Extra Extra! Read Chris Gilfillan's plan for State House

I'm focused on education, small business and government accountability. And my plan has received bipartisan support and endorsements. You can read more here: http://bit.ly/GilfillanGazette1

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Retired Teacher: 'Electing Chris is the First Step to Restore Ed Funding'

My name is Sharon Lewis and I am a retired teacher who moved to Legislative District 20 in 1981. As a concerned citizen who has worked in public schools for 36 years, I am convinced that as our Arizona House Representative, Chris Gilfillan will help restore education funding to all LD20 public schools.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard about the growing education movement in Arizona. Under the #RedForEd hashtag, teachers walked out of classrooms courageously, demanding higher pay and increased funding for all public schools. This disproportionately affects LD20 because the majority of our children attend public schools.

To say that this upcoming General Election is crucial is an understatement. Up and down the ballot, our ENTIRE district must vote for pro-education candidates.

Chris Gilfillan is one of those candidates.

I have been committed to help Chris win since his first bid for Arizona House. His pro-education and pro-expansion of healthcare stances motivated me to support him back then. Today, we are back to make sure we flip this district. As Precinct Committeewoman for the Wood Precinct in LD20, I am making sure my entire district knows about Chris.

Having worked with him these last few years, I’ve been able to interact with Chris regularly. He has a sense of civility and fairness that demonstrates he is committed to work for all of his constituents. This also means working with members from a different party. Chris will not hesitate to work across the aisle to make sure our government is efficient and fair.

Electing Chris is the first step to restore education funding here in Arizona. As a pragmatic, hardworking, people person, he will fairly represent all in his district regardless of political party.

Help us make this happen. Vote Chris Gilfillan for Arizona House of Representatives this November.

Please join us for events by RSVPing at www.ChrisForAZ.com/calendar.

Friends for Chris Gilfillan
http://www.chrisforaz.com/

 

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Taylor Parsons: 'Chris has helped me connect with my community'

I’m Taylor Parsons and I’m 21 years old. I’ve lived here in LD20 all my life. This year, I’m organizing my community to vote for Chris Gilfillan as our Arizona House Representative.

I am new to political activism but I’ve always been concerned about environmental issues. I’m vegan and I made this lifestyle choice after learning of the positive effects a plant-based diet can have on the environment.

Throughout my life, I’ve been interested in the arts. For me, a healthy society is one where the arts prioritized and invested in. I have previously worked for ‘As You Wish’ pottery where I was able to work with young children who wanted to develop their art skills.

Unfortunately, I see my local community has little access to cheap, fresh food and low-cost arts centers. To make matters worse, I’m learning how our state’s legislature continues to pass tax cuts for the state’s richest while many of our district’s schools are severely under-invested.

This past summer, my door was knocked on by Matt Marquez, a candidate for Arizona State Senate in LD20. We had a long discussion about the environment and the current state of our education system in Arizona. Looking back on it now, I realize that I was just waiting for someone like Matt to knock on my door for me to get involved.

I soon became a volunteer for Matt’s campaign. During the first event I attended for Matt, I met Chris Gilfillan. I was inspired by these young, intelligent candidates who seemed to be breathing new life into my district. It was a breath of fresh air. For the first time, I felt a sincere connection to my community. Shortly after meeting Chris, he invited me to grab some coffee and discuss opportunities within his campaign.

During our conversation, he was clear about his expectations. He was also honest about his vision for LD20. He offered me a job soon after our conversation. I’ve been working on his campaign ever since.

Working for Chris has been great, but I’m really impressed with Chris when it comes to his involvement and qualifications. Chris has been an education advocate since day one. Before there was even a #RedForEd movement, he was already walking in neighborhoods collecting petitions for the Save Our Schools, No on 305 campaign. This issue hits close to home here in LD20 because I know that in our district, the majority of children attend public schools.

His experience as a newspaper editor lets me know he is well informed. He’s also a law school grad with experience representing working class families. His campaign focuses on issues all members of LD20 are concerned about: education investment, government accountability and small business growth. I’m determined to let my community know we have the right candidate on the ballot.

Now more than ever, we need to have a well-educated, informed individual representing us. Let’s vote for Chris in November. Our future depends on it.

Please join us for events by RSVPing at www.ChrisForAZ.com/calendar.

Friends for Chris Gilfillan
http://www.chrisforaz.com/

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Liz Van Zee: 'Chris Gilfillan will work hard for LD20'

My name is Liz Van Zee and I’ve lived in LD20 since 1974. I’m proudly voting for Chris Gilfillan to represent me in the Arizona State House this November.

