❌ Do you think anyone regardless of credentials can teach special education children?
❌ Do you think taxpayer money should be used to help upper-income earners apply for tax credits to send their children to private religious schools?
❌ Do you think it is okay for the state to tell cities and towns the voices of their residents do not matter when they decide by a 90 percent margin to require the names of campaign donors to be publicized?
❌ Do you think people should be charged with a felony if they help senior citizens who cannot walk to their mailboxes to mail in their ballots?
❌ Do you think the process of getting citizen-sponsored initiatives on the ballot should be made harder?
❌ Do you think it is okay for people to carry concealed weapons near or on school and college campuses?
❌ Do you think people can buy weapons without a background check?
❌ Do you think tax credits for the coal industry are the best long-term energy investment strategies for the state?
❌ Do you think it is anyone’s business why a woman exercises her right to choose?
❌ Do you think there were once I.S.I.S. training camps in the northern Mexico deserts?
If you answered no to most or all of the questions above, Arizona LD 11 State Representative Mark Finchem may not be the choice voters should be making this November because he subscribes to all the views listed above.
There is, however, another candidate that voters in LD 11 may should vote for: Colonel Hollace Lyon, who is running on a platform consensus-building and fiscal responsibility that emphasizes, “Investing in Our Future, Protecting and Preserving our Communities, and Securing our Liberties.”
Colonel Lyon is a retired 26-year Air Force Colonel who once, while stationed at N.A.T.O. (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), negotiated nuclear planning systems employment between rival nations Greece and Turkey. She also commanded twice, taught war planning to senior military leaders at the Joint Forces Staff College, and in her final job at the Pentagon, negotiated a worldwide contract with Microsoft, which resulted in a $200,000,000 savings to the Air Force and became a model for government efficiency.
In 2008, she and her wife Linda moved to Southern Arizona to care for her mother who had been a resident in the area for over 30 years.
Colonel Lyon has been active in LD 11 Democratic politics for several years. She has been the campaign manager for Jo Holt when she ran for the State Senate and she ran on a ticket with her in 2014 when she ran for the State House. This year, she is running again for one of the two LD 11 State House seats.
If elected this November, Colonel Lyon pledges to seek collaboration on all issues and promises to listen to everyone’s concerns as she strives to build consensus among all stakeholders. She hopes to attract the support of Independents and Republicans along with Democrats.
The main issues Colonel Lyon is running on in 2018 are:
- “Investing in our future by calling for quality public education and modern infrastructure which will lead to economic growth and good jobs.”
- “Protecting and preserving our communities, our natural resources, and our border (without a wall).”
- “Securing our liberties with increased voter access and government accountability.”
Colonel Lyon’s positions on specific issues are as follows:
She feels that we cannot have economic security without a “decent job and quality education.” Furthermore, education, in promoting critical thinking and creating active and well-informed citizens, is “fundamental to democracy.” Education is also necessary because it produces a dynamic and imaginative workforce.
Colonel Lyon is against school vouchers, known as Empowerment Scholarship Accounts except for special-needs children. She advocates a vote against Proposition 305. She supports charter schools but feels they should be as transparent and accountable as traditional district schools.
She commends the Red for Ed teachers’ movement for its role in restoring some funding to schools but says there is still more to do in bringing our funding levels up to and above 2008 allocation levels so teachers, staff, safety needs, and capital investments can be fully satisfied. Although she feels that there are areas to find funding for the states educational needs like reviewing corporate tax giveaways for a return on their investment, she feels Invest in Ed proposition is a step in the right direction that could help put our schools on a “solid financial footing.”
Colonel Lyon is for increased state funding for universities and reduced tuitions for in-state residents, including dreamers.
Unlike her opponent, Colonel Lyon is against dark-dirty money in politics. She fully supports the Outlaw Dirty Money Initiative which requires the original source of political contributions to be reported.
While her opponent supports tax credits for the coal industry, she believes it is foolish to avoid investments in renewable energy and contends that the state and country are “behind the eight ball” on this industry, stating that the shift to this source should have started in the 1970’s.
