Friday, September 27, 2013

Miranda joins policymakers in nation’s capital for National Summit on State of Latino Education

Miranda joins policymakers in nation’s capital for
National Summit on State of Latino Education
Access to STEM education at forefront of national convening with policy experts, elected officials from across the country

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix (District 27), will join the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund and more than 55 Latino public officials from across the country to discuss the state of Latino education and strategies for ensuring access to science, technology, engineering and math education within the Latino community.

The event will take place Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 at The Westin Georgetown, as part of the NALEO Educational Fund’s 9th Annual National Summit on the State of Latino Education in Washington, D.C.  The two-and-a-half day convening will provide school board members, college trustees and state legislators with a forum to initiate a dialogue around education reform and the critical topic of STEM education in this country.

“Every day, our global economy becomes highly competitive with greater technology. It is our due diligence to prepare our students through STEM education and provide a strategy that will enhance the learning experience of our Latino youth,” Miranda said.

The economic competitiveness of the United States will depend on its ability to cultivate a STEM-ready workforce that is prepared to meet the needs of a 21st century job market.  Creating an education continuum within the Latino community that fosters academic preparation for students from early learning programs through higher education will be vital as Latinos represent the second largest population group in the country. 

Miranda will have the opportunity to develop strategic partnerships with other leaders and engage in informational panels that cover the latest research, model programs, and policy recommendations regarding STEM education.  Participants will also hear from a number of elected officials and experts that will help them advance STEM education access in their communities, including Colorado Lieutenant Governor Joseph Garcia, NALEO President and California State Senator Alex Padilla, University of Denver Professor Dr. Douglas Clements and University of Texas at Arlington Professor Dr. Ramon E. Lopez.

The 9th Annual National Summit on the State of Latino Education is made possible through the generous support of Title Sponsors, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and State Farm.

A full schedule and list of speakers is available on the NALEO Educational Fund website at http://www.naleo.org/2013EdSummit.html




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McCune Davis: Human trafficking issue ‘transcends political partisanship’

McCune Davis: Human trafficking issue ‘transcends political partisanship’
Lawmaker calls for bipartisan effort to implement task force recommendations

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix (District 30), released this statement after reviewing the recommendations in a recent report from the Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking.

“The members of the Human Trafficking Task Force sent the governor a comprehensive report that includes 15 legislative recommendations to help end the atrocities of human trafficking, which often tragically leads to the sex trafficking of minors.

“Human trafficking is a growing threat to the public’s safety, and too often the victims are children who are already vulnerable.  The report cites testimony from a national expert on abuse and exploitation who suggests that the majority of children victimized by human trafficking have been in foster care. The very nature of the crime perpetuates violence and abuse. Children in the foster care system are wards of the state. We have an obligation to take action.

“I commend the members of the task force for delving into this issue and finding practical ways to counter human sex and labor trafficking. This is an issue that undoubtedly transcends political partisanship. I am committed to working with a bipartisan coalition of my colleagues on legislation that will implement the task force’s recommendations. That work must begin now, in preparation for the upcoming legislative session.”



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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

STATEMENT: Gallego on MVD policy denying more immigrants driver’s licenses ‘This new decision makes a bad policy worse’

STATEMENT: Gallego on MVD policy denying more immigrants driver’s licenses

‘This new decision makes a bad policy worse’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXRep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 27), released this statement regarding a new Arizona Motor Vehicle Division policy, which prohibits the agency from issuing driver’s licenses to some immigrants who are authorized to live and work in the United States.

Arizona is now one of the only states in the country that has chosen to deny driver’s licenses to some lawfully present immigrants. This decision appears to be motivated by politics. Last year, the governor prohibited the MVD from issuing licenses to immigrants granted permission to stay in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. That order unfairly targeted a group of young immigrants, known as Dreamers.

“This new order makes a bad policy worse. It extends an unjustified practice beyond the Dreamers to even more immigrants who have permission from the federal government to live and work here. In a recent opinion, a federal district court judge indicated that the governor’s order to deny licenses to Dreamers was discriminatory. Instead of correcting the problem, the new policy exacerbates it.

“I am urging the governor to stop playing political games.  We should be focused on finding common-sense solutions to the immigration issues facing our nation and our state.  We need a system that supports the pursuit of the American dream.”


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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Campbell to Medicaid expansion opponents: ‘Accept that this is something the people want’

Campbell to Medicaid expansion opponents: ‘Accept that this is something the people want’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), released this statement after news that the group seeking to refer Medicaid expansion to the ballot failed to get enough signatures.

“When a bipartisan majority of lawmakers at the Legislature successfully passed Medicaid expansion, we showed that we can move beyond the political gamesmanship to do the work of the people. We listened when Arizonans demanded that we set aside the partisan bickering and get the job done.

“The group trying to get enough signatures to refer this issue to the ballot failed for a very simple reason - Arizonans want common-sense legislation, and expanding Medicaid makes sense. It will help hundreds of thousands of Arizonans get access to health care, bring millions of dollars into our economy, help keep rural hospitals open and create jobs.

“Now there is an attempt to stall this progress in court. I am confident this effort also will fail. Instead of spending valuable resources continuing this fight, it’s time for the opponents of Medicaid expansion to move forward and accept that this is something the people want.  Instead, we should be focused on finding more ways to work together and address other important issues, like creating jobs and improving education.”



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Rep. Cardenas supporting homeless veterans!



Rep. Cardenas supporting homeless veterans! 




