House Incumbent Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley and former representative and current Senate candidate Victoria Steele handily won the August 28, 2018 Democratic Party Primary. In the November 6, 2018 General Election, Friese and Powers Hannley will run against Republican challenger Ana Henderson (who lost to them in 2016) for two House seats. Steele faces a surprise write-in challenge from Republican businessman Randy Fleenor.
When I ran for office in 2016, I said I wanted be your voice—the voice of the people—in the Arizona Legislature. And that is exactly what I did.
I used my voice, my votes, my amendments, and my bills to fight for the rights and wellbeing of workers, patients, teachers, students, women and the underserved.
Protecting your family…
I was a strong voice for public health and affordable access to care during the negotiations and eventual passage of both the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act and dental therapy. I also co-sponsored a bill to allow Arizonans to buy-in to Medicaid (AHCCCS). This is a potentially cheaper option for folks who are struggling with the cost of health insurance. House Democrats will be proposing it again in 2019.
On budget night 2018, I proposed an amendment to appropriate $56 million in federal child care subsidies to fill the $80 million gap left after Republicans swept the funds during the Great Recession. Arizona House Republicans voted to leave those funds unspent; Arizona is the only state in the country that didn’t use those earmarked childcare funds. (I’ll try again in 2019.) I also backed a bill for tiered reimbursement for childcare subsidies. This bill, which was signed into law, and the $56 million in subsidies would go a long way to help Arizona families and children.
Protecting your rights…
Also on budget night, at around 4 a.m., I defended the rights of pregnant homeless women to have access to abortion and abortion referrals. I have seen young homeless women with infants on the streets of Tucson. The streets are no place for adults– let alone children and babies. Because we are a state that does very little to help women once their babies have been born, I believe we should expand access to contraception and all legal medical procedures and teach medically accurate sex education in the schools.
Two years in a row, I proposed ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Arizona. Arizona women won’t have equal pay for equal work without passage of the ERA. Overall, women are paid roughly 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. Due to the intersectionality of race, class, ethnicity and gender, African-American women, Native American women and Latinas are paid far less than white men. Latinas make roughly 55 cents per hour for every $1 earned by a white man. Tucson’s population is 41% Latino. Just think of the economic impact to our city and our region if Latinas were paid fairly and if they were offered quality education for themselves and their children. It doesn’t do our community, our state or our country to force people to live in poverty and sickness.
#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 was hosted by the Pima Area Labor Federation (PALF) and Progressive Democrats of America (PDA Tucson), with support from many other unions and community groups.
Heart-felt testimonies from current high school students, who explained how school budget cuts have impacted their lives and their schools, opened the forum.
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 after the jump.)
My talk focused on specific tax giveaway votes in the 53rd Legislature. focused specific tax giveaway bills and the drama that swirled around the bills that passed and the ones that failed. (Video after the jump.) 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.
The Legislature’s mindset on tax giveaways shifted from January 2017– when two Progressive Democrats made a pact to vote against every tax giveaway until the schools were fully funded– to budget night in May 2018. The Progressive viewpoint was: If the state “can’t afford” to fully fund K-12 public education (due to self-imposed austerity), then we “can’t afford” to give away or excuse any more taxes until the schools are on stable footing and fully funded. Thanks to the #RedForEd movement, on budget night 2018, hundreds of teachers, parents, and supporters filled the House gallery and the Capitol lawn and demanded that public education take priority over corporate tax cuts.
As I mentioned in my talk, a thorough tax giveaway review bill and several tax reform or repeal bills were proposed in the Legislature in 2018. Unfortunately, due to the gamesmanship at the Capitol, these bills were not heard because they were proposed by Democrats: Senator Steve Farley and Reps. Mark Cardenas, Randy Friese, and Pamela Powers Hannley.
It’s time to review all of the tax cuts, tax exemptions, tax credits, tax subtractions, and other tax loopholes. Some of these tax giveaways benefit narrow interests– to the detriment of the general fund and the general public. We must determine which tax exemptions benefit the people of Arizona (like the TPT exemptions for food and prescription drugs); which ones benefit special interest groups (like gold bullion enthusiasts); which ones benefit individual corporations (like the infamous four-inch pipe); which ones we are effective and affordable; and how we can spark economic development without breaking our budget and starving all of our educational institutions, as we are now.
