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The Democratic Party donkey symbol needed an upgrade for this new online news service. The Mule is a bigger, stronger brand symbol to represent the challenges in getting more voters and victories all up and down the ballot in Maricopa County; and to honor our western and prospector heritage of stubborn determination to make our lives better.
The Mule News is dedicated to educating Maricopa Democrats on issues and candidates to build a more accepting, inclusive and just governance from our elected officials. And to help party officials, district leaders and volunteers motivate voters to elect Democrats for every office up and down the ballot.
We offer periodic updates on people, issues, candidates and the Democratic community in Maricopa County, AZ. We publish articles, features and opinion editorials monthly or as needed.
The Mule News is a subset of Turning Arizona Blue, LLC a registered business in Arizona. Advertising and donations to both are made through TAB. See Advertising Support section below.
By Liz Luna, Ex. Dir., AZ Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC),
After decades of one-party rule at the Arizona Legislature, we created the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC) in 2015 with the goal of recruiting, supporting and electing Democrats. In 2020, we turned out down-ballot voters in record numbers to elect leaders that would deliver on the issues that are most important to Arizonans.
But despite the closest legislative margins in a generation, Arizona is ground zero for a radicalized GOP. Last year, the Republican-controlled legislature gave the top one-percent the largest tax cut in Arizona history, un-did voter-approved funding for public education, and passed bills that suppressed our reproductive freedom and our freedom to vote.
The Arizona Legislature this 2022 session must vote to lift an arbitrary cap on public school district spending. They have until March 1, 2022, to find the votes required to pass a concurrent resolution to override the Aggregate Expenditure Limit with two-thirds of the membership in both chambers or public-school districts will be forced to give back the $1.2 billion that they have already budgeted the last 12 weeks of the school year.
For the first time since 1966, we are finally in the position to flip both legislative chambers and now Arizona Democrats are fighting to protect education funding, voting freedoms, and economic security for working families and small businesses. The bills passed by Republican lawmakers have been a clear reminder of why we must deliver Democratic majorities in the 2022 elections.
ADLCC is committed to making sure that Democrats have the resources they need to close the margin and flip the #AZLeg. Our 2022 plan will invest in:
-- Training and recruiting district staff: we are doubling down on district staff on the ground to help organize and mobilize voters across Arizona by training and equipping local community volunteering power.
-- Scaling our capacity: we will be mobilizing thousands of folks within our volunteer network to help educate and turn out voters.
-- Expanding the electorate: we are committed to re-engaging voters who have not been inspired to vote for down-ballot Democrats by talking about the kitchen table issues that matter.
In 2022, we will need early investment into the ADLCC to ensure we have the infrastructure to flip the legislature in 2022. Arizona is a battleground.
To learn more about ADLCC visit: adlcc.com
Donate Online: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/2022az
Send us a check:
By Libby Hart-Wells, Ph.D., Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) parent and Glendale Community College instructor in the chemistry department.
Through no fault of their own, Arizona neighborhood schools sit at a financial precipice thanks to an outdated spending cap called the aggregate expenditure limit (AEL). In 1980, the AEL was added to the Arizona Constitution, and the formula to calculate the spending cap remains stuck in 1980. Spending caps are not themselves problematic but outdated ones like the AEL certainly are.
Specifically, the AEL makes preparing students for colleges and 21st century careers difficult because today’s budget priorities are not the same priorities factored into the AEL of 1980. For example, computers are must in 2022, not so in 1980.
Investment in neighborhood schools is a priority for Arizona voters - STEM, technology, fine arts, social and emotional learning, recruitment and retention of talented education and education support professionals to name a few. Ironically, the AEL limits neighborhood schools from making these investments even when voters instruct otherwise.
And although neighborhood and charter (and private) schools receive taxpayer support, the AEL applies only to neighborhood schools. This puts neighborhood schools at a disadvantage in creatively meeting the needs of today’s students.
