I grew up in Arizona at a time when my dad could support our family of five 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 four 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.
As a mom, teacher, and grandmother, it breaks my heart that this year children in over 1,800 Arizona classrooms had no permanent qualified teacher. We’re failing to give children their chance at the American dream and failing our state’s economy. We must do better – and we can. I’ve learned over and again the power of listening and working together to get things done.
The Economy and Quality Jobs
As this pandemic has made clear, everyday Arizonans are the true job creators. It’s the money we spend that fuels the economy and creates jobs – and there’s no better way to put money in people’s pockets than to educate them so they can participate in our workforce. So, we need to stop shifting the tax burden to the middle class. Instead of prioritizing tax credits for special interests and corporations where the money often goes out of state, we need to invest in the local businesses and people of Arizona so we can build a strong economy that works for all of us.
Arizona’s business leaders are clamoring for a strong educated workforce. Investing in our schools from pre-school to post-secondary, including career and technical education, will draw new employment opportunities to our state, broaden our tax base, and make our communities safer. As your state representative, I will work together with leaders from all walks of life to help grow opportunities for business and good-paying jobs for all working families.
Like many Arizona residents, 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.
That is why I believe Arizonans should have access to quality affordable healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions. I will work to allow consumers to buy into AHCCCS, the state’s Medicaid agency, increasing the program’s more bargaining power to reduce premiums for everyone. I will stand up to insurance companies that are taking advantage of families, and fight to protect essential benefits such as maternity care, cancer treatments, and mental health care.
I’ve lived in Phoenix since I was six years old and seen firsthand how we’ve gone from being a place where people with breathing problems came to recover, to one where our air quality too often presents a threat to our health. Ensuring our water supply is perhaps the most fundamental challenge to our economic future. Arizonans are rightly demanding that we address these challenges. It is vital to our health, environment and way of life that we create policies that ensure we have the water supply we need, improve our air quality, and create a more sustainable environment for ourselves and our children. I will work with scientists, environmental experts, and business leaders to ensure responsible policies so that future generations will have a healthy, sustainable environment in which to raise their families.
This unprecedented time of Covid-19 has affected everyone in some way whether physically, emotionally, or financially. So it’s more important than ever that we listen to each other – as well as to public health and safety experts about how to proceed in a way that’s respectful of everyone’s needs
We bear varying weights and play different roles in this challenging time. I’ve been so inspired by the everyday heroes in health care, teaching, grocery stores, delivery work, and others who are working so hard during this difficult time. And I’m grateful for everyone who’s has stepped up to check in on each other, make masks, buy take-out from our local restaurants, and more: even simply staying home as much as possible to help keep others safe and healthy.
We’re living proof that we all do better when we listen to one another and work together. So, together, we will find a path forward that both supports the local businesses so important to our community and protects those who are most vulnerable. We need strong, smart leadership from our elected officials to bring us together to face this challenge and restore our health, hearts, and financial security.