Several people told me that they felt hopeful after my talk because so many costly tax giveaways were stopped on a bipartisan vote. If fact, all of the tax giveaway votes were bipartisan— with Democrats and Republicans on both sides. This is why it is important to ask every candidate in the 2018 election what their stance is on tax giveaways, the #RedForEd movement, the Invest In Ed Citizens Initiative (to secure long-term funding for K-12), and the Outlaw Dirty Money Citizens Initiative. Will these candidates fight for the people or will they “take the money and run”?
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.
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. Here are a few photos and a video from opening day.
It’ go time, people. Today is July 26, 2018.
In five days, voter registration closes for the August 28 primary on July 30.
In seven days, early voting begins for the August 28 primary on August 1.
In 34 days, it will be Primary Election day on August 28.
It’s time for voters to get serious about making up their minds on who to vote for. Many news outlets– like the Arizona Republic and the Tucson Weekly— are compiling voter guides. (The link to the Republic’s guide is below. The Weekly’s will be published soon.) The state’s main Voter Education Guide, which you will receive in the US mail soon, is already available online here.
In addition to voter guides, organizations, nonprofits, and unions have released candidate statements and endorsements (linked below).
For your consideration, I have compiled a list of my endorsements, ratings, awards and news clips– along with links to five organizations that have compiled candidate issue statements.
I am asking for your vote on or before the August 28, 2018 primary and again in the fall– on or before the November 6, 2018 general election.
I promised to be the voice of the people in the Arizona Legislature, and that’s exactly what I did. As a Progressive Democrat and a Clean Elections candidate, I am beholden to no one but you– the voters of Arizona. I accept no big-money donations from lobbyists, special interest groups or unions. Votes should decide our elections– not money.
In the 53rd Legislature, I voted my values and stood up for your rights and wellbeing. The People’s work is not done. We must turn the Arizona Legislature around. It’s time that elected officials stopped voting to give our tax money away and started voting to fund the People’s To-Do List: education, healthcare, infrastructure, and safety and security. I am proud to say that I voted against every tax giveaway that was proposed in two years. Do you want a representative who stands with teachers, students and families or one who stands with the developers? That is your choice in the LD9 primary.
Please check out the links and videos below. It has been an honor to serve you for the past two years in the Arizona House. Thank you for your support.
The Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) organizes and hosts debates for all elections in which at least one Clean Elections candidate is running. In Legislative District 9, three of the five people running for office are Clean candidates: Jim Love, Victoria Steele and me. The other two people who are running for house– Rep. Randy Friese and J.P. Martin– are running traditional.
Since early ballots for the August 28 primary election will be mailed on August 1, the CCEC has been hosting many debates in the past month. On July 19, the LD9 candidates had their debate. (The LD9 video link is here and the embedded video is below. To watch other CCEC debates go here.)
CCEC debates include some questions that are asked of all candidates and other questions that are asked of specific people. I have annotated the debate with time stamps– in case you want to focus on particular topics. Since there were several audience questions about guns in schools, the environment and prison reform, I have grouped those questions and answers.
We have four events this weekend–starting with the Legislative District 9 Clean Elections Debate on July 19. Here are the details.
LD9 Clean Elections Debate, July 19
The Legislative District 9 Clean Elections debate will be Thursday, July 19 at Pima College Northwest, 6-7:30 p.m. All five Democratic candidates will be participating, including the two House incumbents, Dr. Randy Friese and me. Here is a link to the full schedule of debates sponsored by the Citizens Clean Election Commission (CCEC). [The above picture was taken at the CCEC general election debate in 2016. Republican challenger Ana Henderson (far right, no pun intended) will face the two winners from the August 28 Democratic Primary in the November 6 General Election.] Please vote!
Arizona List Event for Rep. Pam Powers Hannley, Victoria Steele & Leila Counts, July 20
Kim Khoury has graciously offered to open her home for a joint house party for three Arizona List-endorsed candidates: former Arizona House Rep. and current LD9 Senatorial Candidate Victoria Steele, TUSD candidate Leila Counts, and me. The Facebook link for the July 20 evening event is here. To RSVP and get the address, contact Claire Knipe (email@example.com). [The above picture was taken at a joint canvass that Victoria, Leila and I had in June.]
Joint Canvass for LD9 Incumbents, July 21
The Powers For The People Team and Team Friese will be canvassing in the Northwest Region of LD9 on Saturday morning, July 21. We will meet at 8:30 a.m.and leave the staging area by 9 a.m. Please meet at Road Runner Coffee, 9665 Thornydale Rd.
