I sat down for a conversation with state legislator and candidate for Congress in CD6, Daniel Hernandez. I got about an hour with the candidate to discuss his background, views, and aspirations should he go to Congress.
Following is a full transcript (AI-generated and lightly edited, mistakes are mine…) of our conversation:
Michael: [00:00:00] All right. Hi, this is Mike Bryan, the founder and editor of blog for Arizona. I’m here with Daniel Hernandez. Who’s running for Congress and here in CD six in Southern Arizona. Uh, we’re here in his, his sister’s house, uh, in Barrio Santa Rosa. And, uh, we’re gonna talk a little bit about, uh, who’s run for Congress.
Hi, Daniel. Welcome. Can you introduce yourself?
Daniel: Yeah. My name is Daniel Hernandez. Um, I’m a state representative. I’ve been in the legislature for the last six years before that served as a school board member of the Sunnyside unified school district. And I’m excited to, uh, be one of the candidates running for the democratic nomination for city six.
Michael: Uh, how did you first realize that you, uh, really wanted to serve your community as a politician, a representative more than any other capacity?
Daniel: You know, I don’t really like the word politician because I don’t think what I have ever been focused on is getting elected to office myself really where my story starts is where a lot of.
Our Latino story started, you know, having a wonderful family who instilled in us really important [00:01:00] values. So my grandmother taught us a lesson when I was really young, which was the idea, which for those that don’t have the benefit of speaking Spanish means putting in, um, your grain of sand to try and make the world a better place, whether you’re big or you’re small, rich, or poor, that we all have something to contribute to make the world a better place.
So that’s really where I got my start and it was, so I got a little bit older and I saw that, you know, there was a lot of different opportunities for me to be able to give back. But when I was five, my sister is funnily enough. Um, and I were on a bed and Alman Glen solo, who are my younger sisters, and they’re both, uh, elected officials as well, um, were jumping up and down.
And during one of the jumps up Alma, we think is the one that kicked me and I fell backwards and I hit the back of my head on a middle filing cabinet. That was next to the bed. Did she ever apologize for that? no, she claims it wasn’t her, but, um, so if you look at the back of my skull, you can still see, um, where the, [00:02:00] um, where the metal PI cabinet, um, caused a huge, uh, cut in the back of my head.
So what, uh, at that moment happened was my mom came in and started screaming because her baby was, you know, bleeding and she said, we need to go to the hospital. And I don’t know if you remember being five years old, but for me, going to the hospital at five was really scary because the only time I’d ever been to the hospital before that was to go visit a dying family member.
So the idea that now we’re going to the hospital in my mind at that time, I was dying. Uh, so we get to the hospital and there was a wonderful nurse who was waiting outside for me, who checked me into our arms and gave me a giant hug, said we’re gonna make everything okay. Get inside. They clean me up. And then the doctor gives me a, um, $5 bill, one for every stitch.
Cause I didn’t cry, but he could tell that I was still nervous. So he said, do you know what we do here? And I said, well, people come to die. This is a hospital. And he’s like, no people come here to get better. So they go back to their families. So he goes to another one of his patients and [00:03:00] says, this is my assistant Daniel, is it okay if he listens to your heartbeat?
And I went in and I put on the stethoscope and I listened to the person’s heartbeat. And that’s where I decided, I decided, this is what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna go into healthcare. I’m gonna try and help people. And you were five at the time. And I was five at the time because at a very limited worldview where the only people that I saw helping in their community were nurses and doctors mm-hmm
So I decided that’s what I wanted to do. So from the age of five to about 17 or 18, everything I did was in service of trying to go into, he. So I trained as a nursing assistant, trained as a phlebotomist at our wonderful public schools here in Arizona Sunnyside unified school district. And then when I was, um, 18, I finished up my second year of cancer research at the university of Arizona cancer center.
But then it was around that same time that I ended up getting in a history class. Um, I’ve been asking my teacher, when was the last time a woman was president? Cause I looked around the room and he had portraits of all of the different presidents, but none of a woman. And [00:04:00] I asked when was the last time a woman, because you know, we’ve had 45 men or 44 at the time.
I said, well, you know, women are too emotional to be present. And I didn’t quite like that. Um, and I said, well, if we’ve never had a woman, when was the last time a person of color? And he said, well, that’s not gonna happen for a long time, either. Keep in mind this in 2007, a year before president Obama’s first term.
Yeah. I don’t think I take this guy’s, uh, prognostications, uh, with much, uh, exactly. So I didn’t like the answer. So I decided that I wanted to do something about it. So I literally went on to her website, signed up to volunteer, not knowing what to expect, got in touch with an amazing group of older women here in Tucson who were all volunteers, many of whom have passed on.
Um, cause it’s been such a long ti it’s hard to believe that it was in 2007, like 15 years ago. Um, but they took me under their wing and showed me all the things that I know about politics, the importance of talking to your neighbors, the importance of going and doing the work door to [00:05:00] door. Um, and then after Hillary’s campaign ended, they introduced me to Gabby.
And that was, I think, another kind of moment of inflection where she asked me after I got to know her well. For the first time ever, why I wanted to be a doctor or why I wanted to go into healthcare. And I said, it was to help people. She said, well, what about advocacy? And I didn’t know what that meant. Um, and it sounds really silly now, but, um, growing up in a very loud Latino family, this idea that people couldn’t speak up for themselves, which is what she told me, the point of advocacy was, um, didn’t make sense.
So I literally Googled Arizona students advocacy found a wonderful organization called the Arizona students association, which was a student run, nonprofit advocating for affordable and accessible higher education. And I ended up starting lobbying at the legislature by the time I was 18, by the time I was 20 passed my first piece of legislation and at 20 disappointed, my parents greatly by changing my major from molecular and cellular biology to political science, because I knew that I could have a bigger [00:06:00] impact working on public policy.
So for me, this has never been, uh, from five years old who wanted to be, you know, a member of Congress. It was. I wanted to help people. I found that at the time, the only way that I saw people in my community being helpful was being nurses or doctors that led me to getting involved in politics and then eventually running for office myself.
But running for office has never been something that I’ve been particularly thrilled about or, or excited about. But I see it as something that’s important and necessary because we have way too many people in the elected office who don’t actually care about what their constituents or what the community needs or wants.
They care more about their donors. They care more about special interest groups. So I think it’s important that we have more representation from different communities, but also people who are coming from these communities who really see the needs that exist. Because I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth and you know, now I still get slapped upside the head by my mom on occasion if I step outta line.
Um, and for her. Yeah. So, you [00:07:00] know, for me, it’s an important thing that we have people who don’t necessarily see themselves as politicians, but see themselves as advocate. Because whether I win the sea or not, I’m always gonna be somebody who is focused on doing the most amount of good working on policy.
