In 2018, Democrat Douglas Ervin came close to defeating Republican Paul Boyer for the Legislative District 20 Senate Seat.
He is looking for a different outcome with a rematch in 2020.
Legislative District 20, which includes parts of Phoenix, Moon Valley, and Glendale has been in Republican hands since its formation in 2012. Democrats have been competitive in most of the election cycles, coming within striking distance of taking at least one of the House seats in 2018 as well as the Senate one.
Ervin, a former accountant who is dedicated to serving others sat down at a local coffee shop in Phoenix to discuss his qualifications for office and goals as a legislator if elected.
The questions and his responses are below.
- Please tell the reader about yourself (education and experiences).
“I have lived in the valley since I was three-years-old when my family moved here after my father left the Air Force. My mother was a teacher of nursing at Mesa Community College and wanted me to have a good college education, but circumstances made it clear that they could not afford to pay my tuition. So, I started working in restaurants at the age of thirteen, graduated from Scottsdale High and earned my Accounting degree in night school while working fulltime. I have been an auditor for the Arizona Department of Revenue, controller for a small business, business analyst and chief architect for an accounting software company that I helped grow from a small local company to an international firm. I have raced Ironman triathlons, hiked across the state and volunteered for many organizations including as a tutor for second graders at local public district schools. I really enjoy the time I get to spend tutoring the second graders as they are so eager to learn, and it reminds me that Arizona’s future is bright if we responsibly invest in educating our students.”
- Please tell the reader what are at least three qualifications you have for the Legislative seat you are seeking.
- “I have a strong financial background working with government agencies, international corporations and small businesses which helps me understand the implications of tax policy on our local economy and how it affects working families. I believe this knowledge is needed at our state legislature as too many irresponsible long-lasting tax policy decisions have been made that have negatively impacted our community.”
- “Throughout my career, I have led large projects that required working with multiple stakeholders that had competing interests. I needed to understand everyone’s requirements, develop workable solutions and build consensus from all parties involved. This is a skill that I wish to bring to the legislature to help create positive change.”
- “I am a longtime volunteer for environmental and education organizations, which are two of the top issues facing our community. Having this experience and real-world knowledge will help me better understand the policy changes discussed at the legislature.”
- What are at least two reasons you would be a better public servant than your likely Republican opponent?
- “I believe my strong financial background is better suited to help us restore fiscal responsibility to our state government and correct the frequent shortsighted tax policy decisions made by our legislature.”
- “As I am not a career politician, I will not push a political ideology, cater to special interest groups, nor worry about how votes will affect my political ambitions. Instead, I will listen to the people of our district, support good ideas regardless of political affiliations and do what is right for the future of Arizona.”
- If elected, please describe the top two education issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “Clearly our public education system is still underfunded, so I will work to restore fiscal responsibility to our state so that we can properly invest in our schools to lower class sizes, keep educators teaching in Arizona and ensure every student receives a quality education.”
- “As a tutor for second graders, I see the importance of quality pre-K learning and after-school programs, which can be greatly expanded across the state without additional taxes by redirecting current STO funds that currently only benefit students in private schools.”
- If elected, please describe the top two healthcare issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “I will fight to make sure everyone has access to quality, affordable healthcare and we protect people with pre-existing conditions. One step is to allow Medicaid buy-in to give people an option and strengthen the program.”
- “Also, we need to stop playing political games with lives like was done over the last few years with Kids Care. Instead of instituting freezes to children’s health coverage, we need to be expanding the program as this will help our students learn better, strengthen our economy and it is the morally correct thing to do.”
- If elected, please describe the top two sustainability issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “The environment and infrastructure are linked together. One of my plans is to stress having more electric vehicles in our state fleet of government cars. This will expand the number of electric charging stations across the state, especially in rural areas, which will help encourage more people to move towards less polluting modes of transportation.”
