Priorities for a New Day in Arizona (video)

Rep. Pam Powers Hannley

In January 2021, when the Arizona Legislature goes back into session, we will be faced with major decisions in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic.

If Democrats take control of one or both chambers in the Legislature, it will be a New Day in Arizona, after 50 years of Republican control. 

My goals for the future are to improve the public health and financial state of Arizona, as we rebuild from COVID19 or learn to live with it.

The post-COVID19 world will be different from “the before times” and hopefully better. In my opinion, the past will never return exactly as it was, and we have to plan for that. Travel, tourism, consumerism, healthcare, entertainment, K-12 schools, higher education, work life, prisons … many changes will come in these areas and others, whether we want substantive change or not.

Our job is to create the world we want. Here are some of my priorities for 2021 and beyond.

Continue reading Priorities for a New Day in Arizona (video)

July LD9 Town Hall Focuses on Opening Up K-12 Education & COVID19 Q&A (video)

LD9 town hall

LD9’s July virtual town hall was July 23, 2020. The format was a bit different for the this town hall because the LD9 team of Senator Victoria Steele and Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley shared the stage with educators Leila Counta (TUSD School Board member), Taylor Cleland, and Nathan Davis (Amphi School Board Candidate) for the first 30 minutes.

We had a rousing discussion on the safety of opening up Arizona schools during the pandemic, with presentations from the educators and comments and questions from the Legislators and participants. What is TUSD doing? What is Amphi doing? How are teachers preparing for the unknown? The education video is a bit long because it includes the three presentations, plus the Q&A session. (Pop some popcorn and watch it. It’s worth it.)

Continue reading July LD9 Town Hall Focuses on Opening Up K-12 Education & COVID19 Q&A (video)

Join the Resistance: The Politics of T-Shirt Design (video)

Rep. Pam Powers Hannley

With COVID19 raging just outside our doors and with temperatures well over 100 degrees, sheltering in place is the best place for us — particularly for those of us who are over 60, like my husband and me. Staying home, working from home, and attending meetings online make the need for comfortable lounge wear more important than ever.

But shopping choices are limited.

And, I’m not sure that I’m ready to jump back into being an obedient little consumer … just yet.

The premature reopening of Arizona’s economy in advance of a visit by President Donald Trump in May has had deadly consequences.  Opening too soon and too broadly when the state didn’t even meet Trump’s criteria for a safe open has led to Arizona being worst in the world — not just worst in the US — for a few weeks.  As of July 2, Arizona’s infection rate stands at 25%. Hundreds of nurses are coming to Arizona to help in crowded hospitals. We had a healthcare provider shortage before COVID19, and now the system is at capacity. We are living in the midst of a disaster created by Trump and Governor Doug Ducey, at the urging of the business community.  So, I’m not feeling like shopping for anything but food and essentials.

I already had a lounge wear shortage before COVID19. Back in December 2019, I bought some over-priced 100% cotton lounge wear online. I waited four weeks for my order (since it was Christmas time). Although I used the size charts, the drawstring pants were 8″ too long, and the sleeves of the super soft 100% cotton shirt were baggy and also long. I sent it all back and waited another four weeks for the return of my $80 + tax!

Everything Old Is New Again

Fast forward to July 2020, rather that order online or venture to a store to buy lounge wear, I have turned to my collection of 100% cotton political, cause, and alma mater t-shirts. I hate men’s cut t-shirts. The collars are tight, the sleeves are long and baggy, and the length is often that of a mini-dress on someone my height. If you identify as a woman — and particularly if you have a curvy shape — standardized, tubular cotton bags with generically sized holes for the arms, head, and torso don’t fit you.

Continue reading Join the Resistance: The Politics of T-Shirt Design (video)

Defund the Police? Balancing ‘Social Control’ & ‘Social Investment’ (video)

Robert Reich

What does “defund the police” mean to you?

Following the tragic and unnecessary deaths of George Floyd, Dion Johnson, Rayshard Brooks, Carlos Ingram Lopez and others at the hands of law enforcement officers, there have been calls to “defund the police.”

Often the same people who say “defund the police” also add “that doesn’t mean take away all of the funding.” When I ask what it does mean, the explanations often get mushy. Recently, I read “What Defund Police Really Means: Replacing Social Control with Investment” by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

In this Guardian article, Reich talks about increased spending in social investment beginning in the mid 1960s through President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Beginning in 1964, the War on Poverty efforts rolled out Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, Food Stamps, cash assistance to the poor, equal opportunity programs, the voting rights act and more. By the early 1970s, these programs were working to reduce poverty, particularly among African Americans.

In 1971, future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell wrote the now infamous “Powell Memo,” which author and historian Bill Moyers labels a “Call to Arms for Corporations, “ excerpted …

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#COVID19 Shines Spotlight on Inadequacies of Profit-Driven Health Care (video)

hospital

As of today, June 8, 2020, there have been 7 million cases of COVID19 worldwide and 402,555 deaths. The US has the worst COVID19 track record with 2 million cases and 110,514 deaths. Although the US has 4.25% of the world’s population, we have had 28% of the cases and 28% of the deaths.

Why does the US have such a dismal track record in fighting the novel coronavirus? I thought we had the “best healthcare system in the world.” We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world, but when you look at our public health data and our response to COVID19, we definitely do not have the best system in the world.

The United States is the only developed country in the world that does not have a national health plan that guarantees care for all residents. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a nice try, but its efficacy and affordability have been whittled away by Republicans in Congress.

Why is the US response to COVID19 so disorganized and inadequate? Before the pandemic, we had an over-priced, inequitable system based upon profit and a just-in-time supply chain of personnel, equipment and beds. The novel coronavirus turned the spotlight on inadequacies and inequities of our health care system. In the United States, the health care you get depends on your income and your ZIP Code– not your needs. If you’re a resident of the United States you should have access to the same healthcare across the country. A person living in Chinle should have the same access to care as a person living in Paradise Valley. Now the person in Chinle not only does not have adequate medical care, they may not have running water or passable roads.

Continue reading #COVID19 Shines Spotlight on Inadequacies of Profit-Driven Health Care (video)

#BlackLivesMatter Protests Call for End to Structural Racism…Again (video)

Black Lives Matter

Two black men– George Floyd of Minneapolis and Dion Johnson of Phoenix — died on the same day at the hands of law enforcement officers. In the video, Floyd says he can’t breathe as a white officer pins him to the ground with his knee. Why is that even an approved tactic for police?

There is no video of Johnson’s death. We may never know how a man who was asleep in his car ended up dead after a state trooper stopped to check on him. Neither of these officers was wearing a body camera. We have structural racism in our country. It’s not just systemic; racism is baked into our laws and how those laws are enforced.

Here is a case in point. Last August after the Elizabeth Warren rally in Tempe, my husband and I were driving home to Tucson on I 10 after dark. You’ll remember that I 10 was under construction at that time, and the speed limit went up and down in the interior of the state. Jim and I had had a pizza in Tempe before we hopped on the freeway. I had a glass of wine with the pizza, but he had no alcoholic beverages. He was studiously following the speed limit changes on I 10 when we saw DPS flashers and heard the siren behind us.

Continue reading #BlackLivesMatter Protests Call for End to Structural Racism…Again (video)