Select Page

Pima County Democratic Party Resolution: Black Lives Matter

The Executive Committee of the Pima County Democratic Party approved the following resolution at its June 8 meeting.

In a tragedy that has become all too familiar, the world grieves the deaths of Dion Johnson, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and many more at the hands of law enforcement officers. We condemn the actions of the officers responsible for these senseless murders and demand they be accountable for their actions.

Racial biases, disparities and oppression have put generations of African-Americans in danger for being Black in America. The Pima County Democratic Party (PCDP) Platform condemns racism and confirms our core belief that all individuals have equal rights.

The reaction to these horrific incidents are a reflection of America’s long history of racism and injustice. Despite the onslaught of anti-blackness, the invisibility of Black people’s lives and their constant fear of racial violence, African Americans continue to organize and fight to be valued as human beings.

We must support them. The gestures of a handful of police officers and people in positions of authority in response to the public protests across the nation are not enough.

Our vote is the strongest weapon to fight systemic oppression, injustice, and white supremacy. African-Americans must be seen, heard, appreciated and included in the fabric and cultural structures of a new and better American society.

Pima County Democrats call upon everyone to come together in solidarity with African-Americans to stop all forms of racism, inequities, and bias.

We urge all of our members to unite for justice:

  • Talk to your family about racism
  • Confront your own biases
  • Contact your elected officials to demand the end to systemic oppression
  • Challenge racist behaviors
  • Amplify Black voices and experiences
  • Donate to Black-led organizations that fight the injustice of racism
  • Learn about Black & Pan-African history and culture
  • Speak out on social media
  • Cast your ballot with care on election day

GOP Wrong About the Election Integrity Commission’s Role

In his ongoing campaign to suppress voting in the November election by attacking all-mail balloting, Pima GOP Chair David Eppihimer has also been spreading misinformation about the Election Integrity Commission (EIC).

In a recent press release, Eppihimer expressed concern that the Board of Supervisors has suspended meetings for most boards, committees and commissions. He was especially troubled about the EIC, saying: “This commission serves as an important oversight body.”

He is wrong. Political parties, not the EIC, oversee elections. For example:

  • Two-person boards – one Republican, one Democrat– process ballots prior to tabulation in the Elections Department. The parties may also provide observers.
  • Political parties in the counties may perform a voluntary hand-count audit on a representative sample of ballots the Saturday after the election. In the 2016 general election, only six of the state’s fifteen counties did so.

The issue of an all-mail ballot, which the GOP opposes, is not within the EIC’s purview, which Board of Supervisors Chair Ramon Valadez has noted.

Supervisors created the EIC in 2008 as “an advisory group, reporting to the Pima County Board of Supervisors. The purpose is to help improve the conduct of elections by examining the systems and processes behind them,” not to engage in demonstrably partisan activities.

How the county carries out all-mail balloting might be within the EIC’s purview; whether we have all-mail balloting clearly is not.

The Commission is multi-partisan, consisting of one appointed member from each Supervisorial District, one appointed by the County Administrator, and one appointed by the Chairman of each that political party that the Secretary of State recognizes. Currently, there are four Democrats, three Republicans, one Libertarian, one Green, and one vacancy. No party has majority membership.

Eppihimer also insinuated that EIC Chair Brian Bickel, a Democratic Party appointee and 2020 candidate for Pima County Treasurer, “could be in league with the Democrat [sic] board majority in neutering the very Election Integrity Commission he chairs,” Eppihimer wrote. He called on Bickel to resign because of a conflict of interest – a call that Bickel has rejected.

In 2016, Bickel served on the EIC with Jeffrey Rogers, then a Justice of the Peace candidate, and Bill Beard, then Pima County Republican Party chair. No one raised conflict-of-interest concerns then. In fact, both Bickel and Rogers were told it wasn’t necessary to step down.

                  

Trump’s Vanity Wall Violates Tribal Rights, Federal Law

The following statement may be attributed to Alison Jones, Chair of the Pima County Democratic Party

It comes as no surprise that a lawless president would ignore a longstanding agreement to consult with the Tohono O’odham Nation before blasting lands held sacred for 10,000 years.

Nor should anyone be surprised that contractors are bulldozing cacti in Organ Pipe National Park, felling cottonwood trees on the San Pedro River or that the rush to build Trump’s monument to himself is threatening groundwater and disrupting migration patterns.  The Sierra Club counts 38 federal environmental protection laws suspended to build the wall.

No one was shocked when the president plundered funds from the military budget to build his wall – five times more than Congress authorized.

