UPDATE 3/15/21 (h/t to Barry K.): Here is a master messenger at work: GA’s Stacey Abrams, making the message of boosting educational spending, expanding Medicare coverage, and protecting voting rights her own. This tripod of issues should be an inspiration and foundation for our own candidates here in Arizona!
I have not been impressed with the vision for Arizona being put forth by the Arizona statewide candidates (especially for Governor) and the AZDem’s coordinated campaign. The messages I’m seeing are far too small ball and cliché. They seem to assume we will have to work with a GOP AZLeg (which we might, but that’s not how we should run). A much clearer, consistent, and compelling vision for what Democrats would do were they to take over the Arizona government leadership is desperately needed. We also need to consistently criticize how radical and disconnected from the priorities of average Arizona citizens the AZGOP has become: attacking free speech, the rights of women, trans, and gay citizens, our public schools, and our right to vote.
Here’s what that messaging should look like:
Hammer the three main issues which Arizonans overwhelmingly support and the #AZGOP is consistently attacking:
Boost spending on public education
Expand medical coverage for Arizona’s families
Protect our voting rights
Let’s Make Arizona BETTER!
We are not looking back to some mythical past to make Arizona GREAT AGAIN for some, we are looking ahead to make Arizona BETTER FOR ALL Arizonans. All Democratic candidates should be campaigning on the main ideas of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, which would dramatically improve the daily lives of all Arizonans. Many of these goals require the scale and resources of the Federal Government, but we must champion these priorities and accomplishments at every level of government. These ideas are supported by overwhelming majorities of Arizonans and will form the basis for a governing mandate here in Arizona:
- Help with the cost of caring for our children, and elderly or disabled family members
- All the new investments in critical infrastructure provided by Democrats
- Expand eligibility and subsidies for Obamacare and AHCCCS
- Universal children’s health care coverage
- State and Federal child tax credits to lift every child out of poverty
- Paid family, medical, and sick leave
- A statewide Living Wage
- Universal Pre-K
- Free community college
- College loan forgiveness
BETTER schools for our children and workforce
- We have the WORST schools in the entire nation, DEAD LAST, thanks to GOP’s chronic underfunding of our public schools, attacks on local school boards and teachers, and attempts to privatize and ‘profitize’ our public schools.
- Stop and roll back the expansion of taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools
- Rebuild our investment in our public schools to AT LEAST the national average,
- Fully fund Pre-K, which the GOP defunded in 2010. (Hat tip to Aaron Lieberman, who has highlighted this as a central issue in his campaign!)
- Begin once again to financially support our university/college system, which the GOP has abandoned.
BETTER healthcare for our families and communities
- We have among the lowest insured rates in the entire nation (#8 with 13.8% uncovered) and we can and will improve that.
- Democrats will stop hampering AZ citizens’ access to federal programs and fully fund federal cost-sharing programs of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, bringing hundreds of millions of new federal dollars to AZ.
- Fully expand AHCCCS to take full advantage of ACA – no more waivers, and no additional burdens on AZ citizens’ eligibility.
- Expand KidsCare/CHIP to cover EVERY child in AZ.
- Take vigorous public health measures when necessary to protect against communicable diseases, including vaccine mandates, and not dismantle our public health authorities to appease a vocal minority, as the GOP seeks to do.
BETTER democracy and elections for Arizona
- We are at the leading edge of the GOP’s war on voters with the most repressive attacks on Arizona’s voters and fair elections anywhere in the nation, the shameful #AZFRaudit which is STILL going on!, and #BigLie promoters running for every office in the state, including Secretary of State, who supervises our elections.
- Support the Voter Protection Initiative, Stop Dark Money Initiative, and automatic voter registration at 18. Only introduce legislation that strengthens our right to elect our leaders and expands access to voting.
- Support grassroots efforts to make our politics less toxic and more inclusive and open to new parties with structural reforms such as Ranked Choice Voting, multi-member districting, and open primaries.
BETTER jobs and economy
- Having the WORST schools in the nation is a repellant to new investment and new employers in our state. To attract quality jobs people can build a life upon, we have to compete to be the best, not just the cheapest, place to build a business.
- Taxes should be consistent, progressive, and competitive, not the lowest possible, with less reliance on regressive and unstable sales taxes.
BETTER environment and protection of our water supplies
- We must protect and manage our water resources everywhere in the state to ensure sustainable and reasonably priced supply for all Arizonans. Expand AMA to the entire state and encourage conservation and efficiency. Stop strip-mining our groundwater for short-term profit. No expensive tax-financed boondoggles.
- We must protect our people and natural resources from pollution and degradation by reforming the failed AZDEQ.
BETTER government under Democratic leadership
- Pass comprehensive ethics, conflict of interest, and Hatch Act laws that apply to ALL state officeholders. Call out the scandals and clear conflicts of GOP officeholders.
- Make the case for Independents and Republicans to VOTE and to NOT SPLIT TICKET, vote Democrat all the way down the ticket to protect democracy.
- Elect a Democratic AZLeg by voting Dem all the way down the ticket, more than 50 years of failure by the GOP is more than enough (Rs in control since 1966)!
- Re-elect a Democratic SoS to protect our voting rights
- Re-elect a Democratic SPI to protect our public schools
- Elect a Democratic AG to protect our civil rights
- Elect a Democratic CorpCom to protect our environment and progress on renewable energy
- Reelect a Democratic Congress by protecting our Senate and House seats.