Well, it’s that day again – February 11—when I celebrate another anniversary blogging here at Blog for Arizona. What a year it has been since January 20, 2017 when Republican political newcomer Donald Trump became our 45th U. S. President. Prior to this site I was online as “Carolyn’s Community” for Tucsoncitizen.com. Folks in town do remember me there.
For four years now I’ve been concentrating on promoting good non-profits and other groups in Tucson, reporting on local politics & elections, and posting passionately in our image Calendar (http://blogforarizona.net/calendar-2/). I’ve individually posted 2,363 events in 4 years, which is quite a lot of progressive events, and 983 articles (almost 1000).
Thanks for reading our opinions/commentary and fact-based reporting.
Our bloggers online now are mostly attorneys (what else?) – Owner/founder & former prosecutor Michael Bryan; the mysterious AZ Blue Meanie who could only be a lawyer with his/her vast knowledge; longtime blogger Phoenix attorney Bob Lord; new blogger attorney/journalist Larry Bodine; and me, a has-been attorney/Hearing Officer in Small Claims Court (for almost 13 years in April, 2018). Fortunately for them, fellow bloggers Karl, Pam and Linda aren’t attorneys (yet). And Craig, Donna, and Steve are on hiatus, but could be back.
This political year one Arizona U.S. Senate seat (being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake), 9 U.S. Congressional seats, Arizona statewide offices are all up for election (including Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction, etc.) and all Arizona Legislative Senate and House seats. A few Governing Board volunteer seats in the local School Districts are also up for election.
Posted in Carolyn Classen, Community, Tucson
Tagged az blue meanie, Blog for Arizona, Bob Lord, Carolyn Classen, donald trump, Larry Bodine, Michael Bryan, political events, politics, progressive news
Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales and I were interviewed by NBC News out of Los Angeles at the downtown Phoenix rally outside of President Trump’s speech.
On August 11, a white supremacist protest against removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent, and a young woman, who was a counter-protester, was killed. This sparked anti-hate/anti-fascism/anti-Nazi marches across the country, including an estimated 1500 people who marched through downtown Tucson.
President Trump’s claim that there was “violence on both sides” in Charlottesville ran counter to what many Americans saw in the news and on social media.
Presidential comments that appeared supportive of white supremacists, the rumor that Trump would soon pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (which did happened), Trump’s threat to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t fund the border wall, and the potential end of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)– all made Trump’s August 22 campaign rally in Phoenix a potential powder keg.
Posted in Activism, Arizona State Legislature, Arpaio, Civil Rights, Economics, GOP War On..., Immigration, Justice, Law Enforcement, Mexico Border, Pamela Powers Hannley, Racism
Tagged donald trump, Joe Arpaio, pamela powers hannley, Sally Ann Gonzales
Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
As a leader in the military, I learned a long time ago that if something was easy to fix, someone would have already fixed it. President Trump evidently hadn’t learned that prior to his election, but since then, has time and again realized that uh, YEAH, this shit is hard!
Take the border wall for example. It might have been good “red meat” for his supporters, but there are three good reasons why there is not a finished border wall along our southern border: 1) it is a very complicated endeavor, 2) it is really, really expensive, and 3) it won’t solve the problem of illegal immigration. I mean, get real! Trump isn’t the first politician to try to make hay with this issue, but the rhetoric always slams into reality eventually.
I knew for example in 2011, that Arizona Senator Steve Smith wasn’t going to get anywhere with his “www.BuildTheBorderFence.com” initiative and I was right. Smith promised to raise some $50 million to build a 15 foot fence at busy border-crossing points and erect fences where there were no federal fences. After three years however, the project had only raise $265,000, not even one-tenth of the $2.8 million needed to build the first mile of fencing. As for the $265,000, last I could find the advisory committee assigned to do something with the funding were asking sheriffs how they would use it. Continue reading
The estimate of the huge Women’s March in Tucson crowd that gathered this morning at Armory Park on S. 6th Avenue and marched to Jacome Plaza (in front of the Joel D. Valdez library) was about 15,000. Lots of very creative signs went by, carried by people of all ages, children, elderly, even people with crutches and walkers…gay, straight, multi-racial, many with dogs, wagons, etc. Every few blocks people were chanting “This is what Democracy looks like”. Here’s some photos of today’s crowd.
