Pamela Powers Hannley
Pamela Powers Hannley, MPH

I’m tired of government against the people. I am running for the Arizona Legislature because I want to bring back government of the people, by the people and for the people. Republican Party policies have starved the Arizona economy and thrown many citizens into financial ruin. GOP leaders bow to dark money donors and ignore the needs of Arizona workers. They have repeatedly cut taxes for the 1% and for corporations, while allowing the people of Arizona to toil away for chronically low wages, that are well below national standards. Their policies have hindered Arizona’s competitiveness by allowing our roads and bridges to crumble and by whittling away k-12 education, vocational education, community colleges, and universities.

Arizona has been stuck in a ditch since the Tea Party took over in 2010. It’s time to take back our government, end austerity policies that are hurting our families, and get back on the road to prosperity.

My slogan is “Powers for the People” because I will work for you… real people… not for corporate people. I am proud to run as a Clean Elections candidate because I believe voters– not money– should decide who runs our country.

car-ditch-NLEconomic Reform & Public Banking

I’m not that Democratic Party candidate who comes to meetings and says, “Jobs! Education! No more pot holes! Vote for me!”

I am the Progressive Democrat who says, “Jobs! Education! No more pot holes! Here’s how we can do this. And that’s why you should vote for me.”

My platform is based upon a series of economic reforms which will grow Arizona’s economy, instead of starving it; raise revenue for infrastructure projects, jobs and education; and nurture a climate of respect that is good for local businesses, entrepreneurs, college students, and families.

The cornerstone of my reform package is the creation of a state public bank, like the Bank of North Dakota. A state public bank would hold and manage the state’s funds and invest them for the public good, right here in Arizona. Public banks partner with local community banks to make loans or guarantee loans to small, local businesses, college students, entrepreneurs, and farmers. Currently, our state’s funds (your tax dollars) are held by a too-big-to-fail bank, gambled on Wall Street, and invested for the good of the bank’s shareholders.

Education rally
Arizonans value education. It’s time the Arizona Legislature did, too!

I believe that our tax dollars should be invested right here in Arizona for the public good. We can fix pot holes, build roads, fund education, foster university-based research spin-off business, keep libraries, community centers and pools open, build homeless shelters, and much more– if we establish a public bank, take control of our money, and end corporate giveaways.

Both Governors Jan Brewer and Doug Ducey have followed the path of austerity, since the Wall Street crash of 2008-09. Instead of growing the economy by investing in infrastructure and education to make the state more competitive, they cut programs, laid off hundreds of workers, sold the state capitol buildings, and gave away taxpayer monies to out-of-state corporations.

It is time to close the loopholes in our laws that give tax breaks to big corporations that are not headquartered in Arizona. Arizona also must take a cold, hard look at the $400 million per year in tax credits that the Arizona Legislature is giving away; most of that $400 million is being spent to prop up the charter school industry. No wonder we don’t have money for k-12 education, the university and community college system, and roads. We’re giving away tax payer funds.

It’s time to foster home-grown Arizona business and innovation– instead of shipping tax dollars to Wall Street (in terms of high fees) or giving away millions in corporate tax cuts. Arizona’s economy remains sluggish because of austerity. Corporate tax cuts have not worked to grow jobs, and loopholes are a waste of taxpayer money.

A third part of my economic package focuses on avoiding unnecessary lawsuits– another big waste of our money. Republicans in the Arizona Legislature routinely pass laws that could be considered unconstitutional– like SB1070, abortion restrictions, education cuts, and voter suppression. These lawsuits are nothing more than political posturing, and they cost Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars. These funds could be used to benefit us– rather than used to defend right-wing ideology in court.

It’s time to stop wasting taxpayer money on Wall Street bank fees, tax cuts, sweetheart deals and loopholes for big corporations, tax credits for pet industries, and unnecessary lawsuits. The Arizona Legislature is really good at throwing our money away– $400 million per year in tax credits + $312 million per year in interest on our debt to Wall Street. I can suggest much better ways to spend $712 million dollars, than to give it away in corporate welfare.

