Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Immigration system must allow for humanitarian judgement

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda (LD-27) released the following statement on the news that 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez was allowed to return to her family after being detained following surgery.

“I breathed a sigh of relief when I learned that Rosa Maria Hernandez was allowed to leave the
Sen. Miranda
hospital where she had gall bladder surgery and return to her Texas home where she has lived since she was three months old.

“I'd like to express my gratitude to Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, who played an instrumental role in ensuring Rosa was safe and ultimately able to rejoin her family.

“In no way was this 10-year-old girl who suffers from cerebral palsy a threat to anyone, let alone the security of the United States. It's shameful that she was forced to endure harassment by the U.S. Border Patrol and the international media attention that followed.

“Our immigration system should allow flexibility for Border Patrol agents to exercise situational judgement, such as allowing Rosa to receive critical medical treatment without the unnecessary stress of having agents posted outside her hospital room then being detained in a federal facility for ten days.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Congress must act now to restore KidsCare funding

It has been 32 days since federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, also known as KidsCare, ran out and Congress has done nothing to restore it.

Governor Ducey's letter to Arizona's congressional delegation is the right move. His idea to dip into the Rainy Day Fund or reallocate AHCCCS funding to cover interim costs is also commendable and may be the only option Arizona kids have for the short term. Should we decide to take that route, Arizona should demand that Congress reimburse our state for any expenses incurred due to their inaction.

But while the governor and legislature decide how to provide that funding, we call upon every Republican legislator who voted to restore KidsCare last year to contact and pressure Arizona's Republican members of Congress who are part of the road block against KidsCare.

We have just six weeks of KidsCare funding before the more than 23,000 Arizona children who depend on it will face the risk of losing coverage.

This unnecessary cruelty can be avoided if Congress acts quickly to restore KidsCare funding. Our first course of action must be to demand they not leave 9 million American children without healthcare.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Senator Peshlakai gives remarks at Vietnam Veteran Pinning Ceremony

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Last Friday, Senator Jamescita Peshlakai (LD7) attended a pinning ceremony at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino and Resort near Flagstaff to honor Vietnam veterans. The senator provided remarks at the service recognizing and thanking veterans that served in the Vietnam War.

The pinning ceremony was coordinated by the Navajo Nation’s Veterans Administration in partnership with the tribe’s Office of the President and Vice President, and the Department of Defense as part of nationwide events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. As a combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Sen. Peshlakai was invited to speak at the event.

Sen. Peshlakai
Federal, state, and tribal officials gathered to place lapel pins on the veterans at the event. The pins included images of an eagle on the front with the message “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You” printed on the back.

“As a combat veteran, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges and ongoing trauma our veterans face,” said Sen. Peshlakai. “We know today that we must reach out and honor these warriors by helping them heal. The tragedy of not honoring our returning veterans, which happened to Vietnam veterans, must not be repeated and we must teach future generations to always support and recognize them for their sacrifice. I am honored to place these pins on our warriors.”

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Arizona State Sen. Jamescita Mae Peshlakai represents Legislative District 7. The culturally diverse district, covering the northern part of the state, spans the seven counties of Apache, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Mohave, Navajo, and Pinal — including eight tribes and the communities of Fredonia, Page, Winslow, Show Low and St. Johns. The district is the largest legislative district in the contiguous United States.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Senators Bowie, Contreras named as Tech Ten Legislators

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Whip Lupe Contreras (LD19) and Senator Sean Bowie (LD18) were named two of the Arizona Technology Council’s 2017 Tech Ten Legislators for their support of the technology community’s agenda. They will receive their awards at the 2017 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at Rawhide Event Center, 5700 W. North Loop Road, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. 
Sen. Contreras

When announcing the awards, the Arizona Technology Council said of the senators:

“Senator Contreras has been a longtime supporter of the Council. His leadership has been instrumental in helping to show the full benefits of some of the Council’s initiatives and gain support for issues where the state benefits from the community’s successes.”

“Though it was his first session, Senator Bowie has shown he understands the importance of a strong business environment in this state and was instrumental in helping businesses, not only in his district, but also across Arizona. Additionally, he is a strong advocate for education for our students of all ages.”

Senate Democratic Whip Lupe Contreras:
Sen. Bowie
“I’m grateful for this recognition from Arizona’s vibrant technology community. We have a long tradition in Arizona of innovation and ingenuity, and technology is our new frontier. I’m proud of the achievements we’ve made and will continue to advocate for technological advancement in our state.”

Senator Sean Bowie:
“I’m one of millions of young Arizonans who understand how technology can improve quality of life, drive economic growth and change the way we see and interact with our world. I’m proud to support Arizona’s thriving technology sector, including our groundbreaking research universities, and appreciate this recognition from the Arizona Technology Council.”

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Congress must act now to protect Dreamers

Heartless decision to end DACA deals devastating blow to families, economy

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX The Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA):

Senator Lupe Contreras, Senate Democratic Whip (LD19):
"Right now, there are more than 51,000 young men and women in Arizona who have DACA status, and 800,000 nationally. While they have yet to earn citizenship, they are still as American as you and me. They were raised here and went to school here. They are our neighbors, our coworkers and our friends. Many of them are our best and brightest students who hold the promise of becoming innovative leaders in business and in our communities. Revoking DACA recipients' place in our country is a soulless act that will rip loving families apart and requires a willful ignorance to the critical roles they play in our society and economy."