Michael: Yeah. It sounds like you, you came to, uh, public policy and representation pretty, pretty organically, but ha have you done a lot of, uh, reading or study of, uh, political thought? Uh, do you have thinkers, writers or practitioners of, of politics that, that really have inspired you? Oh my goodness. There are so many people who have been inspiring for me.
Daniel: Well, first I gotta hand it to, you know, the person that helped me get involved. And the reason why I got involved, which was Hillary Clinton, um, after the shooting, I was, uh, given the opportunity to sit and speak with then secretary of C and I essentially got a masterclass in being in public life and running for office.
For me. I think the fact that we still haven’t had a woman president is really [00:08:00] upsetting and this close off feet away as it were, it was so close, very close. Um, so I think for me, you know, I have to acknowledge that that’s one of the main reasons why I got involved. I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gone back and read a lot of different things.
So, you know, when we look at folks here in the us, I think people like Shirley Chisholm, um, and I really appreciate her bluntness. And I think she talks and writes, cuz I’ve read her, her biography a couple of times in a way that’s so accessible and so easy to understand. And I think one of the things that politicians don’t do enough of is speak in the way that people actually can understand what they’re saying.
Mm-hmm and I think that’s one of the things where I always try. And even if I’m talking about really complicated policy, try and make sure that I’m putting it in. Way that if my aunts and my mom can understand it, then I’ve done a good job. If they look at me with a blank stare, then I know I haven’t been able to explain it well enough.
Um, so Shirley Chisholm’s writing, especially the idea of like, if you don’t have a [00:09:00] seat at the table, bring a folding chair. Um, I think is really important. I think another person who I’ve really been inspired by is Harvey milk. Um, you know, one of the first openly LGBTQ elected officials in the country.
So I think, you know, I have this kind of wide wide range of folks who I’ve been really inspired by. I think another person who, you know, has been really inspirational to me obviously is Gabby, um, her taking what happened to her and being able to work on creating an entirely new organization and being involved in advocacy has really, I think changed because now she’s not able to be a member of Congress anymore, but she is doing things in a different way.
So I think for me, it’s been, you know, leaders. Gabby leaders like Harvey milk leaders, like Shirley Chisholm. And I think another person who I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and, you know, be friends with is Dolores Huerta. Um, you know, who, I think a lot of folks [00:10:00] give Cesar Chavez a lot of deserved credit, but I also think that what happens far too often is that women get, uh, ignored and she was right alongside with him helping organize everything.
She’s the one that came up with a chant of Si Se Puede with and, you know, eventually became, yes, we can. Um, when president Obama was running for president, but she is someone who’s in her nineties and is still, you know, an activist who holds people accountable. And I think these are the kind of stories and the things that I kind of look at, um, because our work needs to be centered on people and it needs to be centered on getting results for those who have the least.
And I think those are all folks who’ve really been focused on. How do we make sure that marginalized communities have representation and that they make sure that they have what. . Yeah, I think I, I, I detect a theme there of doers. You, you admire doers, not so much, not so much thinkers, maybe thinkers are great, but the doers thinkers are great.
I love people that are big thinkers and, you know, I, I used to read medical journals for fun. So like I love [00:11:00] really dense and thoughtful PO I love policy. Um, but I think at the end of the day, like nothing else matters if you’re not able to get things done. And I think at the legislature and in the school board, even that has always been my am.
I actually getting stuff done. And you know, when I was a freshman at the legislature, I came in and I already had eight years of experience going to the capital. I already had relationships and I had a lot of different things that I knew how this place worked. So my very first week I had a more senior Democrat come to me and say, you know, you’re not gonna be able to get anything done, Democrats don’t do anything.
Just, you know, make sure that you go back home and tell people how awful the Republicans are. And then he’d keep coming up and. Occasionally you might, you know, get a win. And I’m like, that’s not what I came here for. yeah. And they said, well, it doesn’t matter. Cause you’re not gonna get anything done. So I immediately got a bill Herdon committee and passed.
Um, and then I was able to work with my Republican colleagues to pass a bill that created more protections for sexual assault survivors. Um, so here I am, as a freshman [00:12:00] being told by, you know, somebody who’s there seven years at that point, and they’re saying, you’re not gonna be able to get anything done.
And I’m like, actually I didn’t come here to be a bump on a log. I came here to get stuff done. Um, which has, you know, at times where all of you feathers, because I’m more focused on how do we make sure that the work gets done, who gets the credit? And a lot of times I think people, especially at the legislature and in an elected office, wanna take the credit first before they do the work.
And it’s like, no, no, no, nothing else matters. If nothing is done,
Michael: you, you touched on this a little bit, but I’m interested to hear you articulate what the, uh, the central. Ethics and values that you hold dear in your political life, that’s stemmed from your background, your family and your faith.
Daniel: Yeah. I think the big things are you have to work hard and we have to make sure that people are given opportunities.
And I think growing up very low income outside of Tucson, I’ve seen that there are so many communities [00:13:00] where we have wonderful people, but there are a lot of barriers for them to be successful. Um, so whether it’s them not being able to earn a living wage, um, not having protections in the workplace because they’re not represented by a union, whether it’s them being discriminated against, because they’re a woman because they’re black because they’re Latino because they’re LGBTQ.
These are all things that are barriers. And I think my job as a, an elected official has been to try and break down as many barriers as possible. So that way the next generation doesn’t even have to think about these. Things, so fairness, uh, hard work. And I think the drive to really make sure that we’re providing opportunities for everybody are really kind of my foundational values, but, you know, care about gun violence prevention, care about standing up and protecting the right to choose.
I used to work at planned parenthood. So, you know, protecting reproductive rights has been a big thing for me, but there are a lot of things that I think, and they’re all very much centered [00:14:00] on how do we make sure that everyone is given the opportunity to succeed in reducing those barriers? Well, you do have a, a track record that you can talk about.
Michael: What are some of the legislative accomplishments that you’re most proud of that you want voters to know about?
Daniel: Yeah. I mean, we just finished up the first bipartisan budget in almost three decades. Um, I worked with my colleagues and we prioritized funding for K-12 education. Um, we got over 525 million to the base for education, which means that.
Roughly 700 more dollars per child will be going to Arizona school kids next year, um, almost $900 million total in new K-12 spending. And if you include the university spending it’s over a billion dollars, mm-hmm . Um, we also got money for the developmentally disabled and providing rate payer, uh, sorry, rate provider increases because what kept happening was they couldn’t even hire the people to do the work because they were getting paid minimum wage.
