Wednesday, August 30, 2017

STATEMENT: Rios responds to court decision on Republican power grab

House Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios, 
D-Phoenix (District 27),  responded to a judge’s decision  that stops HB 2579 from being enforced. This legislation prevented cities and towns from regulating employee benefits: 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

STATEMENT: Andrade stands with transgender servicemembers

Rep. Richard Andrade, D-Phoenix (District 29), responds to President Donald J. Trump's recent announcement regarding of transgender people serving in the military.

August 29, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Blanc Featured in National Report on Top State Legislative Victories from 2017

Contact: Jacqueline Sandoval

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today Rep. Isela Blanc, D-Tempe (District 26) is featured in the State Innovation Exchange’s, also known as SiX, 2017 End-of-Session Legislative Report for her work standing up against President Donald J. Trump’s proposed border wall. The report includes a case study on HB 2446, a bill that Blanc introduced this past legislative session. The bill would have barred any companies that participate in the building of the border wall from gaining state contracts.

“I’m proud that our work to stand up against the costly, divisive and ineffective border wall has been recognized in SiX’s report. With bills, such as HB 2246, we sent a message to companies vying to build the border wall: if you pursue this divisive wall, our state will not support you. Combined with grassroots pressure, other state legislation and increased media attention, our work forced many companies to back away from construction of the wall. This shows that state leaders have the power to stand up to the divisive policies of the Trump administration and can truly be the front lines of the resistance,” Blanc said.  

SiX, the organization that released the report, is a national resource and strategy center that supports the efforts of state lawmakers to strengthen democracy, fight for working families, defend civil rights and liberties, and protect the environment.

“States are a vital battleground for competing visions of our nation’s future, and I’m grateful that Rep. Blanc and other legislators brought forward a vision for a more inclusive, prosperous, and united country,” said SiX Executive Director Nick Rathod.


Friday, August 25, 2017

STATEMENT: Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus condemn Trump’s pardon of Arpaio

Aug. 25, 2017  
Contact: Jacqueline Sandoval

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today leaders of the Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus released this statement after President Donald J. Trump announced his pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio:

"Today’s announcement from President Trump is yet another display of disrespect to the Latino community in Arizona. During Joe Arpaio’s 24 years as the sheriff in Maricopa County, he abused his position of authority to drive a personal agenda that promoted racism.

"On July 31, 2017, a federal district judge convicted Arpaio of violating the court's previous order to cease his office's immigration-related actions, which another federal judge found violated the constitutional rights of Latino residents in Maricopa County.

"The members of the Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus believe President Trump’s very first presidential pardon reinforces a clear message to the nation about where he stands on respect for the law and for all residents of Arizona. No amount of time will erase Arpaio’s hateful harassment and the fear he instilled in our community, and no one should be above the law." 

Rep. Diego Espinoza, D-Tolleson (District 19), caucus co-chair

Sen. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe (District 26), caucus co-chair
Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix (District 19), caucus secretary         

The bipartisan Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus has 17 members from both the state House and Senate. Members hold strategic leadership positions and promote legislation and policies that directly affect Latinos in Arizona. The caucus also encourages more Latinos to engage in the political process through public policy and community events.


STATEMENT: Chávez responds to president’s remarks on NAFTA

Aug. 25, 2017
Contact: C. Murphy Hebert

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. César Chávez, D-Phoenix (District 29), released this statement in response to the remarks President Donald J. Trump made regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement during his visit to Phoenix:

“The president’s remarks regarding NAFTA are of great concern. Our state’s leading trade partner is Mexico. This relationship contributes to thousands of jobs in Arizona and billions of dollars in economic development. As a state legislator, I strongly believe I have a duty to protect trade with Mexico from the president’s rhetoric, which could damage this long-standing partnership.”


