No one is free until we are all free.

As governor, I will use a human rights-racial justice-gender equity lens to write every policy, sign every bill and draft every budget.

The founders of our nation declared that people are endowed with certain inalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But we have not always lived up to those values.

As a nation – and as a state – we have never come to terms with our history of discrimination, injustice and violence against people of color. This hurts all of us.

People of color suffer because of the stereotypes, biases and racial power dynamics that are still embedded in our laws and public policies. The rest of us sense on a deep level that our values of justice and freedom do not match the reality of what is actually happening, eroding our integrity and undermining our sense of goodness and self-worth.

We know something is wrong. Let’s fix it.

Working to end racism is the right thing to do - but it is also critical to the economic well-being of our state.


Guiding Principles

1. All people are endowed with certain inalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty and happiness. That’s the promise of our nation. It’s time to make that promise a reality for all.

2. Black lives matter. It is important to say this because we have a long and ugly history in this nation – from slavery to Jim Crow laws to the mass incarceration of African Americans – of treating them like they don’t.

3. None of us is free until all of us are free. Acknowledging and dismantling institutional and structural racism will be good for all of us. Allowing it to continue is harmful to all.



Key policy proposals

1. Form an Arizona Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

Evidence from around the world shows that there are clear links between reconciliation efforts, which focus on addressing inequality and attempt to heal divisions in society, and economic growth and development. We will partner with national foundations and local organizations to fund and lead this work. The commission will enable impacted communities to build the truth about our shared history from the bottom up; help us all come to a broader understanding of who we are, how we got here and what we need to do to move together; and track our progress in building a more just and equitable future for all Arizonans.

2. Inclusion Training for every state employee, every state contractor and every organization that receives state funding.

To be truly competitive in a global marketplace, our state employees, contractors and partnered agencies must know how to work with an increasingly diverse public. Understanding the realities of unconscious bias, privilege and structural racism is critical to working in a multi-cultural context. Many businesses – Starbucks is a recent example – and other organizations are recognizing that it’s not just the right thing to do, making sure their employees have this training actually benefits their bottom line.

3. Reforms to ensure equity and inclusion in Public Education, Economic Development and Civic Engagement.

My proposals for education, economic development and expanding civic engagement will all help ensure equity and dignity for all Arizonans.

  • We’ll shift our focus away from tax incentives for big companies with out-of-state headquarters to the kinds of locally owned small businesses, all across Arizona and in every neighborhood, that create more sustainable and equitable economic development. We’ll reinvest in our community colleges and vocational-technical training, incentivize employers to pay their workers a living wage and remove barriers to employment by providing childcare subsidies to working parents, ensuring paid sick days and family leave and creating a medicare for all healthcare program within our state.
  • We’ll revise the formula for funding public schools to ensure equity across regions and neighborhoods – and we’ll work to make sure that the best option for every student, in every neighborhood in our state, is the local public school.
  • We’ll expand access to meaningful civic engagement for all Arizonans, regardless of which region or neighborhood they live in, through automatic voter registration for everyone age 18+, same day registration, more polling places in underserved areas of our state, an end to denying voting rights to those who are incarcerated, participatory budgeting for at least some areas of our state budget, and more accessible government. As governor, I’ll hold office hours in underserved neighborhoods, rural communities and small towns, and open-to-all town hall meetings across our state. I’ll work to make sure every voice gets heard and everyone has a seat at the table.

4. Criminal justice reform to end mass incarceration, the private prison system and the failed war on drugs.

Every ethnicity commits crime at the same rate, yet in Arizona the incarceration rate for African-Americans is five times higher than the rate for Caucasians. The rate for Native Americas is 3.5 times higher than the rate for Caucasians, and for Hispanics it is more than 2 times higher. We will end the over-policing, over-prosecuting, and over-imprisoning of our communities of color. Further, we will ensure that everyone employed within the criminal justice system is trained in recognizing and rooting out bias of every kind, so that crime victims are treated with equal respect and attention, across race, ethnicity, etc.

Learn more about Kelly's vision for Arizona.