Anita Malik wants to finish the job she started in 2018.
Facing a campaign funding disadvantage and family medical emergency, Ms. Malik defeated two primary opponents and erased 14 points off incumbent Congressional District Six Representative David Schweikert’s 2016 electoral margin in the 2018 elections.
Ms. Malik wants to pick up where her 2018 campaign left off, win the nomination, and make Arizona Congressional District Six (an area that serves Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, and North Phoenix) blue by defeating the ethically embattled Schweikert on November 3, 2020.
Facing a primary election where she faces fellow Democratic candidates in Stephanie Rimmer and Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, Ms. Malik met with me at the Coffee Bean on Indian School and Miller in Scottsdale to discuss her reasons for running again and her positions on some of the important issues of this election cycle.
The questions and Ms. Malik’s responses are below
- Please explain the reason you have chosen to run again for Congress.
“The people of this district created a movement last cycle. I was a part of that, and the movement isn’t over until we change our representation. David Schweikert isn’t here for the community of District 6, I am and always will be.
Sure, some people said I should take a break, maybe wait for redistricting, but we have the momentum now, and in deep red districts, building name ID takes time.
Also, and most importantly, the issues I care about are still without solutions.”
- In running again, what are the three major domestic issues you will center your campaign on?
1) “Families in need of health care should be able to get it immediately without worrying about costs and bureaucracy. I will fight for universal health care by moving us toward a Medicare-for-All system while offering immediate relief and quality coverage to millions of Americans.”
2) “I will make meaningful investments in our families and our small businesses to stimulate a healthy economy that’s fueled by healthy workers. Let’s encourage upward mobility and strengthen the middle class by securing paid family, medical and sick leave, enforcing equal pay, investing in lifelong education, modernizing our infrastructure and tax code and expanding retirement security.”
3) “I will fight to end corruption and ensure accountability in government. We must level the playing field in politics to protect our Democracy. This includes securing elections, publicly-funded elections, and term limits.”
- In running again, what are the three major international issues you will center your campaign on?
1) “I will fight for fair trade that empowers our local communities, not tariffs that hurt struggling businesses and families. And, no more loopholes for profitable companies that ship our jobs overseas.”
2 ) “We must lead an international effort against climate change to preserve our national security and ensure our collective prosperity. Rejoining the Paris Agreement is one first step.”
3 ) “We must restore our international credibility and encourage peace and stability throughout the world. That means making smart and strategic decisions to defend our homeland while optimizing our diplomatic and cooperative initiatives abroad.”
- With regards to health care, do you believe in Medicare for All or expanding the Affordable Care Act or another alternative?
“I know what it’s like to deal with our broken health care system due to an unexpected and catastrophic health event in my family. And I know what it’s like to have coverage and still be left behind with mountains of debt and endless bureaucracy.”
“I believe in quality universal health care, one that moves us toward a Medicare-for-All system, while offering immediate relief and quality coverage to millions of Americans. To achieve this, we must expand ACA’s protections; offer Medicare as an affordable public buy-in option; lower and standardize prescription and procedure costs and end surprise bills and balance billing. These are just the first steps. We can then continue to expand Medicare enrollment, automatic enrollment of newborns, etc. until we reach true universal coverage.”
- In your opinion, should the federal minimum wage go up to $15.00 an hour or be adjusted depending on the region of the country you live in?
“Yes, we must raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and tie it to inflation. A livable wage for working families stimulates our economy as earnings are reinvested into our communities and our small businesses.”
- Do you support the Green New Deal or another proposal (like those from Governor Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, or the advocates behind the Green Real Deal)?
“To combat climate change, we must modernize our society with clean and renewable energy. This requires the complete mobilization of our economy in that direction, and I believe that my background as a tech COO and my experience in finance and business can guide and encourage the necessary innovation to facilitate this change.”
“As Arizonans, we have the opportunity to turn our state into a renewable powerhouse that exports clean energy to the rest of the world while securing our nation’s clean energy independence by 2050. So yes, I believe in the bold vision behind these proposals because they are moving us forward and challenging us to not only have the conversation but also to act.”
- What is your view on the moves towards clean elections and election security reform contained in HR 1?
“I’ve been fighting against corruption since day-one because I believe the people must have the ultimate voice in our elections. I support H.R. 1 as a good first step, but we must go further to end corruption in Washington. That’s why I extend my support to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Anti-Corruption bill, which places a lifetime ban on lobbying for members of Congress; prohibits lawmakers from owning individual stocks and requires the tax returns of elected and appointed officials during their tenure. And I’ll start rooting out corruption within our own district first.”
“As a public servant, I reaffirm my pledge to fight for every voice. That’s why I also believe in mandating term limits and public town halls for our elected officials.”
- What is your view on the rash of Anti Abortion Laws surfacing in many conservative states?
“As a woman, it is a terrifying time. It is an infuriating time. This is about health care, this is about human rights and economic justice. We must protect a woman’s constitutional right to choose. I support federal legislation to ensure all women, regardless of their socioeconomic status, have their reproductive rights protected. Moreover, I favor repealing the Hyde Amendment and expanding access to maternal care and contraceptives to strengthen these rights.”
- Do you think President Trump should be impeached and please give two reasons for your response?
“Our elected and appointed officials must be held accountable; therefore, I won’t hesitate to uphold our Constitution against any president that obstructs justice or exploits the office for their own financial gain. We must uphold our laws and our values even when it’s difficult.”
“And if elected, I will treat everyone equally under the law and serve as an honest check against abuses of power.”
- Is there anything you would like the readers to know about you or your candidacy that the above questions did not fully convey?
“I will always put our families and our community first to build a strong, sustainable economy with long-term growth in mind. It is time we move away from shortsighted economic hacks and plan for our future.”
“I have the business and tech background to do this for our district, and as the 2018 Democratic nominee for District 6, I proved that I also “walk the talk.”
“Although our campaign was outspent 4 to 1 in a competitive 3-way primary, I held true to my beliefs in campaign finance reform. I will not accept corporate PAC money or contributions from a congressional member or issue-based PACs that are funded by corporations. We showed we know how to develop innovative ideas and work lean and efficient, putting people first.”
“Our historic effort swung the district 14 points by focusing on the voices of District 6, a district I grew up in and care deeply about. Now, we’re ready to build on the movement and bring true change in 2020.”
“Money does not win elections. Ideas do. Work does. Strategy does. You need to talk to people and pay attention to what is happening on the ground. People should not just look at the money (that has been raised.) We have to get outside of that.”
Anita Malik proved in 2018 that she was a worthy candidate to consider voting for.
Nothing has changed for 2020.
Proving she could mount a strong challenge despite a fundraising disadvantage and family emergency, Ms. Malik showed she is still a worthy candidate for all voters to consider in the 2020 elections.
The Democrats are very fortunate to have three formidable candidates running to displace Mr. Schweikert in 2020.
Despite his contention to the Arizona Mirror, the demographic math is not on his side as Congressional District Six, as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has noticed, has become increasingly purple. The situation is compounded against him as his ethical challenges remain in the forefront and his votes against pivotal issues like helping Americans with pre-existing medical conditions, providing aid for citizens ravaged by natural disasters, and renewing the Violence Against Women Act will be hard to explain to the more reasonable and decent populace in his district.
Voters would not be shortchanged if Ms. Malik is able to finish what she started in 2018.