by Bonnie Heidler
The Republican-led Arizona state legislature, having failed to pass a budget in time for this session to end, returned on June 10 to continue this debate. The good news is that the votes weren’t there for a 2.5% flat tax, another scheme to enrich the wealthy and punish everyone else; this would be devastating for working class families in Arizona. Let’s hope it fails again.
The bad news is that HB1485 passed. People who are now on PEVL, renamed AEVL (Active Early Voter List), can be removed from the list if they don’t return their ballots for two elections. The count starts in 2022, but voters won’t be notified until 2026 that they will be removed. Republicans are spinning this as an “election integrity’’ measure that protects Arizona voters. On the contrary, it’s one more voter-suppression measure targeting some of the state’s most disadvantaged people. Whenever you’re talking to voters, especially if they’re on PEVL, please make sure to remind them of the change.
Of course, the “fraudit’’ continues in Phoenix. Now other states are using this alleged vote recount as the gold standard of what they should do with their own 2020 election results. These consequences of the Republican-led Arizona audit continue to chip away at our democracy.
The ripple effect caused by the “fraudit” also demonstrates how the 2022 mid-term election will be the most critical in our lifetime. And you thought 2020 was that election! Unfortunately, many of those in the Republican Party have turned their loyalty over to a former President rather than their party’s ideals. Although there is no presidential candidate on the ballot this year, Trump’s ideology will be on the ballot in addition to democracy. Insurrectionists, conspiracy theorists, liars and white supremacists are running for office and begging for a Trump endorsement. We still have 147 U.S. House members who voted to overturn the election and don’t believe Joe Biden is president – They should be removed for not upholding their oath of office.
2022 is the year we must turn AZ blue, so that horrible bills like this one put forth this session by Republicans, have no chance of passing. With a Democratic majority in the state legislature, the people of Arizona will be prioritized over profit. We must start educating voters now.
I have continued to search for sponsors for our virtual July 17 “We CAN (Climate Action Now)” fundraiser. You can help by visiting pimadems.org and purchasing a ticket! Our keynote speaker is the renowned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, who will discuss his battle plan to address climate change. In addition, we will also hear from Arizona Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy who will talk about the particular challenges that climate change poses for Arizona, where triple digits for much of the summer has become the norm.
PCDP Director Miranda Lopez is busy recruiting volunteers for phone banking, fundraising and voter contact – especially Spanish speakers. She is also preparing to re-open HQ – Stay tuned for more on that! We’re planning something special to welcome everyone back, given new CDC guidelines regarding COVID.
In addition to a city primary in August, candidates for 2022 are already declaring their runs for office. Even now, the LDs have started to build their teams to reach out to voters. We ask that you join us in any way you can, whether it’s a monthly donation or a weekly volunteer shift. It’s all hands on deck.
Stay safe, cool and hydrated!