Thursday, December 18, 2014

Miranda: Driver’s licenses for dreamers improve state’s image, economy

Miranda: Driver’s licenses for dreamers improve state’s image, economy

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix (District 27), released this statement after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to stay an appeals court decision to block an executive order from Gov. Jan Brewer that prevented state agencies from issuing driver’s licenses to young immigrants who have received work permits and are avoiding deportation under the Obama administration’s deferred action policy.

“The executive order that prevented dreamers from getting driver’s licenses hurt our state’s reputation and our economy. The U.S. Supreme Court decision will help Arizona put the policies that have created a negative image for our state behind us. The executive order put partisan politics ahead of people, and that wasn’t right.

“I introduced HB 2032 in 2013. I intended this bill to clarify that deferred action recipients are able to use federally issued work permits to show that their presence is authorized when applying for driver’s licenses. Although this was the only immigration bill to be heard in a committee that year, it did not pass, and the issue persisted.

“Now, we have received a decision from the highest court in the land, and it is only a matter of time before dreamers can apply for driver’s licenses. This will provide an immediate benefit to our state’s image and economy.”


Quezada elected treasurer of the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               DATE: December 17, 2014
CONTACT: Gabriel Sepulveda, (512) 275-1905

The Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs Elects New Leadership

AUSTIN, Texas – The Board of Hispanic Caucus Chair (BHCC) recently concluded the BHCC 9th Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  The conference was a three-day event consisting of an array of policy workshops, education sessions and organizational business.  The conference also hosted the 4th Annual Latina State Legislative Caucus (LSLC) Summit on the first day of the event.  The conference marked the capstone event for the year and provided the venue for Latino state legislative leaders from around the country to convene to discuss critical policy and social issues facing the nation.  The event was hosted in Phoenix by Arizona State Representative and Senator-elect, Martin Quezada who served as the 2014 BHCC Conference Chair.

Among the conference activities facilitated at the event, the BHCC members elected new executive leadership to serve for the 2015-2016 biennium. The new BHCC executive board is comprised of:  Florida State Senator Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) as the incoming BHCC Chair; New Jersey State Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth) will serve as the BHCC Vice Chair; Massachusetts State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Jamaica Plain) has assumed the role of BHCC Secretary; Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada (D-Phoenix) will serve as the BHCC Treasurer; and Colorado State Representative Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) will serve as BHCC Parliamentarian.  The new board will serve as the official legislative leadership for the organization and will preside over the organization in this capacity for the next two years. 

“It’s a sincere honor to have the opportunity to lead this prestigious organization”, said newly elected BHCC Chair, Florida State Senator Rene Garcia   “As the foremost national organization for Hispanic state legislative leaders and the umbrella network for all the U.S. state Hispanic legislative caucuses, it is an immense privilege to serve as the newest chair of the BHCC.  I look forward to working with the rest of the executive board and staff to continue to strengthen the organization and further its mission.”

These members are replacing outgoing board members: Illinois State Representative Maria Antonia Berrios (D-Chicago), immediate past BHCC Chair; New York State Senator Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn), former BHCC Vice Chair; and Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (D-Las Vegas), outgoing BHCC Secretary.  The organization benefitted greatly from these members intrepid leadership and they will remain members and ambassadors of the organization moving forward. 

The BHCC members, staff and supporters are excited for the organization’s newest leadership and look forward to the new board leading the organization for the next biennium.  The perpetual growth and expanded reach of the organization will be a key theme as the newest leaders assume their positions and the organization continues to pursue positive effects in the Latino community and supports the development of Latino state legislative leaders across the country.

About the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs
The Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs (BHCC) is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization comprised of the current chairs and vice chairs of all state Hispanic caucuses, as well as the Hispanic legislators who serve as the chairs of their respective state legislative committees and or other state legislative leadership positions.  The BHCC strives to provide a medium for Hispanic leaders to engage in substantive dialogue, as well as address pressing issues in the Hispanic community and the nation as a whole.  If you would like to learn more about the BHCC please visit our website at or contact Gabriel Sepulveda at (512) 275-1905,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Quezada encouraging dreamers to apply for driver’s licenses 'as soon as it is possible'

Quezada encouraging dreamers to apply for driver’s licenses 'as soon as it is possible'

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), is encouraging “dreamers” to apply for driver’s licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court denied Gov. Jan Brewer’s request for a stay of a ruling from an appeals court earlier this year.

“The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for good public policy today. Earlier this year, I applauded the appeals court decision to stop an executive order prohibiting state agencies from issuing driver’s licenses to young immigrants who have been granted permission to work in the United States and are qualified for delayed deportation proceedings under President Obama’s deferred action policy.