PRESS RELEASE: Dr. Geraldine Peten joins the Arizona House of Representatives

Aug. 25, 2017
Contact: C. Murphy Hebert

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today Dr. Geraldine Peten, D-Goodyear (District 4), took the oath of office and will represent the people of Legislative District 4 in the Arizona House of Representatives.  Her addition to the Legislature increases female representation at the Capitol to 40 percent, a historical high point for the state according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

Peten’s seatmate, House Democratic Whip Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma (District 4), encouraged the celebration of this historical moment.

“I am honored to mark this occasion with Dr. Peten, and pleased to welcome a woman who has shown so much commitment to our community to the House of Representatives,” Fernandez said. “She is an asset to our team.”

Peten, a retired school superintendent and educational consultant who earned a doctorate in education, curriculum and instruction, said education policy will be her major focus at the Legislature.

“I am excited to work with this group of passionate, dedicated individuals who want to continue to make Arizona a better place to live, learn and raise a family,” Peten said. “I am also pleased to join Rep. Bolding in increasing the representation of African Americans at the Legislature. My background and experience will allow me to serve my district and the state well.”

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler (District 17), also welcomed Peten.

"I am happy to welcome Geraldine Peten to the Arizona House of Representatives, and I'm pleased to have the House back in full membership as session approaches," Mesnard said.

House Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios, D-Phoenix (District 27), looks forward to the insight Peten will bring to the policy-making process.

“Dr. Peten is a professional and an academic who will bring a unique perspective on the effects of education policy on our classrooms,” Rios said. “We are fortunate to have her joining us at the Capitol.”


PRESS RELEASE: League of Arizona Cities and Towns honors 16 House Democrats at annual conference

Aug. 25, 2017
Contact: C. Murphy Hebert

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – The League of Arizona Cities and Towns recognized 16 Arizona House Democrats for their commitment to and support of cities and towns during the 2017 legislative session.

“Arizona is better served when the state, cities and towns work together. We know that cities and towns are economic drivers in Arizona and believe that all levels of government should work together in partnership,” House Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios, D-Phoenix (District 27), said. “My colleagues and I look forward to our continued cooperation with the League and are grateful for this recognition.”

The House Democratic leaders were recognized as Champions of Cities and Towns:
  • House Democratic Leader Rep. Rebecca Rios, D-Phoenix (District 27)
  • House Democratic Whip Rep. Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma (District 4)
  • House Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. Randall Friese, D-Tucson (District 9)
Additionally, the following legislators received the Friends of Cities and Towns Award:
  • Rep. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix (District 24)
  • Rep. Isela Blanc, D-Tempe (District 26)
  • Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Phoenix (District 27)
  • Rep. Kelli Butler, D-Paradise Valley (District 28)
  • Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix, (District 19)
  • Rep. César Chávez, D-Phoenix (District 29)
  • Rep. Ken Clark, D-Phoenix (District 24)
  • Rep. Kirsten Engel, D-Tucson (District 10)
  • Rep. Mitzi Epstein, D-Tempe (District 18)
  • Rep. Diego Espinoza, D-Tolleson (District 19)
  • Rep. Rosanna Gabaldón, D-Sahuarita (District 2)
  • Rep. Tony Navarrete, D-Phoenix (District 30)
  • Rep. Athena Salman, D-Tempe (District 26)

“These state legislators are consistently watching out for the cities and towns in their districts, and we appreciate their support and votes,” League Executive Director Ken Strobeck said.

The League honored the awardees on Aug. 24 during the 2017 Annual Conference. The conference, held in Oro Valley this year, is a four-day meeting Aug. 22 – Aug. 25 with mayors, council members and officials coming together from across the state. For more information about the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, visit


Monday, August 21, 2017

Investing In Our Public Schools

Kids across Arizona are going back to school this month, and most of those students will be headed into public schools. But public school funding remains under attack. 

All summer long, the parents and teachers with the Save our Schools coalition worked to collect enough signatures for a referendum on the new law expanding Arizona’s voucher program. They exceeded all expectations and turned in more than 111,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office – well above the 75,000 needed to put the issue on the ballot. (The signatures are currently being verified.)

