While petting a year old German Shepard Mix named Zuzu at the Democratic Party LD 28 office on Shea and 32nd Street, State Senate Christine Marsh relayed her reasons for wanting to replace incumbent Kate Brophy McGee in the Arizona Senate and the legislative goals she would like to pursue after taking office in January 2019.
Partially inspired by a conversation with a student, in her English class at Chaparral High School, on whether children in Arizona were worth as much as children in other states, Ms. Marsh, a 2016 State Teacher of the Year, is running largely on a pro-public education platform in the Purple Arizona District 28 on a ticket with State House Incumbent Kelli Butler and House Challenger Aaron Lieberman. A very attainable Marsh win in LD 28 would help Democrats achieve their realistic goal of gaining control of the State Senate in November’s elections.
Arizona Legislative District 28 is similar in some ways to Arizona Legislative District 18. It is a district that is becoming increasingly blue as evidenced by Kelli Butler’s State House win in 2016 and Kate Brophy McGee’s two-point squeaker over Democrat opponent Eric Meyer in the same election. A district that includes parts of Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Glendale, Democrats have a well-organized and energized team led by Field Director Chris Fleischman (the dog parent of Zuzu) and able volunteers like Tyler Kowch, an Arizona resident who found education in Canada a cheaper option.
Who is Christine Marsh?
An acclaimed English teacher (a 2016 Teacher of the Year whose favorite novel is To Kill a Mockingbird) for 26 years and a mother of two sons and six foster children, Ms. Marsh has been shaped from her experiences as a child of two entrepreneurs (her mother is a Salon owner and her father a restaurateur/caterer), a parent, an educator, and member of her community (civic and church). The prime focus of these experiences has been to “better the lives of people in the community.”
Ms. Marsh sees herself as a problem-solving centrist. With a Democratic Senate, Marsh sees herself as a pragmatic centrist in influencing policy, especially those areas concerning children. She feels that her 26 years of working with high school children and her efforts at “reaching them” have provided excellent training for a stint in the legislature where she would take a bipartisan approach to mold legislation through compromise and negotiation.
Helping Children is the First Priority of Christine Marsh.
As mentioned earlier, the motivation for Ms. Marsh to seek this Senate Seat partially stems from a conversation with one of her English students on whether children in Arizona were worth less than children in other states. If elected, Ms. Marsh will fight to ensure that all budget priorities that impact children will be properly funded. These areas include:
- Funding access for families for early childcare.
- Funding access for families for Universal Pre Kindergarten.
- Funding access for families for Full Day Kindergarten.
- Promoting small class sizes for lower elementary school grades.
- Providing opportunities for Early College and Career Pathway Apprenticeships so children can get a head start in college.
- Funding school construction and renovation so they would be increasingly safer.
- Supporting more funds to universities and community colleges so hardworking instate tuition rates can be reduced for Arizonans, and defunding politically driven education out of our higher education system, including the Koch led Freedom Schools.
By promoting these ideas and initiatives, Ms. Marsh feels many of the shortcomings towards funding child-centered issues will be addressed.
In addition to the Education ideas Marsh would champion in the above section, she also supports fully funding schools through the ballot box with the Invest in Ed Initiative supplemented by corporate tax studies that would cancel every business tax break that did not help the economy. Furthermore, she would oppose the funding for school vouchers and use the funds earmarked for private school tax credits and shift that to funding public schools.
On other education matters, Marsh would:
- Support schools with S.T.E.A.M. programs.
- Better funding for special education and ELL programs.
- Better funding for teacher and staff professional development.
- Support greater transparency and oversight for the state’s charter schools.
- Promote school standards developed by educators, not uninformed bureaucrats or elected officials with agendas that do not benefit the public.
The Economy and Good Paying Jobs
Arizona needs to promote a culture where a good education system provides an inducement for large businesses and corporations to move good paying jobs to the state. Ms. Marsh is also concerned that many talented children will graduate and look for jobs in states where positions are more in line with their qualifications, infrastructure like public transportation is more developed, and compensation greater than what is available in Arizona. She also believes that everyone is entitled to a living wage. Finally, she believes that the state is not employing sound fiscal management practices by spending “money that are not benefiting the general population.”
Ms. Marsh supports making healthcare more affordable.
Reducing Poverty and Homelessness
She feels that we cannot cut the safety net programs the state provides and we need to help the employed stay employed. To accomplish this, she proposes funding childcare so families can afford that.
Light and High-Speed Rail: She believes we have to expand the public transportation system and infrastructure in order to keep college graduates here instead of moving to places like the Bay area in California or Denver.
Internet Broadband: Needs to expand to all rural areas and modernize in all public schools so the Internet will not crash during testing. Ms. Marsh recounted how the school she teaches at turns off Internet access to all the systems that did not take part in state testing this year so it would smoothly proceed. A public school should not have to do that.
Water Conservation: Current plans are not “satisfactory” and new ideas need to be explored because this is a vital area for this state.
She supports making renewable energy our top energy source in the state since it creates good paying jobs, saves us money over time, and creates a healthy environment for our kids to grow up in. This would present a win-win-win situation for the state.
“Supports making sure that the criminal legal systems treat everyone fairly.”
“The legislature should enact sensible gun safety legislation” like banning bump stocks, universal background checks, a waiting period for gun purchases, barring domestic abusers from purchasing firearms, and rules regarding weapon storage.
“Does not support child separation. She supports securing our borders through more innovative approaches. Building a wall is complete nonsense.”
Equal Rights Amendment
She is in favor of it.
She fully supports.
A Woman’s Right to Choose
Supports a woman’s right to choose. She also supports making birth control more accessible and all reasonable ways to reduce the number of abortions.
Dark Money and the War on Democracy
She is against Dark Money and is in favor of the Outlaw Dirty Money Initiative. She is also against Republican attempts to suppress voting and will work for ways to counter that.
Ms. Marsh has a group of very enthusiastic student volunteers (with their parents) who are lending great support to her campaign along with the other dedicated members helping the ticket in the district. While conducting this interview, we were visited by one of these parents (his child had just received a Fulbright Scholarship) who came to get signs to post around the community. There are about 20 interns/volunteers on staff to help carry the candidate’s message. They have already knocked on over 15,000 doors (with a goal of reaching 90,000) and made close to 10,000 phone calls. There have also been several house parties, “Coffee and Conversation” events, and “Lemonade with Christine” events. There is even a Spanish speaker who is dedicated to Latino outreach.
Arizona Legislative District 28 has the great potential of yielding great electoral dividends this November with strong Democratic candidates in an increasingly Purple/Bluish community frustrated with the President (the district went for Hillary Clinton in 2016) and the reactionary Republican program in the state. Voters in LD 28 should seriously consider Christine Marsh this November.
Please review the below sites for more information on Ms. Marsh, the district, and the Democrats of LD 28.