Friday, February 28, 2014

Hale delivers keynote address at the 2014 Tribal Telecom and Technology Summit

Hale delivers keynote address at the
2014 Tribal Telecom and Technology Summit


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), delivered a keynote address on tribal governance and culture in the 21st century at the 2014 Tribal Telecom and Technology Summit earlier this month.

“Sovereignty and self-governance of Native American nations were central themes at this year’s conference,” Hale said. “This provided an opportunity to review the historical events that have affected the ability of Native American Nations to develop and implement infrastructure improvements.”

This was the third annual summit, and it convened at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Phoenix for three days. Hale’s remarks included a historical overview of tribal land ownership and the changing relationship with the United States federal government, all of which affect current infrastructure development.

“As we plan for our technology needs, we must keep in mind the uniqueness of the communities the technology is serving,” Hale said. “Since the land in our nations is held in trust by the federal government, the process for infrastructure development is complicated. First tribal, then federal requirements must be met. This is a burdensome amount of bureaucracy, and it slows progress.”

Hale also said the technology itself must meet people’s needs. He shared a story about his own family to illustrate that point.

“My paternal aunt only speaks Navajo. Most voicemail instructions are given in English, so if she makes a call and no one answers, she leaves a message, but the only message is ‘That’s what I wanted to tell you.  That’s why I called you.’ She does not understand you have to leave your message after the beep. When we develop the infrastructure in our communities, we must ensure that those changes are understandable and accessible to everyone,” Hale said.

Hale added the he was grateful for the opportunity to discuss these issues at the summit.

“I would like to thank the summit’s advisory council for inviting me to share my thoughts and my experiences. Modernizing communication infrastructure is an essential part of preparing for the future,” Hale said.

For more information on the summit, go to: http://www.tribaltelecomconference.com/.

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Rep. Hale is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He was born in Ganado and raised in Klagetoh, Arizona. He is Ashiihi (Salt), born for Todichiini (Bitter Water). His maternal grandparents are Hanaghani (Walk About clan). His paternal grandparents are Kiyanii (Tall House clan). He is a 1969 graduate of Fort Wingate High School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school located east of Gallup, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1973), and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1977), and an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Phoenix School of Law (2012).  He is the former President of the Navajo Nation.


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rep. Quezada responds to Gov. Brewer's veto of SB 1062

Rep. Matin Quezada

Round Up: SB 1062 Coverage

Rep. Clinco with Anderson Cooper on the veto of SB 1062




Rep. Clinco on The Last Word


Rep. Campbell on The Last Word

Arizona House of Representatives passes Miranda’s bill to encourage eighth graders to pursue high school

March 20, 2014 UPDATE: The Senate Education Committee passed Miranda’s bill to encourage eighth graders to pursue high school 

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Arizona House of Representatives passes Miranda’s bill to encourage eighth graders to pursue high school  

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – The Arizona House of Representatives recently passed a bill introduced by Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix (District 27), intended to encourage students graduating from eighth grade to continue their education.

“Eighth grade completion is a milestone accomplishment,” Miranda said. “It should mark the path in education that leads to more opportunities.”

Miranda’s bill, HB 2501, would prevent school district governing boards from requesting signed certificates of promotion from the county school superintendent while allowing schools to conduct ceremonies to honor the students being promoted from eighth grade.

“Certificates and diplomas should be reserved for graduations,” Miranda said. “We want our students to have higher expectations for themselves and think toward high school and college graduation.”

The bill passed 58-1 and now goes to the Arizona Senate for consideration.





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Brewer signs election law repeal

Brewer signs election law repeal
Quezada: ‘I trust the voters will remember this on Election Day’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), released this statement after Gov. Jan Brewer signed HB 2196, which repeals HB 2305 and will keep voters from deciding whether the state can implement restrictive changes to the election process.

