Fall is finally here and the temperature outside is getting cooler. I wish the political temperature would cool down, too, but that is just not the case.

At the beginning of August, we had the city Ward primary election. The candidates are Kevin Dahl, Ward 3, and Steve Kozachik, Ward 6. Richard Fimbres, Ward 5, did not have a challenger. I met with all the candidates, plus Fight for 15, to determine how we were going to get the vote out for the all-city mail-in election, and we came up with a plan. PCDP, in coordination with the 15/30 Project Field Organizers and Mission for Arizona, will be coordinating canvasses starting on October 9, and every Saturday until October 30, out of PCDP Headquarters. October 9 is also the kickoff for Mission for Arizona’s canvassing efforts to get Mark Kelly on the 2022 ballot. Canvassers will be carrying a flyer created by Linda Ekstrom in LD9 – thank you Linda!

HQ was full of activity in August and September, as we received a steady flow of people coming in to sign petitions. Arizona Deserves Better also held two petition signature events at HQ in September. Although the Arizona Deserves Better referendums didn’t make the ballot, there were two Invest in Arizona petitions, 1783 and 1828, that will be on the ballot in 2022. We did our best. Unfortunately, two of the voter suppression laws will go into effect. One that was challenged in court will not go into effect at this time due to a judge’s ruling.

The first set of redistricting hearings were held in August. There were two in-person hearings with the Commissioners in Tucson. The Republicans showed up in droves, dwarfing us…and not wearing masks. Their focus seemed to be creating a white, Christian district. They all said the same thing over and over again for two days. On the first day, we didn’t have many people or speakers. The second day was better, with more people showing up to speak.

The grid maps were released in early September and our mapping team that Susan Bickel put together began drawing maps. Susan put together a great plan to get more people and speakers at the September 29 in-person hearing. Unfortunately, the Commissioners were not physically present this time,  and once again, the Republicans were there in droves with their red shirts and MAGA hats, complaining that they refuse to wear masks, even after being told they must. However, the great news is that we had more speakers than they did this time! THANK YOU, Susan!

In September we also had the State Committee Meeting. The State Committee Representatives voted on a resolution to send a letter of no confidence to Senator Kyrsten Sinema if she continues to not support voting rights, organizing rights, and president Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. It appears she is pandering to her donors, betraying her constituents in Arizona in the process.

October is shaping up to be another busy month. We will be having a fundraising event, Arizona Women in Leadership on October 22 featuring Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, County Recorder Gabriella Cazares-Kelly, and Mayor Regina Romero. It will be held in person at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Check the PCDP website for more details!

Enjoy our lovely Arizona Autumn weather, and keep an eye out for updates on the election and other exciting events!

Bonnie Heidler
Chair of the Pima County Democratic Party

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