And these are jobs where you cannot just pay minimum wage and expect people to stay long term. So for those who [00:15:00] are the least able to take care of themselves, providing the funding for the developmentally disabled, um, and then something that I started a couple years ago, that we were able to expand this year as a school safety fund.
Um, a couple years ago, the school counselors came to us at the legislature, said for everyone counts, there are 900 students. And I thought that that ratio was just unacceptable. So I went to my colleagues and I said, we need to fix this. We need to do something. Um, so we were able to create a school safety grant that was 20 million so that every school district could apply for a counselor or social worker or an SRO.
We knew that the need was really around counselors. Um, we put this fund together and they got over a hundred million dollars in requests for a 20 million bucket. And then I worked with Kathy Hoffman and we were able to fund using the ARPA dollars and the cares act dollars, the entire wait list. So every school got their first choice, but knowing that that was gonna be a temporary solution, cuz that money was only temporary.
One year we were able to get $50 million into the [00:16:00] budget this year. Um, you know, I also, like I mentioned a little while ago, um, was able to work to provide more protections for sexual assault survivors. Um, and we were able to do that in a way that I think was really important to me personally, because I was reached out to, by a friend about what had happened.
We were able to say, okay, here’s this horrible thing that has happened. How do we prevent this from happening to somebody else? And then this year, we were able to kill every gun bill that the NRA had as a top priority. So, you know, as someone who is in a Republican legislature and is a gun violence driver to have killed every bill that came across us, um, and make sure that none of them see the light of day and get signed into law was a huge win for us.
Mm-hmm , but that’s just what I’ve been doing for years. You know, it’s been a long time of us killing bad stuff. And I think there’s also things that we can do that are good. So in 2019, I worked with my Republican colleagues and my democratic colleagues to repeal what was jokingly known as [00:17:00] Neil promo homo, a law that was passed in 1991 that made it illegal for us to even acknowledge that the LGBTQ community existed mm-hmm
So what we were able to do was. Repeal that law. So that for the first time in 28 years, um, Arizona public schools could at least acknowledge that the LGBTQ community existed. So I think that was a huge win for us. Um, because it’s something that for 28 years literally made us erase from Arizona public schools.
Michael: Yeah. And well, uh, correct me if I’m wrong, but you might be the first openly gay person to, to run for Congress in Arizona. Am I right about that?
Daniel: No. So, uh, Congresswoman or Senator now Senator cinema was the first openly bisexual. Bisexual, yeah. Uh, candidate and then member of Congress. And now the first openly bisexual, uh, Senator, um, we also had met Hines who ran for Congress a couple years ago.
That’s right. He was open the gate. And then we also had, um, Jim Colby who came out while he was in office or was, was, you know, out outed out.
Yeah. Uh, so I wouldn’t be the first, um, [00:18:00] for, but he certainly, but I would be among an among one of the few and I think. Um, when you look at the amount of LGBTQ representation in Congress, there are only nine openly LGBTQ members in the house.
Mm-hmm . Um, so the fact that we’re not even at double digits is kind of surprising. Um, and I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m surprised to have the support of quality pack and then in quality Arizona, in my race for, for Congress, speaking of the budget that just passed, um, there was also a third of a billion dollars for building Trump’s border wall, uh, in there.
Michael: Um, so that opens the question. What is the proper role of government? What are the things that you think government should do and the things government shouldn’t do?
Daniel: Yeah, well, I think every level of government has different responsibilities and that’s why, um, that was actually voted on as a separate part of the, it was separate from the main budget bills.
Um, so it was a big win for us to be able to get the so-called border fence, which. [00:19:00] the state of Arizona doesn’t have authority to do because the state of Arizona does not have responsibilities for our national borders. Um, so I think for me, one of the big things is that we really understand the time and place.
And what kind of government has which role I’ve been a local elected official. I’ve been a school board member where we were voting on curriculums and you know, textbooks, and you know, what we were gonna do in our schools, I’ve been a legislator. Um, and now I’m running for a federal office. So I think every level has its own responsibilities.
And I always find that the best control is usually the one that’s closest to people. So local control is something that I think is really important because the decisions that are made in Congress can take years or decades to get done. The decisions that happen in the legislature only happen about once a year, because we generally only meet for about a hundred days.
Once a year, school board meetings, city council meetings, neighborhood meeting, Those all happen, weekly, monthly biweekly, and those [00:20:00] decisions can start infecting people’s lives right away. So I think there is an important recognition that at the federal level, we need to set standards and we need to create, you know, one law that makes sense for things like gun violence prevention.
When we’re talking about background checks, we shouldn’t have a patchwork of laws where in every state, you know, if you live here, you don’t have to go through a background check, but if you live over here, you do. And making sure that we have one uniform role for things like that. But then I think there’s a lot bigger of a role at the federal level to help provide resources and funding so that the local offices, whether it’s a legislator or city council member or a school board member can make the decisions that their communities need.
Michael: Yeah. Um, you know, uh, democracy is, uh, for the first time in my lifetime, I think under contention. I mean, it certainly seems that some people in our political system yeah, really don’t believe in, you know, trusting [00:21:00] democracy in its outcomes anymore. What do you see as some of the strengths and maybe some of the weaknesses of democracy, especially as it’s practiced here in the United States?
Daniel: You know, the funny thing is the very first bill that I ever passed that the legislature had to do with voting rights. It was one that I worked on when I was 20 years old to try and make it easier for young people to be able to have access to the ballot box. So it’s hard to believe that now, uh, something like that would never see the light of day because of the, the makeup of the legislature.
Um, but. Voting rights have been at the center of a lot of the works that I’ve done for a long time, trying to make it easier for people trying to make sure that it’s more accessible has been a top priority for me for a long time. That’s why I was really honored to work with and citizens United for about 18 months, um, trying to pass the for the people act and then eventually the freedom to vote act to really say, what we need to do is we need to revisit and modernize the voting rights act because of the Supreme court decision a couple of years ago.
Mm-hmm um, we also need to make sure that [00:22:00] we pass the John Lewis, um, voting rights act. Um, and then also I think importantly, we need to reall some, I think trust and some really have some difficult conversations, but really blunt conversations about the safety and security of our elections. We need to tell people Arizona’s elections are safe and secure, and that shouldn’t be a problem for people to say that.
But there are so many of my Republican colleagues who are so obsessed with the idea of Donald Trump and his, his base that they’re afraid to even acknowledge that their own elections, where they won fairly are legitimate elections. Yeah. Um, so I think we need to really have blunt conversations with those people and say, you can’t have it both ways.