“The governor’s decision to sign HB 2196 is an insult to Arizona voters. This law repeals HB 2305, effectively undermining a voter-led referendum. Last year, the community came together and collected about 146,000 signatures to put HB 2305 on the ballot. They wanted a chance to have their voices heard on a law that created significant barriers to the voting process.

“Based on the number of signatures collected for the referendum, it is obvious that Arizonans demanded the final word on this. The governor’s decision today circumvents the will of the voters and leaves the door open for future restrictions to the voting process. The attention that her actions on SB 1062 received will not distract from this.

“I am dismayed by the insincerity displayed by the extremists who supported the repeal of HB 2305, and I am disgusted by the use of this tactic. I trust that the voters will remember this on Election Day.”



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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rep. Gallego on the veto of SB 1062

Statement from Campbell on Brewer’s action on SB 1062

Statement from Campbell on Brewer’s action on SB 1062

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), released this statement after Gov. Jan Brewer announced she has vetoed SB 1062.

“I applaud Gov. Brewer for doing the right thing. By vetoing this bill, the governor has sent a message to the country that Arizona is a place of tolerance and acceptance. It is unfortunate that SB 1062 made it as far as it did in the process, but that is the fault of a handful of extremists at the Capitol who are out of step with the rest of the state. These ideologues need to be held accountable for pushing such hateful legislation, as should the Center for Arizona Policy and Cathi Herrod. It is time to put a stop to the control that these unelected extremists have in the Legislature.  We will not be held hostage by their right-wing, extremist agenda.”




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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Peshlakai introduces House Concurrent Memorials to commemorate Native American veterans

Peshlakai introduces House Concurrent Memorials to commemorate Native American veterans

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai, D-Cameron (District 7), recently introduced a series of House Concurrent Memorials to commemorate the Native American veterans of Arizona.

A House Concurrent Memorial is a formal request to act on an issue that the Arizona Legislature does not have jurisdiction to act upon itself. Peshlakai’s legislation asks the Arizona Department of Transportation to adopt new names for some portions of highways on tribal lands in Arizona.

“Our Native American veterans have fought on the frontlines for the protection of our nation, and their contributions have often gone unrecognized,” Peshlakai said. “It is my intent to honor the service and sacrifice of Native Americans in the U.S. Armed Forces by renaming these roads.”

A summary of these memorials is below:

HCM 2002 – Navajo code talker trail; highway
Names the portion of Interstate Highway 40 located between the New Mexico state line and Flagstaff as the Navajo Code Talker Trail

HCM 2003 Native American code talker highway
Names the portion of State Highway 264 located between Tuba City and Window Rock as the Native American Code Talker Highway

HCM 2004 Native American women veterans highway
Names the portion of U.S. Route 160 located between the New Mexico state line and the junction of U.S. Route 89 as the Native American Women Veterans Highway

HCM 2005 Native American veterans highway
Names the portion of U.S. Route 89 located between the Utah state line and Flagstaff as the Native American Veterans Highway

“I urge ADOT to help with this effort to create more awareness about the sacrifices made by and to pay tribute to the Native Americans who served our country,” Peshlakai said. “Additionally, I hope this will encourage more Native American leaders to create historic memorials to honor the contributions of Native American people around the state.”


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Native American Caucus meeting focuses on education

Native American Caucus meeting focuses on education

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Recently the Arizona Legislature’s Native American Caucus met to discuss challenges and opportunities for Native American students who want to pursue higher education. The group heard recommendations from experts who work in the area of Native American students and community education issues.

“Encouraging our youth to pursue a higher education and to have the resources to realize that dream is only the first step,” said Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michael’s (District 7). “Once in college, these students need support. That support could include financial help or mentorship and guidance. Also, retention is a major challenge for Native American students that needs to be addressed.”

Arizona Board of Regents Treasurer LuAnn Leonard gave an update of the board’s priorities for Native American education, which include recruitment and retention, greater access to university enrollment for community college students, financial aid, tribal communication and residency classification. The board’s goals are intended to provide resources that would increase access to higher education for Native American students.

