Category Archives: Community

CD 8 Special General Election Results

Arizona Secretary of State is reporting that the Special General Election for CD 8 (unofficial) results are:

Debbie Lesko (R)   91,390  52.6%

Hiral Tipirneni  (D)  82,318  47.4%

former State Senator Debbie Lesko

Voter turnout was 38.3 % of the 455,660 registered voters in CD 8.  This vacancy occurred when long-time Republican Congressman Trent Franks resigned in December, 2017 after allegations of a $5 Million request he made of his Congressional  aide to have his surrogate child.

Debbie Lesko is a former State Senator and Rep. from LD 21.  Dr. Tipirneni  is a political newcomer, an ER doctor and an immigrant from India.

http://results.arizona.vote/#/featured/6/0

Back to the McCarthy Era for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas

If teachers walk off the job on Thursday, April 26, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas warned that “there may be investigations” if complaints come into the Department of Education. Furthermore, if the courts deem the walkout a “strike,” Douglas cautioned that teacher certifications may be revoked and censure notices placed on an instructor’s permanent record.

In an interview with Channel Three Arizona Family News (link below), Superintendent Douglas relayed that she is in favor of more money for education and increased salaries for instructors and support staff. She appeared receptive to ideas ranging from local governing boards setting local district salaries to education budget increases being placed as ballot initiatives.http://www.azfamily.com/clip/14295201/raw-video-diane-douglas-discusses-planned-teacher-walkout

However, Douglas urged teachers not to walk out on Thursday and suggested that they continue negotiations with the Governor and legislature, especially because there are proposals to bargain over. Furthermore, she pointed out that students with free and reduced lunch and special needs may suffer if a walkout occurs. Finally, Douglas intimated that instructors may themselves be blacklisted, have their certificates revoked, or be ostracized from future employment if complaints from the community to the department were processed.

That portion of the interview with Superintendent Douglas threatening potential reprisals against instructors shows an attitude that this country has not seen publicly since the McCarthy Era when many were blacklisted for their real or imagined beliefs. That attitude should not be ingrained in the public servants of our state or country in the year 2018. Fortunately, there are two Progressive Democrats (Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira)  just waiting for a chance, after one of them earns their party’s nomination, to replace her after the November elections.

Teachers do not want to walk out. Teachers want to educate and shape children’s hearts and minds. However, they cannot do it effectively when their salaries rank near the bottom of the country. They cannot do it passionately when they sometimes have to work a second job to put food on their table. They cannot do it competently when they are not provided the modern resources to do the job well.

This is about what is right for the children. It is a step in the right direction to make sure that the people who are responsible for them eight hours a day or longer are properly provided for. Making sure our schools are safe and provide all the features of Twenty-First Century culture and technology is another. The Superintendent and Governor are not going to get there by making idle threats or catering to the conservative whims of their alt right-reactionary sponsors who feel the McCarthy Era was “The Good Ole Days.” It is time to properly fund our schools, compensate our instructors and support staff, and prepare our children for tomorrow.

Van Jones Says Democrats and Progressives need to work on Winning and Not Take Anything for Granted.

Van Jones

CNN commentator and author Van Jones said that for Democrats and Progressives to win elections, they cannot just sit and wait for the people to follow them because the masses agree with them on the issues or because most agree that President Trump is unfit to serve. Instead, they need to speak out and make their views known and remain continually persistent and vigilant for the causes they believe in.

He spoke at the Fifth Annual Lecture Series on Delivering Democracy at the Fourteenth Street Pilgrim Rest Baptist church in Phoenix.

Jones said that Democrats and Progressives also can not take any group for granted. The poor white person in Appalachia wants the same life for their kids like the poor black person in the projects. People who believe in God also believe in helping the needy and oppressed. Democrats and Progressives would be wise to reconnect with these groups they have forgotten. If Democrats and Progressives can do all of these things (and it should not be a heavy lift), Progressives and Democrats will have a lot to celebrate after the next few election cycles as long as they remember that they can never stop being proactive and fight to move the country forward.

