I have rewritten this week’s introduction several times. The news cycle is obviously on steroids and what is timely one day becomes hopelessly outdated the next.
So it was with this week. With a trifecta of decisions on guns, Roe, and Miranda rights, the Supreme Court devoured itself by spending all of its political capital in a matter of days.
If that weren’t enough, we now know what we long suspected - that Donald Trump was manipulating every relationship, every law and every norm to stay in power. This wasn’t just some crazy-ass idea; it was a bunch of them in succession. When one didn’t work, he moved on to the next - and the next and the next - all the while attempting to manipulate everyone in sight to get what he wanted.
Who would have thought that one man could wreak such havoc and bring our democracy to its knees so quickly?
Trust me when I say that I know how you feel. Also, trust me when I say that if you need to take a break and a breath to put some psychological distance between yourself and all of these truly obscene things, by all means take some time off - but no more than a few days.
In the face of this demoralizing series of events, pulling back permanently is NOT an option. We must fight with everything we have because if we don’t, the consequences of inaction are far too grave to contemplate.
Local and State Impact
Does the drumbeat of the importance of down ballot races resonate yet? If not, what happened this week should be all you need to fully grasp how crucial these races are. What happened at the Supreme Court and in the January 6 Hearings profoundly impacts our local and state races.
Our Attorney General race just rushed to the head of the line. Arizona has two abortion laws on the books: one dating back to our days as a territory (criminalizing all abortions with the sole exception being the life of the mother). The other, recently signed into law by Governor Ducey, bans all abortions after 15 weeks. The Ducey-packed Arizona Supreme Court will need to decide which of these laws takes precedence. Until then, abortion providers in Arizona have stopped providing surgical and medical abortions.
Either way, the right to individual privacy is enshrined in Arizona’s constitution and if we elect Kris Mayes as our new AG, she will protect that constitutional right and is committed to not prosecuting abortion cases.
Another race that leap-frogged to the front of our attention is the Maricopa County Attorney’s race - also for privacy reasons. For women seeking an abortion, County Attorneys can use their prosecutorial discretion when it comes to filing charges. Julie Gunnigle has publicly endorsed a position against such criminalization.
Close on the heals of those two races is our Secretary of State race. This is the office that oversees elections across Arizona. And, here’s a third thing you can trust me on… We do NOT want any Republican candidate running for that office to win. Full stop.
These landmark decisions and what we’ve learned from the January 6 Commission underscore the vital importance of our state and local races.
What can YOU do? Well, an easy AND non-threatening way to have a local impact is by volunteering or taking on a part-time temporary job with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. See all of the opportunities below. Get out there and make a positive contribution to our community. This is guaranteed to put you in a better frame of mind, so keep reading!
How to Ensure Fair Elections in AZ
There’s something here for everyone…
The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office (MCRO) needs volunteers and temporary (paid) workers from all parties to help with the election. The Maricopa County Democratic Party (MCDP) is partnering with Mission for Arizona to recruit and train volunteers for these positions.
In a county the size of ours, a LOT of people are required to hold a successful election. Here are the positions MCRO needs to fill with links for each so that you can sign up - right now. Did I say, “right now”? Yeah, I did. As in right now.
This year, more than ever, Democrats need to become Election Observers for both the primary election (on August 2) and the general election (on November 8). To become an observer, complete this form: https://forms.gle/y9yis9SFKVNhVPPo7
Poll Observation Training is a 1-hour virtual session to be held on June 27, July 7 and 21. Pick your preferred date. Sign up here.
Volunteer for the Hand Audit on August 6, 2022, from 8:30 - 5:00 pm. These positions pay $12.80/hr and lunch is provided. Sign up here.
Temporary Paid Workers - MCRO is looking for workers from all parties needed throughout the election cycle. Positions include Inspector (Team Lead), Judge, Marshal, Clerk, Voter Registration Clerk and Troubleshooter. For more information on these and other positions, go to: getinvolved.maricopa.vote.
There are many opportunities to pitch in but if none of these work for you, how about signing up to recruit others to volunteer? There is one phone bank left in June - sign up here and a bunch in July - sign up here.
Oh, wait! There’s more! Want to explore your interest in helping the county run a great election? Complete this: Statewide Volunteer Interest Form.
Now, if you really want to take citizen interest to the next level, the Recorder’s Office has started a new Student Election Program for high school students. Get your kids or your grandkids involved in this. It is a great opportunity to learn first-hand how elections are conducted.
This program provides high school students access to an engaging election education program to raise their voter and civic awareness and inspire them to become a student poll worker. For those of us who have long railed about the absence of civics education in our schools, this sounds like just the ticket for engaging young people in our election process.
I’m going to leave it there for this week. There are no better arguments for voting all the way down your ballot than the ones above. No more excuses. We must get this done.
Take care of yourselves. Be extra nice to strangers. Take time to restore your souls. We have a LOT of work ahead of us and we need every one of your voices to help.
Until next week,
Chair, LD3 Dems
Chair, LD3 Dems