Tag Archives: March For Our Lives

Thank God it’s Sine Die!

The Arizona legislature adjourned around 12:26 a.m. Friday morning. This farce is finally over.

The AP reports, Arizona Legislature closes session with big issues undone:

The Arizona Legislature adjourned its 2018 session early Friday, leaving without taking action on two of Gov. Doug Ducey’s biggest initiatives of the year, a water policy overhaul and an ambitious school safety proposal (called it!) that fell victim to concerns about the civil rights of gun owners.

The March for Our Lives student led movement for gun safety can now turn its organizational skills and energy to defeating the legislators who thwarted their efforts to save students lives in the election this November.

The Republican-controlled Legislature also failed to repeal a contentious school voucher expansion law that is set to be on the November ballot after opponents of the 2017 measure gathered enough signatures last summer to block its implementation. The fate of the voucher expansion was caught up in a momentous push by public school teachers who rose up in early March and eventually went on strike, forcing the Republican governor and lawmakers to award them with big raises and more school funding in the budget, although not enough to meet the demands of teachers who are ending a six-day strike and heading back to class on Friday.

Republican Sens. Kate Brophy McGee and Bob Worsley both went on record Thursday opposing any repeal, with Worsley calling the issue “kryptonite” and Brophy McGee simply saying “it needs to go to the ballot.” With all Democrats opposed, there was no way it could pass the Senate.

“The huge grassroots group, and I’ve talked to them multiple times, checked with them multiple tomes, they’re willing to take it to the ballot,” Brophy McGee said. “That’s where they want it to go.”

“It’s honoring the people who got it to the ballot,” Brophy McGee said, noting that opponents of expansion of the voucher program gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

Teachers and other education advocates banded together as Save Our Schools Arizona and gathered more than 100,000 signatures to block the universal voucher bill last summer, a move that kept it from taking effect until voters statewide could weigh in.

They argued that private school vouchers siphoned money from the state’s cash-strapped public schools, while backers said they give parents a choice about where their children attend school.

There has been talk all session of majority Republicans repealing or replacing it to negate the ballot measure.

The organizational skills and energy of the #RedforEd movement of the past few weeks can now turn to the campaign for the Prop. 305 referendum and defeating all of those legislators who voted for this “vouchers on steroids” bill and the governor who signed it. You will be needed to offset the massive dark money campaign coming from the “Kochtopus” school privatization forces, and the Center for Arizona Policy and the American Federation for Children.

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(Update) March For Our Lives – Arizona

Acording to the March For Our Lives web site, the sanctioned “sibling” marches for Arizona this week are listed below. If there are any that I may have missed, please post the information about any additional march in the comments.

SAFFORD

Safford Walk For Our Kids Lives
Wednesday, March 21, 10:00 AM
Public Rally
8490 South U.S. Highway 191
Safford, AZ 85546

PHOENIX

March for Our Lives – Phoenix, AZ
Saturday, March 24, 10:00 AM
Arizona State Capitol
1700 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

TUCSON

March for Our Lives – Tucson, AZ
Saturday, March 24, 11:00 AM
Jacome Plaza
115 N. Church Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719

March for Our Lives
Saturday, March 24, 10:00 AM
Sahuarita High School
Desert Gem and Sahuarita Road
Sahuarita, AZ 85629

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Governor Ducey bends under pressure from student protestors

Wednesday’s National School Walkout event at the Arizona Capitol culminated in a two-hour sit-in at the office of Gov. Doug Ducey, who did not come out to meet with the students. Montini: Gov. Doug Ducey disses student protesters … lesson learned.

Gov. Ducey has said he is meeting with various interest groups – not high school students, obviously – and has promised to come up with his own legislative proposals, possibly as early as next week. The governor has hinted that could include something similar to Rep. Randy Friese’s bill on emergency seizure of weapons.

Emulating our Twitter-troll-in-chief, on Thursday Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey goes on tweetstorm over gun control, one day after student sit-in:

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that his plan to improve school safety in Arizona could include tighter gun laws in several areas, a surprising move for a Republican governor in a red state.

In a flurry of afternoon tweets, Ducey outlined what his office said will be the basic components of his plan. Ducey said he is working on a bipartisan bill to tackle the issue.

“We are building an aggressive plan that address all these issues around school safety,” he tweeted. “Arizona can lead the nation in tackling this — and in a way that is non-partisan. We’ve done this on other issues, and we can do it again.”

Ducey’s posts came less than 24 hours after students from the group March for Our Lives Phoenix staged a dramatic sit-in outside his office.

Ducey did not meet with the students, but has talked with other interest groups in recent weeks.

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Republicans Recess as Students & #AZHouse Dems Stand in Silence for Gun Violence Victims

Rep. Isela Blanc welcomes the March for Our Lives students to the Arizona House.

