Enough has been written about how loathsome current Arizona Congressional District (CD) Five House “Representative” Andy Biggs is.
From being a leader of the fringe Freedom Caucus to COVID 19 denier to a potentially traitorous participant in the January 6 Domestic Terrorist attack on the Nation’s Capitol to voting against aiding Ukraine to recently not supporting helping put baby formula on store shelves, Mr. Biggs has distinguished himself by demonstrating all the characteristics of what a public servant should not do.
Voters in CD Five do have an opportunity to make a positive change away from Mr. Biggs in 2022.
One option is to choose Democrat Javier Ramos to replace Mr. Biggs this November.
Raised by a single mother and grandmother, Mr. Ramos has had a stellar career as an attorney in local, state, federal, tribal, and international positions.
He did policy work on behalf of the Navajo Nation and assisted the Navajo Nation on draft declaration of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and New York and at the Organization of American States in Washington Dc.
Pledging to govern with common sense, consensus, and civility, Mr. Ramos wants to be a representative for all Arizonans in CD Five and help create change together with his constituents.
Not taking any contributions from anyone, he promises, if elected to work for:
- Protecting Democracy.
- Safeguarding a woman’s right to choose.
- Promoting a sustainability strategy that will address Arizona’s water shortage.
- Getting more Arizonans health insurance.
Mr. Ramos graciously took the time to discuss his candidacy for Congress.
The questions and his responses are below.
- Please tell the readers true reasons you like to become the next house representative from Arizona House Congressional District Five?
“I’m running to be the next representative to represent the Fifth Congressional District in the Arizona we want.
When I worked in Washington DC for seven years, Sheriff Arpaio and Russell Pierce was in power and they basically were allowed to stop anybody of basically a minority descent walking down the street and ask them their immigration status.
My son, my wife, who are Navajo, they’re enrolled Navajo, my wife and three kids are Navajo. So I’m working up in DC for the Navajo Nation and we’re driving back. My son in fourth grade goes “Dad, are they gonna stop us when we get to Arizona?”
That’s the real reason why I’m running it’s for my family, that this country, that this state belongs to all of us.
But beyond that, I want to make sure that what I’m doing is that everybody understands that we all belong together in this country. So, I understand that what binds us together is greater than what separates us. We, as Arizonans have strong, shared values. We all want the same thing: a strong educational system, quality, affordable healthcare, good paying jobs, protecting the environment, including securing a long-term water supply for Arizona and equity and justice for all.
So, I’ll go briefly into one or two of those, although it appears that our nation is seriously divided a recent poll done by Gallup in 2020 called the Arizona survey found that 70% of Arizona’s agree with the above shared values.
For example, highly skilled and educated workforce is good for the state’s economy, but minorities are lagging behind.
In addition, we need to bring equality of pay between females and males from more affordable, high-quality childcare and improved work benefits.
Shared value of Arizona’s more good paying jobs to pay for the necessities of life. This is even more important now than ever before. Due to inflation.
Housing has also been an additional strain.
Lastly, healthcare guaranteed healthcare for preexisting health conditions. We should always advocate on that behalf. Mental health services also reduce the risk of financial harm. I know there’s a lot of petitions out there right now. Healthcare rising, expand Medicaid for our indigenous population. And one thing I advocate for is to legislate Medicare for all.
Those are several reasons why I want to be the representative for CD Five, for the East Valley, but most importantly is who I am. I’m an Arizonan. I do it on behalf of my family, my kids, my neighbors.
That we all belong. We all belong to the state of Arizona. I was born and raised here. So that’s what motivates me and people don’t really understand that, but I’m an Arizonan”
Why should they pick you over Mr. Biggs?
“I believe in the shared values of Arizona.
Biggs is more of a deep divisive politician. He doesn’t try to bring us together. For example, the easy one. Americans we’ve always come together when we had a common enemy. World One, World War Two in Germany, the Axis powers, Vietnam. We’ve always come together.
I was surprised when they attacked our Capitol. When Americans attacked our Capitol in Washington, DC, I thought for sure, we would come together. We didn’t come together. Congressman Biggs didn’t bring us together. He actually split as farther apart from one another. And that’s not what we’re supposed to be doing.
And that’s why Arizona should be choosing me over Congressman Biggs if they want something that we all want as Arizonans and I’m that person.”
- Please tell the readers, what are at least two qualifications you have to serve in the House?
“I’m the only candidate in this race that has city state, federal private and tribal experience as an attorney. My first job was as an assistant attorney general under Janet Napolitano and Grant Woods. My second job was working for the Gila River Indian community. I’ve also was a deputy city attorney for the city of Peoria.
I worked in DC for seven years for the Navajo nation. I also worked in the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on behalf of the Navajo nation. And I also was in private practice. But beyond that professional experience, I was also born and raised here in Arizona, small town, Cashion in Arizona. I lived in rural, suburban and urban areas of Arizona.
So as a result of my unique upbringing and professional experience, I have lived and understand the Arizona we want and need.
I have many qualifications, not only do I have that professional qualification, but I also have the upbringing of what it means to be in an area.”