You cannot be an elected official who’s questioning the results from the election that you were elected in. And if you do, there should be consequences. Um, so I think right now, democracy is under attack. We saw over a hundred bills [00:23:00] introduced in Arizona having to do with voting rights. Um, and you know, we were able to kill a lot of really bad ones, but there were several that did get passed, um, including changes to the permanent early voter list.
Now it’s the active early voter list. Mm-hmm , you know, We need to make sure that everything we do as official is reinforce that our elections are safe and secure and that people can understand that our democracy is at stake. And if we’re not all actively participating in, we are really in a dire situation.
Um, the fact that people storm the capital, both in Phoenix and in DC, I think is a really big concern. And the fact that some of our elected officials were there and participating in that I think is an even bigger concern, but our democracy is at stake. And that’s why it’s so important that people not sit back and not take anything for granted.
Because as we just saw with this most recent Supreme court decision in the last week on Roe V, Wade on gun violence, the courts have been stacked and [00:24:00] our rights are not necessarily guaranteed because they’re gonna be sending stuff back to the states. And the more things that get sent back to the states, they’re gonna be decided by the very people who are questioning the validity of those elections.
And I think that’s a huge. .
Michael: Yeah. Uh, you mentioned consequences, uh, if you were elected to, to Congress, I mean, part of your job, I think might be visiting consequences on some of the, uh, other Congress, people who were involved in January 6th and related, uh, election denying and, you know, insurrection activity, uh, what do you think those consequences might be or should be?
Daniel: You know, I think everybody who violated the law should be prosecuted and should be helped, um, the same standard as anybody else just cuz you happen to be a member of Congress doesn’t mean that you should get any special treatment. Um, so don’t wanna get into the weeds of like what I think is best punishment because at the end of the day, we need to have a fair process.
We need to have the adjudication process, be one where everyone is presumed innocent until guilty. But at the same [00:25:00] time, there are a lot of things that people have done that, you know, are very obvious what they, where they are and where they stood and what they did. Um, but we need to make sure that we follow the process.
And that’s why I think, uh, the January 6th commission, which is bipartisan and has shown that there are a lot of things that members of Congress and other prominent figures in our politics have done that were wrong. And that should be really handled with care, but also be held accountable and make sure that no one gets off the hook just because they happen to be, you know, friends with the president or friends with somebody else.
Absolutely. Um, well, you know, oftentimes times of crisis are also times of opportunity. Um, so I wonder if you see any particular opportunities, uh, in the years to come to make significant structural improvements to our democracy and our electoral process and our governance. Uh, can you tell me what kind of ideas you have around those concepts?
Yeah, I think one of the big things that we really need to do is find more [00:26:00] ways, um, to engage folks and get them to understand that this is a process where their voice is. I. You know, we see outsized influence of special interest groups. The gun lobby in particular, I think is a perfect example of for 45 years, the NRA and the gun lobby have been stopping any conversation about gun violence prevention, people on both sides of the aisle for decades have been afraid to even acknowledge that there’s a problem, let alone do anything about it.
So I think what we need to do is we need to really change our campaign finance laws, to make it easier for people to know where money is coming and how it’s being spent harder for bad actors and harder for these special interests to drop unlimited amounts of money. That’s why, you know, I think with end citizens United, I partnered with them for a long time with a big focus being on people need to feel like their voice matters and not somebody dropping, you know, a huge amount of money into a race, changing everything.
So more engagement at the, [00:27:00] you know, voter level and making sure that people’s voices are being heard and that they feel like their voice matters. My dad is a perfect example. He hadn’t voted in almost 20 years until I made him register to vote in 2008. When I started getting involved in the Hillary campaign, because he didn’t think that it mattered.
He said, you know, politicians lie, politicians don’t do anything. There’s gonna be all these other people that throw in money. And then it doesn’t really matter what I think or how I vote, so I’m not gonna vote. And then I got him to understand that not only it was one voice matter and one vote matter, his voice mattered.
Um, so we got him to register and now he’s probably one of the more active people that I know. And it’s funny, cuz he yells at me and my sisters when he disagrees with us on a vote, whether it’s at the school board or at the legislature. That’s great. So we went from somebody who was apathetic, who didn’t care about politics and who thought it was something that he shouldn’t waste his time on to now he’s probably better versed on some of these things that than me and my sisters, because he’s just always reading the news, watching what’s going [00:28:00] on and really.
Trying to hold us accountable. And I think that’s the best way to move forward that people are holding their elected officials accountable by, you know, calling them, asking them, why did you vote this way? Why didn’t you vote that way? Um, but I think that goes back to people need to feel like their voice matters and it’s important.
So really tackling the special interest groups and the way that they influence elections. I think the other thing is we really need to make sure that as we’re looking at restructuring, that we’re looking at protecting voting rights and not looking at limiting them, because I think so many of my colleagues in the Republican side, whether it’s Arizona, Texas, Georgia, or really any conservative leaning state, we’ve seen efforts to undermine the ability for people to vote.
Mm-hmm , um, you know, I’ve had a lot of conversations with people who are in the disability community and there are so many things that you and I might take for granted that people who are disabled, whether it’s profoundly or very, you know, minimally, and you can’t even tell that they’re disabled just by looking at them, they have.[00:29:00]
That are not being met. And even though we have the ADA, that’s not enough to protect their voting rights when they’re being chipped away by, uh, you know, conservative majorities and legislatures. Yeah. Um, I wonder if people realize, and I don’t know if everybody does, but there’s no federally protected right to vote.
Michael: Um, you know, we, we are guaranteed a Republican form of government, but there’s, there’s a case pending before the Supreme court right now that they’ve agreed to taken up, which is essentially this, uh, kind of idea of a, the plenary authority of state legislators over, over federal elections and their ability asserted ability of my favorite phrase is throw out the results of a, of a dually dually dead election and decide for themselves what legislature, independent legislature theory.
Do you think it might be time for us to federally protect the right to vote in the form of a constitutional amendment?
Daniel: I think we’re well, well, P you know, that’s why. I worked with citizens United for [00:30:00] almost a year and a half, trying to pass the freedom to vote act while it wouldn’t have been a constitutional amendment.
It would’ve been something to in statute enshrine protections because we saw in state, after state, though bills that were being introduced to chip away and chip away and chip away at people’s voting. Right. So what we know is that if we don’t do something to protect these things, they’re always at risk.
Um, so I think we need to do more at the federal level. And that’s why it was HR one, literally the first priority for the house Democrats and S one for the Senate Democrats be for the people act. Yeah, because this would’ve been a fundamental part of our democracy and a fundamental part of our country.
So if we don’t pass protections and we don’t enshrine the right to vote, um, in a way that is meaningful and that ensures that everyone has the same level of access, then what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna have every legislature deciding things. You know, well now you have to be this kind of [00:31:00] person to be one vote where you have to have these kinds of things.
