Season 2, Episode 9 of a View from the Left Side focuses on our country’s epidemic of gun violence.
My opening commentary, recorded on June 1, 2022, refers to the mass shootings at a Buffalo, New York grocery store and at the Uvalde, Texas elementary school. Unfortunately, there have been more since then, most notably the Highland Park, Illinois Fourth of July Parade mass shooting. There have been more than 300 mass shootings in the US in 2022, according to the Washington Post. (Mass shootings are defined as events in which four or more people — besides the shooter — are killed or injured.) Mass shootings are averaging one per day in 2022, and there have been no weeks in 2022 without a mass shooting, according to the Post. This is not a well-regulated militia. This is a country with more privately owned weapons than people.
Continue reading Podcast: As Gun Violence Rocks US, March for Our Lives Calls for Action
In early May 2022, a leaked Supreme Court opinion showed the court may be leaning toward eliminating or severely limiting Roe v Wade, the landmark abortion rights case from the early 1970s.
There were rallies and marches around the country to protest this ideological strike against women’s rights and body autonomy by a Supreme Court packed with appointees from a discredited President.
Here are two of the speeches from the Tucson rally on May 14, 2022 — one by Congressman Raul Grijalva and the second one by State Senator Stephanie Stahl Hamilton. The video clip begins with Mayor Regina Romero leading the unity clap as I arrived at Armory Park.
Continue reading Stop Abortion Bans Rally, May 14, 2022 (video)
On June 1, 2022, March for Our Lives Phoenix hosted a press conference calling for Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature to take action on common sense gun violence prevention legislation.
Jacob Martinez, March for Our Lives Phoenix organizer, gave opening remarks and introduced Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, Democratic House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding, and Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios.
Continue reading March for Our Lives Calls Out Lawmakers at Press Conference (video)
In May 2022, within 10 days of each other, there were two mass murders in the US.
On May 14, 10 black people were gunned down and three others injured in a neighborhood grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
On May 24, 2022, 19 children and two teachers were murdered and 17 wounded inside an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
When will the United States take meaningful steps to curb gun violence in this country?
Continue reading When Will the US Take Meaningful Steps to End Gun Violence (video)
The Arizona Legislature surpassed Day 150 this week. You’ll remember that the target length for a session is 100 days. That shipped sailed in mid April.
Season 2 Episode 8 of A View from the Left Side is a compilation of Legislative Updates recorded between April 18, 2022 and May 31, 2022.
Three of these updates focus on the stalled budget process. The House Republican Caucus is fractured and there is no collaboration between the House and Senate leadership teams.
There are rumors of another Republican budget but no bills have been dropped, and recent leaded spreadsheet likely doesn’t have the votes to pass.
Libertarians don’t want to spend money on anything — despite great need in the state and a $5 billion surplus.
Democrats aren’t likely to support a budget that doesn’t include a significant investment in public education. Prop 208, which the Republicans took down in court, would have provided $900 million in revenue for public education by assessing a fee on excessive income over $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples.
Continue reading Podcast Rep. PPH Capitol Updates: Back Story on the Budget
It is a sad state of affairs when our government’s most important decisions — how to wisely invest $5 billion and how to maintain our water supply into the future — are made behind closed doors by a tiny group of (primarily) white men.
The Libertarian and Corporate wings of the Arizona Republican Caucus in the Legislature have been battling each other over the budget, since the skinny austerity budget failed in April on a bipartisan vote.
While Republicans twist each other’s arms over the budget, water, and tax giveaways, floor action focuses on culture wars, 2020 election conspiracy theories, voter suppression and guns. Since April, the Legislature has had sketchy schedules with a handful of votes and many days of adjournment. (Don’t get me wrong the extra days working from home in Tucson are greatly appreciated.)
In 2021, Republican disarray over the budget dragged out the session until June 30 — the very last day to pass a budget. If the Republicans are going to make backroom deals until they get 100% of their members to agree on the budget, I prefer 2022’s the somewhat random scheduling to 2021’s 28 days of “Pledge and Pray” with no votes. (That was a real waste of time and money!) Although many Legislators (Ds and Rs) stated publicly that they didn’t want a repeat of 2021, that is where we are headed.
Continue reading House Hears Seven Election Bills … Budget Remains Stalled (video)