May 2019 Newsletter

Arizona Government Let-Down!

The Red for Ed and Save Our Schools initiatives have done an outstanding job of highlighting the neglect and inequity of Arizona’s educational systems and financing. However, over the last 10 years we have also seen numerous examples of neglect and attempts to dismantle Arizona’s state agencies since the Republicans took control of the Arizona Governor’s Office.

This includes frequent examples of individuals placed in administrative leadership positions to oversee the state’s agencies and departments who lack experience and accountability. Those appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey have been especially concerning.

Here’s a walk down memory lane for those of you who may not recall the wholly unqualified administrators of the Ducey Administration:

  • Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections – Director Dona Markley was forced to resign after questionable termination practices of ADJC staff.
  • Arizona Department of Economic Security – Director Tim Jeffries was terminated after mass firings of employees and a statewide investigation also discovered that Jeffries had purchased significant amounts of guns and ammunition for the human service agency.
  • Arizona Lottery – Director Tony Bouie resigned when allegations he used his state vehicle for personal purposes. In addition, there were several complaints of sexual discrimination under his leadership.
  • Arizona Parks Department – Director Sue Black was finally terminated after evidence arose showing that she had approved developments in violation of laws that protected Native American sites and artifacts – despite guidance from staff advising otherwise. This was after she had repeatedly been accused of berating staff and interacting with staff while intoxicated.

Now we hear significant gross mismanagement and safety concerns at the Arizona Department of Corrections. It was discovered the Lewis Prison has had problems with doors failing to lock leading to staff and inmate injury. These concerns piggy-back the other issues Director Charles Ryan has had including a botched death penalty and a major lawsuit regarding lack of healthcare services for inmates.  

Continuing to appoint individuals who are driven by reducing regulation, oversight and funding for Arizona’s public institutions will result in more damage. I highlight these areas because we are easily distracted by the President and the ineptness of his administration; however, we have the very same mismanagement and disregard for ethics in Arizona.

One major way to impact Arizona’s government is to focus on electing a Democratic legislature. Please join me and the LD 17 Democrats. We know our district is key to turning Arizona blue and although we are still 19 months away from the election – the more we do now, the better shape we’ll be in by November 2020!

Sincerely –
Jacob Schmitt
Chair, LD 17 Democrats

April Highlights


Thanks to our state committee people who traveled to Tucson for the Az Democratic Party State Committee Meeting. Highlight of the event actually occurred during lunch when U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords stopped by our LD17 table. Mark later spoke at the meeting.  

Calendar of Events

LD17: 

Meetings begin at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.) The meeting is held at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 769 Union Hall, 220 N. William Dillard Dr., Gilbert  85233. Next meeting is May 7.

Speakers: Reps from March for Our Lives and Outlaw Dirty Money to discuss their initiatives; and a legislative update from LD 17’s own, Rep. Jennifer Pawlik

Sun Lakes Dems:   

Meetings begin at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Sun Lakes Country Club (25601 E. Sun Lakes Blvd. N.), Navajo Room. 

Next meeting is May 13.
Speakers: Steven Slugocki, MCDP Chair; and legislative update from LD 17’s own, Rep. Jennifer Pawlik

The Sun Lakes Democratic Club collects non-perishable food items for Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank. Please bring your tax-deductible contributions to the Drop-Off Area in the west parking lot from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ask for a receipt. We appreciate all you do.

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, May 18 – Mofford-Warner Dinner – Arizona Democratic Party- Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N 3rd St., 5pm- 8pm.
    • Featuring Democratic Presidential Candidate Julian Castro. PCs are eligible for a discount. To RSVP, either visit ADP Facebook or ADP webpage.

Sunday Canvasses – 10am-12:30pm, one Sunday a month June thru Sept. Gather at Valley of the Sun Real Estate, 290 S Alma School Rd, Ste. 15, Chandler. Drivers and canvassers needed. 

Canvassing 101 materials — street map, candidate information and LD 17 brochure. And thanks to Suzanne McCormick and Julie Ray for updating and giving a bold new look to our brochure.
Sign up on Facebook or contact.

Mark Your Calendar

  • LD 17 Dems will meet on Tuesday, June 4
  • Thursday, June 6 –  LD 17 Fundraiser – 6 to 8pm, Old Spaghetti Factory, Chandler Fashion Center. Featuring Congressman Greg Stanton and Rep. Jennifer Pawlik. (More information will be released soon via email and social media.)
  • The Sun Lakes meeting will be held on Monday, June 10

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