Senator Martin Quezada, Senate Democratic Whip (LD29):
"Over the past week, the Trump Administration has made it clear: there is no place for Latinos in his America. From the pardon of disgraced former sheriff Joe Arpaio to declaring war on law-abiding DACA recipients and the business community, the President has shown that his America is narrow-minded, and beneath the country we aspire to be."

Senator Catherine Miranda (LD27):
"Here we are once again playing defense on threats to our community. We are here to stand up against the President's hateful decision to end DACA. I call on employers of all DACA recipients to stand up for your loyal employees and step up to put pressure on Congress to immediately begin work on comprehensive immigration reform. Our business leaders need to come together to make sure America continues being the land of opportunity, especially for some of our most talented and innovative minds. Over forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. The America we love embraces that entrepreneurial spirit, but the repeal of DACA sends the opposite message. I trust our businesses value their employees and will do what is best for their business and for Arizona."

Senator Robert Meza (LD30):
"President Trump’s repeal of DACA is yet another disgraceful attack on our nation’s immigrant community. For the President to promise to treat DACA recipients 'with heart' and then turn around and tear apart loving families is simply inhumane."

Senator Juan Mendez (LD26):
"The young men and women who currently have DACA status enrolled in the program because it was the right thing to do and they had trust that the federal government would honor its agreement with them. But now that trust has been shattered by proponents of racist, nativist protectionism all because Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform with permanent legal protection for DACA recipients. Congress must immediately pass the DREAM Act with a veto-proof majority to put protection of DACA recipients into permanent federal law, immune from the impulses of a bigoted executive branch."


Senator Jamescita Peshlakai (LD7):
“The termination of DACA not only immediately hurts our DACA recipients, but negatively impacts our state and national economy. These are people who have volunteered and even given their lives to protect our country in the military. This is also another blow to indigenous people in the United States because many recipients are of indigenous descent, whose forebears inhabited these lands before international borders were ever drawn. This move further tarnishes the spirit of the nation and is contrary to everything our country stands for. I support DACA and stand in solidarity with our Arizona recipients.”

Senator Sean Bowie (LD18):
“Over 51,000 young people in Arizona are currently protected by DACA. Arriving in the country as children, they have worked hard, passed background checks, and received permission to live and work in America. These young people are contributing to our economy, going to school, and strengthening our communities. They are a testament to the values and the ideals of our country, and protecting them is more important than ever. I stand with the hundreds of elected leaders from around the country asking President Trump to work with Congress to sign into law the bipartisan DREAM Act, so our young people no longer have to live in fear of being separated from their families and our communities.”

Senator Steve Farley (LD9):
"It's been five years since DACA was implemented through executive order because of Congress' refusal to address immigration reform. In that time, DACA recipients have earned degrees and jobs, bought houses and cars,
and paid their taxes. With this decision, they will lose their ability to make payments on their houses and cars, pay taxes and they will lose their jobs and the state's economy will lose an estimated $1.3 billion per year. Those first recipients are now in their early- to mid-thirties and have children who now may be forced to rely on government assistance if their parents are deported. To support the decision to end DACA is to support destroying families and support delivering a devastating blow to the economies of our state and our nation."

Senator Katie Hobbs (LD24):
"Since appealing to his humanity clearly does not resonate with this president, let's appeal to what he holds most dear - his popularity. According to a poll from late April, the vast majority of Americans - 78% - support DACA recipients' right to stay in the United States. In fact, 48% of Republicans surveyed would allow them to become citizens and another 24

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Senators Hobbs, Otondo named Champions of AZ Cities & Towns

Eleven Democratic senators named Friends of AZ Cities & Towns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs (LD24) and Senator Lisa Otondo (LD4) were named Legislative Champions, and 11 Democratic senators were named Legislative Friends, by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns during their annual convention held recently in Oro Valley. Senators Hobbs, Otondo and their colleagues received the awards in recognition of their outstanding public service and dedication to local governance.

Democratic senators named Friends of Arizona Cities and Towns are:

Senator Sean Bowie
Senator David Bradley
Senator Olivia Cajero-Bedford
Senator Lupe Contreras
Senator Andrea Dalessandro
Senator Steve Farley
Senator Juan Mendez
Senator Robert Meza
Senator Catherine Miranda
Senator Jamescita Peshlakai
Senator Martin Quezada

“Arizona’s cities and towns are where Arizonans live their lives, go to work and raise their families. They provide the services that keep us healthy and safe and they bring us together as a community to make Arizona a great place to live,” said Senator Hobbs. “It is truly and honor to be recognized by our cities and towns as a champion for our local governments and their residents and I will continue to represent their vital interests at the legislature.”


“I am deeply honored to receive this award from the Arizona League of Cities and Towns and I'm proud to represent such a diverse district that reaches from the suburbs of Phoenix and Tucson to the farmlands, tribal lands and border towns of southwest Arizona," said Senator Otondo. "I work hard to ensure every community in my district, no matter how large or small, has a strong voice at the state Capitol and this award shows that their interests are being heard.”

Monday, August 21, 2017

15O backpacks with school supplies donated to local elementary school students

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda (LD-27) was busy last Thursday morning, August 17, distributing “sackpacks” and school supplies to students at C. J. Jorgensen and Lowell Elementary schools. The donation of the colorful “sackpacks” was made possible by the Office Depot Foundation and the National Foundation for Women Legislators, which selected two elected women in Arizona to distribute the “sackpacks” and office supplies to children. Photos of the event are attached to this email.

“This donation makes a world of difference to children of disadvantaged families who normally cannot afford them”, said Senator Miranda. 


“We are very grateful to the Office Depot Foundation and the National Foundation for Women Legislators for this generous donation. This is another example of our community coming together to help those in need.”