It was a lovely Monday morning at Harlow’s Café in Tempe, Arizona as 2018 Democratic Congressional District Five Nominee Joan Greene met with me and discussed her new run for that same seat in 2020.
Congressional District Five is located in the East Valley of Maricopa County and includes all or parts of Mesa, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, and Chandler.
During breakfast (Harlow’s is highly recommended), Ms. Greene relayed her reasons for running again and where she stands on various issues. The questions and responses are below.
- Please explain the reason you have chosen to run again for Congress.
“When I was growing up, our elected officials disagreed with each other but we always felt they were working for us. Today the elected people are working for themselves and their special interest groups.
The job of a Representative is listening and responding to the needs of the people. The constituents have told the current representative in Congressional District 5, Andy Biggs, what they want him to do and he refuses to work for them. The ideology he promotes is not the kitchen table issues that keep our families up at night nor are his “solutions” embraced by the people.
The people have said loud and clear what they want and I am confident my leadership skills will help provide the solutions they desire. I am a problem solver, an out of the box independent thinker who is not in the pocket of special interest groups. CD5 has a right to have a representative who is accessible, transparent, listens to them and fights for them. I will provide realistic common sense solutions to help our communities thrive together. I am ready on day one to work for them.”
- In running again, what are at least three major domestic issues you will center your campaign on?
“My focus is on issues the people of CD5 are telling me they want to be fixed:
- Stop the corruption. People in CD5 believe most of the decisions Congress make are not to help the people but to help their wallets. I plan on bringing back trust and honor to the office
- Fix the economy so it is a level playing field for all
- Healthcare needs to be affordable and accessible which includes pre-existing conditions and lower prescription drug costs
- Veteran’s health care must have solutions that work. 25% of the veterans live in the East Valley. A VA hospital can be built in the East Valley or the VA will contract with an established hospital to provide the health care needs. This will lighten the load for the Phoenix center. We can also establish a system in Medicare called Medicare-V. Veterans receive a card they use anywhere for care. Instead of traveling or relying on transportation to take them to a center that may be hours away, the person is able to stay in their neighborhood and use a primary doctor already established for their family.
- The damage to our Nation the current administration, including Biggs, is doing or trying to do needs to be undone. Instead of building on our past successes, we will need to do clean up on aisle America before we can move forward.”
“WE NEED TO DO CLEAN UP ON AISLE AMERICA TO MOVE FORWARD.”
- In running again, what are the three major international issues you will center your campaign on?
- “Economy is a priority for me. The political stunt of the government shutdown cost our Country $11 billion. Closing the border would have cost Arizona the potential loss of $5 billion in exports and 236,000 jobs. Trade wars with China and tariffs, which are taxes, hurt our families and business’. CD5 is looking for a leader who will not hold their families financially hostage, has the skills to be a job creator and help our economy thrive.
- Cybersecurity is very important. The opportunity for bad actors to commit domestic or international terrorism with a click of a button is a reality.
- We must be a political ally other Countries can count on.”
- With regards to health care, do you believe in Medicare for All or expanding the Affordable Care Act or another alternative?
“What I like about canvassing is the opportunity to include more people in the conversation. People are telling me several things
- They want the ACA fixed
- They want to keep their private insurance and have it more affordable
- Extend eye, dental and hearing aid care for seniors on Medicare
- Option to buy into Medicare at a lower age
- Have Congress change the laws so Medicare can negotiate drug prices
- Protect people with pre-existing conditions”
- 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?
“$15.00 an hour is the minimum. There is not one state or city the residents can raise a family or survive on at less than $15.00 an hour. States and cities should have the discretion to increase it (through voter referendums) and include a clause for the cost of living adjustments.”
- 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)?
“The Green New Deal is an infrastructure program that will fix our crumbling roads, waterways, and bridges. The program will provide jobs that pay a livable wage which will build and strengthen the economy and communities.
We must start the infrastructure programs in our low and middle-income neighborhoods and hire from the community. A percentage of federal contracts will be awarded to qualified women and minority-owned businesses. Bridge financing will be available if needed, so companies are able to compete.”
- What is your view on the moves towards clean elections and election security reform contained in HR 1?
“Anti-corruption is a top priority for me. The people in the district always ask, ‘Why are Republicans against clean and honest elections?’”
- What is your view on the rash of Anti Abortion Laws surfacing in many conservative states?
“There is a war on women and it is not nor has it ever been about saving lives.”
- What are the three ideas you have on what needs to be done to combat the COVID 19 virus?
1) “Listen to the health experts and not the politicians.”
2) “Mandating masks, social distancing, and businesses follow the CDC guidelines.”
3) “Provide financial funding that goes directly to the people so they can stay sheltered in place to flatten the curve.”
4) “Funding for testing, contact tracing and medical care which includes aftercare and prescription drugs.”
- Is there anything you would like the readers to know about you or your candidacy that the above questions did not fully convey?
“We all want what is best for our families and the kitchen table issues are non-partisan. We all want a job that pays a livable wage, affordable quality health care, education for our children that prepares them for life opportunities and secure retirement.
This is not about politics, it’s about people. It’s about ‘Country Before Party’ and it’s about coming together and not tearing ourselves apart.
I want people, from every political party, to know they should vote for me because I will fight for your better tomorrow and you will reelect me because I kept my promises.”
Ms. Greene also relayed that she feels Congressional District Five and the legislative districts within it (including LD’s 26, 25, 17, 16, and 12) all have the potential to become totally blue or start peeling away at the conservative dominance in the area. She strongly feels that the state and national party apparatuses would do well and invest in those areas of Eastern Maricopa County (where her district is) that have been ignored for at least a couple of decades.
Ms. Greene is right to feel this way.
When you look at the voting record of reactionaries like current Congressional District Five Representative Andy Biggs, the nondoctrinaire Republicans, Independents, and Democrats would cringe.
Biggs has no hesitancy to be a featured speaker at an event where known white supremacists and hate group members attended. Mr. Biggs voting record in this Congressional session alone should disqualify him in the eyes of most if not all residents in this district.
Over the last six months, Mr. Biggs has voted against:
- Supporting N.A.T.O.
- Pay fairness for men and women.
- Background checks on gun purchases
- Condemning Anti Semitism
- Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
- Combatting climate change
- Protecting people with pre-existing health conditions
- Equality for members of the LGBTQ Community
- Disaster Relief for parts of the country ravaged by natural disasters.
The question for the people of Congressional District Five is what candidate best exemplifies their values and stands on the vital issues of the times.
Does Andy Biggs, a person who speaks to white supremacists, does not condemn anti-Semitism, and votes against the Violence Against Women Act really represent the values of the majority of the residents of CD 5? Does he in his opposition to civil rights for all, climate change, health care protections, and disaster relief for all Americans represent what is ideal in a public servant?
The people of Congressional District Five, as well as the State and National Democratic Party, should strongly consider Joan Greene in her second run for the CD 5 House seat.
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