Category Archives: Maricopa

Democratic Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction Blast Ducey, Douglas

Kathy Hoffman is An advocate for special needs children, mainstreaming ELL students in order to achieve immersion, and protecting the safety and rights of students in the LGBTQ community.

Kathy Hoffman, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

United on the issues, Democratic candidates for Superintendent of Public Education Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira relayed why they would be the best nominee to face four Republican challengers, including current Superintendent Diane Douglas.

Meeting at a special Clean Elections-sponsored edition of the PBS news show Horizon, both Hoffman and Schapira blasted Governor Ducey, Superintendent Douglas, and the Republican-led state legislature for failing Arizona’s children and schools. Hoffman also added the elevation of Betsy Devos to Secretary of Education as a cause for concern for Arizona’s educational community. Both candidates want to make sure every child in the state receives a “first-rate education.”

The future starts in school

David Schapira, Progressive Candidate For Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

David Schapira, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Saying, “Arizona’s future starts in our schools,” Hoffman relayed that she is running primarily to ensure that all children, including English-language learners (ELL) and special education students, are well educated. The woman’s movement following the election of President Trump and DeVos in the Education Department also motivated her run.

Schapira, a fourth generation Arizonan, commented that, of the two candidates, he is the most experienced having been a teacher, school administrator, school board member, and legislator to become the “first educator in 24 years” to become Superintendent.

Continue reading

Dr. Bradley Hughes Calls for a Progressive New Deal Program to LD 21

AZ LD 21 House Candidate Dr. Bradley Hughes

Over Iced Coffee at Lolas Café in Phoenix (The Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies are great), Dr. Bradley Hughes outlined his views to bring a pragmatic problem solving progressive New Deal program to the residents of Arizona LD 21.

Arizona Legislative District 21 includes all or parts of Peoria, El Mirage, Youngtown, Surprise, and Sun City. It is the district that Debbie Lesko used as a springboard to run for Congress in the recent special election against Dr. Hiral Tipirneni.

Republicans have dominated the district since 2012 with no elected Democrats. Dr. Hughes hopes to change that in 2018 by focusing on a pragmatic progressive program that addresses issues such as health care costs (especially for those that do not qualify for health care subsidies,) “stagnant wages,” and public education.

Continue reading

Pawlik and Weichert Offer a Progressive Problem Solving Vision for LD 17

AZ LD 17 State House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik

Over iced tea and ice water at the Starbucks in Chandler, LD 17 Democratic House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik and LD 17 Democratic Senate Candidate Steve Weichert enthusiastically discussed their united vision for taking care of children in poverty, who have been largely forgotten by the current Republican LD state representatives and senator.

The LD 17 District in Arizona contains parts of Gilbert, Chandler, and Sun Lakes. No Democrat has ever claimed victory in this district. Two Republicans in the State House currently represent it. This includes the current House Speaker J.D. Mesnard who has decided to run against Weichert for the State Senate Seat being vacated by State Senate President Steven Yarbrough. Pawlik is the only Democrat running for a seat in the State House.

Arizona Legislative District 17

Arizona Legislative District 17

Pawlik and Weichert are not newcomers to the political arena in Legislative District 17. They ran for the same state legislative seats in 2016 that they are running for today. While the results did not turn out as they hoped in 2016, they feel that three trends will propel them to victory in 2018:

  • The marked increase in voter enthusiasm, ignited by the election of Donald Trump.
  • The insensitivity of the Ducey Governorship and his allies in the state legislature.
  • The spark of the Red for Ed Movement.

Like neighboring LD 18, the Democratic candidates and District Chair Jacob Schmitt see their electoral prospects improving with an increasingly bluer (or purple) population receptive to the centrist problem solving progressive ideas and vision that they offer. Both Pawlik and Weichert have united as a team, tailoring their message to all the people in LD 17, especially those ignored and forgotten by the current Republican leadership in the district who has fallen under the influence of anti-democratic, tax cutting, special and Dark Money interests.