Monday, September 09, 2013

Representante Estatal Miranda, Vocero Tobin, y otros en una Misión Comercial Legislativa en México Esta Semana

Representante Estatal Miranda, Vocero Tobin, y otros en una Misión Comercial Legislativa en México Esta Semana

CAPITOLIO DEL ESTADO, PHOENIX – La Representante Estatal Catherine Miranda se unirá con el Vocero de la Cámara de Representantes Andy Tobin y cinco otros Legisladores de Arizona para una misión comercial en la Ciudad de México del 9-12 de Septiembre.

“La visita de la misión comercial legislativa de Arizona buscara maneras de mejorar el comercio para las empresas locales en Arizona. El transporte y turismo serán el enfoque, junto con la agricultura”, dijo Miranda.

Miranda  dijo que México es el tercer socio comercial más grande de los Estados Unidos, así como el tercer mayor proveedor de petróleo de Relaciones Exteriores de este país. La importancia de las economías locales de México es reflejado por el hecho que actualmente 19 estados tienen oficinas permanentes de comercio en México.

“Felicito al Vocero Andy Tobin por reconocer la importancia del comercio con México. Si se trata de la fuerza de trabajo, productos, o servicios, nuestras economías pueden beneficiarse mutuamente”, dijo Miranda.


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State Rep. Miranda, Speaker Tobin, others on Legislative Trade Mission to Mexico this week

State Rep. Miranda, Speaker Tobin, others on Legislative Trade
Mission to Mexico this week

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – State Representative Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix (District 27) will join House Speaker Andy Tobin and five other Arizona legislators for a trade mission to Mexico City September 9-12.

“The Arizona Legislative trade mission’s visit will seek out ways to improve trade for local businesses in Arizona. Transportation and tourism will be a focus, along with agriculture,” Miranda said.

Miranda said Mexico is the third largest trading partner of the U.S. and also this country’s third largest foreign petroleum provider. The importance of Mexico's local economies is reflected, she said, by the fact that 19 states currently have permanent state trade offices in Mexico.

“I compliment Speaker Andy Tobin on recognizing the value of trade with Mexico.  Whether it's labor, products or services, our economies can be mutually benefitting,” Miranda said.


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Gallego to Horne: It's Your Duty to Save Taxpayer Money and Negotiate Attorney Fees with Unions

Gallego to Horne: It's Your Duty to Save Taxpayer Money
and Negotiate Attorney Fees with Unions

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Assistant House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 27) today urged Attorney General Tom Horne to negotiate and pay reasonable attorneys fees to Union plaintiffs in a case the state recently lost over legislation that was struck down by the courts.

"There's no reason to heap more cost on to taxpayers by requiring the attorney fee issue to be litigated," Gallego said.

"When this anti-union legislation was passed in 2011, the threat of a potential lawsuit was widely discussed. It came as no surprise to the state," Gallego said of SB1363 and SB1365. The bills were designed to undermine the influence and operations of organized labor groups but a federal court struck down both measures as unconstitutional.

"Extremists in this legislature pass bills every year that they know will be challenged in the courts. Time and time again, these laws are predictably struck down," Gallego said. "The state is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars - taxpayer dollars - each year in attorney fees so that ideologues can make a point."

"Here's a chance for Horne to stop the madness and save the state some money," Gallego said of the option to settle out of court in the union lawsuit for a reasonable amount of money in attorneys fees. But Horne's office has been dragging its feet on agreeing to reasonable legal costs so plaintiffs are gearing up for another fight in federal court over the attorney fee issue.

"If Horne continues to stonewall the plaintiffs, they will take the state back to court over the attorney fee issue and will undoubtedly increase the amount of tax dollars that is eventually paid out to them," Gallego said. "All elected officials have a duty to protect the public's interest and in this case, it is Horne's duty to save the taxpayer some money."

"The legislators who voted for these bills voted to throw taxpayer money down the drain in lawsuits. Horne has a chance to try and save a little money by stopping further litigation. He needs to do the right thing and negotiate," Gallego said.

More information about the attorney fee issue can be found in a recent Arizona Capitol Times article: http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2013/08/05/billable-hours-union-to-seek-600000-in-legal-fees-from-state/


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State Rep calls on Guv to keep MANA House for homeless women vets open; Joins activist Serah Blain, living on the street to raise awareness of funding need

State Rep calls on Guv to keep MANA House for homeless women vets open;
Joins activist Serah Blain, living on the street to raise awareness of funding need

 
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix (District 19), still often finds himself fighting alongside his fellow soldiers daily, even though his Army days are over. This week, the battle is finding funding to keep the MANA House for homeless women veterans from shutting down.

Cardenas has implored the Governor to intervene in a letter he sent to her last week (attached). And Tuesday through Thursday nights of this week, Cardenas will show his solidarity with homeless women vets by joining activist Serah Blain, living on the street to raise awareness and funding to keep the transitional living facility open.

"If we let this place shut-down and turn these women back out on the street, it is just unconscionable," Cardenas said. "I can't sit by and see a program which is helping women vets get back on their feet, overcome challenges like PTSD and sexual assault, just shut down. These are women who served their country, went in to combat to protect our freedom. They deserve better."

Cardenas sent a letter to Governor Jan Brewer Friday asking her to free up funds within her administration to keep the MANA House program open in the short term and he asked her to request long-term sustainable funding for the program in her budget. Cardenas pledged his support but said "it is paramount that we avoid closure of this facility and our Governor is the person with the power to help in this time of need."

"It doesn't take a lot of money to run this program but it means the world to the women who are there. I hope the Governor and others who hear about this situation will do what they can to help," Cardenas said. Donations to help keep the facility open can be directed to www.blisteringatthemargins.com.

For more information about the MANA House’s funding problems and Serah Blain's effort to raise funding and awareness, see the video and article at this link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20130830female-veterans-homelessness.html

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Tuesday, September 03, 2013