We will be carrying campaign lit for both LD9 House incumbents– Dr. Randy Friese and Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley. As always, we can use walkers and drivers. Please join us! Bring your hat, water, sunscreen, good walking shoes, and your MiniVan password. Facebook event here.
My team is canvassing every Saturday morning at 8:30. Watch my Events tab on Facebook to find out where we will be next.
Legislative Meet & Greet in Northwest Tucson, July 22
Find out the answer to these questions and more at this Northwest Tucson Meet and Greet with Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, Legislative District 9 representative in the Arizona House. The event will be hosted by Nathan Davis and Taylor Cleland at their home, from 1-3 p.m. Click on the Eventbrite link here to get free tickets and to learn the address. This is the fourth Legislative Meet and Greet that I have done this summer. Watch for more events on Facebook. [The photo above was taken at a canvass staging area in 2016. Nathan is displaying his #PowersForThePeople pink and purple.]
#PowersForThePeople Signs Available!
SIGNs! You can tell it’s election time in Tucson because of the proliferation of political signs around town. You can help me empty my trunk by putting a yard sign in your yard. There is a stack of my signs at the Pima Dems Headquarters, and I will have them at all of the events listed above. Thanks for your support.
Register to Vote, July 30
July 30 is the last day to register to vote in the August 28 primary. Even if you think you are registered, you may want to check it out. Some people have been surprised to find out that their records are incorrect or incomplete. I am counting on your vote on or before the August 28 Primary and on or before the November 6 general election. There are many important primary races in 2018. Early ballots will arrive in the mail at the beginning of August.
Who said Tucson rolls up the sidewalks in the summer? This town is hopping with political events this summer. I hope you can make it to some of my events. Stay tuned for updates as August events are added. You can watch the Events tabs on my website or on my Facebook page or subscribe to my blog to stay up-to-date with my campaign and other community events.
July 9: Moms Demand Action Candidate Forum, 6 p.m., St. Mark’s Church, 3809 E. 3rd St. (Facebook event here.)
July 12: Midtown Legislative Meet & Greet with Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, hosted by Merrill Eisenberg, Barbara Warren and Jenise Porter, 5-7 p.m., RSVP on Eventbrite here for home address.
July 20: Arizona List event for Victoria Steele (LD9 Senate), Leila Counta (TUSD Board) and Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley (LD9 House), hosted by Kim Khoury. RSVP to Claire Knipe at Arizona List (Claire@ArizonaList.org). (Facebook event here.)
July 22: Northwest Tucson Legislative Meet & Greet with Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, hosted by Nathan Davis and Taylor Cleland, 1-3 p.m., RSVP on Eventbrite here for home address.
July 30: Last day to register to vote in the August 28 primary. (Register or change your registration here.)
July 31: Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes. Hosted by Progressive Democrats of America Tucson Chapter (PDA Tucson) and the Pima Area Labor Federation (PALF). 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the IBEW Hall, 750 South Tucson Blvd. Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley will be speaking. (Facebook event here.)
August 28: Primary Election Day. Please vote for Dr. Randy Friese and me on or before August 28.
Every Saturday morning from now to August 25, 2018, the Powers For The People team will be canvassing around LD9. Walkers and drivers are always welcome. Just bring your hat, water, sunscreen, walking shoes and your MiniVan password. If you want to use the VAN list on paper, I will have a couple of paper turfs available. We will be carrying literature for both LD9 incumbents– Dr. Randy Friese and Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley. (Facebook event here.)
Besides canvassing and campaign events, the summer before an election is filled with endorsement meetings and paperwork.
I am proud to be endorsed by several groups already.
- Arizona Building and Construction Trades
- Arizona Education Association
- Arizona List
- Arizona Medical Association
- Arizona Nurses Association
- Arizona Realtors
- Arizona State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police
- Planned Parenthood
- Sierra Club
In addition, I have received high ratings from some important groups.
- Arizona Advocacy Network: A rating.
- Children’s Action Alliance: 100%.
- Sierra Club: A rating.
Also, showing up to work is part of any job. You would be surprised how many Legislators don’t come to the House floor for debates, don’t attend the Democratic Caucus Meetings, and don’t vote. In the two years I have been in office, I missed one day and zero votes. (Why did I do on the day I missed? I attended the American Journal of Medicine Board Meeting in New York City. I am the former managing editor and current social media editor for AJM, my other day job.)
If you live in LD9, please vote for me in the primary election on or before August 28 and again in the general election on or before November 6, 2018. Thank you for your support. Our work is not done.