- Life of service.
- Education is the great equalizer.
- A strong work ethic.
- A good life for children.
- A society where everyone can have opportunity and move up.
These are some of the values State Representative Morgan Abraham’s parents instilled on him and he as applied as an affordable housing builder, United States Intelligence Officer and legislator in the Arizona State House.
Wanting and working to make Southern Arizona a better place for everyone, Mr. Abraham was appointed to the legislature when Stephanie Stahl Hamilton replaced Kirsten Engel in the State Senate.
In his time at the State House, he has offered bills for Universal Pre-K, affordable housing, and green sustainability.
If elected to the State Senate in the new Legislative District (LD)18, Representative Abraham will continue to work on these issues along with protecting women’s and voter rights.
Mr. Abraham graciously took the time to respond to questions about his candidacy.
The questions and his responses are below.
- What are least two reasons you want to run for a term in the Arizona State Senate?
“The first reason would be the focus on education. I am the son of a teacher. My dad is an immigrant who came to the state of Arizona because of the opportunity in education and I want the same opportunities that I had for the next generation. And right now, we are drastically behind where we fund schools, even when I was in school, much less when my parents decided to come to Arizona. So, I am hyper focused on increasing funding for K12 public schools. I even dropped a bill that would create a Universal Pre-K system.
Education is always the number one priority that I have.
The other reason is I am someone that likes to fight. It is a time in, in our democracy when we need people to stand up and, and fight back, whether that’s for women’s right to choose or just your right to vote.
I do it a lot at the Capital. I get on the mic. I debate. I work the room. I try to get Republicans off bad bills. So, I think we need more fighters up in Phoenix at the legislature and that’s someone I am.”
- What are at least two reasons voters should let you over any opponent in the legislative race?
“I think one reason would be my experience. I am a current legislator and I’ve been pretty successful. I kill a lot of bills, really, really bad bills like Anti COVID bills and ones that would defund our teacher’s pensions.
I’m pretty effective at that.
On top of that, I have experience in the army. The kind that taught me how to, how to lead and how to connect with people who have a military experience.
I am also a small business owner. That experience also allows me to connect with different people.
All three of those, my experience at the legislature, my experience in the army and my experience as a small business owner, I think are one of the big reasons of why I make a good legislator.
Another reason is my values. I think I have deeply progressive Tucson values and I represent the district. Some of the bills I’ve dropped are, bills to create a Universal Pre-K system, to fight climate change, to try to prevent homelessness by you know, preventing eviction and these are very Tucson and Pima County values. I think I represent those issues well at the Capitol.”
- If elected, what are at least four issues, you’ll focus on the legislature?
“Number one, as we discussed is K12 funding for education. I’m fighting for a billion dollars in our budget this year for K12 schools, without any contingencies or vouchers.
We need to increase the funding for K12 and we need to do it yesterday.
Number two is also education related. I’m a big believer that we need a Universal Pre-K system in the state of Arizona. So, all of our children can have a high-quality pre-K experience. I dropped that bill this year. I’m going to keep pushing that bill, and I’m going to keep talking about that bill.
Another reason is fighting for a woman’s right to choose and fight back against “pro-life” legislation. Clearly Roe v Wade is under attack and every week we wait to see what happens with that. In the meantime, the Republicans at the legislature have proposed and passed legislation to restrict abortion rights. This is something that I’m passionate about and I’m going to push back against the attack on women’s rights.
The fourth issue is protecting democracy by pushing back on the big lie and protecting our voting rights here in Arizona. They’ve already clawed back on PEVL, Permanent Early Voter List. That’s the first step, but they have a lot of other terrible ideas planned. And so pushing back on that and then even going on offense where we can expand voting rights in Arizona.”
Do you believe in funding the police?
“I certainly believe that we should fund police. I am also someone that believes that we need to completely transform the police. And so that involves money for areas that police currently do that I think social workers and other better trained people should do.
I’m an affordable housing builder. I’ve seen it many times when we have a client that’s having an SMI (serious mental illness) issue and the police come and they’re no better equipped to handle that situation than I am. So, I do think we need to reimagine and re reconstruct what we call policing in this community.”
Do you favor Expanding Kids Care?
What are your views on immigration?
“On immigration. I do think we have an immigration problem right now and it’s not the problem the Republicans seem to think.
We have millions of Dreamers in the country and certainly a lot in Arizona. That’s a problem we need to fix. We have a system that’s way too hard to enter this country legally. That’s a problem. We need to fix that. And so, I think when we have these structures in our country that make it so difficult to immigrate here and to work for a better America, of course, people are going to come here, undocumented.
I think we can create a package that fixes some of these issues we have and have better outcomes at the border. And that’s something that I want to see.”
- Is there anything not covered in the first three questions you want the readers to know about you or your candidates? Please explain.
“I’m an engineer. I’m very analytical. I like data. I like understanding issues thoroughly. And that’s one of the reasons that I push some of the bills I push and I think we need more analytical engineer-science based thinkers at the capital.
Whether it’s my Pre-K bill that is data driven or some of the climate change issues that I’ve presented and solutions for that, they’re all data driven. They’re all science based. And, and I want to see more of that for my state.”
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