What do you get when you let a political party get the idea that they can win unopposed in any legislative district? You get extreme legislators who think they can support any extreme measure that goes against the public good or turns the clock back because the other major party will not muster any opposition.
This is what has happened in Legislative District 12 (and other districts that Democrats up until this year have neglected). Voters in the Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan area have had to suffer extreme reactionary Republicans like Eddie Farnsworth, Travis Grantham, and Warren Pedersen. They have run unopposed in two of the last three elections on the House side while supporting measures that promote Dark Money interests, giving public dollars to private (and in some cases religious) entities and taking away the rights of women in particular and voters in general.
Fortunately, Democrats are finally woke and, like other legislative districts, are championing multiple gifted and forward-looking candidates who offer a pragmatic progressive vision for the people of LD 12. These candidates are Lynsey Robinson, Joe Bisaccia, and D.J. Rothans.
Over drinks at the IHOP on Power and Baseline, Ms. Robinson charismatically conveyed why she would be an effective progressive legislator for the people of LD 12.
Who is Lynsey Robinson?
A devoted wife and mother of three, Ms. Robinson is an accomplished educator and attorney who has fought for the “little guy” and “underdog” so they can achieve the American Dream. A Dreamer from Haiti, she believes that education is the great equalizer, contending that proper schooling is the key to attaining social mobility and fulfillment as long as one works hard. As an instructor, she has worked on molding students in grades three to 12. As an attorney, she has fought for other Dreamers and the vulnerable including mobile home owners who are in danger of being evicted.
A Clean Elections Candidate, she is running for the State House of Representatives to fight for and serve the poor, the elderly, displaced veterans, and children, who have been marginalized by legislators and officials who only see Dark Money contributions. In her view (and that of all virtually all candidates), society only flourishes when all members are lifted up.
She believes that the self-centered members of the wealthy elite need to understand that “they will not become less by letting others become more.” She sees herself as an inclusive “pragmatic progressive realist” who has the intellect and compassion to solve problems, and the experience to see an issue from “both sides of the table.” She is running on the four E’s although, on her website, she phrases it under the acronym of GAPS: Growing the Economy; Advocating for Equality, Protecting the Environment, and Supporting Public Education.
Lynsey Robinson on the Issues
As mentioned earlier, she embraces the notion of education as the great equalizer — a key to social mobility for anyone who works hard to fulfill their potential. She also feels, like virtually all enlightened thinkers, that a successful public education system drives a successful democracy.
She supports the Invest in Ed funding ballot initiative with closing corporate tax loopholes to come up with a dedicated funding stream for schools, but she would like to review budget numbers before finalizing any decision.
She supports the state funding full-day Pre School and Kindergarten where “the foundations of learning are laid.”
She feels that there should be additional career pathway/early college opportunities for high school students.
She wants greater services for ELL (including the installation of the inclusion classroom model) and special education. She wants smaller class sizes so children can receive greater care and attention.
Recognizing that “one size does not fit all,” she sees the need for quality charter schools as long as they are transparent and accountable. She wants self-dealing in charter schools to end and she wants parents better informed if a charter school is in financial hardship. She chastises one of the current LD12 representatives, a charter school operator, for not recusing himself and helping to bury more stringent charter school accountability measures.
She is against vouchers and its expansion through Proposition 305 because she sees it as a windfall for the rich, a mechanism that can create greater class inequality, and has little financial accountability and transparency.
Realizing that an educated workforce attracts quality business interests with high-paying jobs, she wants greater state investment in our college and universities. With more state funding, that would mean less tuition for our in-state students, including Dreamers (who she feels should be protected and nurtured, as opposed to deporting them and their families after we have already invested in them through the public school system), and less opportunities for private interests (like the Koch Brothers) to influence university funding with strings attached (like their “freedom” centers at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University).
Growing the Economy and Job that pay well
Ms. Robinson feels that polarization has paralyzed our leaders from arriving at common sense solutions to moving our economy forward, lifting up the living standards for the people, and making a brighter future for the children. To that end, she supports the following sensible policies:
- Maintaining a well trained and compensated workforce of union employees.
- Creating a fair living wage that workers, employers, and community members can all support.
- Promoting quality and affordable housing based on community values and needs.
- Shifting some corporate tax breaks to small businesses (the real engines of job growth).
- Repeal Proposition 108 so we can pass with simple majorities common-sense tax reform.
- Equal pay for equal work regardless of gender.
- State funding of childcare options.
Infrastructure and the Environment
Roads and Highways: Highway 24 needs to be completed to relieve “traffic congestion.”
Rail and Public Transportation: She supports a rail line from Phoenix to Tucson to further economic growth and trade as well as recruiting businesses who will thrive operating within the vicinity of the line.
Broadband: There needs to be high-speed Internet access for everyone.
Green Energy: She believes that it makes no sense not to “capitalize” on the Arizona Sun that shines 86% of the year. She wants to train students on the solar jobs of the future, which would result in economic growth, reduced utility bills (where people have more money to spend), and a cleaner environment.
