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.
Can you believe we are already halfway through 2022? With less than six months until the midterms, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for the work you have done this year.
Through our office’s efforts, we have not only ensured that Pima County will have 425 elected Democratic Precinct Committee members for the ‘22-’24 cycle, but we are leading the charge in regards to fighting for reproductive rights by being the center of petition activity in Pima County.
Our volunteers who staff the office are our civically-minded librarians who greet visitors and answer their questions using a wide variety of resources. Keeping all of our volunteers organized can be tricky, but our new Team Leader volunteer program is making it a lot easier!
Team Leaders will help to train new volunteers, learn our office opening and closing procedures, assume a managerial role during their shifts, be the main point of contact for volunteers, and will have special access to PCDP data systems.
Because of this extra help, I have been able to work on launching our Discussion for Democracy forum series with Democratic candidates running for offices up and down the ballot. You can check our D4D page here, where we have posted all of our recordings of these forums. Our last forum will be in person this Saturday, June 11 at 1pm at the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona. You can go herefor more information.
In addition to candidate forums and volunteer leadership, I’ve also been working with our fundraising team to launch our First Wednesday fundraisers, and to prepare for our Fall Udall dinner on September 17th at the Desert Diamond Casino.
June is expected to be one of our busiest months here at the office because of the ballot initiative deadlines; people will be relying on our office to get their petitions notarized and to turn in their signatures. Right now we have five different ballot initiatives, all of which will need hundreds of thousands of signatures to qualify for the ballot. If you haven’t already done so, please consider circulating these petitions among your friends and family. You can either stop by our office or check out our website for more information.
I’m so glad to be serving as your Director, and I’m looking forward to the excitement of such an important election year!
Today we were joined at the PCDP office headquarters by more than 70 volunteers and staff from Pima County Democrats, Mission for Arizona, and the Arizona Democratic Party!
Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped us launch this event so successfully! A special shoutout to our Volunteer Team Leaders Mary Ellen “Emi” Martinez, Chris Criley, Kathleen Edelman, and Margaret Lacey!
At 9am, we heard from AZ Democratic Party Chair Raquel Terán, Pima County Party Chair Bonnie Heidler, and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick on the critical role of volunteers to turn out the vote in November. Now it is important for us to lay the groundwork so that when the right time arrives our efforts will efficiently turn out voters.
After hearing from our speakers, more than 20 canvassers launched from the office to go out and talk to Democrats about the midterms!
Then at 12pm the Arizona Democratic Party’s hybrid State Committee Meeting commenced. There were watch party locations all over the state, including here at the office where Democrats were invited to watch and participate.
During the State Committee Meeting, we also heard from Senator Mark Kelly and Britney Fonteno, the president of Arizona Planned Parenthood. They reiterated the urgency of what is happening throughout the country; the stakes have never been higher!
Finally, our Communications Director Shelly moderated a virtual Discussion 4 Democrats forum with Superintendent Kathy Hoffman. Superintendent Hoffman discussed the future of Arizona educators and took questions from the audience. You can watch the entire forum on our Discussion 4 Democracy page here.
With less than six months until the November election, today’s events re-energized Democrats all over the state! We are ready to buckle down and do the work that is needed. We ask that all Democrats in Pima County take a moment to think about how they can best support us, whether financially or through volunteering. Your engagement will increase the number of conversations that we have with voters in Pima County!
I have been volunteering in the office since April of 2019. By the time the office closed for COVID, I was working all day on Fridays as the Friday volunteer coordinator.
When we closed, I continued to volunteer from home by checking voicemail messages and responding to callers. Those days, in the summer before the 2020 election, we had many callers with a variety of urgent needs, and that was a very rewarding time for me, as I would do my best to find solutions to problems such as registering newcomers who could not get an AZ license (which meant they could not register to vote) to just being an empathetic person on the other end of the line. I still enjoy trying to solve problems of voters who either call or come to the office.
I am a lifelong Democrat, and I joined the second Obama campaign in 2012 because a friend of mine recruited me to work in Headquarters as a shift manager. In those days we didn’t have MiniVan so one of my jobs was entering call sheet data. I also greeted and trained new volunteers, some who were too young to even vote. I enjoy being part of an energized team.
Thank you so much for all your hard work, Margaret!
After decades of hard work and political organization here in Tucson, Pat Canady is leaving Arizona to be closer to her family in Connecticut.
Canady has been a PC for twenty years in what is now Precinct 218, and has been incredibly active in the party. She served on the state committee for five years, and was Vice Chair of LD 30 (now LD 10). She was also an elected delegate for President Obama’s 2008 convention, and because of her volunteer work, was one of three volunteers in the state invited to the White House Christmas party, and met with both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama face to face. While in DC in 2010, she had coffee with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
Over the years, she has worked with many local campaigns, including Kirsten Engel, Nikki Lee, and Regina Romero, and has been involved in nearly every level of state government. She has loved the people she’s met and worked with dearly, and wants to thank her husband and family for their support and hard work.
The Pima County Democratic Party is incredibly grateful for all her years of service to her community, and wishes her the best of luck in Connecticut! We’ll miss you Pat!