Continue reading

With AZ Ranked Badly by Many Measures, Democrats Can Beat Governor Ducey

Kelly Fryer, David Garcia and Steve Farley are Democrats running for Governor in Arizona.

Any of the three Democratic candidates — Kelly Fryer, David Garcia and Steve Farley — can beat Doug Ducey in the race for governor.

Most people familiar with moral fairy tales are well versed with the Three Little Pigs fable. In it, the wolf is able to blow down two of the pigs’ houses because they are made of either straw or sticks but is unable to wreck the third one because it is made of bricks.

Apply this tale to conditions in Arizona after three and a half years of Doug Ducey and people will find that the foundations of his house are built on straw and sticks rather than bricks. It would only take a strong problem-solving progressive Democrat one puff to blow this house down and build a new foundation that will better address Arizona’s needs.

Doug Ducey’s Arizona

In Doug Ducey’s Arizona, the state ranks:

  • 33rd overall in the list of best-managed states, according to USA Today. In the Southwest region, only New Mexico ranked worse.
  • 39th overall, according to U.S. News and World report, as the best state in the country. Within that ranking, Arizona received sub-rankings in several areas. These include being ranked:
      • 43rd in Education
      • 24th in Health Care
      • 45th in Providing Opportunity
      • 38th in Crimes and Corrections
      • 34th in Fiscal Stability
      • 39th in Quality of Life
      • 41st in Safety on a separate report.

    Continue reading

Moms Demand Action seeks Increased Community Safety from Gun Violence

Moms Demand Action Volunteers posing as Arizona State Legislators

25 % of fatalities victims in mass shootings from 2009 to 2016 were children. (That figure does not include the gunshot injuries inflicted on children)

After the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown in 2012, Shannon Watts started a Facebook page, calling attention to the tragic events of that day and other horrible incidents where children were victims of mass shootings. Her goal was to propel community awareness to organize solutions to combat gun violence. Over time, a following developed across the country, including Arizona when mothers in the state reached out to Watts, looking for ways to get involved. Out of this initial grassroots momentum, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense formed.

Today, Moms Demand Action is united with Everytown Survivor and Mayors Against Illegal Guns under the umbrella organization Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country.

There is one state chapter in Arizona with five local groups in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, and the East Valley of Maricopa County. While there is no strict membership enrollment process, the state chapter currently counts approximately 11,000 supporters, with about 5,000 participants in the Phoenix local group. These groups regularly coordinate with each other and also partner with the newly formed student-led March for our Lives movement. For example, the organization has coordinated with Arizonans for Gun Safety and the Phoenix March for lives to promote National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, 2018. Haber, the Chapter Communications Leader, recognized the efforts of state chapter leader Jessica Manos and Phoenix local branch head Nevine Melikian for contributing to the growth and outreach projects in the organization.

Continue reading

The Road to a Democratic State Legislature Runs through Maricopa County  

Democrats can win by focusing on 3 issues: public education, health care, and job creation, according to Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairman Steven Slugocki

Maricopa County in Arizona is the fourth largest populated county in the United States. The fifth largest city in the country, Phoenix is within its boundaries as are 20 of the 30 state legislative districts.

It is also the county that Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairman Steven Slugocki believes has the best chance of shifting the balance of power in the Arizona State Legislature from red to blue.

Slugocki, the county chairperson of the Democratic Party since December 2015, relayed that grassroots enthusiasm for the Democratic Party, fueled by frustrations with both the Governorship of Doug Ducey (and state legislature) and the Presidency of Donald Trump (and Republican Congress), has reached once unimaginable heights. Committing to an all-out voter outreach effort, Slugocki emphasized that the county will prioritize local races from the Governor’s race at the top of the ballot to the local school board elections. The County Democratic organization pledges to “contest and fight for every seat in every area of the county.”

Continue reading