Water: A problem that needs to be addressed now that a drought is here with all stakeholders getting together (from within and outside the state) through the Bureau of Reclamation. She favors education efforts as conservation efforts need to intensify.
She wants health care to be more affordable. She supports an expansion and subsidizing of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (C.H.I.P.) and the ability for people to buy into the state Medicaid Program.
Reducing Poverty and Homelessness
Endorsed by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Ms. Robinson believes we solve poverty and homelessness by:
- Having a great public education system.
- Harnessing a growing economy that creates living wage jobs.
- Combatting the cycle of poverty by instituting preventive measures like more counselors in schools, subsidized child care, affordable health care, greater assistance for our veterans (“we are not a nation without our veterans”) who need psychiatric care, domestic abuse assistance and shelters, and jobfare instead of welfare for students, the impoverished and prisoners (for when they are released and by definition no longer a criminal).
Criminal Justice Reform
Private prisons should be disbanded. Marijuana should be legalized (although not allowed anywhere near schools or churches) and those imprisoned prior to legalization should be released and their sentences vacated before they are molded into “hardcore” criminals while incarcerated. Prisoners should be taught job skills and assisted in finding jobs where those talents can be utilized before they enter the cycles of poverty or repeat offenders. Non-violent prisoners need to stop being stigmatized as violent criminals.
Gun and School Safety
She believes that no one below the age of 21 should own a firearm. She supports the March for Lives Movement where she is an “A” rated candidate. She believes more counselors in schools would help prevent violent acts from occurring. She does not believe in the arming of teachers or school resource officers because she does not want schools “to look like prisons.” Furthermore, she believes gun owners should take courses on firearm usage and storage. Finally, she believes in comprehensive background checks and the taking away of weapons from violent individuals like domestic abusers.
She wants Arizona to be a leader on border security by using drones to detect illegal immigrants and smugglers rather than a wall. She maintains that the focus should be ongoing after criminal immigrants and that there should be three groups to separate as we prioritize:
- Asylum seekers who have a right to a hearing to petition to stay,
- Families that cross illegally but are kept together when found,
- The criminal element that I.C.E. and the other federal immigration authorities should first detain and deport if they are not being prosecuted for crimes committed in this country. She feels I.C.E. needs to be gradually replaced by a new agency with a new mission.
She wants our broken immigration system fixed with pathways for citizenship for law-abiding Dreamers and their families rather than creating a cycle of poverty and “foster care.” Finally, she wants our legal immigration system strengthened.
Equal Rights Amendment and LGBTQ Rights
She fully supports and feels its application and provisions should apply to equal pay and access and all people regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation or sexual orientation/preference. She also wants all people who are victims of harassment (men and women) to know they will be heard and protected.
A Woman’s Right to Choose
She fully supports a woman’s right to choose. Furthermore, she feels that “the states restriction measures on abortions hurt families. The current laws must be re-examined. I want to see abortion rates reduced, but laws that violate a woman’s right to be properly informed about her health and that of her fetus violate a woman’s dignity. Currently, a medical provider can limit the scope of test results or avoid a test that may result in a woman’s choice to terminate her pregnancy. State law prohibits any insurance plan offered through the health care exchange plan from offering abortion coverage even if the fetus is abnormal. This places a heavy financial burden on a family who is already devastated.”
She also adds that “the best way to prevent abortion is by preventing unwanted pregnancy through education and affordable health care that covers various birth control options. The next step is to have resources available for families who would choose life if it were not for their financial circumstances. It is counter-intuitive to gut food stamps, housing for the poor, refuse living wages, leave women marginalized as second-class citizens in a first world nation and expect a reduced abortion rate. Families grow when people feel secure and hopeful about their future. The solution is elevation, not regulation.”
Dark Money and War for Democracy
Recognizing that it is simple human behavior when a legislator caters his or her agenda to a donor who has funded their campaign, she wants a system where “light trumps dark,” where all donations are made public for all to see. She is also in favor of everyone being on Clean Elections so the “playing field would be even” and everyone would not succumb to “human nature.” She supports the Outlaw Dirty Money Initiative.
She also believes in greater education for the people on ballot initiatives so they can make the best-informed decisions.
Ms. Robinson sees and feels great the enthusiasm in the LD12 community. She sees many that are disenchanted with the current reactionary incumbents in office (two of whom are just trying to switch places in the House and Senate). She sees a unified message from all the Democrats running this primary season and foresees people coming out in droves to vote in the primary and general elections. She feels that while her leadership style may be different because she is a woman, she will still project and convey strength for the people in the district.
For more research on Ms. Robinson and her Republican opponents, please review the sites below. She is a very gifted and exceptional candidate who cares very strongly for the people marginalized by the special Dark Money Interests that support the current LD office holders. Voters should consider her positions and views when choosing who they want to represent them in January 2019.