In 2000, voters instructed the state to invest in K-12 public schools by passing Proposition 301. Two years later, voters instructed Prop 301 spending exempt from the AEL. However, in 2018, when the Arizona legislature extended Prop 301, they allowed the AEL exemption to sunset in 2021. Meaning, this year, Prop 301 spending counts towards the AEL. An unsurprising consequence is about 50% of the projected $1.2 billion spending over the AEL is attributable to voter-approved Prop 301. Put differently, this rule change effectively cuts Prop 301 spending.
A wavier by the Arizona legislature is the only option to avoid over $1 billion in cuts this school year. This is doable and has occurred in prior years – a revenue neutral fix that requires no governor’s signature. The Arizona legislature must override the AEL by 2/3 vote in both chambers by March 1, 2022.
Arizona voters are serious about preparing students for today’s world, not the 1980’s, and to do that we need a permanent and clean AEL repeal. Why waste time revisiting this? Many budget and spending guardrails regulate neighborhood schools today that render the AEL unnecessary and arguably punitive to more than 1 million students and millions more Arizona families and taxpayers.
Unintended? Perhaps. Possible? Likely. Fixable? Yes. Tell your AZ legislators to support the AEL wavier before March 1st.
By Debra Stein, Chair, The Jewish Dems Arizona Chapter
The Jewish Dems Arizona (JDCA) is the statewide chapter of The Jewish Democratic Council of America, (JDCA), www.jewishdems.org.
The Arizona Chapter advocates for and supports candidates and elected officials who represent the domestic and foreign policy positions aligned with the JDCA's platform, which reflects Jewish values such as social equality, justice, reproductive rights, the right to vote, Tikkun Olam (healing the world) and a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
The Jewish Dems Arizona Chapter creates a community to engage with like-minded Jewish Dems throughout the state of Arizona. The Chapter works to energize and engage the Jewish electorate to participate in the electoral and legislative processes and to help get out the vote.
The JDCA’s national organization was founded in 2017 and mobilized the Jewish vote in the 2020 election. The Arizona chapter was launched in the summer 2021 to prepare to mobilize Arizona’s Jewish vote in the 2022 mid-term election.
The chapter launch was timed for members to participate in the JDCA’s Week of Action: meetings on the Hill. Arizona chapter members met virtually with Arizona’s members of Congress to advocate for several JDCA platform issues: voting rights, the U.S. Israeli relationship and to discuss the rise of white nationalism and antisemitism.
Since the chapter launch, members have participated in phone banks to stop the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom and will begin calling Arizona’s newly registered Jewish Democrats to talk about the issues important to voters and to make sure they know what is at stake in the mid-terms. Phone banks, text banks and canvasses will continue until the mid-term elections to help to mobilize the Jewish vote since 85% of Jewish voters are registered Democrats.
Events and briefings are held for members several times a month, which have included those with voting rights attorney Marc Elias, Congressional members of the Black and Jewish Caucuses and on January 6th, Jewish members of Congress: Adam Schiff, Susan Wild, Ben Cardin, Mike Levine and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz spoke with us about that harrowing day and how important the mid-term elections mean for our democracy.
The next Jewish Dems Arizona Chapter event will be held virtually on Sunday, February 6th with the Executive Directors and Chairs of the Maricopa, Pima, Yavapai and Coconino County Democratic parties and members of the State Legislature, who will discuss plans for the mid-term election and how members may become involved in programs to help elect Democrats up and down the ballot in their counties. Here is the link for that event. https://www.mobilize.us/jewishdems/event/437838/?referring_vol=235475&rname=Debra&share_context=event_details&share_medium=copy_link
The mission of the Maricopa County Democratic Party is to elect Democrats up and down the ballot within Maricopa County. To accomplish this goal we:
● Register Voters● Recruit Candidates● Promote Fair Elections● Get Out the Vote● Promote Democratic Values● Fundraise
Learn more about our new programs:
Join us at Maricopa County Democratic Party,
Contact MCDP at email@example.com.
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Ron Williams is the writer/editor and publisher of The Mule News, an online news service covering Maricopa County AZ Democratic politics.
He is also the host of Turning Arizona Blue, a podcast dedicated to changing Arizona from a traditional Red State to a Blue State.
Ron Williams spent decades as a public affairs and public policy communicator in Washington, D.C. and Arizona.
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