On the Precipice in Arizona

by Denise Gieseke, 5/1/22.

Political power in Arizona is balanced on a razor’s edge. In many ways, the 2022 Arizona midterms epitomize the struggle for the soul of our nation.

There are must-win races this November to reelect Democratic Senator Mark Kelly and for the governorship that Republican Doug Ducey is vacating. We need to gain just one seat each in the state senate and state house to tie for control. We can’t undervalue the position of Arizona Secretary of State, which has been essential in upholding the results of the 2020 presidential election. Upping the ante, Arizona has no office of Lieutenant Governor, rather the secretary of state is next-in-line for the executive seat, should the governor leave office for any reason.

Nearly every day, Republicans in Arizona introduce or make progress in passing legislation introduced by the radical right, and try to keep the Big Lie alive in an attempt to undermine free democratic elections.  Earlier this week, a bill allowing parents to sue teachers who parents believe have “usurped” their rights by including “objectionable” content in curriculum, set sail for Ducey’s desk. Demoralizing educators and withholding education from constituents is a favorite, and particularly effective, mechanism of maintaining oppressive control. Other recently introduced legislation designed to keep the iron grip of the heteropatriarchy intact:

  • Outlaw video recording of police within 8 ft of interactions, without permission from law enforcement officer
  • Limit access to voting drop boxes, which is particularly punitive to rural and tribal communities
  • Force teachers to ‘out’ LGBTQIA+ students to parents, even if doing so could lead to abuse or abandonment
  • Ban abortions after 15 weeks
  • Allow concealed carry of guns on campuses
  • Legalize use of deadly force to protect property
  • Attack minimum wage and prohibit public workers from organizing union members

We need every Democratic vote, including and especially those of our latinx and Indigenous allies.  BIPOC leaders on the front lines in Arizona want our help, and they’re creating actions for out-of-state volunteers like us. Let’s remind Arizona voters of recent Democratic accomplishments, find out what issues are important to our allies in this key swing state, then follow through by helping them elect progressive leaders who will effect meaningful change.