More than 75 students took a day out of their spring vacation to visit the Arizona Legislature today, March 14, 2018, to advocate for safe schools and safe public places.

The students met with lawmakers in the morning and attended the Arizona House Floor Session in the afternoon. During the always-entertaining points of personal privilege, 24 Democrats stood up, introduced three or four of the students, read a short message to lawmakers from one of the students, and repeated their three demands: universal background checks on all gun sales, banning bump stocks, and more counselors not guns in schools.

After 24 introductions, 24 personal student messages to lawmakers and 24 re-statements of their three common and popular demands, Rep. Kirsten Engel (Dem #25) stood up and read a statement about today being the one-month anniversary of the Stoneman-Douglas High School Shooting and slowly read the name and age of each victim. At the end, she asked for 17 minutes of silence, one for each victim.

Speaker Mesnard said that there had been other tragedies, and every tragedy gets only one moment of silence. After a longish moment, Mesnard started the floor session, but the Democrats were still standing. When he realized that we weren’t going to sit, he recessed to allow the gallery to clear. The students all stood up and shouted “Never again!” several times. At the end, one young man shouted that lawmakers should do their jobs and protect them (paraphrasing). Why do Republicans shy away from common sense gun safety laws when they profess to be “pro-life”?

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March For Our Lives: ‘The Arizona Agenda for Our Lives’

Last week, two Arizona teenagers announced they are organizing a march on March 24 to advocate for gun control, in solidarity with survivors of the recent mass shooting in Florida.

This week, they announced their specific agenda, focusing on passing four bills in the Arizona Legislature. Phoenix ‘March For Our Lives’ organizers demand local gun-control measures:

After survivors of the Parkland shooting announced that they are organizing an event in Washington D.C. called March For Our Lives on March 24, Samantha Lekberg, 16, of Surprise, and Jordan Harb, 17, of Mesa, paired up to plan a sister march at the state Capitol.

More than 11,000 people have expressed interested in their “#MarchForOurLives Phoenix, Arizona” event on Facebook. This week, they released a statement through their PHX March For Our Lives page.

“High school students across the State of Arizona are standing in solidarity to say something so simple, even bought and paid for politicians can understand it: It’s time to Save Our Lives.”

Focusing on four Arizona bills

Their proposal, which they called “The Arizona Agenda for Our Lives,” calls on the Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey to pass four bills this year “or risk the wrath of voters in November:”

  • House Bill 2299 would require a person on probation for a domestic-violence offense to hand all their firearms over to a law-enforcement agency for the duration of their probation.
  • HB 2023 would ban bump stocks and other devices designed to make semi-automatic weapons fire similarly to fully-automatic weapons.
  • HB 2024  would require universal criminal background checks for people buying firearms. It would close the so-called “gun show” or “private sale” loophole by requiring a private person selling or transferring a firearm to go through a licensed firearm dealer, with some exceptions. Licensed dealers are required to run background checks.
  • Senate Bill 1347 (and the identical HB 2140) would create a process where immediate family members or a police officer can petition a judge for an injunction to prohibit someone with mental-health issues from possessing a gun.

They also released a petition for people to sign in support of their demands.

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Register high school students to vote at March for Our Lives and #NeverAgain events

In 2015, Arizona became the 1st state to pass law requiring high-school civics test: The American Civics Act will require students to pass 60 of the 100 questions on the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization civics test. They can first take the test in eighth grade, and can retake it until they pass.

If Arizona really wants to teach its children civics – the obligation of American citizens to actively participate in the democratic political process, at a minimum, through voting  – then an opportunity to put actions before empty platitudes will present itself in the coming weeks.

The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida,  have organized the March for Our Lives and #NeverAgain movement. Several civics events are planned, i.e., the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances:

Students, teachers, and allies will take part in a for 17 minutes at 10am on March 14, 2018. Join us in saying !http://bit.ly/EnoughMarch14.

On March 24 students, teachers and allies will take to the streets of Washington, DC and our communities across the country for March for Our Lives. We will be the last group of students who have to stand up for fallen children due to senseless gun violence. March with us. Sign up at marchforourlives.com.

On April 20th students and teachers will participate in the National School Walkout at 10:00 a.m. Sit outside your schools and peacefully protest. Make some noise. Voice your thoughts. “We are students, we are victims, we are change.” Sign the petition at Change.org National High School Walk-Out for Anti Gun Violence.

My thought was that the Arizona Secretary of State’s office and our 15 County Recorder’s offices, along with voter registration organizations such as the League of Women Voters and many others, could coordinate with Arizona’s school districts to make voter registration tables available at every Arizona high school for seniors participating in these extraordinary events to register to vote. High school civics teachers should see this as a golden opportunity to teach their students about civics.

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