As a part of this update, representatives from the three major public universities presented on initiatives their universities have taken to increase the success of American Indian students. These initiatives included community service, research expansion and increasing graduation rates.

The Deputy Associate Superintendent of Native American Education and Outreach, Debora Norris, also spoke about the progress that the Department of Education has made in helping Native American students succeed in public education. She outlined recommendations for improving education within indigenous communities. These recommendations focused on funding, programs, and policies that would benefit Native American education.

Sen. Carlyle Begay, D-Ganado (District 7), shared some startling statistics about graduation rates among Native American students.


“As a Legislature, we need to improve and invest in our state universities, tribal and community colleges by improving Arizona’s statewide education system, especially for American Indian students. American Indian students have one of the lowest graduation rates among any student subgroup in Arizona. Sixty-five percent of Native American students graduated high school within four years in 2012, compared to 77 percent of all students and 84 percent of white students,” Begay said. “The six-year college graduation rate for Native American students in Arizona is the lowest of any demographic group at 38.4 percent. The six-year college completion rates for white students is 59.4 percent; for Hispanic students, it is 48.4 percent; for black students, it is 44 percent. We need to give every American Indian student an opportunity to get an education, to apply themselves as best as they can, and to make a difference.”

Hale added that investing in Native American education is beneficial for the state.

“Education is the key to moving Arizona forward, and we must devote our resources to ensuring our young people will have the opportunities they need to be successful,” Hale said. “This gives us an opportunity to develop a framework for education policy that will benefit Native American students and the state.”


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The Native American Caucus would like to encourage people to get involved in the legislative process and to make sure their voices are heard. To receive a registration form for a Request to Speak System account, please email Melissa Upshaw at mupshaw@azleg.gov or call the office of Rep. Hale at 602-926-4323. Once your account is created, you will receive the Request to Speak System Manual by email and you can comment on bills being heard in committees through your online access by going to www.azleg.gov and clicking the Request to Speak System link.

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Tucson Democrats pushing for job creation, inclusion and mental health awareness

Tucson Democrats pushing for job 
creation, inclusion and mental health 
awareness

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizona House Democrats from Tucson are working at the Capitol to push for job creation, funding for mental health programs and creating more inclusion for people with disabilities.

Rep. Demion Clinco, D-Tucson (District 2), is sponsoring HB 2696, a bill that would require that Arizona companies be given preference over out-of-state companies when bidding on state contracts if both companies have the lowest bid. The Arizona House Government Committee recently passed this bill, and it must now be heard in the Arizona House Rules Committee.

“The best way to achieve long-term economic security in our state is to invest in local business,” Clinco said. “When we invest in local business, we are investing in job creation and our communities. The goal of my bill is to help locally owned Arizona businesses, which bore the brunt of the economic downturn, stabilize and grow.”

Rep. Stefanie Mach, D-Tucson (District 10), introduced HB 2667, which would remove the words handicapped and disabled from state laws and from all materials the government produces in the future, such as signs that indicate parking for people with disabilities. The Arizona House Health Committee recently passed this bill. Next it will go to the Arizona House Rules Committee for consideration.

“These terms do not accurately reflect the people in our community,” Mach said. “My bill changes the offensive words in our statutes and replaces them with the more respectful terms, ‘person or persons with disabilities.’”

Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9), introduced HB 2490, the Youth Mental Health First Aid Bill, which is intended to help people identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness, eating disorders and substance abuse disorders in youth. The legislation would provide an additional $250,000 to the Department of Health Services for a Mental Health First Aid Program that would train adults who work with youth to identify mental health issues. The Arizona House Health Committee also passed this bill, and it too must be heard in the Arizona House Rules Committee.

The goal is to show people how to identify when a young person is struggling and to teach them how to intervene and get the appropriate assistance,” Steele said. “This bill would expand a program that we know is working to get youth who are showing signs of distress the aid they need.”