And that’s gonna just set a very dangerous precedent. Agreed.
Michael: Um, now, well, now that we’re on the topic of, uh, maybe changing something about the constitution, uh, what’s one thing, anything, you know, that you would change about the United States constitution that you think really needs to, to go or needs to be in there in order to advance our society?
Daniel: You know, I think one of the big things is the fact that women aren’t mentioned in the bill of rights or in the declaration of independence. So I think making sure that we passed the era, um, you know, I had the opportunity to talk to leaders on this issue at the state level. And at the federal level in Arizona is just one of a handful of states that we would need to pass the constitutional amendment to add the era to the constitution.
And I think it’s well past time. And what has happened is it’s been utilized by the right wing. Uh, conservatives to try and attack abortion rights. Now there will be, wait, is [00:32:00] overturned. We know that this is a very important thing, and it’s not about abortion. It’s about ensuring that all people have the same, um, you know, constitutional protections.
And I would also make sure that not only do we include women, but that we make sure that it is expansive enough to include all people, whether they’re trans non-binary, um, or people that identify as women that everybody is covered because of constitution, um, is not perfect. It was written a long time ago and it should be a living document and it should be something that we go and revisit, not every couple days, but with enough time to make sure that we ensure that all Americans are being treated with risk dignity, and with the opportunity to be successful.
Michael: Um, you touched on the, the issue of, uh, the new Dobs decision, overturning Roe and Casey. Um, you wanna talk a little bit about that specifically? Um, I’m interested to. You talk to a person who thinks abortion is a, a graves in extinguishes, a potential human life, [00:33:00] and why even given that it’s still a bad idea to make abortion a crime.
Daniel: Yeah, I, I think first as a former planned parenthood staffer, I’ve been working on this issue for a long time. Even before I was at planned parenthood, I worked on sex education in Sunnyside and was able to pass comprehensive sex ed and Sunnyside, where we included the community. We had community meetings.
We even worked to neutralize opposition from the church, um, because we knew that this was something that was important because our kids were getting pregnant at higher rates than almost any other public school in Arizona. And we saw STI rates amongst young people that were incredibly high. Um, so I think one, we need to center this conversation on what the real, uh, people who are being hurt by this.
And that’s the patients and that’s the people who are pregnant, the people who. You know, going to now have to be living with not being able to have an abortion and having to carry the child of their rapist, because this is no longer a debate on, [00:34:00] is it, you know, one weeks, six weeks, nine weeks, 15, it’s about, do you support forcing women who have been raped and those who have kids born out of incest to have to carry their child to turn because that is the law in Arizona now, or as the attorney general just said, all abortions are outlawed.
And we’re going with a law that was written before the state of Arizona is even a state mm-hmm . I think we need to center. A lot of these conversations are how are we going to make sure that those who are gonna be directly impacted or protected, we should never be in a position where we’re criminalizing healthcare and that’s what we’re doing here.
Or we’re criminalizing doctors from being able to do their job, to protect their patients. You know, I was talking to an attorney, um, who is no longer involved in Arizona. They’ve moved out of state, but they were talking about how. If Roe was to be overturned. And the only exemption was for the health of the mother, then doctors would have to stop what they’re doing.
talk to the attorney at the hospital or at [00:35:00] the clinic and say, okay, is this enough to justify being able to save this person’s life? And we should never have to put doctors or women in the position where they’re having to, okay, let’s pause what we’re doing. Let’s go talk to the lawyer. and see if this is allowed, we should be focused on providing better healthcare prevention is important.
So if my conservative colleagues really cared about, you know, not having abortions and they would do things to fund, um, sex education, if they cared about not having unintended pregnancies and abortions, they would make sure that we had easy access to contraception so that people who can get pregnant and women who, uh, you know, are on birth control, have the ability to go and do that without having to go to the doctor once a month to get the same prescription that they’ve been getting for years.
Is. So I think there’s a lot of things that are wrong with this decision. And I think the main thing is by sending it back to the states where we’re having zealots, who have been working for 50 years to overturn Roe V Wade, [00:36:00] they didn’t just want to stop at Roe V. Wade being overturned. They’ve made it clear the right to privacy, the right to contraception, the right for LGBTQ people to get married are all gonna be next because we saw that they did this on LGBTQ issues.
When we saw, um, here in Arizona, the nibs, uh, decision having to do with the wedding invitations mm-hmm um, this was a trial run. It took 50 years to get it done, but at no point did these far right wing zealots ever stop. And that’s the thing, a lesson for Democrats that we may have been taking things for granted, but this should be a huge wake up, call that while we sometimes take our rights for granted and we stop working at making sure we codify these things into either the constitution or into law Republicans, haven’t stopped and won’t stop.
So that’s why we need to pass the equality act, which would enshrine LGBTQ protections nationally. And we need to do something to ensure that all people have access to safe and legal abortion at the [00:37:00] federal level. Because if not, if they take the Congress and they take the Senate, they’re gonna work on, I mean, we’ve already heard several members of Congress and several candidates say they want to have a national ban on abortion, which is nuts.
Michael: Yeah. Um, you’re kind of an intersectional candidate. Not only are you an openly gay man, but you’re a Latino man or a Hispanic man, which do you prefer. call me whatever you want. yeah. You know, I let’s go with Latino. Yeah. Uh, yeah. And about 20% of the voting, uh, population of the district you’re running and is, is also Latino.
It’s about a quarter. Yeah. Yeah. And, um, uh, your likely Republican, uh, nominee that you’ll be going on on Cisco money is also Latino. Uh, how do you foresee, uh, the Latino community playing a role in this election? Uh, both here in the primary and in the general, I
Daniel: think particularly in the general, what we need to stop doing is taking the Latino community for granted.
Um, the fact that Donald Trump spent [00:38:00] more on Spanish language advertising than, uh, Joe Biden is something that we should all be appalled by. Um, and I think it’s something where, when we’ve seen in 2016 and in 2020 people lose elections or we’ve seen legislative things and congressional races not go our way.
One of the things that happens a lot is that we blame the communities of color. Well, why didn’t they turn out? Why didn’t. And I think the question needs to be less on why didn’t we have these Latino voters turn up, but what did we not do to make sure that they had a reason to go and vote? Mm-hmm , uh, you know, my dad, like I mentioned, hadn’t voted in a very long time until I gave him reasons to understand that his voice mattered.
And I think that’s one of the things that doesn’t happen nearly enough. Um, so being somebody who’s from the community, being someone who’s been working to try and engage more Latinos for almost a decade as an elected official, I think is gonna be really crucial for us to being able to make sure that we have the ability to communicate with these folks and tell ’em why these things matter.
