#AZGOP Ducks ERA Vote: If Not Now, When? (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley ERA

The Arizona House Democrats made history on April 27, 2017. Through a ninja parliamentary procedure, we forced members of the Arizona House of Representatives to voice their opinion on equal rights for women and, specifically, on ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

AZGOP blocks ERA
The men + Rep. Townsend confer after the motion.

I made a motion for immediate third reading of HCR2012 ratification; equal rights amendment, which temporarily caused muted chaos at the dais.  ERA backers in the Democratic Caucus had conferred with the rules attorneys and the Clerk in advance of the motion; so, we knew we were on solid parliamentary grounds.

Predictably, Speaker J.D. Mesnard offered a substitute amendment to recess, which stopped the up-or-down vote on the ERA. Democrats had anticipated this move on the chess board. By calling for a roll call vote on the substitute amendment, everyone opposed to the up-or-down vote on the ERA was put on record as stopping the vote. (Watch video clip of the motion, the quiet chaos that ensued, Mesnard’s motion, and my speech here. It will start automatically after a pause.)

During the vote explanation exercise, nearly every Democrat and several Republicans stood up and gave their opinion on the ERA, equal rights for women, equal pay for equal work, equal protection for women under the Constitution, the nuances of Article V of the Constitution, and the reasons why American women need the ERA (or not).

“I want to clarify that a vote for this substitute amendment to recess is really an up-or-down vote on the Equal Rights Amendment, ” I started.

“The Equal Rights Amendment is a simple, one-sentence statement: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.

“Members, there is a dramatic wage gap in the US between men and women. You may have heard the statistics that overall women earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. Over a lifetime that translates to a $500,000 in lost wages for the average working woman. The wage gap has narrowed only 13 cents per hour since 1980, I continued.

Continue reading #AZGOP Ducks ERA Vote: If Not Now, When? (video)

LD9 Debate Recap (video)

LD9 candidates

About 50 LD9 residents and Democratic Party regulars attended the Clean Elections primary debate on June 28 with candidates Dr. Randy Friese, Matt Kopec, and me. (The hour-long event was taped by the Clean Elections Commission.)

The debate had an interesting format– much better, in my opinion, that some of those free-ranging presidential debates where each candidate was asked a different question, making it difficult to compare candidates. The format was: one-minute intros, a set of questions that everyone answered (two minutes each), a set of questions written by audience members and addressed to specific candidates or to anyone (one minute each), and one-minute wrap-ups. (Our audience was very involved and submitted many good questions.)

The debate gave me an opportunity to explain my sustainable economic development ideas  and talk about my background and other ideas. Here is the excerpt about economic development (29:33 mark):

Economic reform is a big part of my platform. Everything in my platform either raises money or saves money to pay for the things we want like quality education, a solid infrastructure, and good-paying jobs. Public banking is a big part of it, but it’s not the whole part. I really believe that we have suffered under the failed economic policies of trickle down economics and austerity. So, we have largesse for the 1% and austerity for the 99%.

With the idea of public banking, we could bring all or part of our tax dollars back from Wall Street and invest it on Main Street.

Continue reading LD9 Debate Recap (video)

Arizona Workers Deserve a Living Wage & a Lot More (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley

Far too many good-paying, full-time jobs disappeared when Wall Street crashed our economy back in 2009. Unfortunately, these jobs were replaced with part-time, low-wage, no-benefits jobs in the gig economy. In Southern Arizona, the post-recession economic recovery has been slow. Arizona workers deserve better. Arizona workers deserve economic security.

On the campaign trail, I often talk about my upbringing in a union household. My Dad was a member and officer in the United Steel Workers local in Lorain County, Ohio, and my Mom worked as an admin assistant in another unionized factory. We lived modestly in a small house, yet we always were financially secure. My parents were high school graduates who never rose the corporate ladder, yet– thanks to unions– my family had many benefits that workers in Arizona today don’t have.

Arizona workers deserve better. They deserve a living wage; benefits like health insurance, paid family leave, paid sick time, paid vacations, overtime pay, and pensions;  equal pay for equal work; full-time work if they want it; and they should be paid for every hour they work. If we can help Arizona workers become financially secure, it will not only help them and their families (obviously), but it will help our state thrive and save our state money in the long run in public assistance, crime, drug addiction, domestic violence and more. There are many negative consequences to living in poverty– or on the edge of it. Workers fuel the economy with their labor and their money. We need to help them and their families be successful in life; after all, like it or not, we’re all in this together riding this blue ball in space.

In this video, I talk about putting Arizonans back to work and about job creation through diversified, sustainable economic development, public banking and other economic reforms.

I want to go to the Arizona Legislature to help Arizona workers and their families. I am a progressive Democrat running for the Arizona House to represent LD9 in Tucson. Together we can build a stronger Arizona for future generations.