Large crowd gathering at Armory Park, photo courtesy of George Girard
Crowd at Armory Park, courtesy of Kristel Foster
Women’s March proceeding west on Congress Street to Stone Avenue, photo courtesy of George Girard
Posted in Carolyn Classen, Civil Rights, Community, Tucson, Uncategorized
Tagged "This is what Democracy looks like", #Love Trumps Hate, Armory Park, donald trump, George Girard, Jacome Plaza, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Kristel Foster, Raul Grijalva, Regina Romero, Richard Elias, Shannon Bronson, Tucson Solidarity Rally, Women's March - Tucson
LD9 Senator Steve Farley, Rep.-Elect Pamela Powers Hannley and Rep. Randy Friese on Election Night.
At 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2016, I had an existential crisis. How could a Progressive candidate like me win election on the same day as Donald Trump?
The LD9 team won early on Nov. 8. Randy, Steve and I were the first winners to take the stage at the Pima County Democratic Party party in the Marriott Hotel, where many of us watched President Barack Obama win twice.
Excitement was in the air. Everyone was so cheery. The polls all told us that our candidate– the first woman president– would win handily. Yes, of course, one poll said that Hillary Clinton would win by only 3%, but how could that be when all other polls were so high in favor of her?
Now we all know what happened. The polls were wrong. Twenty-five years of lies; millions of social media shares of questionable meme attacks and fake news; editorializing instead of news analysis by mainstream news media; Russian hacks; dithering, drawn-out FBI investigation of those @#$% emails; and deep-seeded sexism took down the most qualified candidate and gave us a president who promises to rule with an authoritarian hand.
So, how did I win on the same night Trump won?
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Campaigns, Civil Rights, Economics, Education, Elections, Healthcare, Immigration, Occupy, Pamela Powers Hannley, Party Politics
Tagged Bernie Sanders, donald trump, Hillary Clilnton, pamela powers hannley
Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
Carol Burris, Executive Director of the Diane Ravitch’s Network for Public Education, recently wrote about the direction President-Elect Trump appears headed with education. “There are clear indications” she said, “that President Obama’s Race to the Top will be replaced with something that could be called ‘Race to the Bank’, as the movement to privatize education seems certain to accelerate.” Trump’s promise to redirect $20 billion in federal funds (most likely in Title I monies), is a good indication of that desire to accelerate. Of the redirect, Trump himself said, “Not only would this empower families, but it would create a massive education market that is competitive and produces better outcomes, and I mean far better outcomes.” Recent studies though, just don’t bear out those “far better outcomes” and although Congress previously considered redirecting Title I funds, they scrapped it with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Nonetheless, Trump seems determined to press ahead as indicated today by his pick of Betsy DeVos, a forceful advocate for private school voucher programs nationwide, as his Secretary of Education. And although his website claims that school choice is “the civil rights issue of our time”, the Nation’s leading public education advocate, Diane Ravitch writes, “school choice is not the civil rights issue of our time, as its proponents claim; it is the predictable way to roll back civil rights in our time.” Her words are born out by the fact that segregation in the United States is now the highest it has been since the early 1960s. And to that point, the Arizona Republic writes that vouchers, tax credits and charters are used “by those who least need help”, “siphon money from traditional district schools”, and “are thinly disguised workarounds that wealthy parents can use to keep their kids out of the district schools where students of color are in the majority.” Jeff Bryant, on educationopportunitynetwork.org, writes, “it’s hard to see how a system based on school choice – that so easily accentuates the advantages of the privileged – is going to benefit the whole community, especially those who are the most chronically under-served.” After all, we all know there are plenty of disadvantaged families who will likely never be able to access school choice options, partially because it really is schools’ choice. This reality plays out every day when commercial schools either don’t admit those students they don’t want or, weed them out early on. The desire to not call attention to that truth may be part of the reason we’ve begun to see the rebranding of “school choice” to “parental choice.” Continue reading