It’s not [00:39:00] just presidential, it’s not just this center races. It’s gonna be every raise from top to bottom, but they need to have a reason to vote and they need to feel like there is a good reason for them to be involved in the process. So I think we need to engage them and we need to make sure we don’t take them for granted.
And then also not blame them when they don’t vote for us when we don’t give them a reason to vote for it. Okay. I think that’s one of the things. That after the 2016 election, there was a lot of people who, you know, were upset with African American women with Latino women. Well, why didn’t they turn out in more numbers?
Why didn’t they do this? And I’m like, you cannot take a community that’s been marginalized for years, not give them a reason for you to vote, uh, for them to vote for you and then blame them when you didn’t have them turn out and vote in the elections. Mm-hmm it, it sounds like, uh, you’re, uh, prescribing, uh, some, a solution more on the level of, uh, you know, constant organizing as opposed to, you know, campaigning.
Um, I’ll give you an example. Sure. 2016, [00:40:00] I was running for the legislature and the Hillary campaign said we are sending you some voter, some, um, some staff to come in and help turn out Latino voters in south Tucson. I said, wonderful. They showed up, it was six white guys. None did not speak Spanish. Um, who didn’t have cars.
And I was like, so this is absolutely nothing to help me and parachuting in two weeks before the election does not actually help you turn out Latino voters. Mm-hmm we need to have constant engagement. We need to make sure we’re doing it in a culturally competent way. My Spanish is by no means. Perfect.
Um, you know, in 2000 we changed state law so that we weren’t able to have the bilingual education that I had been used to. So we moved to an English only, uh, state in 2000. I have not had a formal Spanish class in 22 years. So my Spanish is not as good as it should be. Um, but I work hard to try and make sure that I improve it constantly because when I’m talking to [00:41:00] Latino voters, when I’m talking to, um, you know, when he was dun Mundo, I’m acting like this is me talking to my grand.
If I can’t explain it to my grandmother or my aunt or my mom again, I’m failing. So it’s the same kind. Whether it’s an English arts manager. If I can’t get them to understand why this is important or why they need to care, then I’m not doing my job, but we don’t see enough. And I think we have a really big problem where we have a lot of Latinos who are in elected office, who don’t quite frankly care about turning out more Latino voters, as long as they get elected.
And there’s a ton of Latinos in office. Who’ve never built up a movement and who’ve never built up Latino voter engagement. We have some of the lowest turnout in some of these Latino areas. Yeah, that’s true. And we have people who’ve been in office for 30 years, 20 year, 10 years. Who’ve done nothing to change that, but they keep getting reelection.
That’s all they care about. Mm-hmm for me, it’s never been just about me getting elected. That’s why I’ve helped Democrats up and down the ballot from school board to Congress, [00:42:00] trying to get more of them involved, trying to get them more elected, but more importantly, engaging young people when I was. Uh, 24 running for reelection to the school board.
I had eight or nine interns who were all Latinos, who were all young kids. And what were we doing? When I saw that I was gonna win my race, we were up in LD nine, helping elect Randy freeze and helping try and take that seat back from Ethan. Or when we ran in 2016 for the legislature, we had a team of about 15.
And then once I won my primary, we were out in LD, 10, trying to help take out Todd Claude felt. So for me, it’s always been, we engage young people, we get them involved and then those young people go back to their families. And that’s how we get these aunts and uncles and moms and dads who are apathetic because now they’re seeing young people.
Who really care and who understand the importance of them being involved. And they’re more likely to be involved as well, but we take them for [00:43:00] granted. We don’t care about turning them out. And we have a lot of elected officials who quite frankly are lazy and who don’t do anything to make sure that we boost the turnout for the Latino community, because well, if I’m getting elected, why, why should I care about anything else?
Michael: Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s insightful and true. Um, are there any, uh, issue areas, uh, especially around, you know, cultural issues and affinities that you think, uh, Republicans are making inroads on, uh, with Latino voters that we can help roll back by changing our, our message and the, the issues we run on.
Daniel: I mean, I think the biggest fallacy is the idea that immigration is the only thing that Latino voters care about.
Mm-hmm . Um, the polling has shown time and time again, that the top issues for Latino voters are jobs, the economy, healthcare education, , these are folks who just like every other American, want their kids to be able to go to a good school. They get sick, that they have access to great healthcare and then be able to make sure that their kids have a better economic opportunity than they did.
[00:44:00] Um, immigration is obviously important to a lot of these folks as it is to some of the other Americans. But I think one of the mistakes that I see all the time is when they’re talking to Latinas, that they assume that immigration’s all they care about. And two, um, the Republicans have made inroads because they’ve been investing.
And I think that’s the thing that Democrats, as a whole have not been investing in that outreach. That’s why I’m pleased to see that Senator Mark Kelly has already hired staff that are working on Latino and Spanish language outreach. Mm-hmm from the beginning of his campaign for reelection, not waiting until two weeks before the election.
And I think him doing it now at the state level is gonna show to a lot of other campaigns that this is an important and necessary part. You need to build this into your plan from the beginning and not have it be something. Six months before the election people start screaming and saying like, what are we gonna do to turn out Latinos?
Michael: yeah. Uh, let, let’s talk about some of the issue areas that interest you as you look to, to moving into Congress. Uh, what are your [00:45:00] most important priorities policy wise to achieve during your time?
Daniel: Like asking me to pick what my favorite dog is. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Which is your favorite dog. Yeah. So I think I’ve worked on a lot of really difficult issues for a long time, and I think there’s nothing more important right now, given what’s going on in the country than making sure that we provide safe and legal access to abortion for all Americans who need it.
Um, by the overturning of Roe V Wade recently, we know that we don’t make abortions illegal, and then they go away, we make them illegal and then people have to go find other ways to get them done. Um, and that’s gonna cause a lot of people to die. It’s gonna cause a lot of women who are pregnant to have to.
Children from their rapist, like they would here in Arizona with that 15 week ban. Um, so I think that’s, that’s probably one of the top issues for me that we acknowledge that we need to have something at the federal. The fact that we didn’t codify it in almost 50 years, I think is [00:46:00] appalling. Um, but it’s one of those things where again, we took it for granted mm-hmm and while Democrats took it for granted Republicans organized and they chipped away at it and they chipped away at it.
And for the last 50 years, they chipped away at it enough where they were finally able to get it overturned. So I think one protecting the right to safe and legal abortion for all Americans and for all Arizonas is gonna be a top priority two. I think we really need to look at what we’re doing around gun violence when we’re talking about these issues.