And it’s business-as-usual when Trump pressures the Army Corps of Engineers to award Fisher Sand and Gravel Company a $400 million contract after the North Dakota company lobbied for the job on Fox News. The contract for the steel was won by Zekelman Industries, which donated $1.7 million to a pro-Trump super PAC, the Star reported.  

Trump’s monument to fear is an example of the chaos and corruption that infests this administration. Instead of the comprehensive and humane immigration policy this nation so sorely needs, this “businessman” opts for a multi-billion-dollar wall that anyone with a homemade ladder can scale. This is one of many reasons why Arizonans are changing their party affiliation to Democrat and will turn Arizona blue in November.

Homeowners May Display Political Signs, Pima Dems Remind HOAs

Homeowners have a constitutional right to display political signs, the Pima County Democratic Party said today, regardless of homeowners association (HOA) rules that ban such signs.

“State law is crystal clear,” said Alison Jones, chair of the Pima County Democratic Party. “An association ‘shall not prohibit’ the display of a political sign within the time limits prescribed by state law. Signs cannot be posted earlier than 71 days before, and 3 days after, an election.”


Homeowners have asked the Party about HOA rules prohibiting political signs. “State law overrides HOA rules,” Jones said. “The purpose of the law is to ensure that free speech rights are not violated by private contracts.”
HOAs should consult with legal counsel before attempting to ban such signs, Jones suggested.

Text of the law can be found at here.

PIMA COUNTY DEMOCRATS CALL ON SINEMA TO WITHDRAW HER SUPPORT FOR “OPERATION SAFE RETURN” AND EMBRACE “DEMOCRATIC VALUES”

The Pima County Democratic Party has called on Senator Kyrsten Sinema to abandon a fast-track deportation proposal that jeopardizes the rights of immigrants and is inconsistent with the values of the Democratic Party. The Party’s opposition to the proposal was outlined in a resolution adopted on August 5, 2019 by the Party’s Executive Committee. A copy of the resolution was sent to Senator Sinema on August 7th .

The proposal, known as “Operation Safe Return,” would require undocumented immigrant families to submit to an interview with Border Patrol agents within one to three days of entry without legal counsel. Only the head of the household will be interviewed. Sinema, in a letter co-signed by eight other senators, describes the procedure as “detailed, fair and accurate interviews with the participants regarding their reasons for coming to the United States.” However, the proposed process could result in the family being immediately deported without due process. “Family member units that do not claim fear and therefore are not referred for a credible fear screening,” reads the letter that Sinema co-signed, “will be subject to immediate, expedited removal to their home country.” They will not be granted a “credible fear” interview to determine whether they are eligible to apply for asylum.

Currently, immigrants are allowed to apply for asylum if they articulate a credible fear of likely harm should they be returned to their home country. Credible fear interviews are conducted by asylum officers with U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. Sinema’s proposal would allow border patrol officers to cut off access to credible fear interviews, even though border patrol officers are trained to apprehend undocumented immigrants, not evaluate their eligibility for asylum. The policy would result in an erosion of immigrants’ rights, human rights abuses, and would do nothing to advance the causes of border safety and migration. As 65 organizations wrote the senators on July 17, 2019, “U.S. law requires that asylum-seeking families have a meaningful opportunity to request asylum, but this program would deny them of that.”

The Pima County Democratic Party calls on Senator Sinema to abandon the Operation Safe Return experiment and “work to help resolve the border detention crisis in a manner that comports with the Democratic values of solidarity, due process, and equal protection; and in a manner that comports with the obligations of the United States under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1967.”

PIMA COUNTY DEMOCRATS DENOUNCE TARIFFS, CHALLENGE DUCEY

The Pima County Democratic Party has denounced President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on Mexican imports as a move that penalizes Arizona residents and businesses for the President’s failure to articulate an effective immigration policy.

“Penalizing U.S. consumers and businesses by imposing a tariff will do nothing to address the humanitarian crisis at our border,” said Democratic Party Chair Alison Jones. “Coming from someone who claims to be pro-business and for low taxes, this proposal of a blanket tariff just doesn’t make much sense. But then, not much about this administration does.”

Trump, who has shown no ability to understand the humanitarian crisis at the border, much less effectively address it, maintains that the crisis can be solved if Mexico does more to reduce the flow of unauthorized immigrants across the southern border. The president prefers to use his executive authority, particularly the imposition of tariffs, to try to force other nations to bend to his will. His strong-arm tactics have been particularly hard on American businesses and consumers who have to pay for the tariffs through higher costs and higher prices passed on to customers.