The lecture was sponsored by the Arizona State University Center for Race and Democracy and hosted by the congregation of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church Ministries. Jones is a community and environmental activist, and former White House Aide to President Obama, and he offered his views on bringing different races, classes, and the religious and secular worlds in our country together.

At a packed Church hall, the congregants gathered for the fifth year to hear Van Jones’ views on Race and Democracy. Many still remembered the contributions of their late Pastor, Bishop Alexis Thomas, and progressive (both secular and religious) activists from organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, East Valley NACCP, The Pat Tillman’s Veterans Center, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Red for Ed, and Outlawing Dirty Money (an irony because one of the sponsors of the event is APS)

After an excellent performance by the church choir and music group, the event started with the pivotal question, broadcast on a video “What is Democracy?” Following several varying answers from respondents on the video, the key message is that Democracy is the “responsibility of the people” to maintain.

Dr. Stanlie James, the Vice Provost for Inclusion and Community Engagement, echoed this sentiment by relaying the current issues our countries citizens’ face such as the incident with two African American patrons at a Philadelphia Starbucks (Mr. Jones would later ask in his presentation why the police did not arrest the person that made the erroneous/false complaint) or the rising mortality rate of African American Mothers in a “First World Country.” Calling the Center on Race and Democracy “an oasis in the desert” where these issues can be discussed, she cited support from the Obamas as proof that this center is doing good works.

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Tucson Earth Day Festival celebration

Children’s Museum Tucson
200 S 6th Ave
SATURDAY
APRIL 21, 2018
10AM – 2PM
CELEBRATING
23 YEARS

Free public admission to Children’s Museum/ Bike Decorating & free bike valet parking/Exhibitions for living in a Sustainable Environment/Food trucks

http://www.tucsonearthday.org/index.html

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Comedy for Charity presents Laugh Till it Hurts!

“Comedy for Charity is proud to presentLaugh ‘til It Hurts, a two hour event of nonstop entertainment featuring seven comedians, two dance troupes, and even a juggler. The event will be on Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at The Fox Theatre.

This special one night event will raise money for violence awareness and prevention.

“This show will be hilarious, and it’s all for a wonderful cause—to make our community a safer place. The mission is to raise a lot of money to help prevent violence and to spread awareness about the problem of violence. We want people to ‘give ‘til it hurts,” shared Suzie Sexton, executive director of Comedy for Charity.

We are also delighted that Mayor Johnathan Rothschild, Liane Hernandez and Alba Jamarillo are Honorary Chairs of the event.

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Jell-O Wrestling 2018 on 4th Avenue

Saturday, April 21, 2018

On 4th Avenue (522 N. 4th Ave.)

6:00 PM   Gates Open/Pre-Event Games & Festivities

6:30 PM   Wrestling & Live Auction Begins

8:30 PM   Event Ends

“The 31st Annual Reno Gannon Memorial Jell-O Wrestling Extravaganza and Benefit Auction will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018, on 4th Avenue.

Teams of wrestlers raise funds to wrestle in a pit of Jell-O, often with extraordinary costumes and characters. Between wrestling matches our Drag Diva Hostesses run a live auction featuring a variety of unique items selected to please the crowd.”

Get your tickets here at $25 or $30 : https://jello-wrestling.saaf.org/tickets/

https://www.facebook.com/events/183725532382366/

Carolyn’s note:  I’ve been to this wild extravaganza in the past, with the Divas soliciting for team donations in buckets, in anticipation of the various (and costumed) wrestling matches. We all swallowed a bunch of Jello shots, while watching & cheering  these teams of one or two wrestlers (sometimes famous people) take on one another in the cold, bluish/greenish? jello pit.  It’s a unique fun activity for a Spring Day in the Old Pueblo.  Check it out on 4th Avenue on Saturday April 21. Proceeds go to SAAF – Southern Arizona Aids Foundation