The best investment we can make for our state’s future is to invest in our children’s education. Funding for high quality preschool and daycare is the biggest foundation and predictor for our children’s success. Children in Arizona deserve a fully funded education. Our education budget has been gutted while tax breaks and tax credits seem to increase. The term “school choice” has been co-opted to mean that tax dollars should be used to fund private and private religious schools, not that parents already have a choice in how to educate their children.
My work through Save Our Schools, No on 305, being a substitute teacher, a coach, and a member of both the Tucson Unified Parent Advocacy Council and the TUSD Family Life Curriculum Committee has given me the experience and knowledge necessary to craft sound policy regarding education. Our educators deserve higher pay and respect for their profession.
The gap between the job force and education needs to change. There are more jobs available in Arizona than the supply of skilled workers. Higher education should be affordable and free for students. An increase in funding to community colleges allows more people to receive higher education. If we want to keep our young people in the Arizona workforce, we must encourage them to stay by making higher education and job training more available.
The future of Arizona depends on the decisions we make today regarding the environment. None of our state’s policies and laws will matter if we don’t have water to drink, clean air to breathe, and healthy ecosystems. With an eye to the future, regulations need to be put into place regarding water use, ranching, farming and mining. Our decisions must reflect a mindset of sustainability. Our state lands and sacred sites contribute to the overall quality of life in Arizona and must be honored and protected, as well.
Enacting sensible gun safety laws alongside preventative measures is the best course of action for Arizona. Preventative measures such as conducting universal background checks (which closes the gun show loophole), mandating a reasonable waiting period, and requiring education regarding safe gun storage practices with every gun purchase. Every person who carries a gun for their job as well as active military is required to obtain a firearm license. Civilians should be required to do so as well.
Every Arizonan should have accessible and affordable healthcare. Arizona provides programs that serve our most vulnerable populations. AHCCCS, KidsCare and Young Adult Transitional Insurance (YATI) help to insure children, regardless of their background and family status. Home and Community Based Care serves our senior population. Coverage needs to expand to include prenatal dental care, improved coverage for inmates, and mental health services.
Our soldiers put their lives on the line, every day while serving. It stands to reason we hold a responsibility to our service personnel and their families. Ensuring that our current service people are cared for, healthy, and protected is of utmost importance. Substance abuse, medical issues, and employment are challenges many of our veterans face. Workforce training, better mental health programs, quicker visits to the VA, and substance abuse help are necessary for addressing those challenges. No veteran should go homeless after giving their service to our country.
The personal choice of human reproduction resides with a person, their partner and their doctor. It is not a decision to be made and enforced by the state. Access to reproductive health care and contraception should be readily available and legal, regardless of economic status or race.
Arizona must pass the ERA, it is far past time. Women do equal work and should be given equal pay.