Category Archives: Housing

Retired Air Force Colonel Hollace Lyon Offers a Consensus-Building Vision as a State Representative In LD11

Do you think anyone regardless of credentials can teach special education children?
❌ Do you think taxpayer money should be used to help upper-income earners apply for tax credits to send their children to private religious schools?
❌ Do you think it is okay for the state to tell cities and towns the voices of their residents do not matter when they decide by a 90 percent margin to require the names of campaign donors to be publicized?
❌ Do you think people should be charged with a felony if they help senior citizens who cannot walk to their mailboxes to mail in their ballots?
❌ Do you think the process of getting citizen-sponsored initiatives on the ballot should be made harder?
❌ Do you think it is okay for people to carry concealed weapons near or on school and college campuses?
❌ Do you think people can buy weapons without a background check?
❌ Do you think tax credits for the coal industry are the best long-term energy investment strategies for the state?
❌ Do you think it is anyone’s business why a woman exercises her right to choose?
❌ Do you think there were once I.S.I.S. training camps in the northern Mexico deserts?

If you answered no to most or all of the questions above, Arizona LD 11 State Representative Mark Finchem may not be the choice voters should be making this November because he subscribes to all the views listed above.

There is, however, another candidate that voters in LD 11 may should vote for:  Colonel Hollace Lyon, who is running on a platform consensus-building and fiscal responsibility that emphasizes, “Investing in Our Future, Protecting and Preserving our Communities, and Securing our Liberties.”

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AZ Senate Candidate Ralph Atchue Advocates for Families and Small Businesses of LD 11

Ralph Atchue sees himself as an open-minded problem solver

Ralph Atchue sees himself as an open-minded problem solver

A former Air Force veteran, union steward, and postmaster from the Chicago area, LD 11 State Senate Clean Elections Candidate Ralph Atchue has launched a grassroots campaign pledging to be a consensus builder.

Atchue advocates a robust forward-looking program that includes investments in public education, comprehensive tax reform, green energy, and transportation innovations like a high-speed rail line from Tucson to Phoenix and later Las Vegas.

Gaining perspective on the competing positions from both labor as a union steward and management as a postmaster general, Atchue sees himself (unlike his opponent for the State Senate, Vince Leach) as a problem solver who can forge inclusive consensus among all stakeholders by bringing them together, discussing the issues, and arriving at compromise solutions that will be agreeable to all parties.

By prioritizing progress, individuals, families, and small businesses, Atchue believes that the residents of LD 11 will be better served that way rather than emphasizing the reactionary and obstructionist interests of the Dark Money groups that Leach subscribes to. (See AZ’s Worst Legislator: Vince Leach, not a Servant of the People in LD 11)

Seeing himself as an open-minded problem solver rather than being tied to any ideological program, Atchue’s campaign looks to attract all parties: Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who want common sense solutions that provide for the greater long-term good of the district. Independents and Republicans have joined Democrats in volunteering to help his campaign as they strive to knock on 2,000 doors a month to bring the candidates inclusive message.

Atchue’s positions on the issues are as follows: Continue reading

‘Economically forgotten’ have much in common with America’s poor

Axios.com has an Exclusive: 40% in U.S. can’t afford middle-class basics:

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 6.19.16 AM

Data: United Way; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

At a time of rock-bottom joblessness, high corporate profits and a booming stock market, more than 40% of U.S. households cannot pay the basics of a middle-class lifestyle — rent, transportation, child care and a cellphone, according to a new study.

Quick take: The study, conducted by United Way, found a wide band of working U.S. households that live above the official poverty line, but below the cost of paying ordinary expenses. Based on 2016 data, there were 34.7 million households in that group — double the 16.1 million that are in actual poverty, project director Stephanie Hoopes tells Axios.

Why it matters: For two years, U.S. politics has been dominated by the anger and resentment of a self-identified “forgotten” class, some left behind economically and others threatened by changes to their way of life.

  • The United Way study, to be released publicly Thursday, suggests that the economically forgotten are a far bigger group than many studies assume — and, according to Hoopes, appear to be growing larger despite the improving economy.
  • The study dubs that middle group between poverty and the middle class “ALICE” families, for Asset-limited, Income-constrained, Employed. (The map above, by Axios’ Chris Canipe, depicts that state-by-state population in dark brown.)
  • These are households with adults who are working but earning too little — 66% of Americans earn less than $20 an hour, or about $40,000 a year if they are working full time.

When you add them together with the people living in poverty, you get 51 million households. “It’s a magnitude of financial hardship that we haven’t been able to capture until now,” Hoopes said.

By the numbers: Using 2016 data collected from the states, the study found that North Dakota has the smallest population between poverty and middle class, at 32% of its households. The largest is 49%, in California, Hawaii and New Mexico. “49% is shocking. 32% is also shocking,” Hoopes said.

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Fully Funding Education is the Top Issue as LD 18 Democrats look to take both State Representative Seats in 2018

State Representative Mitzi Epstein

State Representative Mitzi Epstein

Education, Education, Education. That is the top issue for all three candidates competing for the two Representative seats for LD 18 as they vie to continue the trajectory of making this district increasingly blue in this year’s election.

As reported in a previous overview of LD 18, it is a district that includes Ahwatukee-Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, and Mesa. Socioeconomically, it is a mostly upper-middle-class district. It is where the main campus of Mesa Community College is located as well as technology powerhouses GoDaddy and Intel.

Jennifer Jermaine

Until recently, the district has predominately elected Republican candidates for its local seats. Democrats made their first electoral gains in the district this decade with victories for State Senator Sean Bowie and State Representative Denise “Mitzi” Epstein in 2016.

The party hopes to continue this trend by re-electing Bowie and Epstein to their current positions and electing either Jennifer Jermaine or LaDawn Stuben who will run against Republican State Representative incumbent Jill Norgaard.
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Poor People’s Campaign kickoff on Monday

Here is something you can persuade your local church congregation into supporting and participating in. After all, WWJD?

On Monday, thousands of low-wage workers, clergy and activists will gather at the U.S. Capitol and more than 30 statehouses across the country to kick off the Poor People’s Campaign (organization website), a civil disobedience movement that aims to push the issue of poverty to the top of the national political agenda. Here’s how the Poor People’s Campaign aims to finish what MLK started:

Inspired by a 1968 initiative planned by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the multiracial coalition will involve 40 days of protests and direct actions to highlight the issues of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism. Organizers are pitching it as one of the largest waves of nonviolent direct action in U.S. history.

About 41 million Americans live below the official poverty line, the majority of them white. Organizers with the Poor People’s Campaign say official measures of poverty are too narrow, and the number of poor and low-income Americans expands to 140 million if food, clothing, housing and utility costs, as well as government assistance programs, are taken into account.

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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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