By Elinor Brecher, Editor – LD9 PC, Precinct 214
Luci B Messing
In 1972, Luci won an academic minority scholarship to the University of Arizona in 1972, where she played softball and field hockey while studying. After graduating, she spent 31 years teaching and coaching almost every sport in the Tucson Unified School District.
The California native led the Pueblo High School girls’ swim team to its first win, and Naylor Junior High School to its first city championship in track. Now, as PCDP’s FIRST Vice Chair, Luci – who played shortstop and second base at UA – says she wants to help lead the PCDP to victories in 2020.
“I really want for the Democrats to be successful,’’ she says.
Luci, who lives with her husband, Ed Messing, in LD10, is best known for her education advocacy. She served as Tucson Education Association president from 2009-2011, co-founded the PCDP’s Education Caucus, and has belonged to the Arizona Education Association (AEA) for more than three decades.
She chairs the AEA-Retired PAC committee, and especially values having been “the AEA’s point person’’ for then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2008.
An activist since her student days at Phoenix’s Alhambra High School – where she protested nuclear weapons, the school’s no-pants-for-girls policy, and its refusal to recognize Cinco de Mayo – Luci has been Tanque Verde Democrats chair, and in 2015 received the Democrats of Greater Tucson’s Maurice Grossman Community Service Award.
Luci met her future husband in 1980 at Pueblo, where he was a band director and she was teaching PE. Married since 1982, they have a son who guides kayakers on Lake Powell, and a daughter who works in TUSD’s Gifted And Talented (GATE) program.
We asked Luci to answer specific questions about her role at PCDP.
Q-Why did you run for First Vice Chair?
A. “I saw that there was a need to work on communication with the greater Democratic members and I wanted to organize specifically for 2020. That was my main goal: replacing the man in the White House. And I felt like I was ready…’’
Q- What projects are you working on as First Vice Chair?
A. “I did not feel that there was enough timely and consistent communication from the party, and I plan to see Pima Dems through 2020. It’s important to keep your eye on the prize.’’
Q-What are the biggest challenges to PCDP?
A. “We need to understand that there are people in our party who don’t agree, and we need to be respectful of our differences and not be afraid to address them, so right now there is division and that will not help the cause. We can’t just say we we’re working on it; we need action.’’
Q-What do you wish to accomplish in the next two years at PCDP?
A. “I want to start visiting LDs, clubs and caucuses, and hear from them. But I’m caught up right now with the legislative session.’’
LUCI BANALES MESSING FUN FACTS
-According to DNA testing, she is 47 percent Native American (Apache, from Chihuahua, Mexico), 19 percent British, 11 percent Iberian Peninsula, 5 percent North Africa and the rest unknown.
– She’s a good dancer, because, “You couldn’t grow up going to Mexican weddings’’ and not be.
– She loves hiking and UA sports.