- In your opinion, what are the three most important issues facing Arizona and the American people? Please explain.
“So, the first one I’m going to go over is social- equity issues. I believe that’s the most important thing.
Arizona voting rights have always been under attack and continues to be. So right now, our Arizona voting rights, Native Americans in Arizona, as you probably know, we’re only provided a suffrage recently in 1948, Native Americans in Arizona are first citizens were only allowed to vote until 1948. I on behalf of the Navajo nation and a plaintiff named Agnes Laughter filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Arizona in federal court when tribal IDs, when voter ID laws came out. There’s a lot of native Americans who don’t have a certain form of ID. So that would prevent Native Americans voting. They were born on the reservation. They didn’t have a birth certificate. They didn’t have a driver’s license. They didn’t have social security cards.
So, I file this federal lawsuit. I was able to settle that against the state of Arizona. So, every time you go to the polls when you look at the polls, it says voter IDs require, and it also has tribal IDs required. And that was me able to resolve that with the state of Arizona. So now any Native American can go-to their chapter house with any form of tribal ID in order to vote.
So, it made it a lot easier or not easier. It just allowed native Americans to have their own form of voter id from their chapter houses or their districts.
Voting rights is a big issue for me. Black Americans have historically been subject to Jim Crow laws, restricting the right to vote and still fight the same battles today.
People living in poverty regard, regardless of race are also subject to draconian voting laws. For example, right now, Arizona has outlawed ballot harvesting and the United States Supreme Court has upheld these restrictions regardless of their impact on minorities and rural residents. In addition, Arizona also allows for the non-counting of out of precinct ballots. So why is it important? Our Republic can only continue if all Americans are able to participate in our democracy. Our democracy specifically mandates that our government is for the people by the people in government, by the consent of the people.
Mail in ballot ballots, Republicans overwhelmingly vote by mail. I don’t understand why the powers that be are trying to restrict the power of the voice of the ballot, but this is what’s going on. My solution is to have automatic voter registration when applying for a driver’s license, saying all registered voters, it ballot by mail allow same day voter registration, offer early in person voting leading up to election day and implement the voting rights act of 1965 for pre-clearance.
And these are the things that I actually worked on. So, I actually did all of these things in real life in practice. I’ve actually been at the polling booths on tribal nations, making sure they have the right, that they don’t get a provisional ballot, that they get an actual ballot.
I would love to have same day voter registration.
I would love to have every person have a mail in ballots.
That helps out rural America and just the mail it in it also.
I think we should all be allowed to take your neighbor’s ballot in if they’re elderly, there’s a lot of elderly individuals out here and they’re probably not driving, so we should be able to help our neighbors. And that’s what we do.
There is no voter fraud going on and not been proven.
Our second thing is a sustainable future by protecting the Colorado River.
As you already know, we’re in drought and everybody’s talking about this now. I’ve been talking about this since I was 14 years old.
When I was 14 years old, the science teacher said by 2025 Javier, you guys are going to run out of water. This is at Littleton Elementary School when I was 14, my science teacher said: 2025, you’re going to run out of water. And here we are. I actually signed the Drought Contingency Plan at the Hoover Dam and about three years ago.
We’re in Tier One Drought Stage right now. Now, county farmers are going to get hit first, so we have to have a sustainable management for our future. We have to continue following our drought contingency plans. And I really believe we have to invest in huge infrastructure projects. There’s several ideas out right now, as you know like delivering water from the mid Midwest, also delivering water from the Gulf of Mexico. Infrastructure desalinization projects, but I believe we really need to do something as big as SRP did back in the 1960s and seventies with the Central Arizona Project. We need to have a huge infrastructure project going on right now for the state of Arizona.
In 1920s, we lost against the state of California and the Supreme Court case, upper base and lower basin states for the Colorado River.
We need to have our foreseeable future protected on the Colorado River. And that’s a huge thing that I’ve been working on and I’ll continue working on. So that’s the second biggest thing for the state of Arizona and for the United States.
The last thing that’s the most important thing is the codification of Roe v. Wade.
So, as you know, the Supreme Court is possibly going to overturn Roe V. Wade. The United States Congress, one thing they can do in protection of that is the codification making it a federal law.
So, the possibility of overturning Roe V. Wade would be disastrous for America. Why? Roe V. Wade represent the autonomy of a woman over her own body, but also represented the private interests of everyday Americans.
As we celebrate pride month in the LGBTQ community, we have to be fully aware that if the Supreme Court can strike down Roe V. Wade, because there’s no privacy protection in the constitution, they can readily strike down gay marriages and interracial marriages too.
If there’s no privacy protection in the constitution, there’s not going to be any constitution protections for gay marriages or interracial marriage.
And I tried to explain that to my whole family is like just recently over 50, 60 years ago, we were allowed to have interracial marriages and in loving. Now, we’re going backwards. So that’s why it’s a big concern. It’s a privacy right of the individual and the United States Supreme Court may say there is no such thing in the Constitution.”
- Please explain your views on border security and immigration reform.
