need for abortions and provide for every child born here. Then they can call themselves pro-life. Otherwise, it is nothing more than an empty, hypocritical word.
Smart People by Di Alexander and Jackie Marshall Do you wear a seat belt to prevent catastrophic injury in an accident? Do you obey your doctor’s orders to recover from whatever ails you?Do you follow safety guidelines to avoid injury? That is what smart people do. They pay attention to the science, and they act accordingly.They take the advice of experts, such as CDC Director Walensky who has warns us of a possible 4th surge of Covid if states open too quickly. Like her, they know that a slight downturn in cases is not enough. They know we cannot afford another spike in cases, another round of overcrowded hospitals, and another rise in preventable deaths. They know that our economy will never return to normal until we defeat the virus once and for all.So, they will be patient for a little longer. They will continue to practice social distancing, and they will wear their masks.That is what smart people do.We wish our governor were one of them.
VOTER FRAUD:REPUBLICAN QUICKSAND by Cindy Doklan John Kavanagh (R-23) said he believes “everybody shouldn’t be voting”.There are at least 13 bills in the state legislature that attempt to do just that. Republicans say they want to regain Arizona voters’ trust in Democracy.The solution is simple:Republican leaders need to publicly admit that no significant voter fraud was found in the 2020 election. Instead, Republicans have created their own bog of quicksand.The more they struggle to discredit 2020 ballots, the more they fail, and they sink deeper and deeper.They prove repeatedly that the election was free and fair, with dismissed lawsuits, fruitless audits, and multiple investigations. Before these bills are given consideration, we must demand an accounting of how many fraudulent votes would have been eliminated in 2020 had these measures been in place, as well as the cost of implementation. If they add more regulation and cost to the voter or election officials, without any quantifiable benefit to election integrity, then the bills should be withdrawn.
ARIZONA IS A WELFARE STATE.LET’S BUDGET AND TAX RESPONSIBLY by Cindy Doklan Yes, Arizona receives more federal funding than we pay in taxes.We can’t survive on our own.Why? With a corporate income tax contributing only 10% of our state funds, businesses should arrive in droves, invest, create jobs, boost state revenues.No?What if we reduce it to 4%? Business Tax credits have increased +500%, and roll over year to year, with little payback. Sales and use tax represent 45% of Arizona tax revenue.But when a lower income person buys a $1000 refrigerator, they pay the same $56 tax as a wealthy person.As AZ relies more heavily on sales and use taxes, we lean harder and harder on low-income people. Arizona is in the bottom 20% in opportunities, fiscal stability, and education.Our low-income people, due to Arizona heavy dependence on sales taxes, pay a higher tax rate than high-income people. The citizens of Arizona must have visibility and input into the budget negotiations.They have been veiled in secrecy way too long.
It's Up to Ducey to Veto Bad Bills! by Bill Yohey and Steph Bader “We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong and that’s why I brag about it so much.” So said Gov. Ducey after the November 2020 election as he boasted about Arizona’s investments to ensure election fairness and security. He added, “No voter should be disenfranchised.” He’s absolutely right on both counts! Now, is he willing to put those words into action? Will he veto the flood of voter suppression and election-process-mangling bills that are about to arrive on his desk? The Republicans in the legislature outdid themselves this year. In a panic-driven attempt to save their ability to win elections, they are trying to strangle voters and tangle processes rather than offer good governance. They have passed a collection of bad-faith legislation that will create havoc in Arizona’s well-designed and well-run election system, and will deprive thousands-upon-thousands of legal, eligible Arizonans of their freedom to vote. Do the right thing Governor. Just say, ”NO!”
Senators Sinema and Kelly Need to Work for the American People by Glenda Wood Government is not working for the American people. 76% of Americans supported the Covid relief bill, yet not a single Republican voted for it.They have used the filibuster to block almost all legislation. It is said that the Senate is where all good legislation goes to die. Despite the divisions in this country, a majority of Americans, regardless of party, would like to see legislation passed on critical issues like affordable healthcare, drug prices, and college tuition. They want common sense reform on immigration, criminal justice, and gun laws.They want infrastructure improvements, jobs that pay a living wage, adequately funded public schools, and their voting rights protected. To stop the gridlock the filibuster has to go.Contact Senators Sinema and Kelly and tell them to support eliminating the filibuster so that our government can work for the people again.