The Economy and Jobs
Colonel Lyon says we need to stop our race to the bottom to attract business. As a member of five Chambers of Commerce in LD 11, she recognizes that businesses want and needs a trained workforce and modern infrastructure that is turnkey and enables them to hit the ground running.
She supports infrastructure modernization and wants local and state communities to develop long-term strategic planning on where economic stimulus may arise. She cites the difficulties of workforce travel in Pinal County because of the lack of thoroughfares to meet the traffic needs as an example of poor long-term planning. She feels these projects should emphasize green energy and methods and not prioritize the needs of the real estate development lobby when deciding where construction projects would be approved.
Minimum and Living Wage
Colonel Lyon believes that anyone who works 40 hours a week should earn a living wage.
The Poor and Homeless
While cautioning that we should not inadvertently build generations of people dependent on welfare, she believes the government has a role in matching workforce requirements with those needing jobs. She supports public and private partnerships to achieve these ends, commenting that people always “feel good about helping others.”
Colonel Lyon believes everyone should have access to quality and affordable health care. Furthermore, she feels that state and local communities should do more to ensure the financial stability of rural health clinics on which many local area communities depend.
Equal Rights Amendment
She supports passage of the E.R.A. and criticizes the current State Republican leadership for not making that happen.
She supports equal rights for the LGBTQ community.
A Woman’s Right to Choose
Saying “it is the law of the land,” Colonel Lyon supports a woman’s right to choose (preferably as a last resort) and the availability of quality and clean medical facilities to perform the procedure. She supports Planned Parenthood and all the services (97 % of which help avoid pregnancy or are otherwise non-abortion related), they provide.
She believes that Dreamers should be allowed to stay as long as they are obeying our laws. Furthermore, she commented that it is not an American value to tear families apart.
Saying we “need to stop kicking the can down the road,” she feels that we need to get all community stakeholders together to make schools safer through greater prevention measures and, if necessary, redesign schools to make them inaccessible to potential threats.
She believes the N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) has strayed from its original mission when it promoted “gun safety, education, and recreation.” The viewpoints it now sponsors are not conducive to finding solutions to gun violence that preserve our second amendment rights while also preventing senseless tragedies.
After her Air Force retirement, Colonel Lyon gained experience on border security issues by working for a private company. She believes a wall is not the answer and the key to strong border security is a Federally led effort that includes increased technology with increased support to the border patrol for better surveillance.
Undue Influence on Democratic Elections
She favors taking away all the current Republican leadership attempts to suppress early voting either by cutting the number of early voting days, the number of locations, the availability of staff, and the now criminalization of delivering unhampered ballots for a third party.
Citing the need for a truly independent redistricting commission to avoid gerrymandering, she wants people to be reminded that the next Governor “will appoint the panel members who will select nominees to be our next Redistricting Commissioners.” Colonel Lyon explains the process further by noting:
“The panel that selects nominees for the Independent Redistricting Committee (IRC) is the same one that selects judicial nominees. This panel will screen those who apply, select 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and 5 Independents (25 in all) whose names will then go to the Legislature. Party leadership in the Legislature will select their 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans, then those 4 will select the Independent Chair for the IRC. So out of 25 “nominated” 5 will eventually get selected to serve on the IRC.”
Colonel Lyon also recognizes that although what is happening in Washington DC gets a lot of our attention, it is what happens at the local and state levels that most affect our daily lives.
The People of LD 11 have a choice to make when choosing one of their next State Representatives. Do they want an incumbent who feels the powerful can hide behind the scenes and manipulate our public servants with campaign contributions or do they want someone who is for public disclosure of campaign donations? Do they want an incumbent who thinks anyone can teach special needs students or someone who wants highly qualified individuals entrusted with educating children? Do they want an incumbent who thinks medical centers should divulge a woman’s private medical history or a candidate that will protect a woman’s privacy and right to choose? Do they want a state government that works collaboratively with counties and municipalities or one that issues edicts from Phoenix? Finally, do they want an incumbent who thinks there were I.S.I.S. training centers in the northern Mexican Deserts or do they want a candidate that will not insult their intelligence with such outlandish boasts?
Actually, maybe the People of LD 11 really do not have to think a lot on this one.