We’ve finally arrived in 2022! Although the weather is staying nice, the heat is turning up for Democrats in Pima County!
Our new legislative district maps are still going through an approval process by the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Once that is done, the final boundaries must go through another process of approvals. Eventually we will have a new map, but exactly when that will happen is still unknown.
- In the meantime, PCDP would like to request that all PCs, regardless of their new LD, continue to work with their old LD until we’ve gotten the final-final map approval.
With the beginning of the new session, Arizona GOP legislators have ramped up their efforts to limit voting rights with a series of new bills that aim to ban mail-in ballot elections. There are many different resources out there that you can use to stay up to date with what’s going on every day at the legislature.
- I highly recommend that you sign up for the Civic Engagement Beyond Voting weekly overview; it can be tricky to follow bills sometimes because they are so quick to either die or become part of another bill.
- You should also tune in to AZ List’s weekly legislative updates on Facebook Live, where you can hear from legislators about what is happening on the floor.
The leader of the Arizona GOP, Governor Doug Ducey, recently gave his final “State of the State” address in which he not only took the credit for $4 billion in federal funds that was given to Arizona as a part of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, but he also failed to mention how Arizona reached a new milestone in January of 25,000 COVID-19 deaths, the third highest death rate per 100,000 in the country.
- To put it a different way, that means 1 out of every 291 Arizonans have died because of COVID-19.
With a year left in his term, the governor’s executive orders against mask mandates and approval of state laws that gut school budgets will ensure no end in sight to this pandemic for Arizona teachers and parents.
Another issue that has arisen from Arizona’s Republican leadership is the protection of voting rights. The Arizona Republicans fell into line with almost every other Republican lawmaker in the country when former President Trump declared the 2020 presidential election a fraud and that the voting process in the United States must have been rigged.
Republicans refuse to allow their worries about the integrity of voting to be assuaged by two truths: that widespread voter fraud does not happen and has never happened in this country, and that restricting the right to vote (for those who are legally qualified) means that voting for minority groups becomes more difficult. For people of color, young people, people who live in rural areas or on reservations, families with a single parent, or someone who has a physical disability and is unable to leave their home it may not be feasible to cast a ballot at all.
After 160 million ballots were cast in 2020, there were 16 total suspected cases of voter fraud. That means the chances of a fraudulent ballot being cast in the United States in 2020 were approximately 0.00001%. In other words, Americans in 2020 were more likely to be hit and killed by lightning than to commit voter fraud.
Rather than creating new restrictions, lawmakers should encourage more people to engage in the voting process, and trust county recorders and secretaries of state to do their jobs of safeguarding our democracy.
As we enter this new year, I want to take a chance to re-introduce you to our partners with PCDP. These groups are their own organizations. Any questions you have should be directed to the contacts below:
- Project 15/30 is the Arizona Democratic State Party’s new year-round field program whose mission is to help build party infrastructure in all 15 counties in order to elect Democrats into the majority of 30 legislative districts. Their Deputy Director is Lauren Burson, who has lived all over the state but finally decided to make Arizona her home. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mission for Arizona is the Arizona Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign working to elect Democrats in statewide and federal offices. A coordinated campaign is basically a group of candidates who decide to combine their resources into one campaign focused on electing all of its candidates who decide to contribute. Right now Mark Kelly for Senate is Mission’s flagship, but there will be more candidates after the August primary. Mission’s Southern Deputy Field Director is Isaac Bardin. You can contact him at email@example.com
- Arizona List is a Political Action Committee dedicated to electing female leaders up and down the ballot here in Arizona. Their Political Director is Claire Knipe, a Tucson local. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Stop Dark Money is a campaign created by the Arizona Political Action Committee Voters’ Right to Know to circulate a statewide initiative that will bar anonymous sources from political spending on election advertising. Their petition is available to sign at the PCDP office and their point of contact for Southern Arizona is Chris Hawkins. You can contact her at email@example.com for more information.
I look forward to seeing you all soon. Thank you to all of our volunteers, especially Margaret Lacey and Patti Bersbach, for helping us continue to answer the phones and check messages from home. You all are the greatest, and the reason why we’re going to win in 2022!
Pima County Democratic Party Director