To have a healthy society that understands the issues so that they can elect good leaders, it is important to have a quality system that educates people from pre-school through higher education. More than 90% of our children in grades K – 12 depend on the public school system for their education. That means that if we are going to achieve our goals for satisfying, healthy, and productive lives for our citizens, the public schools must be a strong and adequately funded system to hire, pay, and retain expert teachers who have the tools they need to teach our children in safe and well-maintained facilities. In addition, the schools should prepare students to attend a union apprenticeship program, technical school, or college. I will work with families, teachers, education administrators, businesses, trade unions, and community-based organizations inside and outside the schools to create programs that will prepare our young people to enter the workforce while keeping the cost of completing those programs as low as possible. This work may take the form of partnerships with businesses and trade unions for school to work programs, budgets that provide the necessary funding, and legislation needed to make our schools the best and most financially accessible that they can be.
We must ensure that all people in Arizona – no matter where they live or work, their income, physical or mental abilities, or their family history – can live full, healthy lives. I support universal health insurance that will pay for care to prevent illness and treat health problems. Having an insurance plan to pay for health and illness care is necessary, but it is not the only thing that is important. Poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and lack of education, food and housing have more effect on our health and life expectancy than being insured. These are public health and social issues that can and must be addressed by teams that include the people who are affected in the planning and decision making. As your representative, I will work with communities and groups to learn about what is affecting their health and then plan with them to fix the problems. Women’s Health – Birth control was illegal in the US a short 50 years ago until two US Supreme Court decisions (Griswold v.Connecticut and Eistenstat v. Baird) made it possible for married couples or single people to legally obtain and use contraception. Since that time, the increasing availability of the means for women to choose when and if to become pregnant has changed lives. In my practice as a women’s health nurse practitioner for nearly 40 years, I have advocated for and provided the full range of family planning options to women. I was director of a family planning clinic in central Phoenix that provided low cost or free contraception and related healthcare to 1900 women, men, and adolescents annually. As a healthcare professional, I must be non-judgmental no matter who I am caring for. As a member of the Arizona legislature, I would continue to support barrier-free access to family planning and women’s right to choose how to manage their pregnancies.
I am committed to creating neighborhoods where people feel safe whether they are at home or traveling about town. Being safe and secure reduces property damage and loss, prevents personal injury, and even lowers risk of heart disease and diabetes. The Neighborhood Works Program offers practical recommendations that were successful in other cities to make neighborhoods safer. I think these ideas should be reviewed by residents and community leaders to see if those solutions could be used in Phoenix. Improving community safety and reducing violence and sexual abuse against women, children, persons with intellectual and physical disabilities, and LGBTQ persons must be among our priorities. The statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the U.S. Department of Justice are alarming. A college campus is a dangerous place for women, where one in five women are victims of sexual assault. One in four girls will be sexually abused in childhood. More than half of Native American women experience sexual violence; one in three are raped. A transgender person has nearly twice the risk of sexual assault; the incidence of sexual assault on persons with a disability is more than twice that of people without disabilities. As an Arizona legislator, I pledge to work with advocacy groups, victims of violent crimes and families of missing and murdered women on this issue to raise awareness and to call on government leaders to initiate a public inquiry that will lead to the development of a program of response to this serious problem. In Arizona, we have a death rate from gun violence that is above the national average. I will join with other concerned citizens to advocate at the state and national levels to reduce gun violence and mass shootings. I support laws that promote safe, responsible gun ownership through mandatory background checks for all gun sales, and the completion of initial and periodic training in the care and use of personal firearms. As a registered nurse, I hold people’s lives in my hands as a routine part of my work. I must be educated, licensed, and prove that I provide safe care to the public. I must continue to show that I am safe for the entire time that I am in practice. I think that it is a reasonable expectation that people who own and carry weapons that can kill and injure others should have to do the same. To reduce avoidable deaths and injuries on our highways, we don’t ban car ownership, we license drivers and pass laws for safe driving. Our driving laws have been very successful in reducing accidents and deaths and should be applied to preventing deaths from firearms.