Monday, April 24, 2017

The budget is coming soon - here's how to make sure you make your voice heard

The budget process is moving rapidly, which means the Legislature may vote on the state budget at any time in the coming weeks. Your involvement in this process is vital to ensuring that your priorities for a better Arizona are being included. House Democrats want to guarantee that your voice is heard.  Here is how you can engage in the legislative process in person, from home, or through the web!

Sign Up on the Request to Speak (RTS) System
RTS is the system through which the public is able to sign in to speak on bills and record their support or opposition on bills. You are also able to track and comment on bills through the legislative process. To submit your form to create an account click here.

Find and contact your legislators:
If you know your legislators, click here

If you do not know your legislators:

Contact Governor Doug Ducey
To #AskDuceyWhy, click here.
Watch live or archived committee meetings and floor testimony on bills:

Follow us on social media and stay informed:
On Twitter

Friday, April 21, 2017

ICYMI: Secular and Faith Leaders Call for Change to House Prayer Rules

Video from Press Conference 

Contact: SerĂ¡h Blain, Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix - 602-505-0892 -

MEDIA ADVISORY: Faith Leaders and Community Groups Call for Change to House Prayer Rules

WHO: Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, Secular Coalition for Arizona, State Rep Athena Salman, along with leaders from Arizona’s interfaith and secular communities

WHAT: Standing for our First Freedom: Interfaith Solidarity Event
Interfaith and secular leaders will read together the humanist prayer delivered by Rep. Salman in the state House. A press conference will follow.

WHY: On April 18th, 2017, State Representative Athena Salman offered a humanist invocation written by a member of her community, the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix. Republican House leadership then ruled that, despite Salman’s assertion that her higher power is “the goodness in humanity,” Salman broke house rules by not praying to a higher power. We believe that it is dangerous to allow the government to dictate how we pray, and we are calling on House leadership to change the rules.
WHERE: Bill of Rights Monument, Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza 1700 W Washington St, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

WHEN: Thursday, April 20th, 9AM to 9:30PM

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix is a warm and welcoming community of humanists, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and nontheists of all types. HSGP aims to enrich the lives of any who join us through explorations in science, philosophy, history, and the arts.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Making sure you are heard

Arizona Democrats have been travelling around the state hosting budget town halls because we want to make sure Arizonans have a chance to #BeHeard. We've collected more than 100 comments from people across the state. Education was clearly on the top of the list of priorities for most, as was tax and private prison reform.

Here are some of the comments from folks who came to the town halls and wanted to #BeHeard:

Your Budget Priorities: Lee Stanfield
1. Equalizing the money funding all public schools, including tax credit money and       property tax money. All Schools must be funded equitably! Reform the formula.
2. Referendum on getting rid of vouchers.
3. Raising teachers' pay.
4. More transparency in government…not less (as Ducey wants)

Your Budget Priorities:  Melinda Merkel Iyer
1. New sources of revenue. Stop giving away the store to corporations and hacking our budget to the bone. We've seen in Kansas and right here at home how disastrous that is. Reevaluate and remove corporate tax cuts and make them pay their share. Eliminate the automatic 2 percent yearly (Student Tuition Increase): why give my tax dollars to wealthy families to give to private schools when my neighborhood teacher has to purchase her own supplies. WE NEED MORE FUNDING.
2. Answer the market on teacher salaries. Teachers don't need trainings or incentives to get them to stop leaving the state and the profession. They need to be paid what the market demands.
3. End the private, for-profit prison scheme. With more funding we can do what our state so desperately needs: fund education, health care, infrastructure and growth for the future.

Your Budget Priorities:  Kristin Clark
Return funding to schools. Ensure public health is a priority. Tax corporations and end unnecessary tax breaks for companies who need no incentive to build/locate here. Increase revenues, increase quality of life, increase view of Arizona.

Your Budget Priorities: Alicia Klassen
K-12 education, university funding, rolling back or delaying tax cuts to generate more revenue, (protect) city services, no sweeping of HURF funds, no money for private prisons. NOT a fan of Ducey's achievement district. That money should be in public schools – roll back school tax credits. No ESAs (vouchers).

If you didn't have a chance to attend a town hall near you, a video of the Flagstaff Town Hall is available by clicking here. Democrats will continue to fight for your priorities at the Capitol. Our vision for Arizona is inclusive, prosperous and fiscally responsible. We remain committed to investing in policies that will improve our quality of life now, while promoting a stronger, more sustainable future. We will keep working for a better Arizona. The Legislature will soon vote on a budget for the state, and we need your voice at the Capitol. Click here to find more ways to #BeHeard.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Rubalcava apologizes for inappropriate Facebook post, democratic leadership responds

Contact: C. Murphy Hebert

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX –  Rep. Jesus Rubalcava, D-Gila Bend (District 4), recently published an inappropriate Facebook post regarding a member of the Senate.

Today, he offered this apology:

"The comment I made on Facebook regarding Sen. Debbie Lesko was unacceptable. I deeply regret my poor judgement. I apologize to Sen. Lesko and to all my colleagues in both the state House and Senate.  I also apologize to my constituents and assure them I have learned from this mistake."

House Minority Whip Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma (District 4), responded to both Rubalcava's post and apology:

"Comments about violence cannot be tolerated. We all take this matter very seriously. Rep. Rubalcava recognized his offensive mistake and is taking responsibility. Apologizing was the right thing to do."


VIDEOS: We will keep sounding the alarm for public education

Since Republicans passed a sweeping school voucher expansion, Arizonans have kept coming to the Capitol to share their stories. The common theme – vouchers are going to create more problems for our kids' public schools at a time when resources are already too scare.

Please take a moment and watch these videos and share these stories: #ClassroomCrisis #Beheard

April 13, 2017

April 17, 2017

April 18, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 20, 2017

April 20, 2017

April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Congratulations to Representative Richard Andrade for receiving The Copper Shield award!

Rep. Richard Andrade, D-Phoenix (District 29), was awarded The Copper Shield this year for his service to veterans. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

The attack on the citizen initiative process continues…

During this legislative session there has been a barrage of attacks on the citizen initiative process. Republicans' unyielding efforts to limit the voice of the people are alarming. A piece in the Arizona Republic has dubbed this onslaught "Operation Silence our Citizens."

The bills now in the Legislature are an affront to will of the people; they look like an attempt to wrestle power from Arizonans – maybe as retribution for using the initiative process to increase the minimum wage?

After the governor signed a bill that will drastically increase the cost of citizen initiatives,  Republicans used a procedural maneuver to slide new restrictions on the initiative process in before the legislative session ends. They have completely changed the language in two bills to include more obstacles for anyone trying to get an initiative on the ballot in this state. The amended versions of HB 2244 and SB 1236 threaten Arizonans' ability to undo bad laws the Legislature passes.

The initiative process is about accountability. It is supposed to ensure Arizonans can take action if the Legislature is not being responsive, or if it passes onerous laws. This process is a guaranteed constitutional right. A recent Public Policy Polling survey reported that an overwhelming majority of Arizona voters support the citizen initiative process, regardless of party affiliation.

House Democrats are going to keep fighting against bills that infringe on the rights of residents. Our democracy is stronger when citizens are active and engaged. Together we will continue to work for a better Arizona. Click here to find ways to make sure your voice is heard