To see the full version of HB 2696, go to:

To see the full version of HB 2667, go to:

To see the full version of HB 2490, go to:



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Friday, February 21, 2014

Democratic Leadership fighting discrimination bill on Arizona House Floor

House Minority Leader, Chad Campbell

Assistant House Minority Leader, Ruben Gallego

House MInority Whip Bruce Wheeler

ICYMI: Rep. Clinco Floor Comments on SB 1062

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Clinco speaks out against SB 1062

Clinco speaks out against SB 1062
Only gay member of Arizona House calls discriminatory bill appalling

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Demion Clinco, D-Tucson (District 2), is the only gay member of the Arizona House of Representatives. He released this statement after the Arizona House of Representatives passed SB 1062.  

“As the only representative of the LGBTQ community at the State House, I have to express my complete disappointment in those who supported this bill. It is both discouraging and appalling to see state-sanctioned discrimination being promoted under the veil of religious freedom.

“This legislation clearly targets the LGBTQ community and cities like Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff that have extended civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community. I began serving in this chamber less than a month ago, and already I am seeing the dramatic lengths the extremists here will go to push an agenda. For the state to actively pursue legislation that would justify discrimination is an affront to the people of Arizona.

“Ultimately, the LGBTQ community will achieve equality under the law. It is not a matter of if, but merely a matter of when. The passage of this bill is only a momentary setback.”

The Arizona House of Representatives passed SB 1062, 33-27, and the bill now goes to the governor for consideration.


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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Campbell urges governor to veto discriminatory bill SB 1062

Campbell urges governor to veto discriminatory bill
SB 1062

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), today released this statement after the Arizona House of Representatives passed SB 1062, a bill identical to HB 2153, which would allow discrimination under the pretext of religious freedom.

“This bill takes aim at the LGBTQ community. It seems to be a reaction to the civil rights laws passed by Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff. SB 1062 does nothing to create jobs and it does nothing to improve education. Instead, it promotes extremism and provides opportunities for discrimination.

“Gov. Brewer rejected a similar bill last year, and I encourage her to do the same with SB 1062. We should be working on legislation that protects the rights of all people. SB 1062 tells the nation that we only welcome certain people to Arizona. This bill is a state sanction of discrimination against the LGBTQ community and that is unacceptable.”

SB 1062 passed 33-27, with no Democratic support. It now goes to the governor for consideration.







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Arizona Latino Caucus opposes discriminatory bills HB 2153 and SB 1062

Arizona Latino Caucus opposes discriminatory bills HB 2153 and SB 1062

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today the Arizona Latino Caucus unanimously decided to oppose HB 2153 and SB 1062, which are identical bills and would allow discrimination against almost anyone under the guise of religious freedom.

Caucus Co-chair Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), released this statement on behalf of the caucus.

“Our Latino community has faced discrimination and intolerance in this state for generations.  We will not sit silent as other communities are being threatened with similar bigotry.

“Today the Latino Caucus took an official position against HB 2153 and SB 1062 because they are simply platforms for extremism. These bills would provide protection for discrimination and should not be allowed to become the law of the land.

“We stand in solidarity with all people who promote fair treatment and equality.”





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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Statement from Hale on Navajo Nation Veterans Housing Project

Statement from Hale on Navajo Nation Veterans Housing Project

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), released this statement today after the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee passed HB 2208, a bill that would appropriate $929,500 for the Navajo Nation Veterans Housing Project to build 75 homes for veterans.

“I would like to offer my gratitude to Rep. Sonny Borrelli for sponsoring this legislation and for being a champion for the Navajo Nation Veterans Housing Project, which was created to provide homes for indigent and homeless veterans. I would also like to thank all the members of the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee who supported this legislation.

“This bill would do a positive thing by providing housing for the many veterans in our American Indian communities who need assistance. It also highlights another issue. Native Americans are citizens of their native nations but they are also citizens of Arizona.  Yet we are often forgotten in conversations about services that are extended to others in our state. We should not have to ask for a separate appropriation for Native Americans to get the support and benefits they are entitled to. I will continue to be a voice for Native American communities at the Capitol and will advocate for more inclusive legislation.”


