I began volunteering in March of this year, and I’m in my observation stage at this point. We get a lot of questions from people in Pima County. If I were to pinpoint the task I enjoy best, it would be dealing with the public and coming to the plate for them along with making and implementing changes in the office for a smooth running crew. There’s lot’s to learn and I am really fortunate to be working with great team-orientated volunteers, and of course my main girl Miranda Lopez.
I was inspired to start volunteering when the shots rang out at Safeway on Oracle and Ina. I was loading my car up and planning to stop by the Gabby meet and greet on my way to see a new client. They were just across the street from my house, and my friend Gabe Zimmerman was going to be there. We had worked on a few things together as I have a soft spot for the elderly and he was great at pushing my causes forward. Gabe died that day, and in many ways so did the community around us. My family had a front row seat to the protests and the media as they parked along my drive. The ask was simple and the reaction was hard to process. This is when I decided to move from voting to action. It took me some time to find my way to the Pima County Democratic Party headquarters. Civics was not my strong suit. When I got the call, I found a place I could sink my talent into. I guess I have Gabe to thank for that.
Thank you so much for all your hard work, Mary Ellen! We’re glad to have you.
TUCSON – PCDP EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE APPOINTEE JAMES CERASIA released the following statement on the recent passage of anti-trans bills SB1138 and SB1165, which restrict access to gender-affirming care and ban sports participation for transgender children in Arizona.
“The Pima County Democratic Party vehemently condemns The Arizona Legislature’s passing and Governor Ducey’s signing into law two pieces of discriminatory legislation. These new laws target transgender children by restricting their access to gender-affirming care and banning transgender girls from engaging in school sports. These laws deny fundamental rights and protections to transgender children under the Constitution, and thus violate our American and Democratic principles.
Some of our most vulnerable community members are under attack in the State of Arizona. The first bill, Arizona Senate Bill 1138, effectively bans gender-affirming surgery for transgender children.
The Governor signed the bill into law to protect trans children from “undergoing irreversible gender reassignment surgery [until they] are of adult age.” However, the opposite is true. The law is creating life-threatening harm to transgender children for whom such treatment is medically necessary.
Access to gender-affirming care saves lives. Transgender and nonbinary children have a drastically higher rate of suicide than their cisgender peers. When this community has access to gender-affirming care, they are allowed the option to explore their gender identity without judgments or assumptions. Not every trans person elects this care when given a choice—it’s a highly individual choice. Nevertheless, by banning access to gender-affirming care for transgender children, the Republicans are not helping this community, but instead ignoring the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading medical professionals by denying best practices and life-saving care.
Further, medical providers and patients determine their healthcare decisions, not government officials. Arizona’s Republican Governor and Legislature are once again overreaching into the private affairs of citizens by policing one’s rights over their own body. Republicans claim to be the only party that cares about personal freedom and choice, yet this bill was created for the singular purpose of limiting and owning the bodies of trans children.
Last week, the United States Department of Justice wrote a letter to Attorney General Mark Brnovich, warning that this law violates constitutional rights and the Department is prepared to pursue legal action. Are the Republicans willing to waste millions of taxpayer dollars defending a discriminatory law?
The second bill, Senate Bill 1165, bars trans girls from participating in female sports in all schools (public and private; kindergarten through university) that compete against Arizona public schools. The Republicans claim they passed this measure to protect cisgender female athletes. Again, such a claim is pretextual. Cisgender women are not under attack by transgender people. Modern science demonstrates that trans females do not have an inherent and unfair advantage in sports. Does a tall person automatically dominate on the basketball court? No. Are the Republicans claiming that cisgender women are weak and inferior and thus need protection? If the Republican Party wanted to protect cisgender women, they would stop restricting access to abortions and the ballot boxes. They also would put more effort into strengthening our laws against sexual assault and domestic violence.
In actuality, the Republican Party is creating a scapegoat from a historically underrepresented community to win votes. They are targeting a primarily misunderstood and vilified community. The Republicans are bullying young students that want to live their lives like their peers—able to express themselves in a manner in which they are comfortable and play the sports they like with their friends.
We say this to our transgender brothers and sisters: you have an ally and an advocate in the Pima County Democratic Party. We will not tolerate nor allow your existence to be debated, policed, or politicized. We see you, we love you, and we will fight for your rights.
The Executive Committee voted on April 4th to support Proposition 411, which offers a means of funding road and infrastructure repairs WITHOUT raising local taxes.
In 2017 the citizens of the city of Tucson passed a half-cent sales tax called Proposition 101 to generate $150 million in revenue, 60% of which was allocated to public safety resources rather than roadway safety elements. This half-cent tax is set to expire this year, and voters will be asked to extend the tax on the ballot by means of Proposition 411 in a special election on May 17, 2022. This will generate an additional $590 million to be set aside exclusively for local road and street repair in Tucson over the next 10 years.
Tucson’s streets NEED repairs, and we urge all Pima County voters to vote YES and approve Proposition 411 this May!
For the last month and a half, our office has been dedicated to helping candidates get the signatures they needed to get on the ballot. With regular Saturday Signature Slams and various canvassing groups, we now have a long list of Democratic candidates in each Pima County Legislative District!
Speaking of Legislative Districts (LDs), we have successfully completed the once-every-ten-years process of reorganizing! Our new LDs organized in Pima County are 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21. LD16 is organized by Pinal County and LD23 is organized by Maricopa County. Since these two LDs still cross into Pima County, we have PCs representing Pima County on both of those boards.
Our interns have been a huge help in regards to entering data, setting up events, managing the office, and contacting voters in high-priority precincts. In addition to our interns, we are also onboarding a new Communications Director who will be helping me manage all of the many projects we have that are intertwined with our fundraising goals and outreach plans.
Our fundraising plan has never been stronger, now that we have a new First Vice Chair and Development Chair at the helm! As a note, the general population may not be aware that PCDP is entirely self-funded, with occasional grants from the AZ State Democratic Party. The cost of keeping our office open and staffed has a significant monthly impact on our funds. In order to accomplish more on the ground and out in the community, we need to make sure that we have sufficient funds to offset these monthly operating costs. We ask you to please consider giving monthly to the PCDP.