I’m quite active in my local community, first as a member of the Cactus Wren neighborhood group and also as the Democratic Precinct Committeewoman in the Marigold District. I’m very concerned about the direction this country is taking and I’ve become involved in my local community as a result.

Lately, I’ve been most concerned about the lack of investment in our education system. I was a school nurse at Palo Verde Middle School for 12 years. I witnessed first-hand how talented our public school teachers really are. As a school nurse, I was required to walk throughout campus and meet with teachers and answer questions. I saw how these wonderful people really put in work and effort for our children. It’s disturbing how many Arizona lawmakers are definitively against restoring education funding for these teachers.

After some of my own research, I started attending local meetings and soon met Chris.

I met Chris during a LD20 Democrats meeting. I became excited to hear him talk about the need to invest in public education and I was impressed by his clear discussion around government accountability and small business growth. Shortly thereafter I began volunteering for him in 2016 as a canvasser and phone banker.

As a person, Chris is really outgoing and tenacious. He loves talking to people and is very straightforward. As a candidate for LD20, he works harder and longer than anyone on his team. I’ve seen him canvassing on his bicycle in our community, knocking on doors and talking to community members. He’s the type of boss who is continuously outworking his employees. He is also a law school grad that is able to connect with younger voters in our district. For me, that’s a big positive.

I know Chris will work long and hard for the residents of LD20 in the Arizona State House. He understands his community and he has the ability to work with people across the aisle.

This November, join me in voting for Chris Gilfillan here in LD20. Election Day is November 6, 2018.

Please join us for events by RSVPing at www.ChrisForAZ.com/calendar.

Friends for Chris Gilfillan
http://www.chrisforaz.com/

 

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Maddie Cichon: A Student's Perspective

My name is Maddie Cichon, Field Organizer with Chris Gilfillan’s campaign for LD20. I’m currently a student at Grand Canyon University majoring in Government with an emphasis in Legal Studies. In my free time I enjoy fine arts, specifically theater. Performing and pursuing this passion helps me to connect with people.

I have been raised in a family that is very politically driven - for the Republican Party. Despite their points of view, I have found myself leaning left. Despite our differences, my family is proud of my work. They have been very supportive and I deeply appreciate their understanding. I believe in Chris and that’s why I’m helping to elect him in LD20. Personally, I wouldn’t be working for a candidate I didn’t believe in.

I met Chris after one of my friends began working with him as a Field Organizer. My friend reached out to me and I first became involved as a volunteer making phone calls to LD20 residents. Chris hired me that day.

What strikes me about Chris is his message. His pro-education, pro-small business approach to politics seems reasonable and practicable. Chris doesn’t come across as a politician. He is a humble resident of LD20 who cares about his community. Chris wants what I want: healthy families, strong schools, small business growth and government accountability.

Chris spends his time knocking on doors and talking to voters. Despite his strong background in politics, he is a concerned citizen dedicated to fighting for his community. He isn’t interested in seeking influence through his bid for Arizona House. I believe he genuinely wants to help people in LD20.

Chris Gilfillan is an authentic human being. It’s great to know that I’m working along someone who I call a friend. Not only that, his work ethic is tremendous. He sometimes knocks on more doors and calls more people than our organizers. He cares because he is committed to this work. I’m proud to know Chris and I’m committed to making sure he is elected this November.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Registered to vote?

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Military Veteran: I Stand With Chris Gilfillan

My name is Kim Rosenthal. I am a retired Air Force veteran who lives in Legislative District 20. I enlisted at 21 and served my country for nine years in the active service.  I am originally from the state of Illinois but have lived in Arizona since 1997. Shortly after our state witnessed the horrendous shooting of our former State Representative Gabrielle Giffords, I decided to become involved in my local community.

Chris and I first met when working to get Dr. Eric Meyer elected in LD 28. Soon thereafter, Chris ran in 2016 and I became one of his neighbors, to this day living only a few blocks away from him. I am a proud supporter of his campaign because I have witnessed his dedication, pragmatism and authenticity first-hand.

Personally, I am a people oriented individual. I enjoy public service and building relationships in my local community. I also see these same qualities in Chris. That is why I’m committed to helping him during this campaign. I know that our district deserves genuine, authentic and committed leadership. Chris Gilfillan will be that leader. From working with Chris in the past, I know that he will be focused on the issues that matter most, while ensuring that we develop solid relationships across our district.

