The Tucson Festival of Books brings hundreds of authors to Tucson each year. For politicos, one of the hottest tickets at the Book Festival is author and historian John Nichols of The Nation.
If you want to hear Nichols speak in an informal setting– away from the Book Festival crowds, come to the IBEW Hall on Saturday night, March 10. Progressive Democrats of America (PDA Tucson) and the Pima Area Labor Federation (PALF) are hosting their annual An Evening with John Nichols. I am proud to be the warm-up act for Nichols again this year. Doors open at 6 p.m.
If you are a Progressive and you have never heard Nichols speak, you should make time for this evening talk. I had the pleasure of meeting Nichols years ago at a PDA retreat in Winslow, Arizona. Since then, I have heard him speak and videotaped him many times.
Today, January 20, 2016, President Barack Obama became our former president.
Today, Donald Trump entered the office of president with the worst approval rating ever– 40%.
For many months, different groups have been planning post-inauguration protests, teach-ins, marches, and other activism to greet the new president. (After all, many groups were alienated by him during his campaign, and we’re motivated.)
On Saturday, January 21– here in Tucson and nationwide–women (and others) will be marching in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. (Background below.) The Tucson event will start at 10 a.m. at Armory Park, and attendees will march to the main library downtown for booths, speeches and festivities. (Details here.)
The theme of the nationwide march is: “Become the soul of the nation.” This is taken from a quote by Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.” – Coretta Scott King
We can’t continue to be depressed and bitter about the election. It’s time to push against the forces that want to keep us down. What better way to start the new year and the newest phase of the struggle than to march in solidarity, build community, and fight for equal rights?
To that end, I submitted a bill to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) on January 12. HCR2012 is the House bill, and Senator Martin Quezada submitted the same bill in the Arizona Senate (SCR1003).
The ERA needs only three states to ratify it before it can become the next amendment to the US Constitution, and Arizona is one of the 15 states that never passed it. Former Supreme Court Justice and former Arizona Legislator Sandra Day O’Connor was the first person to propose passage of the ERA in Arizona back in the 1970s. It’s time to finish the job. The ERA was originally proposed in 1923, and women need Constitutional protection now more than ever.
Unfortunately, the House version of the ERA is currently wallowing on Speaker J.D. Mesnard’s desk and has not been assigned to a committee. (Bills are killed by not being assigned to a committee, by being voted down in committee or by being voted down on the House or Senate floor. The Senate bill has been assigned to government and rules. You can use the Request to Speak system if it gets on the agenda or comment any time via email and telephone.)
The ERA deserves to be heard in committee and debated on the floor of the Arizona House and the Arizona Senate. If you agree, please call or email your representatives and senators and urge them to support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Women will not have equal pay or full equal rights in the US without passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Even at the highest income levels, women make less than men. Overall, Latinas and African American women make far less. This is a societal economic issue; it’s not a “women’s issue.” When 51% of the population makes less than the prevailing wage, that suppresses the economy statewide and nationwide. When people have money in their pockets, the economy thrives. When people are scraping by due to low wages and high debt, the economy lags. It’s time to turn this ship around and give women equality and Constitutional protection.
For more than a year now, I have been running for the Legislature to serve Legislative District 9 in the Arizona House.
Along the campaign trail, I have met 1000s of you at community events, like the Hunger Walk, Cyclovia, the Garden District Porch Fest, the Labor Day picnic, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march, the Peace Fair, Poetry Center activities, and other events.
I’ve met you at dozens of house parties and coffees with the candidate events.
I’ve met you at meetings like Democrats of Greater Tucson, the Nucleus Club, the Democratic Party State Committee meetings, and the LD9 meetings.
I’ve seen your creativity when I stopped at your doorsteps, and I’ve heard your passion at rallies.
I understand you because I am one of you. I’m a Mom and a Grandma. I worked in a factory, in a laundry, on a landscape crew, and as a waitress. I have climbed the corporate career ladder, and I’ve been laid off.
I want to be your voice– the voice of workers and families– in the Arizona Legislature because I believe too many lawmakers represent big corporations and not the people of Arizona.
Supporters express different reasons for why they’re backing me in the Arizona House race for Legislative District 9. Some people have known me for many years and trust my judgment. Others are new friends who are inspired by the economic development possibilities of public banking. Still others value a politician who openly and honestly addresses thorny issues like inequality, the living wage, opiate addiction or marijuana legalization.
On my YouTube channel, I have started to compile testimonial videos from supporters. Here’s one from one of the smartest and most gracious gentlemen I know, Dr. Joseph S. Alpert.
Yesterday, I received my official notice that my $5 Clean Elections Qualifying Contributions had passed muster. In other words, the Pima County Recorder’s office has reviewed my 277 $5 contributions and verified that more than 250 registered LD9 voters gave me $5. Yay!
This is a huge milestone for my campaign because it means I will receive my primary funds of $16,044 early next week. If — or I should say when — I win the primary race, I will receive another $24, 066. Clean Elections candidates also can raise seed money of $4011 and family money of up to $720. That is a grand total of $44,841 to run for the Legislature.
In these days of dark money, ~$45,000 is not a lot of cash to run a campaign, but I believe with targeted strategies, social media, volunteers, and a lot of hard work, we can do this. Obviously, there are many things that privately funded candidates purchase with campaign funds that I won’t be able to afford or that I I won’t be able to buy because of Clean Elections law.
I won’t be hiring someone to sit next to me and force me to call hundreds of wealthy people and ask them for $5000 (the new maximum Legislative contribution, thanks to the dark money darlings in the Arizona Legislature). Actually, my campaign has just about reached the seed money/family money limit. As of this date, I can accept only another $165 in seed money and another $200 in family money (if any of the Hannley’s or the Powers’ are reading this.) Mine is definitely a campaign run on small donations and people power. Not counting the 277 $5 Clean Elections contributions or the $160 that my husband and I each donated to my campaign, I received 95 individual seed money donations, mostly from people who live in Tucson. Fifty-eight percent of my seed money donations were $25 or less, and only seven donations (4%) were the maximum donation of $160. Thank you so much! Clean Elections candidates live on seed money until they get their public funds.
Obscene amounts of dark money have flooded US elections since the Supreme Court upheld the Citizens United case and ruled that money = speech.
As a progressive, I believe that the voters should choose candidates– not the highest bidder. That’s why I have chosen to run as a Clean Elections candidate. As such, only voters– not big corporations, dark money groups, or unions– can donate to my campaign. Check out my video– Why I’m a Clean Elections Candidate– after the jump.