It may be hot on the sidewalks of the Old Pueblo, but that doesn’t stop Tucsonans from getting together for community events. Since the Arizona Legislature ended its session in mid-May, I have attended several community events and have given a number of Legislative Updates to groups. I have two events set up so far for July. (You can see the details below or on my Facebook page.)
There were many hot topics in the Legislature this session: teacher pay, the assault on public education and expansion of private and public school vouchers(ESAs), the assault on the Citizens’ Initiative process, hemp cultivation, gun rights, restoration of cash assistance and child care credits for needy families, theEqual Rights Amendment (ERA), fetal resuscitation, corporate tax cuts, andsurprise billing insurance reform, to name a few.
After the session, I was honored to be recognized by the Sierra Club with an A+ rating, by the Secular Coalition as a“Secular Star”, by Children’s Action Alliance with a 100% rating and by the Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) formy work on the Spice issue.
Thank you for your support and your emails. It is an honor to serve you in the Arizona House.
Below are a few news items from my email blast. If you want to be on my email list or my blog go here.
July 8: LD9 Constituent Town Hall
Mark your calendars for an LD9 town hall event featuring all three LD9 Legislators: Rep. Randy Friese, Senator Steve Farley, and me. The event will be 12-2 p.m. at the Martha Cooper Library in midtown. Bring your questions! Facebook event here.
July 23: The Yin & Yang of Public Policy
Rev. Ron Phares (pictured above) of the Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Church gave the prayer in the Arizona House on UU Day at the Legislature this session. On July 23, I’ll be delivering a sermon on the moral choices involved in making public policy: “Balancing Responsibility and Liberty: the Yin and Yang of Public Policy.” Facebook event here.
Healthcare Debate Heats Up
Since January, Congressional Republicans been busily working on their healthcare “reform” bills. Both the House and the Senate versions have been crafted behind closed doors because they don’t want YOU– the voters– to know how many millions of Americans will lose their health insurance, if they get their way.
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (pictured above) has been at the center of the storm because he is seen as a moderate who may vote “no” on the Senate bill. More than 400,000 Arizonans could lose their health insurance if either of the Republican plans passes.
Yes, definitely, the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) should be reformed, but we don’t want a system that leaves more than $20 million Americans uninsured; eliminates gender equity in insurance pricing; eliminates good-paying healthcare jobs in Arizona; brings back pre-existing conditions and forces patients into expensive high-risk pools; and gives tax breaks to the rich while denying care to the poor.
Please contact your Congressional representatives and urge them to work together on nonpartisan reform of the Affordable Care Act and to dump any plans that would cover fewer people for more money.
There are multiple citizens’ veto (AKA referenda) petitions circulating around town this July. Save Our Schools volunteers are circulating petitions to stop implementation of the Empowerment Scholarship Awards (ESA), and another group is circulating petitions to stop implementation of laws restricting the Citizens’ Initiative process. I received more constituent email about these two issues than anything else. From what I heard, you support public education and the Citizens’ Initiative process (and so do I).
Legislative Updates & Other Events
Since the end of session, I have given updates to the LD9 precinct committee people, to the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, to Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), and to the National
Organization for Women (NOW). Between now and January, I’ll be in Tucson (mostly). If you want me to speak or attend an event or meeting, please call my Phoenix office 602-926-4848 and set something up. I would be happy to give a Legislative Update, participate in a panel discussion, or provide information on bills or issues (particularly those that went through my two committees– the Health Committee and the Banking and Insurance Committee.) Watch the events tab on my Facebook page for upcoming events.