Alison Jones, Chair Pima County Democratic Party
At our May Executive Committee meeting, we rolled out our PCDP Education Team, and we are excited about the variety of educational offerings coming soon. Starting in July, we’ll present a monthly talk of general interest designed to help us engage with community members and get them active. We’re also stepping up our PC trainings. Refer to Steve Witthoeft’s article in this newsletter and make sure to check for updates on the events calendar.
On May 25, 40 people showed up at headquarters to learn some of the intricacies of voter registration, and details about the Presidential Preference Election. We will be advertising all of these offerings through our website, Facebook, the LDs and by email blasts.
On May 22, PCDP, in association with Real Progressives, UA Democrats, Citizens’ Climate Lobby The Arizona Ground Game, co-sponsored a fascinating talk by economist Dr. Fadhel Kaboub from Denison University, titled, “The Green New Deal: How are you going to pay for that?” It was a wonderful introduction to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), and we are grateful to have been part of it. About 100 people attended and the Q&A was as engaging as the lecture. The talk was live-streamed and can be seen on Real Progressives’ Facebook page. They have similar lectures on MMT on their YouTube channel. Check it out.
The Tucson mayoral and city council races are in full swing, and there is no shortage of events. PCDP will be sponsoring a mayoral debate on July 18 (location and time TBD). With three excellent Democratic mayoral candidates and no Republicans who met the signature requirements to get on the ballot, one might think this is slam-dunk for Democrats. It’s not. An independent candidate will be on the ballot, and we should assume that Republicans will get behind him. Every Democrat in the city must vote!
Theoretically, mail-in ballots should result in higher participation because it is so convenient. But we know from past elections that turnout is historically poor for these races. Primaries are well under 20% turnout, and the general election is usually in the neighborhood of 30%. Republicans may be mobilized by the “ward only” general-election initiative which they are pushing hard. So, assuming it gets on the ballot, Democrats must be vigilant. About 31% of registered voters in Tucson are “no party” or Independent, so they really can make a difference. Democrats are about 44% of registered voters, and Republicans about 22.5%.
I attended Arizona Democratic Party’s Mofford-Warner dinner on May 18 in Phoenix. About 500 guests heard Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, future Sen. Mark Kelly, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Greg Stanton, ADP Chair Felecia Rotellini, and others. The high point for me was the keynote speaker: presidential candidate Julián Castro. As the former San Antonio, TX, mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama, he has a wonderful personal story and strong credentials. Castro is the first of many Democratic presidential candidates who’ll be coming to our battleground state, and I hope to get as many as we can to Tucson. I would relish hearing Castro bid “adios” to former President Trump (Pence?) as he boards the helicopter for his last flight from the White House on Inauguration Day in 2021.
Whether you’re gone for the summer or here in Pima County, I hope you stay cool and stay excited about PCDP’s mission to elect Democrats!”