Progressives have two excellent choices in Victoria Steele and Jim Love to be the candidate for the Arizona Senate in northern Tucson’s Legislative District 9.
The Democrats aim to fill the shoes of widely-admired Steve Farley (who is off to unseat the Governor).
Even though only one can prevail, Steele and Love are friends. He once worked for in her successful campaigns for the state House, where she represented District 9 from 2012 to 2016.
Love: trouble keeping teachers
Love has been an elected member of the Flowing Wells School Board for 17 years. “Republicans continue to cut education,” Love said. “I am having trouble keeping teachers in Flowing Wells. The problem is that the budget for public education comes from the general fund. We need to find a dedicated source of funding for education.”
Arizona is dead last nationwide in elementary school teacher pay and 49th in the country for secondary school teacher pay, thanks to Gov. Ducey — who has proposed a miserly .4 percent pay raise for teachers.
Love has worked over recent years in the Arizona State Legislature with Democrats and Republicans to have bills written to support public education. “We get kids who want to get a four-year degree but have no way to pay for it,” he says. “They cry because they can’t afford to go to the University.”
“Our schools are doing a darn good job,” said Love, a respiratory therapist. “But how can we keep teachers if we don’t pay them a living wage?” More info about Love is available online.
Steele: emphasizing the five “E’s”
Steele, a professional counselor, spoke shortly after the Florida mass shooting. “I support a bill that makes it a felony for parents if they keep a loaded gun in the house and a child uses the gun to hurt themselves or others,” she said. “That makes perfect sense to me.” Her campaign emphasizes the five “E’s”:
- Eliminating gun violence
“I am running because I’m tired of seeing kids used for target practice by a shooter who can get an assault rifle legally,” she says. “We need to ask candidates where they stand on gun safety.”
She successfully sponsored a bill to fund mental health first aid training with $500,000. Out of the 300 bills in the state legislature that were signed into law, only eight were Democratic bills ─ and two of those eight were Steele’s bills.
“I’m your voice in the legislature. We need someone with the experience, enthusiasm, and heart to do this work,” she said. “I am that woman.” More info about Steele is available online.