- “Obviously Arizona is uniquely situated to capture a large share of the solar electric generation business including emerging technologies like carbon sequestration. This will only happen if we have strong leaders like myself who are willing to stand up to corporations protecting their short-term profit. I will encourage development that will create a thriving 21st-century economy that works for all Arizonans.“
- If elected, please describe the top two helping children issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “I have a plan to greatly expand access to quality childcare and pre-K education that is paid for with existing funds. This will give kids a head start when entering school, allow more parents to stay in the workforce, create jobs and grow our economy.”
- “As a tutor, I see how children struggle to learn when they are not healthy and well-nourished. I will work to expand access to child healthcare and healthy eating programs .”
- If elected, please describe the top two helping the most vulnerable issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “While there is no single solution to the problem of homelessness, we need to acknowledge the situation, partner with different organizations and expand affordable housing programs.”
- “Clearly we need to do a better job protecting our children and monitoring sites like Hacienda Health Care that are caring for our developmentally disabled neighbors. This means properly funding state agencies that oversee the facilities and updating regulations as necessary.”
- “I will work to expand protections for children and raise the statute of limitations age for when civil suits can be brought against child sexual abusers. I continue to support the recent gains made in this area by Mr. Boyer, but we must remove the obstructionists from leadership positions to make real progress.”
- If elected, please describe the top two law enforcement issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “In my opinion, we need to work on restoring trust between citizens and law enforcement officers. I will work with individual citizens, community groups and law enforcement agencies to develop a statewide committee that reviews incidents in an unbiased and transparent manner. It will take time, but this is one step we can take to restore community trust that will help keep us all safe.”
- “Many people do not realize that the myriad of irresponsible sales tax exemptions given to special interests has reduced the revenue available for our local jurisdictions to fund law enforcement. We need to restore fiscal responsibility to our state so that we can properly support our courageous public servants including police and firefighters.“
- If elected, please describe the top two immigration issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “We need safe and secure borders while remembering that all people deserve to be treated with respect. As most of the changes must be made at the national level, I will encourage our federal elected officials to finally address immigration reform.”
- “At a state level, we must bring back respect and dignity to our laws and get rid of the lingering hateful and harassing measures such as SB1070.”
- If elected, please describe the top issues facing women, minorities, and the LGBTQ communities that you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “ I will vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. It is ridiculous that the basic international human right of women’s equality is not enshrined in our constitution. It is unconscionable that our current legislature, including my opponent, annually suppress discussion on the topic of equal rights for women.”
- “I am in favor of expanding the list of our state’s protected classes to include gender identity and sexual orientation.”
- If elected, please describe the top two government reform issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
- “I will work to restore fiscal responsibility to our state government. One action is to regularly review special interest tax exemptions and credits that drain hundreds of millions of dollars from our general fund every year. This money could be used to properly fund education, invest in infrastructure and reduce the tax burden on working families.”
- “Local control is often usurped by our current legislature. I want to reverse this trend and return control back to local cities and towns as they are usually better able to address the issues affecting their communities.”
- Are there any issues not mentioned in the previous questions that you feel should be addressed by the Legislature.
- “I will protect voter rights and our state constitutional right to citizen initiatives that are currently being attacked by our legislature.”
- Is there anything you would like to let the reader know about yourself that has not been addressed by the previous questions?
“ I am totally dedicated to serving Arizona and will work for the people of LD20 to address the issues that are affecting our community.”
While a member of the Arizona State Legislature, Mr. Boyer has supported reactionary measures like:
- Minimizing Campaign Finance Disclosures.
- Hampering the initiative and referendum process.
- Authorizing non-lethal weapons on college campuses.
- Allowing possession of loaded firearms on school grounds.
- Budgets that do not fully fund education or other social justice areas (although Mr. Boyer should be praised for his efforts that helped sexual assault victims.)
If elected in 2020, Doug Ervin would offer a different vision and agenda for the people in Legislative District 20 than Mr. Boyer.
The people in LD 20 have to consider whether they want to support the forward ideas championed by Mr. Ervin or retain the backward views offered by Mr. Boyer.
Voters should strongly examine Mr. Ervin and his ideas before deciding who to vote for him in 2020.