We wouldn’t be worrying about how to pay for K-12 education, the university and community college systems, or road repairs if our state’s budget was grounded in sound economic policy– instead hog-tied by rigid ideology. It’s time to take back our state.

American women will never have equality without passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Living Wage, Equal Rights & Paycheck Fairness

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.

We are hurting future generations of Arizonans by forcing young families to live in poverty. 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.

I would fight for paycheck fairness for women and minorities. 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.

For more than 90 years, American women have been fighting for Constitutionally protected equal rights. I would continue Rep. Victoria Steele’s fight for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). 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.

Arizona has a prescription drug overdose problem, not a marijuana problem.

Re-Focus the War on Drugs to Target Opiates

More Arizonans die from prescription drug overdoses than from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined. In 2013, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) reported 1000 deaths from prescription drug overdose, 100 deaths from heroin overdose, and 0 deaths from marijuana. So, why is law enforcement wasting time and money busting and jailing people for marijuana? 

I believe that law enforcement and prevention efforts should focus on the drugs that actually kill and addict people– like prescription opiates, meth, heroin, cocaine, and designer drugs. Arizona has one of the worst drug overdose and prescription drug abuse records in the US. Since 2010, drug overdose deaths–from legal and illegal drugs– have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle accidents in Arizona. In fact, a national report said that Arizona is among nine states with the fewest “promising strategies” to combat prescription drug abuse.

The opiate epidemic has made it to the national political stage with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the US Senate now talking about it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has strategies to help doctors recognize patients who may be abusing drugs, and there is continuing medical education available for doctors. We need to beef up prevention and treatment efforts in Arizona– in addition to enforcement.

Furthermore, in October 2014, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that states with medical cannabis had a 25% lower overdose mortality rate from opioid prescription drug overdose when compared with states where marijuana is illegal. So– legalization of marijuana could be part of our strategy to combat prescription painkiller overdose deaths.

I believe that Arizona should legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. Arresting and jailing people for using marijuana does nothing more than feed the private prison industry, add to our mass incarceration problem, waste taxpayer money on prisons, and ruin people’s lives. Also, it has been shown that incarceration for marijuana is often discriminatory. Blacks and whites illegally use marijuana at about the same rate, yet black people are far more likely to be jailed for the same crime.

Marijuana legalization is a win-win-win situation because it would not only raise money in sales taxes and create an economic boon for our state, but it also would save law enforcement and incarceration funds and reduce drug-related border crime.

It’s time to stop jailing citizens for using a plant that never killed anyone. We should focus prevention, treatment and enforcement efforts on the drugs that are addicting and killing our citizens.

LD9 legislators
Please send me to Phoenix so I can serve with these fine people– Senator Steve Farley (second from left) and Rep. Randy Friese. (Susan Friese and I are the bookends here.)

Clean Elections

I would appreciate your support. I am a Clean Elections candidate.

To get on the ballot, I need to collect 300 $5-dollar Clean Elections qualifying contributions and 412-1234 valid signatures from residents of LD 9 . (If you don’t know what legislative district you are in, the Clean Elections site has many great voter education links, including finding your district.)

I can receive seed money donations up to $4011 from any US citizen who is eligible to vote. Clean Elections donations are capped at $160 cash per person. (Hence the term “clean elections”– no dark money accepted here. Look for a donate button in the near future.)

Click on my campaign slogan (below) to make a seed money donation on Pay Pal.


For campaign finance reporting, please type your employer name, your occupation, email address, and phone number into the “special instructions” box on the PayPal form.

Thank you! Let’s bring power back to the people together.

For more information…

Check out my website,

For more about my background, family, and roots, click here.

For basic facts about my education and career, click here.

For videos of my speeches, click here.

For more background on public banking, click here.

Follow my campaign on Facebook and volunteer for canvasing and events, click here.

Follow my campaign on Twitter: @p2hannley

Follow my campaign on Instagram: p2hannley

Powers for the People: A Progressive Voice for Arizona.