Today I spent time talking with families at a back-to-school event on Tucson’s Southside. About 90% of the folks I talked with are Latino, many are immigrants. Almost all are registered to vote. They are parents and grandparents. They love our community. They were excited and interested to talk with someone running for office, especially governor. They wanted to take pictures of me with their kids. I loved every minute.
Here are the top 5 things these families wanted to talk about:
- Education – it was a back to school event and this was the #1 issue on their minds. The kids know who Doug Ducey is because of Red for Ed and they know he doesn’t care about them or their schools. They want a new governor.
- The economy – They keep hearing that “the economy is getting better,” but they don’t feel it or see it in their own lives. I didn’t meet many Republicans but, the ones I did meet, agreed that their lives aren’t any better, either…no matter how many times they hear people on TV talk about “the GDP.” Everyone is starting to see that the only people benefitting are the bigwigs. People want better pay, more job security and they don’t want to have to work 3 jobs just to get by.
- Contaminated water – I heard stories of whole neighborhoods where people all up and down the block have cancer, tumors, kids with leukemia. The stories about contaminated water on the southside go back decades. People don’t feel heard or seen, and they don’t feel like their concerns are being taken seriously. I’m taking them seriously because I know that environmental injustice is a reality – and that it disproportionately impacts communities of color.
- Private prisons – They know that their neighbors, family and friends are being jailed at a disproportionate rate – and they know it’s because somebody is making money on it. They want it to stop.
- Immigration – They want families to be kept together. They want to live in a nation they can be proud of, not one that cages children. But more than anything they want to feel safe in their own homes and communities, not afraid of our government. Mind you, these are registered voters I’m talking about – Americans. The way our federal government has militarized this community has made us all feel less safe, not more.
We talked about a lot of problems but, in the end, this day was full of hope.
I met a young boy, whose father recently died, and his mom. They were surprised to learn that I am running for governor…and gay. The conversation this young widow had with her son made me feel so hopeful. I think you’ll feel the same way. Listen:
I love the people of our state so much.
I promise I’ll do everything in my power to address the concerns you have…and make Arizona work for all of us.