Southwest Key Programs operates an off-limits compound at 1601 N Oracle Road near Drachman Street, north of downtown in Tucson
9-19-18 UPDATE: Arizona moves to revoke licenses from all Southwest Key migrant-children shelters https://goo.gl/qVxUA9 The government contractor failed to provide proof its workers had the required background checks.
Up to 300 migrant children ages 5 to 17 are warehoused at a dangerous facility run by Southwest Key Programs in Tucson. “There seem to be some real problems here,” said state Representative Kirsten Engel, speaking at a recent meeting of the Democrats of Greater Tucson.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) made an inspection and found “numerous violations that employees have fingerprint cards, and space and privacy for kids.” DHS negotiated an agreement with Southwest Key giving DHS the power to make unannounced inspections.
“It’s a black box,” she said of the compound, which is closed to the public. “When we were at Southwest Key there was a representative from the Denver regional office of the HHS (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), but we didn’t get a lot of information from him.”
Southwest Key is a massive private contractor that is paid $485 million by the federal government to warehouse 5,200 children in 26 facilities in Arizona, California, and Texas. In Arizona, it houses 1,500 children in 13 different shelters.
The children are technically not incarcerated. “They are in a ‘mandatory temporary child shelter situation,'” Engel said. “They are in the hands of a private entity. One of the issues is that it is all being done by private contract and is not being adequately overseen by a state agency.”
Danger of child abuse Continue reading
Are you upset that the Outlaw Dirty Money and Invest In Ed Citizens Initiatives were tossed off of the November ballot by right-wing, activist judges? Many constituents have asked me what they can do about it. Here are three suggestions: vote NO on Prop 126, Prop 305 and Prop 306, and here’s why.
Along with hundreds of Arizonans, my volunteers and I carried petitions through the summer heat to get the Outlaw Dirty Money and Invest In Ed on the ballot. I’m upset that the Arizona Supreme Court tossed both of these initiatives off the ballot– despite their obvious popularity with the voters and despite the gargantuan signature drives that were mounted by the people. The only people who declined to sign these two petitions when I asked them were people who had already signed.
Outlaw Dirty Money was an attempt to bring more transparency to campaign finance laws. Invest In Ed would have raised the income tax on Arizona’s richest residents to pay for stable funding for public education. If you believe in these ideas– campaign finance transparency, getting big money out of politics, sustainable funding for public education, stopping the tax giveaways, and stopping school vouchers– there are three important “no” votes you can make on Nov. 6– No on Prop 126, No on Prop 305 and No on Prop 306.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Courts, Economics, Education, Elections, Initiatives, Justice, Pamela Powers Hannley, Propositions, Taxes
Tagged #RedForEd, Citizens Clean Elections Commission, Clean Elections, corporate sales tax loopholes, Empowerment Scholarship Account, ESAs, Invest in Ed, InvestInEd, Outlaw Dirty Money, pamela powers hannley, public education, Red for Ed, taxes, teachers, video
Print this out for future reference. Mail-in ballots will arrive on Oct. 10
Faced with a corrupt State Legislature and Supreme Court, Arizona voters will have the chance to fight back on 8 public initiatives.
Teachers, elected representatives, and a transportation official explained the merits of the ballot initiatives at the recent
Tanque Verde Valley Democratic Club meeting.
Arrayed against voters are dark money interests and self-dealing corporations that are already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to sabotage ballot initiatives to fund public schools, renewable energy, and clean elections.
“I said that this Legislature is owned by dirty money on the state House floor, and I was gaveled down,” says state Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley. “We still have corruption in the state government.”
Echoing these remarks, Luci Messing, the chair of the Tanque Verde Democrats, says, “We have a very corrupt majority in the Legislature who are not looking out for us. We need to take them out. That’s why it’s so important we vote for people who are pro-education, pro-family and will do best for Arizona and not for their pockets or personal gains. It’s definitely one of those issues where we can make a difference. The power is in our hands.” Continue reading
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Counties, Economics, Education, Elections, Energy, Initiatives, Larry Bodine, Pamela Powers Hannley, Propositions, Transportation, Tucson, Voting Rights
Tagged APS, Arizona Public Service Electric Company, Brian Bickel, Jonathan Rothschild, Luci Messing, Marie Kidder, pamela powers hannley, Save Our Schools, Tanque Verde Valley Democratic Club, TEP, Tom Chabin, Tucson Electric Power, Yves Khawan
A standing room only crowd filled the IBEW Hall for the Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes Forum, hosted by PALF and PDA Tucson, with support from other unions and community groups.