“Well, first of all, our shared Arizona value includes everybody. A majority of Arizona’s support comprehensive immigration reform. Most of us want comprehensive immigration reform. This includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals living in the state of Arizona and of course, for Dreamers. So, I really support these ideas for dreamers. The strong majority of Arizona support a pathway to citizenship to Arizona’s roughly 25,000 Dreamers. We need to get them out in the open, get dreamers educated, and allow them to have in-state tuition. A good educated populous is a good educated workforce.
No one wants open borders. That’s a misnomer. I don’t want open borders. Nobody wants to open borders. That just something from the right, trying to scare everybody. But the majority of Arizonan’s also do not want money wasted on a hundred pounds, 370 mile border wall.
Resources are better spent on better technology under border.
I support a secure border, but with better technology, I don’t support the building of a border wall. The environmental concerns. Half of it goes through tribal nations. You’re never going to get past the sovereignty of tribal nations to build the border wall. Stopping the flow of streams and rivers through both countries is going to be environmental disaster. So, a border wall was not going to work.”
- Please explain your views on funding, the police and law enforcement reform.
“As Arizonans, we can agree that addressing systemic racism is a key issue for the future of Arizona.
Only 28% of Arizona’s agree that race relations in the state are good.
A lower percentage of black, Latino, native Americans believe that race relations in the state is good.
Our shared values include equity and justice for all. Everybody believes that we need equity and justice for all Black Americans overwhelmingly feel that they are discriminated against the majority of Arizona’s understand that police and criminal justice systems do not treat everyone equally.
This is what I propose. I fully support, better checks and balances on law enforcement. Every government institution has a checks and balance. I support a checks and balance on law enforcement, either through independent internal investigations, citizen advisory boards, or the rejection of qualified immunity arguments in port or policing with a stand down policy.
You don’t need to draw our weapon it and every situation. I know I’m not a police officer and they have a strong responsibility to the public, but we have to have different types of training techniques out there. What we’re doing now is not working for the minority community.
And my own story is that Queen Creek hired their own police department, just the beginning of the end of January at the beginning of February of this year. They talked about it about two years ago. I actually spoke at one of the community events with the mayor in the city council. And that was the first question I asked the first question. Maricopa County Sheriff has a lawsuit pending against them that they have to do a better job with their Latino and African-American communities. What would the Queen Creek police department do differently? And would you incorporate anything differently in your policing? They said they would.
Come 2022 now. I saw the police officers at a Trader Joe’s and I was dressed in basketball shorts and sneakers and I didn’t look too well with a flannel shirt.
So, I wanted to welcome the police officers and said, “Hey, welcome to Queen Creek.” Just it’s there to their second week there. They didn’t give me the time of day. They barely even acknowledged me. One officer didn’t even look up and I said, “Hey, just welcome to Queen Creek. Where y’all from?”
I had to actually just draw out information. I finally told them I was an attorney. That’s when they finally perked up. And I was like, if we’re going to start our community relationships this way, we’re never going to get good relations. We need to do something different. I called the police, the chief of police and they apologized and said that they would be happy to have me on any of the boards but they never followed up. I hope we don’t have the same situation we did with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office here.
This is something we grew up with. Down the street. We have Confederate flags and people’s garages down the street on the sidewalk, we have the Nazi symbol spray painted on the sidewalk.
These are issues that we have in Queen Creek, we’re trying to change. This is not what Arizonan’s need or want.
I’m trying to be that candidate that we can do better.”
- Is there anything that covered in the first five questions you would like to readers to know about you or your candidacy?
“I don’t accept any political funding at all from any sources.
Unions support me, they send me checks. I send them right back.
Everyday Arizonan’s want to give me money. I send it right back and people are like, man, you are crazy.
I do not ask nor do I receive funding from outside sources.
I used 7,200 last time and won 40% of the vote.
A lot of people are wondering how are we going to win without any funding. Rest assured I am serious about winning this race. I have seriously thought about the funding question.
I am an Arizona with a Mexican American background. I grew up working in the onion fields of the valley. I was brought up by a single mother and grandmother. My mom won bilingual teacher of the year. My family’s work ethic and down to earth characteristics were steel to me.
A lot of voters are upset with dark money and Citizens United, but it is hard for these same voters to understand about someone who has a different attitude about receiving no funding. I think I have a great opportunity to provide Democrats and Independents a true difference of representation.
Simply stated I’m not beholden to any singular person or group. I’m free to do and vote as my conscious and reasonableness dictates to me. I am not influenced by money or those with money. I have deep held principles about representing the people, not the people who try to buy influence. We have a chance to start making progress on this with our election, a true representative of the people, not the corporations or the wealthy or the special interest groups, Democrats, and left leaning independents can send a message that money doesn’t buy a seat in Congress. Only voters can give that seat to a true representative of the people.
I admit that this would require a lot of hard work and smart work. This race would be close if we can keep the Democrats voting Democrat, we will win the seat when the two Republicans split their vote. So, I’m really serious about this issue.”
Please click on the below social media sites to find out more about Mr. Ramos and his candidacy for the House of Representatives in Arizona’s Congressional District Five.