Please follow me on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and this blog.  I will be having more house parties, coffees with the candidate, canvassing, and phone banking. Please consider volunteering to help me– here.

AND, if you live in Legislative District 9, please vote for me on August 30 in the Democratic Party Primary and again on November 8 in the general election.


‘Girls Just Want Equal Funds’ (video)

Cyndi Lauper

You know your cause has hit the big time when there’s a music video.

In this video from The Late Late Show, Cyndi Lauper and James Cordon sing Girls Just Want Equal Funds… and comfy shoes. This is a spoof on Lauper’s hit song Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

$500 Billion: Gender Pay Gap Is Bigger than You ThinK

It is a well known fact that in the US women– regardless of economic status— are paid less than men. Gender pay gap is real.

Overall, women make 78 cents for every $1 earned by a man, with African American and Hispanic women earning far less. Over one woman’s lifetime, that is a significant amount of money. Across the country, that pay gap costs American women $500 billion per year, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women and Families. On an individual basis the report findings break down like this:

To put it in individual terms, if women earned as much as men, each woman with a full-time job would be able to afford an additional seven months of mortgage and utilities, or 1.6 years worth of food, annually.

Tuesday, April 12, is Equal Pay Day, which was created to draw attention to gender pay gap, which has remained basically the same since 2001. Women will not have equality until we have control over our own bodies, equal pay for equal work, an equal voice in government and the Equal Rights Amendment.

pda-econ-equality-eraFor background on gender pay gap, check out:

Wage Gap Costs U.S. Women $500 Billion A Year, Report Finds

Women Can’t Wait for 2059 for Equal Pay

Factbox: Equal Pay Day spotlights stubborn wage gap between the sexes

Equality and Paycheck Fairness for women and minorities, including racial and ethnic groups and the LGBTQ community, is a primary component of my campaign. As long as large segments of our population make significantly less than the prevailing wage (which is already too low), our area will not thrive.

This morning on KUAZ they aired a short clip about gender pay gap in Arizona and happily reported that for Arizona women was not as bad as the national statistic. They reported that Arizona women make a whopping 84 cents for every dollar earned by an Arizona man. Sounds good, right? That’s only $7000/year difference for the average woman worker. (I’m sure there are many Arizona women who would like an extra $7000/year.) Two important points were left out of the KUAZ story:

  1. The smaller pay gap between men and women in Arizona is not due to higher wages for Arizona women; it’s because overall wages are crappy… er… lower than the national level. Everyone makes less so the gap between men and women is not as great.
  2. When you look at women’s wages overall, it masks what is happening with subgroups– particularly Latinas, who make far less than Asian, white and black women. Nationally, Latinas make 55 cents on the dollar.

If you want a Legislator who will fight for women’s rights and civil rights, vote for me in the August primary and the November general election.

If you are ready for reform in the Arizona Legislature, send a reformer to Phoenix. #PowersForThePeople

If you live in Legislative District 9, please sign my nominating petition here and give me a $5 Clean Elections Donation here. If you are eligible to vote in the US, you can make a seed money donation of up to $160 through PayPal. Here is the website link.

Tucson Then & Now: How Far Have We Come in 35 Years? (video)

Pima CanyonTucson was a happening place back in 1981 when I moved here. Earthquakes in California and blizzards in the Midwest had prompted waves of migration to the sun belt. The town was bustling, and everyone was from somewhere else. Opportunity was in the air– as evidenced by all of the things that started in the early 1980s that we still enjoy today– the Tucson Weekly, KXCI, the Tucson Kitchen Musicians, and (until recently) Access Tucson.

Unfortunately, before I moved here, no one warned me about “right to work” states. All I had to go on was my Dad’s warning: “They didn’t like unions” out there.

With a bachelors degree and eight years of experience, I had been making $8/hour (with health insurance, paid sick time, and paid vacation) as a professional photographer working for a swanky graphic and product design agency in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to moving, I mailed resumes hawking my writing, photography, and graphic design skills to Tucson agencies and got a number of job interviews. I received two job offers pretty quickly, but when I told them I expected to make what I had made in Ohio, they literally laughed in my face. “You’re not going to make that here! You’ll be lucky to make $6/hour.” (That guy was right. I was offered $6/hour by both potential employers. I turned them down and opted for $25/hour as a freelancer– early shades of the local gig economy.)

In Columbus, I had been making about 2.5x the $3.35/hour minimum wage and was told to expect 1.8x the minimum wage in Arizona– even though our rent ($250/month) in Tucson was significantly higher for a much smaller and less stylish place than we had in Columbus.

Let’s Do the Math

What’s with the history lesson you ask? This is actually a math lesson…

Continue reading Tucson Then & Now: How Far Have We Come in 35 Years? (video)