Um, it’s personal obviously for me, but it’s. Something that is impacting a hundred Americans each and every single day who are dying because of gun violence, over 180 Americans are being injured each and every single day because of guns. If you look at it’s almost 300 Americans where either dying or getting hurt because of guns, there is no other country in the world where that’s happening except for us.
And that’s because we have not had meaningful conversations. So I was pleased to see the reason bipartisan framework that just passed around gun safety, but that’s step one, [00:47:00] there’s still steps two through 30 that, that need to get taken on. Sure. And I think just as important as this current Congress, we need to look at voting rights.
Um, you know, thankfully there were a couple of Republicans that weren’t willing to go along with some of the most crazy attempts to undermine voting here in Arizona. Some of the most, uh, onerous restrictions, we can’t rely on one Republican to be a no vote to be able to stop these pieces of legislation.
Yeah. So I think we need to protect voting. And I think that’s really probably issue number one, because if we don’t have protections for voting rights and for democracy, nothing else matters. Yeah, that’s true. Because if we don’t have that foundation, if we don’t have people being able to know that if I vote for this person for president and they win my state, they’re gonna be president and they’re gonna get the lecturers for my state because the Supreme court may overturn, you know, other precedent.
We, we need to make sure that we’re protecting democracy.
Michael: [00:48:00] Mm-hmm yeah, it, it occurs to me. I saw this, uh, candidate for office. I don’t remember what office she was running in, but it was definitely in Texas. She had a bus that said guns, babies, and Jesus. That was her entire platform, guns, babies. And, and what you just mentioned were all defensive actions about guns, babies, and well, maybe Jesus, but you know, democracy itself, which she wasn’t really in favor of.
I think she contested her election and said it was all fake. Sure. Um, but, uh, Regarding democratic priorities, as opposed to, uh, the defense that we absolutely have to do. What would, what are the main things that you wanna work on to, to, to progress this country as opposed to stop it from being overrun by guns, baby Jesus.
Daniel: Yeah. Um, I think one of the other things that I talked about a little while ago was the equality act and making sure we finally pass protections at every level for all Americans who are LGBTQ. You know, when I was a freshman lawmaker, I was able to work to build relationships with two [00:49:00] of my Republican colleagues.
And we actually introduced the first ever bipartisan bill here in Arizona. That was, uh, non-discrimination for housing employment, and also for public accommodations mm-hmm while the Supreme court, uh, currently still houses in, in effect, you are currently not able to be fired or have your employment be impacted by the fact that you’re LGBTQ, you can still be denied housing.
You’d still be denied public accom. I think that’s a huge problem. We need to make sure that we are passing laws that protect and ensure that everyone is treated with the same level of respect and dignity. You know, this year we saw several attempts to roll back LGBTQ rights at the state level, and we were able to kill a lot of them, but we also saw that they signed it into law.
Bless you, um, sign into law, the trans healthcare ban, the trans athlete ban. These are things that are gonna disproportionately impact some of the most vulnerable kids in Arizona and in the country if they pass in other places, [00:50:00] because we know that kids who are trans and kids that are LGBTQ have disproportionately higher rates of suicide and have much higher rates of having lack of support for mental health, because they’re generally in a situation where they feel like they’re on their own.
They don’t have anybody to talk to. And yet we had to build a session that would’ve forced teachers to out their kids, to their parents. If the kids were approaching them as a trusted adult. And I think that’s the kind of wrong track. So that’s why I think having equality act get past the federal level is so important.
Uh, but I mean, I, I’m a nerd. I love policies. So when you’re asking me for specific policy, I’m like, I have a laundry list.
Michael: Okay. Let’s, let’s focus down. Those are, let’s talk about one of the things is really on a lot of Americans’ minds for policy economic reasons and that’s, uh, inflation and the, the general trend of our economy. Uh, what do you think, uh, the, the federal government, the Congress’s role is in, uh, in helping detain inflation?
Daniel: Yeah. [00:51:00] So one of the big things that I did was I already have called alongside some of my, uh, colleagues on the other side of the aisle for us to do a gas tax holiday. Um, you know, it doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but when you’re living in a place and you’re working a nine to five or a minimum wage job, Couple hundred dollars a month could make a world of difference.
Um, so I think at the federal level, what we need to do is we need to be looking at what are the causes of the high rates of inflation ring up, because it started under Trump. This didn’t just happen overnight. It’s been a long process and it started under the Trump administration and it’s global. It’s not under us problem.
It’s a global problem. Right. And it is happening everywhere. Yeah. Um, I think one of the big things that’s also, unfortunately driving up a lot of costs is the fact that there is a current war going on in the Ukraine. And Russia is one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers. Mm-hmm so what they have done is because of the conflict, it’s made it harder for all over the world for us to have access to oil, [00:52:00] I think, and food food is and food food, because Ukraine is a huge, I mean, it’s known as being the bread basket of, of the, of Europe.
So I think one, we need to look at, we need some quick solutions that will help alleviate the pain for. So that’s why I think the gas tax holidays is something that is like an easy step that we can take to help provide immediate relief. Secondly, we need to look at what are the long term causes of this, but I think it’s a good reminder for us that one of the reasons why so many costs have got up is because we are overly reliant on foreign oil.
So that’s where I think there’s a lot of money that was in the build back better program. That would be a really wise investment. So when we’re looking at reconciliation now, I hope that they’ll continue to look at expanding subsidies for electric vehicles and hybrid cars. Um, making sure that we are creating a bigger infrastructure for charging and making sure that we’re helping pay for it.
Cuz one of the [00:53:00] concerns and the things that I hear all the time at the state and local level, or even from business owners is you’re asking us to take these steps to try and work and tackle climate change. But we’re not seeing the investment coming in. if we had invested in climate change, like we should have years ago, we wouldn’t be having the situation where inflation is a sky high, and people are as worried about the gas prices, because we’d be having more folks driving hybrids or electric vehicles.
So I think the short term is let’s figure out what is a cause, which we think mostly are related to global factors. Um, but we also need to look at what can we do in the short term, and then also what are the long term things we’re gonna do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again by investing in electric vehicles, um, more renewable sources of energy.
So we’re not having to rely on folks like Russian oligarchs to be able to make sure that we can get, you know, your wonder bread from this part of the country to that part of the country. [00:54:00] Yeah.
Michael: Um, I’d be interested in hearing you address sort of, uh, the, uh, Republican talking point, which is moronic, but you know, they’re gonna use it.
It’s that, you know, outta control spending and Washington is driving this inflation. How do you respond to that?
Daniel: Well, I would say that the likely Republican nomination be taking money from the paycheck protection program, if you thought that government spending is outta control, um,
Michael: you’re referring to, uh, one Cisco money having been outed as, uh, taking paycheck protection money during the pandemic.
