Decisions that impact the lives of Arizonans should be driven by voters, not career politicians and their wealthy backers. Big money interests have too much influence over our political system. We need a government that works for the people, not just the powerful.
Further, without a strong democracy, all other public policy debates are moot—it must be our foremost priority as progressives to protect our right to vote. We stand with community advocates and call for passage of the Arizona Voter’s Bill of Rights and believe there are a multitude of proactive steps that should be taken to strengthen Arizona democracy.
OPEN AND ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT
We believe in upholding constitutional principles like an independent judiciary and separation of powers–these safeguards prevent any one politician from becoming too powerful.
Charter School Reform
We believe in reforming Arizona’s charter school system by implementing rigorous legal and regulatory controls that would end self-dealing and profiteering and make sure all of Arizona’s schools–public, private and charter—are held to the highest standards.
Arizonans are proud of our Clean Elections system, and in many ways, it is a cornerstone of Arizona democracy. We should fight back against attacks on Clean Elections from right-wing corporate interests, and steps should be taken to proactively strengthen and expand the Clean Elections system.
Investing Public Funds Wisely
Arizona state government should not be in the business of investing in industries that exploit vulnerable populations. Arizona should divest from industries like predatory lending and private prisons, and work to mitigate the harm these industries have done in our communities.
Wage theft is always wrong, and unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common occurrence in Arizona. We need to pass tough, meaningful legislation to go after wage theft and stand firm behind rigorous enforcement of Arizona’s labor law.
Clean up the ACC
The Arizona Corporation Commission is a unique branch of government that has been mired in controversy and political gamesmanship in recent years. Steps should be taken to return the ACC to its rightful role as watchdog and regulator on behalf of Arizona’s consumers.
Dark Money Ban
Decisions that affect the lives of Arizonans should be driven by voters, not wealthy special interests. The time has come to ban dark money in Arizona elections at all levels and bring transparency and sunshine to our campaign finance system.
Strengthening Our Conflict-of-interest Laws and Policies
Lawmakers should be prohibited from profiting off the votes they take at the Capitol. This is just common sense.
Our independent redistricting system in Arizona is a model for the country, seeking to protect the rights of all communities to elect the candidates of their choice, while at the same time and we need to defend it against partisan attacks.
We support independent procedures that lead to fair electoral maps drawn by the people, not the powerful, leading to outcomes that provide fair representation to all of Arizona’s communities.
Cleaning Up the Boards and Commissions
Arizona’s many other boards and commissions have become rife with lobbyist domination and corporate influence. Boards and commissions like the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments and the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) should have to adhere to procurement laws, open meeting laws, and public records laws and operate in as open and transparent a manner as possible and protecting public processes from insider influence.
Strengthening Our Democracy
There are numerous common-sense steps we can take to make Arizona’s democracy as strong as it can possibly be. We can and should:
- Support, defend, and expand early voting opportunities
- Oppose efforts to play politics with local election administrative offices, and defend career professionals against tampering by politicians
- Preserve Arizona’s constitutional protections for the right of the People to make their own laws
- Make voting safe, modern and secure by implementing Automatic Voter Registration
- Stopping the mass disenfranchisement of communities by implementing automatic restoration of voting rights
- Allocate resources towards funding as full and accurate a Census Count as possible in 2020
Building Out Our Election Infrastructure
Arizona should make voting accessibility is a priority. This means investing in mobility access, enfranchisement of rural communities, Reducing barriers to voting by making sure ballots are available translated in all the languages spoken by Arizonans, and investing in language translation services at polling places.