Dr. Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko wants to Work on the Issues Republicans have been Sweeping Under the Rug

Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko addressing her supporters at her campaign kickoff on January 26, 2020.

Arizona Legislative District 15, an area that includes all or parts of Peoria, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley, will be a district to pay attention to in 2020.

Nancy Barto and Heather Carter are fighting it out for the Republican Senate Nomination.

As of January 10, 2020, five Republicans are competing for the two-State House primary slots in the November elections.

On the Democratic side, Dr. Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko (pronounced Dib Vig Pa Welko), the district party nominee for Senate in 2018 has announced her run for the State House.

Dr. Dybvig-Pawelko, a mother of three who is a senior lecturer and internship director for the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, wants to run on the issues Republicans “have been sweeping under the rug” for years.

She hopes to build on the strides Democrats like her, Julie Gunnigle, Jennifer Samuels, and Tonya MacBeth have made in the last two election cycles and show the constituents of Legislative District 15 that her pragmatic forward agenda would serve the community better than the reactionary one posed by any of the Republican candidates.

Dr. Dybvig-Pawelko sat down at the Cartel Café near Arizona State University to discuss her reasons for running and positions on the issues.

The questions and her responses are below.

  • Please tell the reader what are at least three qualifications you have for the Legislative seat you are seeking.


  • ”I have been an educator for 20 years and am intimately familiar with the impact that the state budget process has had on my students. I have seen how this process has affected tuition, cost of living, and unpaid internships
  • “ I am a mom and see how the policies that happen in the Governor’s budget impacts children in the classroom. This budget has led to large class sizes (my daughter has 39 students in a Spanish class) and is unsustainable for keeping teachers in the profession: How does an English teacher grade papers?”
  • “I care about what is going to happen in the future; climate change and water shortages. People need to pay attention to climate change”
  • “ I am actively involved in the community; Community Theater and nonprofit boards. I have the ability to understand and listen to where the other side is coming from.” 
  • What are at least two reasons you would be a better public servant than your likely Republican opponent?

“Education and Governments are not business models. You need to worry about the most vulnerable and look out for the children. A safety net is needed. With a Democratic majority, we can work towards the middle and compromise and address problems that Republicans have swept under the rug.”

  • If elected, please describe the top two health care issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?

“I like Kelli Butler’s bill to allow public buy into Access: State Medicaid Bill. Arizona has one of the best Medicaid Expansion systems in the country. We need to do more for mental health care and its affordability, access, and staffing.”

  • If elected, please describe the top two education issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?

1) “ We need more school counselors and social workers to help students see where they are going.”

2)” We need more special education and gifted funding.”

3) “ We need more funding; We still below 2008 levels.”

4)” We need more support for community colleges and the job programs that can be promoted there. “

  • If elected, please describe the top two sustainability issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?
  1. “Water and expand the 1980 groundwater management act and address in rural communities. Last election cycle I talked to a constituent who had moved into LD 15 from LD 1 because their well ran dry. Without managing our groundwater supply we will continue to see foreign entities purchasing land to grow high water usage crops, essentially exporting Arizona’s most precious natural resource.”

2) “Reduce the carbon footprint and find sustainable ways to increase green energy opportunities.” 

Climate Change is real. As a state, we can act. We need to increase public transportation like rail from Phoenix to Tucson or Vegas.

 These investments also help our most vulnerable.  

  • If elected, please describe the top two helping children issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?

1) “Education.”

2) “Expanding preschool programs like taking the 56 million the Federal Government offered especially with 30 kids in kindergarten.”

3) “Foster Care system: We need to work on subsidies for kinship care and other resources for families in transition or reunification. It is a lot less costly than leaving a child in a foster home.”  

  • If elected, please describe the top two helping the most vulnerable issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?

We need the Corporation Commission to do their job. We need to legislate temperature cut-offs for utility payments during the summer. We need to protect people most vulnerable. We need to work on affordable housing solutions in metro Phoenix and Tucson to help students and the elderly.” 

  • If elected, please describe the top two law enforcement issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?

“ We need to stop prosecuting for marijuana offenses as there is a disproportionate share of minorities in jail. We have to move away from private prison as having a profit motive in incarceration will only serve to ensure that we incarcerate more of our population. Prisoners need proper hygiene items. The idea that female prisoners do not have menstrual products is something we should all care about. The cash bond bail system is a problem that punitive towards poor people. Paying prisoners slave labor in unsafe working conditions is wrong. How can you rehabilitate and reduce repeat offenders if you do not invest in preparing them for society? In Arizona, we incarcerate more people than almost any other state.”

  • If elected, please describe the top two immigration issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?

“Immigrants are the backbone of society. As a state, we have benefited from refuges settling here. In Arizona, our biggest trading partner is Mexico. We need to regulate facilities that are storing children. It is a federal control issue. We should have strong border security but the wall will not work. “

  • If elected, please describe the top issues facing women, minorities, and the LGBTQ communities that you would like to focus on as a legislator?

“We need to codify adoption and marriage protections for LGBTQ Families. We need to address women’s health care and they and doctors in charge of women’s health care. We need to work with local police departments that officers are racially sensitive and remove problematic police officers.” 

  • If elected, please describe the top two government reform issues you would like to focus on as a legislator?

“Outlaw Dirty Money. Make sure we are aware of who the campaign donors are. All elections should be doing public financing. Citizens United is very problematic. We need to make Supreme Court fair and equitable. Rule changes of the people of the committee are proportionate to the members in the chamber. “

Dr. Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko would present a marked philosophical change from the current Republican State Legislators in Legislative District 15 and their aspiring reactionary successors.

Where those candidates would likely not vote to fully fund schools, Dr. Dybvig-Pawelko would.

Where those candidates would likely not vote to fully fund programs to help the most vulnerable in society, Dr. Dybvig-Pawelko would.

Where those candidates would likely not vote on Sustainability Projects that are based on climate concerns and science fact, Dr. Dybvig-Pawelko would.

Where those candidates would likely not vote on political campaign transparency and accountability, Dr. Dybvig-Pawelko would.

Dr. Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko is a candidate voters should consider when voting in the November 2020 elections.

For more information on Dr. Dybvig-Pawelko and her campaign, please click on her website here and her Facebook Page here. 

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David Gordon
Living in Arizona since his family moved to Tempe from New York in 1982, David Gordon has three degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Phoenix in History, Political Science, and Secondary School Administration. A highly qualified Social Studies instructor and Certified School Principal, Mr. Gordon owned his own charter school, Grand Canyon College Preparatory Academy from 1997-2016. The school served students in grades 6-12 in the East Valley of Maricopa County. Many of the graduates of GCP earned college credit for free while still attending high school, some completing the first year of college before graduating. Among the speakers at the school's graduations were noted figures in Arizona Politics like Harry Mitchell, David Schweikert, Juan Mendes, Andrew Sherwood, and John Huppenthal. Mr. Gordon also participated in the revisions of the Arizona History and Social Studies standards. In January 2017, Mr. Gordon started the political blog Twenty-First Century Progressive Bull Moose. It has a global following and routinely comments on the political events of the day. Mr. Gordon also helps administer the Facebook page Living Blue in Arizona. He is also currently writing a series of Young Adult science fiction novels which incorporate the themes of time travel and its impact on history. Mr. Gordon is very happy to be asked to join the Blog for Arizona team and hopes to spread the progressive word to make Arizona a better place for everyone.