By Miranda Lopez, PCDP Director
Happy Election Day!
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since Arizona helped elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House! As we close out this election year, let’s look back on all our accomplishments, keeping in mind where we still have room for growth as a county party.
2021 was the first year with a new board, Chair, Director, and Operations Coordinator. Although there was a lot of turnover at the beginning of the year, we pushed through. Our Catalina Democrats were key to making sure that we hit our quarterly fundraising goal to cover our operating expenses.
As Bonnie and I began introducing ourselves to electeds and donors, we immediately started putting together virtual events and fundraisers to supplement our monthly income. We also put together virtual forums for our Ward 3 and Ward 6 Democratic candidates.
Over the summer we welcomed a small group of interns who worked on projects in communications, policy, and finance. They also helped us with staffing the office and putting events together.
In July we decided to have an official office-reopening event, complete with a taco truck and a ukulele band. We were very grateful for the chance to get our community together in person after more than a year spent online, although there was a steep rise in the Delta variant in Pima County not long after.
Towards the end of the summer, signature gathering for referendum petitions from the state legislative session began to really get underway. At one point, our office volunteers were managing 8 total petitions; we actually had to deny hosting a ninth because we didn’t have enough room. Although most of the referendums failed to get the requisite number of signatures, these petitions were a good chance for our office to learn how to manage the hectic day-to-day atmosphere of a major election year.
Then, as soon as the petitions started to wind down in the fall, redistricting began to pick up the pace. The PCDP Redistricting Committee, headed by the indomitable Susan Bickel, has been monitoring the entire process closely and provides regular updates to keep the rest of us in the know. We are continuing to get new information on redistricting town halls and decisions that are being made.
Our two major fundraising events this year were both very successful. We hosted the hybrid We CAN (Climate Action Now) event with Dr. Michael Mann. We also hosted an in-person dinner with City of Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cázares-Kelly, and AZ Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. While we were unable to host any Udall event this year, we hope to have one in-person next year in May.
There are already a lot of field programs on the ground in preparation for 2022. So far, both the AZ Democratic Party’s 15/30 Project and the statewide coordinated campaign Mission for Arizona have people on the ground here in Pima County. Lauren Burson and Vivian Morrison are 15/30 community organizers who are working directly with PCDP to create better party infrastructure and to provide assistance regarding redistricting. Isaac Bardin is the Regional Organizing Director with M4AZ for Southern Arizona. His main focus right now is to re-engage M4AZ volunteers from the last cycle and to start collecting petition signatures for Mark Kelly, who is running to keep his seat in the US Senate.
We are still waiting on the results from today’s election, but we are confident in all of our Democratic candidates who are running for City Council.
It doesn’t look like PCDP will be getting a break anytime soon. Redistricting will be keeping us busy over the holidays and into the New Year. Please continue to keep an eye out for any updates.
Miranda Lopez, PCDP Director