Coming from a family full of educators, Chris knows how important the education issue is. He understands that our society is built upon the pillars of public education. It is the single-most important asset our community can have to achieve a better life. That is why when he is elected, we have a better opportunity to restore Arizona’s education system.

He was also a law school trained newspaper editor. Having a background in news helps him to be focused on issues regarding our tax dollars. I know that Chris will have our backs when it comes to our money. His facts focused approach will allow our district to be informed about how and when our money is being used.

It is also important to know your district inside out. Chris understands that there are two major education institutions inside our district’s boundaries: Glendale Community College and Arizona State University - West Campus. Chris will make sure that those future entrepreneurs and business leaders are equipped with the resources they need to start businesses while attracting other major corporations. I know Chris is personally dedicated to ensuring our district thrives. Join me in voting for Chris Gilfillan in this month’s primary and in November’s General Election.

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Barb Kapla: How I Met Chris

My name is Barbara Kapla. I am a resident of Legislative District 20 in Phoenix/Glendale; a public school teacher and librarian; and an Arizona Democrat.

I met Chris Gilfillan during his first run for AZ House in 2014. One evening as I was working on lesson plans, I got a call from Jim, a volunteer for Chris’ campaign. Jim told me that Chris came from a family of educators, and that his passion and number one political goal is working toward restoring, and raising, funding for Arizona public schools. He went on to share more about Chris’ resume, including his law degree; work in public education; and journalism; but frankly, he had me at education…..funding….and public schools.

It wasn’t long before I was working a couple of evenings a week in the campaign office, and even taking work home when the volunteer canvassers brought in more than I could complete in the office. For the duration of that campaign, and the current one of 2018, I have grown in my respect for Chris as an organizer, leader, and passionate advocate for Arizona’s students and small business owners.  

I believe that Chris Gilfillan will be a strong, knowledgeable, and honorable representative of LD 20, and all of Arizona, in the State House of Representatives, and I am committed to do all I can to help him get there.  

Please join me in voting for Chris in the August primary and the November General Election.  

Barb Kapla

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Linda Dooling: Why I'm Voting for Chris Gilfillan

Dear Friends and Fellow Citizens,

I want to explain why I’m voting for new leadership in Legislative District 20 -- why I’m voting proudly for Chris Gilfillan.

After the election of our current president, I experienced a fleeting moment of optimism. I didn’t vote for him, but maybe, just maybe, he could break through the gridlock that seems to have gripped our politics. He spoke about preserving Social Security and Medicare; he said that he would create an even better healthcare system; he promised to begin rebuilding our dangerously deteriorating infrastructure. Very quickly -- indeed from his intemperate and disquieting inaugural address -- it became clear that keeping these promises would not be his mission. Instead, he began intensifying divisiveness, empowering bigots, repeatedly lying, and enriching the top one quarter of one percent of the population. However, he didn’t do this alone. All along the way, he has been aided by one of the most corrupt U.S. Congresses in our history, politicians who have no interest in the well-being of the average person. Sadly, my own state representative, Rep. Kern of LD20, stands squarely behind the Republican group that has encouraged the worst instincts of this president, voted to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, voted to create a level of debt that is dangerous for our children, and has worked to divide Americans instead of uniting us. At the local level, Kern is trying to divide us, to reward the rich, and to reduce opportunities for the average citizen.

Rep. Kern doesn’t vote for public schools or for community colleges; instead, he seems to save his time and his legislative efforts for country club members and private plane owners -- hardly the average citizens in his district! Rep. Kern has not answered emails. He’s made sarcastic comments about and to his own constituents. During the recent #RedforEd teacher movement, he did not answer emails or phone calls from me or from my husband -- and my husband is not a registered Democrat! He’s an Independent, a Vietnam veteran who earned two silver stars during combat, a businessman who worked with one of our local companies for over 20 years, and a retiree with real concerns about our misplaced priorities. During the budget debates, Kern was dismissive and hostile toward teachers and public education. Only after the budget passed, when Kern copied and pasted a constituent’s complaint and added his own rude comments, and a number of us tried to express our frustration over his lack of availability, hyper-partisanship, and outright discourtesy, did he begin to back down, temper his tone, and post pictures that made it look as if he had been a big school supporter all along. All I can say is, too little, too late!

