Alright #AZLeg, Now it's our Turn

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the news. Our GOP-led legislature voted down every reasonable amendment to the state’s budget. They refused to debate health insurance for kids. And they refused to hear about any needed funding for our teachers.

 

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Lobbyist Admits Vouchers Were Just for Profit

Now it’s coming straight from the horse’s mouth. When recorded, one of Arizona’s top lobbyists said what we have all known for a long time: Arizona’s school voucher program was not about school choice or student achievement – it was all about profit. 

 

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AZ Leg Dupes us Again

I can't say I'm that surprised. A federal judge - one notably nominated by President George W. Bush - ruled that the funding measures for Prop 123 are unconstitutional. 
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We did it!

With all your help and support, we are on the ballot. And what's more, we will be receiving our Clean Elections funding for our race soon - as we collected the maximum number of $5 contributions that we could.

Thank you! It could not have been done without you.

But the work does not stop here. Now we have to use that money to spread our message of public education, small business and government accountability across the District. We have to change many hearts and minds to win this race, and it will take many hours of hard work to get it done.

 

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In the wake of tragedy, hope

Like many of you, I was shocked at the events that happened last Wednesday in Parkland, Florida. Shocked at the loss of life. Shocked at the lack of mental health resources. Shocked that so many warning signs went unheeded.

 

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Building Business in our District

While we're all inspired by the #RedForEd movement and do everything we can to support our schools this week, I thought it would be important to also talk about one of my other priorities: Small Business.

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Let's Stop all the Double-Talk

Gather round everyone! On Tuesday, we get to hear our double-talking governor do a spectacular parlor trick. We get to see him talk out of both sides of his mouth!

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Our Tax Dollars Well Spent?

Arizona's charter schools are NOT having the best semester.

Earlier this year the centrist think tank, the Grand Canyon Institute, analyzed the financial data from charter schools over the past 20 years. And what they found will amaze you - they found that 77 percent of the charters were self-dealing. They were giving the public's money away to either owners of the charter schools or family members in no-bid, non-competitive purchases.  Read a recap here.

That's not only a terrible use of the public's money and inefficient, but moreover, that's just plain unfair to taxpayers and our students.  

And then today, another report found that most Arizona charters are LITERALLY breaking the law. Federal law forbids denying entrance to students with disabilities. And in Arizona, these charters were capping the number of disabled students they would allow in. Furthermore, they even instituted barriers to entry for students with weak grades and behavioral problems. This is the very antithesis of "school choice." Recap here.

Now, I'm not anti-charter. But as a former newspaper editor, I am also pro-accountability and transparency. Put simply, we deserve better.

That's why I am running a clean campaign for the State House in LD 20. I want to be transparent and accountable. And I would expect no less from our schools - charter or no.

That is what I stand for and that's what I will fight for in the Legislature.  Join me by volunteering at www.ChrisForAZ.com.

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Friends for Chris Holiday Wish List

It is the holiday season, and what a great time to remember what you are grateful for.

For us, in helping elect Chris Gilfillan to the House, we're grateful for you!

You have helped us gather literally hundreds of signatures. You have helped us talk to hundreds of supporters. And you have knocked on thousands of doors.

We could not have done it without you. Thank you!

But if you're in the spirit of giving, we think we've been mighty nice this year ;)

So, if you have access to some of the things below and want to donate them to our campaign, we would be eternally thankful.

Friends for Chris Holidays Wish List

Unused Office Space

Interns and Fellowship candidates 

Pens

Cases of Bottled Water

Printer Paper (8.5 x 11 inch)

Expo Markers

Organizing Trays

Clipboards

Bankers' Bags/boxes

Heavyweight Sheet Protectors

Snacks

Sunscreen - it gets hot out there :)

 

And if you don't have ready access to supplies, we certainly would appreciate a donation to the cause at www.ChrisForAZ.com.

 

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The Fight for Education Continues On

Well, the education numbers are in. And surprise! Our GOP Governor is trying to push those numbers under the rug

But the truth from the nonpartisan Joint Legislative Budget Committee is that Arizona's students are now receiving less than they were. They are receiving $4,760 on a per pupil basis, compared to $4,949 during the 2007-08 period.

And that doesn't even account for inflation.

So what does the GOP blame the lack of funding on? The Recession - one that started six years before Ducey even became governor.

We deserve better than this in leadership. That's why Chris Gilfillan is running for the Arizona State House. He wants to change that. 

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