Tag Archives: foster care

Domingo DeGrazia, LD10 House Candidate, Vows to Improve Child Welfare

Democrat Domingo DeGrazia is a multi-faceted, charismatic and passionate candidate who is taking on Todd Clodfelter in LD10.  He describes his life’s work in terms of helping kids and families as a child welfare advocate in the legal system. Frustrations with that system have finally driven him into politics, so he can try writing the laws instead of contending with them. He is also the son of artist Ted DeGrazia of the Gallery of the Sun – perhaps why he took up the guitar. 

Domingo DeGrazia may be a first-time politician, but he is a dead serious one.

“I come from working for families against the state of Arizona, going up against the attorney general.  I know what it’s like to be in a fight against an opponent that has more resources, dug in harder. So tell me I’m walking into a fight where I’m in the minority working for the little guy, I’m completely ok with that.  That’s what I do.”

This is a good mindset for someone running for the Arizona legislature.  

DeGrazia has seen firsthand the pain caused by the budget cuts made in 2008 to the child welfare system. He’s fought cases for years as a trial attorney, then moved into appellate law to try to find a bigger lever for change.  Then 2016 happened. And he decided the only thing to do now, was to run for the Arizona legislature.

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Four. Hundred. Thousand.

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

That’s how many of Arizona’s children live in poverty. 400,000 children who are likely food insecure, with a dim outlook for the future. Let’s face it. The American Dream is no longer the promise it once was. Yes, those who work very hard can still make something of themselves in our country, but it is no longer a given that a child, even one who really applies themselves, will be better off than his or her parents.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation publishes an annual Kids Count Databook that rates states in on how children fare in each of the 50 states. In the 2016 report, Arizona ranked:

  • 45th in overall child well-being
  • 39th in economic well-being
  • 44th in education
  • 45th in health
  • 46th in family and community

Not statistics to be proud of by any imagination. Not surprising either, since with one in five (1.26 million) living below the poverty line, Arizona is second to last in the nation, in front of only Mississippi. Continue reading