“The executive order was just political grandstanding. In 2013, I offered a floor amendment to a bill being debated in the Arizona House of Representatives that would have reversed the governor’s policy and would have granted deferred action for childhood arrival recipients the ability to get driver’s licenses. When the House voted on my amendment, it failed along party lines. The debate over driver’s licenses for dreamers had become a partisan rallying point.

“But that story changes today. Arizona is ready to move beyond the divisive immigration policies of the past. I am encouraging all eligible dreamers to apply for driver’s licenses as soon as it is possible. There are some formalities that still must be handled, but we already know the end result. Dreamers will be able to get their driver’s licenses, and this will help make our roads safer, while strengthening our economy and communities.”


Monday, December 15, 2014

Mendez, groups hold press conference and community dialogue to discuss productive response to Tempe "hate speech"

Mendez, groups hold press conference and community dialogue to discuss

productive response to Tempe “hate speech”


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX In response to continued community concern about comments made by Tempe minister Steven Anderson (see link below), state Representative Juan Mendez, D-Tempe (District 26) is hosting a press conference to discuss productive ways to engage with violent rhetoric.


Mendez will be joined by representatives from communities targeted by Anderson, and will include statements from Amy Altshuler, the Arizona Anti-Defamation League; Gabriella Chevalier, Peer Solutions; Nate Rhoton, Equality Arizona; Johnny Martin, Interfaith Youth Core; Reverend Sue Ringler, Guardian Angels Catholic Community; and Reverend Doug Bland, Community Christian Church. Speakers hope to collaborate with community members to prevent violence and to avoid legitimizing extreme ideology.

The press conference and discussion is open to the community.


Event details are as follows:


What:              Press conference and community discussion in response to Tempe “hate speech”

When:              Tuesday, Dec. 16, 9 a.m.

Where:            Community Christian Church

                        1701 South College Avenue

                        Tempe, AZ 85281



Thursday, December 04, 2014

Statement from Larkin on Brisbon shooting

 Statement from Larkin on Brisbon shooting

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX –Rep. Jonathan Larkin, D-Glendale (District 30), released this statement regarding the recent death of Rumain Brisbon in Phoenix:

“As we work to move forward, it’s vitally important that the community be included in discussions and decisions about how police interact with our residents. We need to look at the policies in place that could be contributing to a breakdown in the system. The level of communication must be better and police officers need the resources to build relationships within the neighborhoods they patrol. They have to show people in the community that they can be trusted to protect and to serve them. Community members must also get involved to ensure their needs are being met.

“Cities and towns across the country are facing these same issues. In Phoenix, we should be setting the example for the rest of the nation because we know we are strongest and safest when we are working together.”


Monday, December 01, 2014

Miranda nominates Carl Hayden High School’s robotics team for national award

Miranda nominates Carl Hayden High School’s robotics team for national award
Team will receive Award of Excellence on Dec. 8

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Next week, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators will present the Award of Excellence in Education to a group of Carl Hayden High School students who won a prestigious robotics competition a decade ago, edging out college students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix (District 27), serves as the organization’s vice president of policy and recently nominated the robotics team for the award.

“This victory deserves continued celebration because the story still inspires students both in Arizona and across the country,” Miranda said. “I want to commend this team for its dedication and innovation.”

The team will receive the award during NHCSL’s 12th National Summit of Hispanic State Legislators in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Dec. 8.

For more information about NHCSL, go to


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hernández holding informational forum on president’s immigration executive action

Hernández holding informational forum on president’s immigration executive action

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Lydia Hernández, D-Phoenix (District 29), is hosting an informational forum on the president’s immigration executive action.  

“President Obama’s recent executive order intending to provide relief to some families across the nation has been well received by national groups.  Although this action does not address the myriad of problems that riddles the currently failing immigration process, it is a good start and point of conversation for what needs to happen,” Hernández said. “This order does not take effect for several months.  In the meantime, Arizona residents need to understand what this order does and doesn’t do.  I, along with other community leaders and attorneys, will bring free information so that people do not become victims of fraud.”

This event is open to the public and to the press. Community leaders and attorneys will be available to discuss the recent changes to the country’s immigration policy, to provide guidance regarding the application process and to highlight the potential for fraud.  

Event details are as follows:

What:              Immigration Executive Action Informational Forum
When:              Tuesday, Dec. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Where:            Trevor G. Browne High School
                        Community Room
                        7402 W. Catalina Drive
                        Phoenix, AZ 85033

For more information, call 602.926.3376.