Rep. Hale is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He was born in Ganado and raised in Klagetoh, Arizona. He is Ashiihi (Salt), born for Todichiini (Bitter Water). His maternal grandparents are Hanaghani (Walk About clan). His paternal grandparents are Kiyanii (Tall House clan). He is a 1969 graduate of Fort Wingate High School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school located east of Gallup, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1973), and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1977), and an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Phoenix School of Law (2012).  He is the former President of the Navajo Nation.



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UPDATE: House Health Committee passes bill to remove the words handicapped and disabled from state statutes

UPDATE: House Health Committee passes bill to remove the words handicapped and disabled from state statutes

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today the House Health Committee unanimously passed HB 2667, a bill Rep. Stefanie Mach, D-Tucson (District 10), introduced that would remove the words handicapped and disabled from state laws and from all materials the government produces in the future, such as signs that indicate parking for people with disabilities.

Mach is trying to change the way the state addresses people with disabilities. She survived a car accident in 1997, which knocked down an electrical line and shocked her, causing her to lose her arm. She said as a person with a disability she understands the effect of dehumanizing words on a person or a group of people.

“These terms do not accurately reflect the people in our community,” Mach said. “Our laws should use language that illustrates the respect we have for everyone in our state. My bill changes the archaic and offensive words in our statutes and replaces them with ‘person or persons with disabilities.’ These are the terms that most people with disabilities prefer.”

The bill now goes to the House Rules Committee for consideration.



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UPDATE: House Health Committee passes Steele’s Youth Mental Health First Aid Bill

UPDATE: House Health Committee passes Steele’s
Youth Mental Health First Aid Bill

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today the House Health Committee unanimously passed the Youth Mental Health First Aid Bill, introduced by Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9), that would provide an additional $250,000 to the Department of Health Services for a program that trains people to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness, eating disorders and substance abuse disorders in youth.

Steele, a licensed counselor and a mental health professional, said behavioral issues often start to develop during adolescence, which is why she is pushing for the expansion of the youth component of the Mental Health First Aid Program.

“This legislation will promote a program we know is already making a difference, and we can prepare more people who work with kids on a regular basis to recognize warning signs,” Steele said. “The goal is to show them how to identify when a young person is struggling and to teach them how to intervene and get the appropriate assistance.”

The bill now goes to the House Rules Committee for consideration.




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Clinco’s local bidder preference bill passes Arizona House Government Committee

Clinco’s local bidder preference bill passes
Arizona House Government Committee


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – On Tuesday, the Arizona House Government Committee passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Demion Clinco, D-Tucson (District 2), that will support local businesses in Arizona.

Clinco, the newest member of the Arizona House of Representatives, was appointed earlier this month. He immediately introduced HB 2696, a bill that would require that Arizona companies be given preference over out-of-state companies when bidding on state contracts, if both companies have the lowest bid. 

“I didn’t want to waste any time before beginning to navigate the legislative process. I introduced this bill right away because Arizona benefits from a diverse and robust economy,” Clinco said. “My bill is intended to help locally owned Arizona businesses, which bore the brunt of the economic downturn, stabilize and grow. When we invest in local business, we are investing in job creation and our communities.”

The bill passed 6-2, and it must now be heard in the Arizona House Rules Committee.







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Monday, February 17, 2014

Campbell pushing Legislature to protect consumer choice and encourage renewable energy competition

Campbell pushing Legislature to protect consumer choice and encourage renewable energy competition

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), is pushing the Legislature to protect consumer choice, to promote competition and to support renewable energy in Arizona. Campbell introduced a House Concurrent Resolution, which proposes an amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would give voters a voice on solar and renewable energy standards for the state.

