I grew up in an Arizona where my dad could support our family of 5 on his teaching salary. When I became a teacher, I could continue to do the work I loved and still get by, even after becoming a single mom. More recently, though, I volunteered with a master 2nd grade teacher who had to work 4 jobs to make ends meet. She finally left Arizona for a much better-paying job teaching in another state. Her story is far from unique. Last year alone, children in at least 1600 Arizona classrooms had no permanent qualified teacher. We’re failing to give too many children their chance at the American dream, and failing our state’s economic future as well. Over $4 billion has been cut from K-12 education in the past ten years. We must do better – and we can. I’ve learned over and again the difference each one of us makes when we work together.
We Arizonans are hard-working, smart and independent. In recent years, though, we’ve sometimes missed out on the opportunity for great new jobs because major corporations have decided NOT to establish headquarters in Arizona. They’ve cited our state’s lack of commitment to our public education system as a major reason. As a mom and teacher in our community, I know we have the potential to create a strong workforce for the 21st century. All of our kids deserve the opportunity to live up to their potential, and in turn give back as contributing members of our community. As your State Representative I will work with anyone who will help grow opportunities for business and workers.
Perhaps like you, I have friends who find it impossible to afford health insurance, despite doing everything right: sacrificing to get an education, pursuing their dreams, and working hard in respected careers. When they wind up in emergency rooms, it’s financially disastrous for them.
No one should have to go bankrupt because they’re sick.
While the federal government is grappling with how to address this, as a state, we could provide the opportunity for people to buy-in to our Medicaid program, thus reducing emergency room costs that are passed on to all of us, and provide preventative care to people to catch small problems before they become expensive ones.
When corporations and wealthy individuals spend millions to elect their favored candidates it robs citizens, whatever their party, of our power to determine the direction of our government. We recently learned APS secretly contributed over $10 million to elect corporation commissioners in 2014 who then approved a $95 million per year electric rate increase for them. That’s wrong. I support the Outlaw Dirty Money campaign that will make sure Arizonans have the right to know who is influencing state and local elections. I don’t want to fight for special interests. I want to fight for us.