Biden and His Cabinet by Jackie Marshall President Biden has pledged to serve all Americans. Nowhere is that pledge more clearly reflected than in his cabinet and cabinet-level appointments, which include 12 men and 10 women of various ethnicities and persuasions: 10 White, 5 Black, 4 Hispanic/Latin, 2 Asian, 1 Native American, and 2 who identify as LGBTQ. They are all highly educated, experienced in their appointed fields, and well prepared to lead. Their efforts promise to lead us toward a better, stronger, and safer nation with a renewed respect for science, the rule of law, social justice, and human rights. Biden has demonstrated his willingness to consult his advisors and his ability to effectively respond to the crises that beset us.Hehas the knowledge, integrity, and compassion to guide our nation, and the tact and experience in world affairs to represent us on the international stage. His administration gives us hope that we can right our course and sail toward a brighter future. With Biden at the helm, our Ship of State is once again in steady hands.
Highway Robbery by Jackie Marshall and Dar Summers Over 90% of children in Arizona attend public schools. For them, state-supported funding is currently $10,000 per pupil annually. For the other 10% of children who attend private schools, state-supported funding for vouchers is currently $20,000 per pupil annually. This gross inequity is bad enough, but it is about to get worse. With the passage of the proposed Voucher Expansion Bill the amount allocated for private school vouchers will double to $40,000 per pupil. Once again, there will be no transparency as to who is receiving these funds and no accountability as to how they are being spent. This misuse of our federal, state, and local taxes that are intended to fund our public schools to excessively overfund private schools is tantamount to robbery. Our public schools are being systematically shortchanged, and the vast majority of our children are being denied the education they deserve. This defunding of public schools must stop. Please consider contacting Governor Ducey at 602-542-4331 to demand that he veto SB1452.
Sinema's Conscience by Steph Bader Senator Sinema votes her conscience. So do I.Senator Sinema’s conscience tells her that theoretical bipartisanship and senatorial tradition are the most important matters to her. My conscience tells me that passing legislation that will benefit millions of Americans is the most important matter to me. But voting doesn’t only happen at the ballot box, it also happens at the wallet. I provided substantial financial support to Senator Sinema during her campaign. But now I cannot, in good conscience, continue to give money to an elected official whose conscience drives different priorities than mine does, and therefore I will no longer be providing her with my dollars and my support. Senator: you vote your conscience, I will vote mine.
We the People Are Getting the Shaft by Leadawn Anderton The Arizona State Legislature in back in session and once again trying to undermine our democracy. So far, they have presented 39 bills trying tocurtail our freedom to vote by making it harder to vote, disregarding our vote by choosing their own delegates to the Electoral College and making it almost impossible to ever get another initiative passed. Have they even read the State Constitution? Article II Section 2. reads: “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. “ That being said, bills have been presented to eliminate the word “permanent” from the Permanent Early Voting List and remove voters who fail to vote in two consecutive election cycles,to require notarization of the signature on the mail in ballot envelope, and to shorten the early voting window.. Please contact your representative and remind them they should be working for us not against us!
Harder to Vote by Jackie Marshall Arizona legislators, why are you making it harder for Republicans and Independents to vote?My family wants to keep getting our ballots by mail, without having to check to see whether or not our names have been dropped. We also want to return our ballots by mail as we have in the past, without needing to find a notary or trekking across town to hand deliver our “mail-in” ballots to some government office. We certainly don’t want to go back to having to stand in long lines to vote, which seems to be your plan. Going to the polls means changing our schedules, making complicated travel plans, and taking too much time out of our day when it is all said and done. And for some of my family members voting in person is no longer even an option. We used to think you wanted our votes, being our elected representatives and all, but now we are beginning to wonder. Stop making voting so hard.
Senate Vote Audit is a Fraud by Eileen Hollowell After Biden won Arizona, the Arizona Senate decided to conduct an audit of the 2.1 million votes cast in Maricopa County.Senate Republicans said the audit was needed to assuage their constituents’ concerns about the election accuracy.After threatening to jail Maricopa County Supervisors and obtaining a court order upholding its rights to subpoena 2.1 billion Maricopa County ballots, it turns out that the Senate had no plan for taking possession of the ballots nor had it identified an “independent, qualified forensic auditing” firm to conduct its audit.They have dropped plans to hire Allied Special Operations Group, a firm that mixed up Minnesota and Michigan voting precincts and determined that voter turnout in Detroit was 139%. Meanwhile, the Legislature is not waiting for the results of the Senate’s audit to act. A record number of voter suppression bills are being promoted to address the Republican legislators ‘real concern’ which is that too many people did not vote the way Republicans legislators wanted.