I hope that the voters in our district will choose someone who has been committed a long time to our district and to our children. A man who is the son of a school teacher, who went to public schools and universities, and who knows that most of us do not want our tax money to go to someone choosing to pay $15K+ a year to a private school or to a charter school that has chosen profits over the education of children. I want us to be represented by someone who knows how much our kids need good trade school options and good community colleges -- Kern is part of the group that has reduced state funding to the Maricopa Community College district to ZERO dollars! At the same time, Kern has voted to give $12 million to the Freedom School at ASU, founded by the wealthy, multi-billionaire Koch brothers. Really? Our kids need real help and opportunities, and I believe that Chris Gilfillan is committed to our kids. I also want someone who is going to look out for little local businesses, instead of voting to let big online retailers get a tax break. The average tax payer in LD20 is not a wealthy donor, and we need someone who cares about us. I believe that Gilfillan is that person.

Yes, I’m a high school teacher -- in a top 10 district school, with a 91% graduation rate, where 47% of our seniors take an AP class, and where we help every student, every day, to reach their potential. I know what our kids are capable of, and I also know the huge burden they face with student loans and reduced state investment. I’m also a mom, a Catholic, and a member of the Glendale community. I want to keep good local schools, to preserve our property values, and to have thriving local businesses. Kern is not doing that, but Chris Gilfillan has a platform ready that reflects our local values and concerns.

Vote for change. Vote for your children. Vote for Chris Gilfillan for LD20!

Yours truly,

Linda Dooling

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Community Profile: Vincent Moss


I live in Legislative District 20 for the state of Arizona.  My wife and I are teachers in the public schools system. The current LD 20 State Representative - Anthony Kern - lives nearby. Although he is my representative, I am not represented by him.

No one is paying me to write this, but I feel it needs to be done because Arizona school funding is in a state of crisis. Despite the commercials we see on TV explaining how teachers are going be paid 20% higher by 2020, the state has fallen $700 Million short of what it used to fund the Arizona public schools in 2009. That was nearly a decade ago.

Support staff, psychologists, school nurses, and instructional aides are being left out by the Arizona State Legislators. Some are simply not being paid.

During the Arizona teachers’ walk out in April to early May, I had the good fortune to speak to Anthony Kern. We were introduced by his colleague State Representative Isela Blanc. Anthony and I spoke for at least 20 minutes in front of the state’s House of Representatives. We talked about schools, the Civil War, and even the Civil Right Act of 1964.

Anthony and I did not agree on too many things - especially Donald Trump. Anthony Kern loves what the president is doing for our country. The only thing we agreed on was the adoption of children should be less expensive.

He was clearly for funding of the ‘Freedom School’ started by the Koch Brothers. According to Jim Small, the State of Arizona has given $12 Million to the 'Freedom Schools' at ASU and U of A since 2016. The Koch Brothers are part of one of the wealthiest families in the United States. They do not need help from Mr. Kern to fund their schools. They can do the funding for their school alone, and do not need help from the state of Arizona.

Nonetheless, my wife and my friends stayed for 19 hours during the Arizona State House deliberation on the education budget. Mr. Kern was clearly disrespectful and condescending about the alleged 20% raise teachers would receive. The budget did not even say how this money is going to come about in its budget. The majority of the Republican legislators were out right hostile to the teachers, Mr. Kern included.

As I have said, Mr. Kern does not represent me nor the majority of his constituents. My wife and my neighbor both had words with Mr. Kern about education. The neighbor is a school psychologist. She invited Kern to come to a local school board meeting, which he did not attend.

We need someone who will represent us like Chris Gilfillan who lost to Kern last election by 3% or 4000 votes. This race in 2016 was one of the closest in the country.  

Chris supports schools and the funding for the schools. Arizona schools can receive the funding with the leadership of Chris Gilfillan at the helm of Legislative District 20.  I have spoken to Chris several times and I feel he supports education and will give educators the tools that we need for education to make Arizonans students successful for future opportunities in the 21st century.

    

 

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Pet's Corner: Campaign Manager - Blake Lister

Hello, my name is Blake. I met the newest addition to our family, Holly, around Christmas time last year (and boy, was she a fantastic Christmas gift!). She is an English Springer Spaniel, and she is about 9 months old. She is the sweetest little girl you can ever possibly meet, and her love for our family knows no bounds. She is always the happiest little pup after I get home from a long day of canvassing, and I love coming home from working hard all day just to be greeted by Holly's hugs and kisses.

Pets mean a lot to our campaign, because we know how they affect our own lives as well as yours. Holly is my best friend, and I'm so happy that she is a part of my life. I don't know what I would do without her. I love her so much! And who knows, maybe you'll get to meet her at a canvass or house party one day! I promise you, shes so sweet and friendly, you'd fall in love her at first sight. I know I did!
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