This victory apparently did not sit well with the dark money groups supporting vouchers. They have resorted to “desperate” tactics to keep the voters from weighing in on this. Is it because they know vouchers harm public schools by setting up two education systems and forcing taxpayers to fund both? And by pitting these two school systems against each other for funding, vouchers are making it harder for the state to fix the teacher shortage crisis. 

These problems are exacerbated by the potential for fraud. Voucher program oversight is “almost a sham.” The public cannot see how their tax dollars are being spent in schools that aren’t required to meet certain state standards. These issues inspired parents, teachers and thousands of volunteers to help the Save Our Schools coalition stop voucher expansion. This group is continuing to fight dark money opponents because Arizonans should get the final word on vouchers. 

House Democrats agree that we should be investing in our public schools. If there is money to expand vouchers in our state, there should be money to raise teacher salaries and reduce class sizes. We’ll stand with the students, teachers and parents in Arizona until our public schools are thriving. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rep. Bolding responds to reports of confederate monument vandalism

Contact: C. Murphy Hebert

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Phoenix (District 27), released this statement after the vandalism of confederate monuments in Arizona:

“Vandalizing these monuments is not productive. This will not lead to the civil discourse and debate that we have been calling for. It is a short-term action that does not help the long-term goal of having these offensive monuments removed from state property.”


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ICYMI:Community Leaders Celebrate #DACA Anniversary

ICYMI: Community leaders today marked the anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY: Blanc, community leaders to hold press conference to mark anniversary of DACA

Aug. 10, 2017
Contact: Jacqueline Sandoval

MEDIA ADVISORY: Blanc, community leaders to hold press conference to mark anniversary of DACA

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – On Tuesday, Aug. 15, Rep. Isela Blanc, D-Tempe (District 26), and other community leaders will mark the anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

"We will celebrate the success of DACA, while acknowledging that the future of the program is in jeopardy. We need tell our leaders to protect the economic benefits this program brings to our state," Blanc said.

Who:   Rep. Isela Blanc, D-Tempe (District 26)
       Daniel A. Rodriguez, attorney, DACA recipient
       Lorenzo Sierra, vice-chair, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
       Lydia Guzman, director of advocacy, Chicanos Por La Causa
       Rep. Cesar Chavez, D-Phoenix (District 29)
       Alejandra Gomez, co-executive director of LUCHA 
       Other community leaders

When: Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017
      8 a.m.

Where: Arizona House of Representatives, 
       Rose Garden   
       1700 W. Washington
       Phoenix, Arizona 85007


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

STATEMENT: Clark responds to recent court decision on HB 2244

Rep. Ken Clark, D-Phoenix (District 24), today responded to a Superior Court ruling on HB 2244, a bill that will make it more difficult for citizens to put initiatives on the ballot. 

Monday, August 07, 2017

Arizona's Emerging Workforce – Our Strength

It is no secret the Trump administration is driving an anti-immigrant agenda by pushing for an immigration bill that would limit family reunification and dramatically cut legal immigration.  Instead of catching criminals, some Republicans are more interested in punishing immigrant families that are making valuable contributions to Arizona's economy. A recent study released by the New American Economy shows immigrants contributed $3.1 billion to our state's economy and paid nearly $390 million in local, state and federal taxes in Arizona alone.

We will continue to stand with the immigrant communities that enrich Arizona every day.  Since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, was put into place, the economic impact on Arizona has been tremendous. This program has allowed hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. to work or earn an education.  As a border state, we cannot stand to lose this emerging workforce. They have shown, if given the opportunity, they will embrace our values and strengthen our economy.

On Tuesday, August 15, Rep. Isela Blanc, D-Tempe (District 26), along with other community leaders, will stand together to mark the anniversary of DACA. They will celebrate its successes, while acknowledging that the future of DACA is in jeopardy. We need you to tell our leaders to protect DACA and the economic benefits the program brings to our state.

en español