We are hurting future generations of Arizonans by forcing young families to live in poverty.
I grew up in a blue collar union family in the rust belt of Northern Ohio. I see the benefits that my family had — health insurance, paid vacations, paid sick leave, food on the table, and a roof over our heads– because my Dad was a proud member of the United Steel Workers. Arizona workers deserve a living wage, they deserve the right to organize, and they deserve food and housing security. The majority of Arizonans have none of this now because the Republican Party works for big corporate donors– and not for the people of our state.
Arizona has chronically low wages that are far below national standards. This has got to stop.
For women in Arizona, the picture is particularly bleak. Tucson is one of the worst cities in the US for wage gap between men and women. The median wage for women in Tucson is $10.75/hour. That means half of the women make more and half make less. If the minimum wage were raised to $15/hour, more than half of the women in Tucson would get a raise. That is appalling– particularly when you consider that many of these young women are single Moms.
I would fight for paycheck fairness for women and minorities, including racial and ethnic minorities, as well as the LGBTQ community. When large swaths of our society make less than the prevailing wage, it hurts all of us. Wealthy multinational corporations have successfully lobbied to suppress the minimum wage, unionization, paid leave, overtime pay, and sick pay and to promote economic inequality. Taxpayers subsidize this system by footing the bill for food stamps, childcare subsidies, housing assistance, and increased crime.
Women in the US won’t have equality until we have control over our bodies, equal pay for equal work, an equal voice in government, and the Equal Rights Amendment.
For more than 90 years, American women have been fighting for Constitutionally protected equal rights. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was proposed the first time in the Arizona Legislature by former Supreme Court Justice and former member of the Arizona Legislature, Sandra Day O’Connor. I want to be the last person to propose the ERA for the last time. In just a few years, it will have been 100 years since the ERA was first proposed. The ERA needs only 3 more states to ratify, and Arizona is one of the laggard states that never ratified it. Women will never have equality in the US without the ERA.
In addition to basic economic reforms, I would fight for worker rights, equal rights, and voting rights if elected to the Arizona Legislature. It’s time for all workers– regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation– to make a fair, living wage and to be free from the yoke of poverty. And it’s time for women to finally have equal rights.