Tucson Kickoff for Save Our Schools Arizona

    June 21, 2017 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
    YWCA of Southern Arizona
    525 N Bonita Ave
    Tucson, AZ 85745


    “Come find out about Save Our Schools Arizona with LD 9 Representative Randy Friese and LD 10 State Senator David Bradley! Find out how you can sign and circulate the petitions. Meet other passionate and inspirational local leaders, and have some yummy ice cream treats. Kids welcome!”


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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. About 60 people in attendance for this kickoff. SOS Chair Beth Lewis spoke about the campaign to undo SB 1431, the voucher bill which passed in AZ legislature this Spring. Senator David Bradley said it was called an “empowerment scholarship” bill, which was “disarming”. Though about choice, this bill is really taking $ from public education to fund private schools, and public schools can’t refuse to take any child. Rep. Friese said the bill was “flawed”, that Gov. Ducey wanted this to pass as first state to do so, that it passed quickly as “mirror bills” introduced same time in AZ House &Senate. Friese said it was definitely “politics over policy”. Questions from the audience were about legal challenges (who could sue); evangelical legislators promoting private schools; sectarian educational funding; charter schools’ racial composition vs. public schools; accountability of charter schools and the AZ Superintendent of Schools; can the vouchers be used for home schooling; how many signatures needed. Beth responded that there are 9,000 petitions out, need about 100,000 signatures statewide (minimum is 75,000) by August 1 deadline. Any registered voter can sign the petition. Michelle Crow of Children’s Action Alliance spoke about grass root efforts, notaries in town, where to drop off petitions (YWCA, Pima Dem HQ, PALF office). LD 2 Representatives Rosanna Gabaldon and Pam Powers Hannley also spoke in favor of this effort. Strawberry & lemon eegees were served, as promised.

    2. “Did we mention there will be free Eegee’s for the first 100 people? We know how Tucson loves its Eegee’s.
      You might need it with how on these petitions are right now
      See you Wednesday!”

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