Arizona is particularly dependent on a strong trade relationship with Mexico, which is the Grand Canyon State’s largest export market, purchasing an average of $8.3 billion dollars in exports annually. Any disruption in the trade relationship with Mexico will directly penalize Arizona businesses and residents.

While the State’s congressional delegation is nearly unanimous in opposing the tariffs, Governor Doug Ducey supports the president.

“Ducey is not the Governor of Trumplandia, he’s the Governor of Arizona,” said Jones. “He needs to start acting like it.”

The Trump tariffs will start at five percent effective June 10th and could increase to 25 percent if Mexico fails to curb immigration to Trump’s satisfaction.

HOW TO PAY FOR THE GREEN NEW DEAL: A COMMUNITY EVENT

The Green New Deal is a bold plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero while meeting the country’s energy needs through clean, renewable resources, by 2030. But critics and even some supporters want to know: “How are you going to pay for that?’’

That’s the title of a community discussion that the Pima County Democratic Party, with Real Progressives, University of Arizona Young Democrats, Citizens for Climate Lobby, The Arizona Ground Game, and Sunrise Movement are hosting at the U of A’s Institute of the Environment on May 22. Leading the discussion about how to pay for the Green New Deal: Dr. Fadhel Kaboub, a Denison University associate professor of economics and president of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity. Kaboub belongs to Economists for Full Employment, the Association for Evolutionary Economics, and the Union for Radical Political Economics.

The event, 6 pm – 9 pm at the Institute’s ENR2 building, 1064 E. Lowell St., room N120, is free and open to the public.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services recently reported that at least 1 million species face extinction due to human-caused habitat reduction, climate change and global warming. At least 97 percent of climate scientists agree that humans have caused the planet to heat up at a dangerous rate, putting millions of species at risk, including ourselves.

That’s where the Green New Deal comes in. It isn’t a legislative proposal, but an aspirational statement that recognizes the dangers of human-caused climate change and the need to reverse it.

“Dr. Kaboub dispels the lies and explains how we can pay for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and College for All – today – without inflation,’’ said PCDP Chair Alison Jones. “Learn more about these progressive proposals and why we can’t afford to not implement them.’’

How Are You Going to Pay for That? Wednesday, May 22, 6 pm – 9 pm University of Arizona Institute of the Environment 1064 E. Lowell St., ENR2, rm. N120, Tucson, AZ 85719 Space is limited, so reserve a seat here: https://www.facebook.com/events/995192020871651/

PCDP SUPPORTS SANCTUARY INITIATIVE

The Pima County Democratic Party (PCDP) has gone on record supporting the Tucson Families Free and Together Initiative, which proposes amending the Tucson City Code to prevent city police officers and other city employees from detaining someone based solely on immigration status, and from helping federal officials deport people according to federal civil immigration laws.

The PCDP executive committee approved a resolution on March 4 to endorse the measure, which the grassroots group, Peoples’ Defense Initiative, hopes to place on the November ballot. PCDP Second Vice Chair Joel Feinman, who proposed the resolution, co-founded People’s Defense Initiative with Zaira Livier.

It reads as follows:

  • WHEREAS the sanctuary movement was born in the City of Tucson, and
  • WHEREAS the City of Tucson is an immigrant-welcoming city, and
  • WHEREAS the City of Tucson acknowledges that all people have civil rights, and
  • WHEREAS the City of Tucson is committed to protecting and defending those rights, and is committed to upholding the self-evident truth that all people are created equal, and
  • WHEREAS the Tucson Families Free and Together initiative will codify and strengthen the City of Tucson’s commitment to protecting and defending civil rights for all people in Tucson,
  • THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Pima County Democratic Party supports and endorses the Tucson Families Free and Together Initiative. The People’s Defense Initiative would amend City Code, Chapter 17, to:
  • (1) prohibit city police officers and other city employees from detaining persons on the basis of a person’s immigration status;
  • (2) prohibit city police officers and other city employees from assisting in the enforcement of civil federal immigration laws, except in circumstances expressly required under state and federal law;
  • (3) provide for certification of certain visas for immigrant crime victims;
  • (4) help ensure the effective prosecution of domestic violence and sex crimes by prioritizing criminal investigations over civil immigration investigations, and
  • (5) provide for minimum record keeping and protocols for certain communications between city employees and federal law-enforcement agencies.

The initiative needs 9,241 city of Tucson registered voters’ signatures, filed with the city by 5 p.m. on July 5, to get on the ballot. For more information about the initiative, please visit the Tucson Families Free and Together website https://www.familiesfreeandtogether.org/. For more information, please email PCDP Chair Alison Jones: alison@pimadems.org