Daniel: Yeah. And I think that’s one of the things that there are a lot of folks who are gonna criticize programs that started under Trump and say that this is all Biden’s fault, but this is something that, again, didn’t start under Biden. It started under Trump mm-hmm and it’s hypocritical for folks to say, government spending is outta control.
When we saw the Trump tax cuts increase our deficit by record numbers. Mm-hmm . So if we’re gonna call a spade, a spade, let’s be honest that Republicans have added to the debt more than the Democrats have in recent memory. When we had. [00:55:00] George Bush. And when we had Donald Trump, we saw that it, our, uh, our deficit went up because they were doing these massive tax cuts and they weren’t paying for them.
Mm-hmm um, so I think when we’re really talking about outta control spending, it’s outta control tax cuts for rich people for millionaires and for corporations that have really been the hardest part. So when you start off as a giant deficit, because they’ve given away all our money, mm-hmm, , it’s getting really hard for us to have a balanced budget and to get back to a budget surplus, because all we’re doing is building on the deficit that the Republicans have built.
So I think the that’s, that’s my first response that like, this is one really silly that we’re having this conversation and two. We need to identify what the real problems were and what has actually caused us to have these deficits. And it goes back to these record tax cuts for rich people, for millionaires and for, you know, corporations that don’t need them quite frankly.
Michael: Yeah. And I would point out that, you know, [00:56:00] Biden is turning the ship around. He’s cut the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. Since, since the Trump president
Daniel: Democrats have the responsibility gene where we always come in and fix the problems that Republicans have spent, you know, years railing against us for, but we’re the ones that actually solve them.
That’s why under bill Clinton, we saw, we went from record deficits to a budget surplus, and then it was squandered away by, uh, the Bush administration. And then we. President Obama making right track going on the right direction. And then , we were right back to where we were before and worse off because of Donald Trump’s tax cut.
Michael: Let’s talk about one of the, uh, key issues facing, uh, every American and that’s healthcare. Mm-hmm , uh, the cost of healthcare rising. The difficulty of obtaining insurance is especially if you have a chronic condition, is, is still difficult. Even under Obamacare, prescription drug prices are outta control. What do you want to do in Congress to address those problems that people are having?
Daniel: So at the end of this year, we are going to see a healthcare subsidy for those who are low income expire. [00:57:00] Um, so first we need to make sure that before the end of this year, we make sure that people who have had these expanded subsidies during the COVID era, um, keep them because what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna see a spike in cost for health insurance, unless we do something to offset it, um, to your point.
The affordable care act is not a Beall end all, but it is a strong foundation on which we can build on, um, as an American with a preexisting condition, I was diagnosed with praise disease and autoimmune disorder, and I was 17 years old. Had to have my thyroid radiated when I was 17. Um, I wouldn’t be able to have healthcare where not for the affordable care act.
So we need to make sure that we strengthen it. We look at expanding subsidies for those who fall into that donut hole, where they don’t make enough money to pay for it outta pocket, but they make too much money to qualify for the existing subsidies. So I think closing that gap so that people, especially small business owners or sole proprietors have a little bit of extra help, um, is [00:58:00] something that’s a priority for me.
I’ve worked on that at the state level. Um, and then I think we also need to make sure that we’re working to make sure that Medicare has the ability to, um, negotiate drug prices because that’ll help drive the cost down for, for everybody. Um, we’re seeing that Americans pay way more. Certain kinds of medications, where if you were in Europe or in Asia, where there, uh, governments actually negotiate the prices of drugs, they get the same drug for a fraction of what we get it for.
And I think that’s where if we have one of the biggest markets, which was Medicare , if they were to be able to negotiate, we would be able to have, I think, a lowering of some of these outrageous drug prices. And I think we saw, you know, with that Martin Scarelli man a couple years ago, where he was able to take a generic drug that people had been paying for years, a small amount and jacked up the price.
And now people couldn’t afford their basic healthcare, um, in their, uh, basic medication. So I think tackling drug care prices is gonna be an [00:59:00] important priority. And it’s a reason why house Democrats have been working on a deal for for many years, and also think we need to li really tackle. um, how do we make it more affordable?
But I think more importantly, how do we make it accessible? And this is where I think there’s a big challenge in rural parts of this state, particularly in parts of CD six, where if you have a doctor’s appointment and it’s a two hour drive, is that really accessible? Mm-hmm if you have a healthcare insurance card in your wallet that says that you have insurance, but you have to go an hour and a half outside of where you live to be able to go to the, to the hospital.
Does that really count? Is that really accessible? So strengthening healthcare infrastructure means getting more providers to work in rural communities, low income communities, tribal communities. It also means making sure we expand telemedicine, um, because we’ve seen during the pandemic, how important that can be.
And I think lastly, making sure that we’re investing in these rural hospitals, um, you know, last, uh, in [01:00:00] 2020, I helped save the green valley hospital. And then we just saw these at their closing tomorrow, um, because they. Keep their doors open because running a rural hospital significantly more expensive, but just because it’s more expensive, doesn’t mean that needs to go away.
Because now there are people who will not have access and rural access hospitals all over the country are closing because they’re not being subsidized. They’re not being supported because they’re not a part of a big network like banner. And they’re independent generally because they provide a very specific service to a very specific population.
So we need to do more to help strengthen those because it’s always gonna be more expensive to have a hospital in the middle of, you know, BBE or, or Sierra Vista. But it’s because we have people there that need the same quality of healthcare that we have in the middle of. Yeah. Well, I wanna thank you for sharing so much of, uh, your can Eddie campaign’s most valuable resource and that’s the candidate’s time.
Michael: So thank you for spending an hour with us. No, I’d like Tod, like to give you the last opportunity [01:01:00] to, you know, get people jazzed about, uh, doing more than just voting about with your campaign.
Daniel: So I think right now we’re in a really important moment in time where we need somebody who can actually go to Washington DC and keep delivering results for Southern Arizona.
Um, we’ve had really wonderful representation in this district, Tom Moha and Kirk Patrick Gabby Giffords. Um, so we need people who are gonna keep making sure that Southern Arizona has a strong voice in Washington. In DC and that we get what we need and what we deserve down here. So that’s why I’ve been dedicated to building Democrats and getting more of us elected, um, for over 11 years.
Um, so I hope that people will join email@example.com and make sure that we keep this seat in democratic control and that we do everything we can to make sure that we keep the house majority, because as we’re seeing Republicans are already nipping at our heels, trying to not only take our rights to abortion voting rights, LGBTQ rights, there’s so much at stake where I think we cannot afford to sit back.[01:02:00]
Michael: Thanks, Dan.
Daniel: No, thank you.