HCR 2032 would alter the Arizona Constitution until 2024 to include the Arizona Corporation Commission’s net metering regulations that were a part of the Renewable Energy Standards and Tariff rules. These rules require regulated utility companies to provide net metering to electric customers at a set rate.

“A large utility company in Arizona is trying to find ways around these regulations, limiting consumer choice and preventing the renewable energy market from expanding,” Campbell said. “If this issue goes to the ballot, and the voters send a clear message that this is important, then these standards will be protected.”

Campbell pointed to HB 2595, a bill the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to hear on Feb. 17 that would make it more expensive for people to lease solar panels, as an example of the way some utility companies are attempting to clamp down on renewable energy options.

“This kind of legislation is just counterproductive,” Campbell said. “We need to promote ideas that encourage competition and consumer choice, especially in the renewable energy field. It’s one of the few industries that held strong during the recession. It provides long-term, high-wage jobs in our state. We should be a leader in solar and renewable energy innovation.”




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Thursday, February 13, 2014

House Republicans pass measure to impede referendum on restrictive voting measure

House Republicans pass measure to impede referendum on restrictive voting measure

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), released this statement after Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives passed HB 2196, a bill that would repeal HB 2305 and keep voters from deciding whether the state can implement restrictive changes to the election process:

“Unfortunately, extremists in the House were able to pass this bill, which is an attempt to hinder the will of the voters. Last year, so many people worked to collect about 146,000 signatures for a referendum on HB 2305, a bill that created barriers to the voting process. At the same time, it made it easier for some legislators to keep their jobs because it lowered the number of signatures needed for some candidates to get on ballot. It is clear that the voters want a chance to weigh in on this.

“The Republicans are trying to circumvent that process by repealing the bill so that voters cannot have the final word on it. Arizona voters should be outraged. I urge everyone interested in stopping this political maneuver to contact their state senator.”

The bill will now go to the Arizona Senate for consideration.




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Larkin receives Copper Shield Award from Unified Arizona Veterans at Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society Gala

Larkin receives Copper Shield Award from Unified Arizona Veterans at
Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society Gala

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Jonathan Larkin, D-Glendale (District 30), received the Copper Shield Award from the Unified Arizona Veterans on Feb. 12 at the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society Gala, for his commitment to serving Arizona’s veterans.

“I am honored to accept such a prestigious award on behalf of all the veterans serving at the Arizona Legislature,” Larkin said. “Together, we formed the Arizona Veterans Caucus, a bipartisan group of veteran legislators focused on finding more ways to serve those who have served our country.”

Unified Arizona Veterans was established more than 30 years ago to collectively promote veteran-related affairs. Now including 45 Veteran Service Organizations, UAV continues to actively propose, support and endorse legislation, administrative or other actions which further the general welfare and well-being of all Arizona veterans.

The Copper Shield Award is presented annually by UAV to an elected official who has made significant contributions to the veteran community. This award, along with the Copper Eagle Award and the Copper Sword Award, are typically given at the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society Gala.

For more information about the event and awards go to:




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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Arizona House of Representatives honors former Sen. Arthur J. Hubbard Sr.

Arizona House of Representatives honors

former Sen. Arthur J. Hubbard Sr.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today the House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), and members of the Native American Caucus to honor former Sen. Arthur J. Hubbard Sr., who passed away this month at the age of 102.

Arthur J. Hubbard Sr. was born Jan. 23, 1912 in Topawa, Ariz. on the Tohono O’odham Nation and later served as a Navajo Code Talker during World War II. He was the first American Indian to ever be elected to the Arizona Senate, where he served for 12 years. He was recognized for his tremendous contributions to the welfare, education, and health of Arizona Native American Tribes.

Members of the Native American Caucus issued the following statements regarding the passing of former Sen. Hubbard:

Sen. Carlyle Begay, D-Ganado (District 7):

“Our nation, state and Navajo citizens were truly honored to have had such a highly distinguished Navajo leader who fought for our nation, both as a Navajo Code Talker and as an Arizona State Senator. He laid the foundation that many after him have followed as a true voice and advocate for tribal communities throughout Arizona. We will always honor and cherish his sacrifices that have made our state stronger.”

Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson (District 3):

“I am saddened to hear of Sen. Arthur J. Hubbard Sr.’s passing. I praise his service to the State of Arizona, to his constituents and to all Native Americans in Arizona. Sen. Hubbard and I shared the honor of being the first Native Americans to be elected to the Arizona State Legislature. In 1972, he was the first Native American male to be elected, and in 1996 I was the first Native American female to be elected. I offer my most sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7)

“Former State Sen. Arthur J. Hubbard Sr. is a trailblazer. He opened doors that presented opportunities for Native Americans to participate in elections and to run as candidates for state and county offices. He lived a long life. His footprints are no more. But the memories of who he was and what he contributed to Native American citizens and citizens of Arizona will long be remembered.”

Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai, D-Cameron (District 7):

“Our state and nation owe a debt of gratitude for the contributions of Sen. Arthur J. Hubbard Sr., our grandfather, father, warrior, U.S. Marine and Navajo Code Talker. Sen. Hubbard honored my family and clan by coming to my traditional Diné wedding 22 years ago. I will always remember his selfless diplomacy. He was a fine gentleman, great statesman, and a kind friend to many. All is in beauty. Hágoónee' shi naat'áanii.”

 Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9):

“We mourn the loss of Sen. Arthur J. Hubbard Sr. He was such an honored leader as a state senator, a Navajo Code Talker and a U.S. Marine. He will be missed and always held in the highest of esteem for his significant contributions to Arizona and the United States.”



A copy of the full the resolution, HCR 2038, is available at this link: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/51leg/2r/bills/hcr2038p.pdf



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Gabaldón appointed to CPLC’s Southeast Arizona Advisory Board

Gabaldón appointed to CPLC’s
Southeast Arizona Advisory Board


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXChicanos Por La Causa, Inc. recently selected Rep. Rosanna Gabaldón, D-Sahuarita (District 2), to serve as a member of the organization’s Southeast Arizona Advisory Board.

CPLC is a community development corporation that provides services in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Since 1969, CPLC has focused on developing self-sufficiency and instilling empowerment in those it serves. The organization’s focus areas are economic development, education, housing, and social services.

“We are honored to have Rep. Gabaldón join our Advisory Board. Her passion and vision for the people we serve in Southern Arizona align with CPLC’s mission of empowering our community. As the third largest Hispanic nonprofit in the country, we are fortunate to have a diverse group of advisors comprised of community advocates, corporate representatives, and public servants to assist CPLC to continue to be relevant and adapt to the ever-changing needs of the communities we serve,” said Chicanos Por la Causa President and Chief Executive Officer Edmundo Hidalgo.

Gabaldón is one of 17 members on the advisory board and will be representing Santa Cruz County and a portion of Pima County. She will act as a goodwill ambassador, who will share information about CPLC’s mission, services, policies and programs.

“It is tremendously humbling to be called upon by CPLC to serve the citizens of Southern Arizona. I am honored that I was voted unanimously to assist on the Southeast Arizona Advisory Board,” Gabaldón said. “I look forward to working with the board, staff and volunteers to help achieve the goals of CPLC and the growth of the organization.”

For more information on CPLC, visit their website at www.cplc.org.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mach bill would remove the words handicapped and disabled from state statutes

Mach bill would remove the words handicapped and disabled from state statutes
‘Persons with disabilities’ would replace archaic terms

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Stefanie Mach, D-Tucson (District 10), is trying to change the way the state addresses people with disabilities. Mach introduced a bill, HB 2667, that would remove the words handicapped and disabled from state laws and from any new signs that indicate parking for people with disabilities.

“These terms do not accurately reflect the people in our community,” Mach said. “Our laws should use language that illustrates the respect we have for everyone in our state. My bill changes the archaic and offensive words in our statutes and replaces them with ‘person or persons with disabilities.’ These are the terms that most people with disabilities prefer.”

