Category Archives: Gun Policies

Blue Wave Washed over #AZLeg: Seven GOP Incumbents Lose Seats

AZ House Democratic Caucus

Democratic Caucus of the Arizona House– all 29 of us! Our newly elected Minority Leader is Rep. Charlene Fernandez (center in white jacket).

In the week since the 2018 Midterm Election, pundits have been judging the size and very existence of the predicted Blue Wave . To determine if the Blue Wave of newly elected Democrats was a tsunami or a just ripple, the media has focused primarily on Congressional and gubernatorial races–with little or no mention of state legislatures.

With voter turnout at 60%, there is no doubt that a Blue Wave washed over Arizona on Nov. 6, 2018. Democratic women won major victories: US Senate (Kyrsten Sinema), CD2 (Ann Kirkpatrick), Corporation Commission (Sandra Kennedy), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Kathy Hoffman), and maybe but still too close to call Secretary of State (Katie Hobbs). The incumbent Republicans for three of these seats– Corporation Commission (Tom Forese), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Diane Douglas), and Secretary of State (Michelle Reagan)– all lost in the primary. Now, Democrats will hold those seats.

In the Arizona House, the Blue Wave was more of a tsunami. Seven Republican incumbents will not be returning to the Arizona Legislature in January 2019.

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Turning out the youth vote – you can make a difference

There have been numerous reports in recent weeks speculating about whether or not the youth vote will turn out in a midterm election. Historically, they do not. This election, however, may be different.

After The Parkland Shooting, Youth Voter Registration Surges: States with critical elections that may decide control of the U.S. Senate and House showed large increases in youth registration, including Pennsylvania (16.14 point increase), Arizona (+8.2 point increase), Florida (+8), Virginia (+10.5), Indiana (+9.9), and New York (+10.7).

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NextGen America, which was founded by California billionaire Tom Steyer, has put up $3 million in Arizona this year to register young people, specifically those aged 18 to 35, and get them to the polls. In Arizona, an effort to register young people to vote was a success.

They were aiming to register 15,000 new young voters this year and instead netted more than 21,000.

But history isn’t on their side — younger voters have the lowest turnout rates in Arizona.

A report from the Morrison Institute for Public Policy found only 19 percent of votes cast in the 2016 election in Arizona came from Millennials, while 37 percent came from Baby Boomers, despite the fact that there are more Millennials than boomers here.

Only 29 percent of Arizona Millennials voted during the 2016 election, the report said.

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Balanced Public Health Policy Should Be Legislature’s Goal (video)

The Arizona House Health Committee passed the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act in January 2018.

This is the transcript of my opening remarks at the Arizona Public Health Association Conference on Oct. 3, 2018. A video of the speech is below.

It is an honor for me to address the Arizona Public Health Association, since I have a Masters in Public Health from the University of Arizona. I worked in health communication, medicine, public health and behavioral research for many years before deciding to run for the Arizona House in 2015.

In fact, it was my background in public health that prompted me to run for office. Many times since I moved to Arizona in 1981, I have found myself shouting at the radio or the TV or the newspaper or a social post about bad policy decisions made by the Arizona Legislature. Anybody else have that experience?

In the public health arena, the Legislature far too often makes short-term decisions to save a buck or make an ideological point, but in the long-term, these decisions cost money and lives. Do you remember Governor Jan Brewer’s Death Panels? Brewer knocked more than 250,000 adults off of Medicaid—including people on transplant waiting lists. That decision made national news as transplant patients began dying.

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LD8 Democratic Legislative Candidates Support Education and Women’s Rights

Sharon Girard

Sharon Girard supports Medicare for All and retaining the KidsCare Healthcare program.

The Democratic candidates running for the state Legislature put an emphasis on issues that are unique to rural Arizona such as failing schools, lack of access to quality healthcare, water rights, and immigration.

In our Trump nation, local elections matter more than ever. If you care about education, healthcare or equality, it is vital that each of us knows exactly who is running for our local legislative seats.

Legislative District 8 encompasses Eloy, Globe, Gila River Indian Reservation, Mammoth, Coolidge, Florence, Superior, parts of Oracle, and Casa Grande.  

LD 8 can be considered a toss-up district. It is a District where the incumbent Republican state Senator Frank Pratt won less than 55 percent of the vote in 2016! Simply put: 55% is a percentage Democrats can chip away at. So, who are these Democrats on the ballot and what do they care about?

Arizona State Senate

Sharon Girard is running as a Democrat. She is a Physician’s Assistant and comes from a military family. Girard grew up in California but lives and works in Eloy, Arizona. She is a mother, wife and a fierce advocate for women’s reproductive rights and access to affordable healthcare for all. Her impressive medical background informs many of her positions. She is endorsed by Moms Demand Action, Naral Arizona, Teamsters Local 104, the Arizona AFL CIO, and various other organizations. Girard’s social media presence is strategic; she is active on both Facebook and Twitter.

Women’s equality and Reproductive freedom: Girard supports a woman’s right to choose, access to affordable contraception for men and women, equal pay, comprehensive sex education in all schools, and an end to Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

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The Kirkpatrick v. Marquez-Peterson CD2 Congressional Debate at a Glance

Democratic candidate Ann Kirkpatrick debated Republican rival Lea Marquez-Peterson at the Arizona Congressional District 2 Debate on October 9 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center hosted by Arizona Public Media.

Voters have a clear-cut choice: Marquez-Peterson would be a clone of Martha McSally, who abandoned the district, and Kirkpatrick would bring back progressive values for the first time in 4 years.

The chart below displays each candidate’s answers to questions from a panel of news reporters. An empty box indicates that the question was directed to one candidate only.
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