BACK TO NORMAL IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
For 30 years, lawmakers have cut Arizona’s public services to the bone. They’ve given tax breaks to the wealthy and well-connected while slashing spending on K-12 education, universities, housing assistance, and other vital programs. Communities of color, low-income communities and rural Arizona have borne the brunt of the impacts. Classrooms without teachers, schools with leaky roofs, unemployment benefits that are the second-lowest in the nation, families facing eviction and unable to get help: this was all normal in Arizona before the latest economic crisis. COVID-19 made life more difficult, but the inequity in Arizona built by those in power long precedes the pandemic. To those holding power and perpetuating systems that oppress communities of color: Your time is up.
Over the next year, The People First Economy Campaign will center the needs and voices of the communities most affected by the failure of leadership in Arizona. Together, we will fight hard to protect education, housing and healthcare. But just protecting the status quo isn’t good enough. We need to expand existing programs and invest in new ones; paid family leave, childcare, education, affordable housing, parks and public lands, and more over the long term, so that Arizona families can live without losing sleep over their next rent payment, agonizing between buying food and paying for life saving prescriptions, or worrying about the quality of their kids’ school. We need to create a new normal and we need to do it now. Together, we can build the Arizona we deserve.