Mach survived a car accident in 1997 which knocked down an electrical line and shocked her, causing her to lose her arm. She said as a person with a disability she understands the effect of dehumanizing words on a person or a group of people.

“I don’t want to talk about my disabilities first. I am a complete person and would like to be recognized as such,” she said. “I started working on this legislation after hearing that many people in the disabilities community feel the same way. This is important to them and important to me. So we are starting with an effort to promote inclusion and raise awareness, while ending the use of inappropriate, out-of-date terminology in our statutes.”




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Quezada supports restoring voting rights to felons who have served their sentences

Quezada supports restoring voting rights to felons who have served their sentences

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), today applauded U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for announcing his support of restoring voting rights to felons.

Earlier this year, Quezada introduced a bill, HB 2132, that would allow people who have served sentences for multiple felonies to have their voting rights restored automatically.

“I commend Attorney General Holder for bringing this matter to the attention of the nation. It’s an issue I have been working on here,” Quezada said. “In Arizona, people who have completed their sentences for a single felony already have their voting rights restored automatically. My bill would extend the automatic restoration of voting rights to people who have served their time for two or more felonies.”

Quezada added he agrees with Holder, who said laws that disenfranchise people after they have completed their prison terms contribute to “the stigma and isolation” these individuals face and “increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.”  

“We are better served when we create opportunities for people to be a part of their communities, and voting is one way to do that,” Quezada said. “People who are returning to their communities should have a voice. When more people participate, our electorate becomes more representative and stronger. My bill addresses these very issues but unfortunately, it has not been heard in committee.

Quezada’s bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, but Committee Chairman Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert (District 12), has not placed the bill on a committee agenda.

“In light of the national attention this matter is getting, I hope that Rep. Farnsworth will give my bill a hearing,” Quezada said. “Otherwise, this bill will die and Arizona will continue to disenfranchise a sizeable number of people who deserve a chance to participate in the process.”

To view a copy of the bill, go to:




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Monday, February 10, 2014

First Native American Caucus meeting focused on child safety

First Native American Caucus meeting focused on child safety
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – The first meeting of the Native American Caucus for the 2014 legislative session focused on child safety throughout Arizona and in Native American communities.

The meeting started with presentations from Child Advocate Response Examination Team members, Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix (District 28), and Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor, D-Phoenix (District 27), who gave an overview of their recent report submitted to Gov. Jan Brewer.

The report highlights the work of the CARE Team in reviewing the numerous cases of child abuse and neglect that Child Protective Services did not investigate. The document includes an analysis of the problems that required immediate attention and identified potential reforms for child welfare. The report also offers recommendations designed to improve child safety and the effectiveness of Arizona’s child welfare system.

The new director of the Division of Child Safety and Family Services, Charles Flanagan, spoke about the duties of his department and stressed the need to expand child advocacy centers within the community. 

Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai, D-Cameron (District 7), emphasized the importance of open communication between the state and Indian nations.  
“Accountability and transparency are crucial when dealing with the welfare of Native American children,” said Peshlakai. “I am hopeful that Mr. Flanagan will continue to work with us to develop the reforms that are necessary to keep our children safe. True change will only happen if we are willing to work together in expanding programs that would help struggling families.”

Thomas L. Cody, legislative analyst of the Navajo Division of Social Services, and his colleagues with The Department of Family Services and Navajo Children and Family Services outlined recommendations for improving services to children in Native American nations, which focused on communication, training, funding and collaboration. The full list of recommendations is available below.

Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), added that the Native American communities have unique circumstances that must be taken into consideration when talking about child welfare services.
“The state should recognize the distinctive conditions that Native American families often face,” said Hale. “Together, we should take this opportunity to develop an appropriate response to these situations. The child welfare system is in need of immediate attention, and it is our responsibility to instigate change for the protection of Arizona’s children.”

For a full copy of the CARE Team report, go to:





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