To say that 2017 was a challenging year is a gross understatement. Buffeted by angry Tweets, backward-thinking executive orders, political grandstanding, militarism, and attacks on our healthcare, our finances, and our freedom, the American people have been on an emotional roller coaster since November 8, 2016. At the dawn of 2018, we have nowhere to go but up.
Inequality in the Trump Era
The summer 2017 news cycle was filled with stories about Congressional Republican plans to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and throw millions of Americans off of health insurance. Problem is: Most people didn’t want to lose their health insurance. Vigilant activists and 1000s of phone calls, emails, and protests stopped multiple ACA repeal and replace attempts. Tucsonans at the 200 Stories Healthcare Forum overwhelming said they wanted health insurance to be affordable and universal— not more expensive and less accessible, as the Republicans had planned. We must stay vigilant because Republicans plan to continue their attacks on our health and well being in 2018.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the fall 2017 news cycle flip flopped between stories on militaristic Tweet tantrums and details of Congressional Republican plans to dramatically reduce taxes for big corporations and 0.01% of the richest Americans. Who will pay for massive tax cuts for the rich? The rest of us, of course. Tax Cut and Jobs Act is blatantly unfair to millions of Americans. As far as I’m concerned if the federal government is giving away billions in tax cuts, the State of Arizona can roll back our tax cuts. After all, we need the money to fund education and other items on the People’s To-Do List. For more thoughts on this, check out the text and video of my DGT speech on solving economic inequality: Economic Inequality, Access to Care & Workforce Development: A Progressive Roadmap.
#MeToo Movement Shake-up
A year that began with amazing women’s marches nationwide, ended with months of sexual harassment and sexual assault charges against powerful men in entertainment and politics. Several Congressmen, State Legislators, and entertainment icons like Matt Lauer, Henry Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and others have lost their jobs and fallen from power.
In the #MeToo Era, is it finally time to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)? I think so. I proposed the ERA in 2017, and I have opened a 2018 bill folder for it. You can read my blog post on this topic here. Watch for ERA activists at the Together We Rise Rally on Opening Day of the Legislature, January 8, 2018. Check out the ERA in AZ Facebook Group here and my blog here for news and updates.
Happy New Year! Take care of yourself. In a few days, I will be heading back to the Arizona House.
Below the fold, check event updates from December 2017 Constituent Newsletter. (BTW, the feature photo depicts Arizona House Democrats at their December retreat on the Gila River Indian Reservation.)
Arizona Legislators Tour Tucson Airport
One of the high points of December was addressing the Junior State of America (JSA) Annual Meeting. JSA is a non-profit organization that seeks to “strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high schools students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.” The students were a delight; they were so engaged. After 15 minutes of me talking about running for office and serving in the Legislature, I answered another 15 minutes of really good questions on everything from voting age to the Equal Rights Amendment to student journalism. I left that meeting with a renewed enthusiasm for the future.
Founder’s Day for the Phoenix College of Medicine
As you may know, I worked for the University of Arizona College of Medicine (COM) for many years. Back in the early 1990s, The COM Phoenix Campus was in its infancy. Early in December, I had the pleasure of attending the COM Phoenix Founder’s Reception. Here I am with Dean Guy Reed, MD. I told him that I want to bring back seed grants for research as an economic development strategy. The universities have the data to show the positive economic impact of seed grants. This is a clear cut economic development strategy. Seed grants and preliminary findings can make Arizona scientists more competitive for large research grants, which will bring good-paying jobs for college graduates and college students to Arizona.
This fall former Pima Arizona Labor Federation (PALF) Executive Director Fred Yamashita accepted the top spot at the statewide AFL-CIO. Here I am at Fred’s going away party with Jobs With Justice Chair Steve Valencia (left) and new PALF Executive Director Paul Stapleton-Smith.
Please Support My Re-Election Campaign!
I am running for re-election as a Clean Elections candidate in 2018. Please support my campaign by donating $5 for Clean Elections, signing my petition and/or donating seed money. I need a minimum of 200 $5 donations from LD9 residents. Thanks to the response to my last email blast, I have 190 $5s. To have a comfortable cushion, I need 40 more $5 donations. It may sound quaint in the era of big-money politics, but very $5 bill is important to me. In 2016, my average donation was $25. Thank you!
Go here to donate $5 for Clean Elections.
Go here to sign my nominating petition.
Donate seed money
Send a check to Powers Hannley for House 2018, P.O. Box 42284, Tucson, 85733.
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This blog post was originally sent to constituents as my December 2017 Constituent Newsletter. To sign up for my monthly newsletter go here.