Are you getting progressively more frustrated by extreme politics in our state and nation? Some of my most politically active friends even talk about sitting this election year cycle out. I might have the cure for your political blues. Let me introduce all of you to Lilia Alvarez, a young woman who reminds me of the "Little Engine that Could." Quite seriously - Lilia is the woman who gives me hope about Arizona again.
Each of us has a story about a ball we carried way down a field even though conventional wisdom said that the opposing team was impossible to breach.
Wait, did I just use a sports metaphor? Really?
It happened for me as a new lobbyist. My client - the City of Tucson - asked me to do something that any veteran at the legislature would have told me was an impossibility due to the history of the issue. But because I was a newbie, and really wanted to prove myself, every time my bill got killed, I found someone sympathetic to my newbie-ness and asked how to revive it. Over and over and over I revived the bill. Important people got angrier and angrier, but I plowed ahead for my cause.
I saw this kind of raw determination in Lilia when she and a core group of folks refused to believe that Senate President Russel Pearce was unstoppable. They believed it had to be done, and took it upon themselves to organize the removal of Pearce from office. Door to door to door, they got it done.
If Lilia had been as afraid of him as the rest of us were - really afraid of him - lobbyists, the business community, quite probably the entire legislature and the governor of our state were all afraid of him - Lilia and her group might have decided not even to begin. And, to add to my delight, the group that Lilia helped form, Citizens for a Better Arizona, is a bi-partisan, ethnically, racially and religiously diverse group - coming together for the good of the state. And by "good of the state," I mean, striving for a government that works for the well-being of Arizonans, not for crazy ideological goals.
Lilia and her band of merry politicos refused to sit silent. They refused to be afraid. Or maybe they felt the fear, but did it anyway! They proved that Arizonans can take back our state, http://tinyurl.com/
98qv5us. This is why Lilia excites me so very much. She is so inspirational.
So imagine my pleasure when Lilia told me she was running for County Supervisor. Why County Supervisor? Well, the next target of Lilia's ire is Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And yes, you may get another email from me supporting Paul Penzone for sheriff, but back to Lilia...
Lilia understands that the County Supervisors have allowed and even enabled Sheriff Arpaio to commit all the negligent things he's done here in Maricopa County. They fund him. He is supposed to answer to them, but it appears that he calls the shots.
While the Supervisors stood by, Arpaio has done the truly egregious. He failed to investigate sex abuse cases his office was contracted to handle, http://tinyurl.com/
elmiragearpaio. He has been put on trial for racial profiling by the Justice Department, http://tinyurl. com/3drrjld. And he has blatantly wasted your taxpayer dollars to send investigators to Hawaii to chase down non-existent evidence that President Obama is not American-born, http://tinyurl. com/bu2hy7z. Let me ask you, how is that a Maricopa County duty? http://www.ustream.tv/ recorded/19789741/highlight/ 232949
By the way, this seems minor by comparison to the other issues, but did you know there has only been one woman elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in the past 10 years? It’s true! Other than Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, the board has been completely dominated by male Republicans for an entire decade. Lilia will make an amazing female addition. She has a law degree, a masters in public health, and a wealth of political experience dating back to her family's involvement with Cesar Chavez!
I'm so excited about Lilia's energy, honesty, and courage. It's contagious! And so I want you to come meet her and catch the excitement. We can take Arizona back!
I'm co-hosting a meet-and-greet after work, Thursday, September 20, at the home of Karen Kruse, 79 W. State, Phoenix. Please stop by. After you meet Lilia, if want to make a donation, large or small, so much the better. But you do not have to. I am most interested in you meeting Lilia. I am positive she will rejuvenate your excitement about Arizona.
Let's get our game back on!