#RedForEd lifted the veil from our eyes and put the issue of corporate tax giveaways front and center in the fight to restore public education funding in Arizona.
As many of you are aware, the Arizona Legislature is giving away more than $13 billion in taxes every year and using only $10 billion to run the state. It is not sound fiscal policy to use accounting gimmicks and 50 fund transfers to “balance” the budget. It is no surprise that the state owes K-12 education around $1 billion. Thanks to scheduled corporate tax cuts passed by the Tea Party*, beginning in 2011, Arizona’s corporations got to keep an extra $1 billion in 2017. These corporate tax cuts continue through 2019, even though we can’t afford them.
As a result of the anger and frustration that many Tucsonans feel about the Arizona Legislature’s performance, the Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes Community Forum drew a standing room only crowd of diverse participants.
The event opened with heart-felt testimonies from current high school students, who explained how school budget cuts have impacted their lives and their schools.
LD9 Rep. Randy Friese gave a detailed presentation on tax revenue and how it has been siphoned off by special interest groups and corporate tax cuts for decades. (Video here.)
LD9 Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley’s talk focused specific tax giveaway bills and the drama that swirled around the bills that passed and the ones that failed. (Video here.) Excluding any votes related to budget appropriations, all of the tax giveaway votes in the 53rd Legislature were bipartisan— with Democrats and Republicans on both sides.
Posted in Activism, Arizona State Legislature, Budgets, Community, Economics, Education, Ethics, GOP War On..., IOKIYAR, Justice, Labor, Pamela Powers Hannley, Political Events, Poverty, Taxes, Tucson
Tagged corporate sales tax loopholes, corporate welfare, Dr. Randy Friese, pamela powers hannley, tax cuts, taxes
HB2479 was was a sales tax exemption with an unknown price tag. Despite being hotly debated, it passed the House on a bipartisan vote.
LD9 House incumbents– Dr. Randy Friese and I– will be the featured speakers at the Stop Thief community forum on tax giveaways on July 31 at the IBEW Hall.
As many of you are aware, Arizona is upside down on its mortgage. Thanks to years of Republican tax cuts, our state gives away more than $13 billion in taxes and spends just $10 billion to run the state. For years, the people of Arizona believed the lie that our state is broke. Now the veil has been lifted. The people realize that our state has plenty of revenue. The problem is that the majority of our Legislators vote to give the money away–rather than spend it on much-needed services– like public education.
Austerity is a lie. Arizona has the money to fund public education. The problem is: the Legislature gives our taxes away. It’s time to end crony capitalism in Arizona.
When the Arizona budget comes up short because of the tax giveaways, loopholes, and sweetheart deals, Republicans cut funds from K-12 education, the universities, the community colleges, healthcare, and environmental protections. OR they suggest raising sales tax to fill in the budget gaps caused by tax cuts for the rich and for the corporations. (Unfortunately, some Democrats go along with more tax cuts for the powerful and more sales tax for the rest of us.)
The Arizona Legislature should be funding the People’s To-Do List– education, healthcare, infrastructure, and safety and security– not the corporate wish list.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Budgets, Community, Education, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Justice, Pamela Powers Hannley, Political Events
Tagged Arizona Legislature, Dr. Randy Friese, pamela powers hannley, tax, tax credits, tax giveaways
The eastern stop of the SunLink modern streetcar.
Four years ago, on a ridiculously hot July day, thousands of Tucsonans showed up to welcome the Modern Streetcar (AKA SunLink or affectionately “the trolley”) to downtown Tucson.
Tomorrow, July 28, Tucson will celebrate the streetcar’s steamy birthday with music and air-conditioned rides.
I won’t be downtown for the birthday party because I am giving a talk on the Equal Rights Amendment on Saturday night in Tubac, but I hope you all will check out the festivities and the live music on the streetcar and along the route. Below the fold are a few photos and a video from opening day.
Posted in Community, Economics, Energy, environment, Pamela Powers Hannley, Transportation, Tucson
Tagged downtown, infrastructure, mass transportation, pamela powers hannley, SunLink, Tucson, video