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by Bonnie Heidler

Isn’t this the best time of year in Tucson? The scent of citrus blossoms sweetens the air. Cacti and wild flowers are blooming. It’s cool enough to sleep with the windows open, and warm enough to truly enjoy the outdoors. 

But as our too-brief spring rolls into our too-hot summer, I’ve been thinking ahead to 2022. Elections are as much about issues as candidates, and no issue is more important to democracy than guaranteeing every eligible voter a clear path to the ballot box. 

Republican legislatures all over the country seemed determined to undermine that fundamental right, and Arizona’s is in the vanguard, with nearly two dozen voter-suppression bills. The legislature wraps up on April 24. Please tell your state legislators that you expect them to oppose all efforts to limit voting access.

Six months ago, PCDP helped push Arizona into deep “purple’’ territory by sending Mark Kelly to the U.S. Senate and the Biden/Harris ticket to the White House. Whether you’re a campaign veteran or a political novice, I bet you still feel the thrill.

But turning Arizona “true blue’’ remains a daunting challenge, one that I urge every PCDP member to embrace, despite COVID-19’s lingering threat. The 2022 races, which include the governorship and Ann Kirkpatrick’s CD 2 U.S. House seat, are practically around the corner, and Arizona Dems have everything to lose. We must keep that seat, and we must take back the Arizona Legislature. Please attend your virtual LD meetings to find out how you can help. 

Speaking of the CD2 seat: several outstanding potential candidates are interested. I’ve met with some, and look forward to meeting others. Likewise candidates for the City of Tucson’s Wards 3, 5 and 6 2021 elections. 

Staying current on statewide as well as local efforts to prepare for 2022 is one of my daily tasks. Charlie Fisher, the Arizona Democratic Party’s dynamic new executive director, brings energy to that post. ADP is now focused on the upcoming State Committee Meeting on May 22. 

We have a dynamic new Director too! Miranda Lopez, PCDP’s Operations Coordinator, has moved up to this important job. She’ll be accompanying me as I make the (virtual) rounds of LD meetings, speak with other county chairs, and with the press about the Mark Finchem recall effort. We’ll work closely together on our fundraising and ground-game strategies, and ready HQ for our wonderful volunteers to visit soon. We’re already planning for this fall’s Udall Dinner, whether it remains virtual or, COVID-19 permitting, the exciting in-person event to which we all look forward. 

Now, let Miranda introduce herself.