|Address:||4242 N. 9th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85013|
|E-mail/campaign website:||www.ksinema.org, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Occupation/main source(s) of income:||Social Worker|
|Education:||M.S.W., ASU 1999|
|Date of birth:||7/12/76|
|How long have you lived in Arizona?||I was born in Tucson, grew up out of the state, and moved back to Phoenix in 1995|
|How long have you lived in your district?||I have lived in downtown Phoenix for four years in District 25. After redistricting, I now live in District 15.|
|What is your party registration and how long have you been registered as a member of that party?||Independent|
|Previous public offices you've sought/held:||Candidate for Phoenix City Council District 8, 2001|
|Civic organizations in which you've been active:||Arizona Advocacy Network, Arizona Women's Political Caucus, League of Women Voters, ACLU, Sierra Club, Arizona Education Association, National Association of Social Workers, Basic Needs Coalition, Protecting Arizona's Family Coalition, NOW, Planned Parenthood, Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Arizona Alliance for Peaceful Justice, Arizona Common Cause, Arizona Human Rights Fund, Arizona Citizen Action|
|Are you using public funds in your campaign?||I have qualified as a Clean Elections candidate.|
|Do you have any sort of a criminal record or any outstanding civil judgments? Please be specific.||No|
|Are you running for the Senate or the House?||House|
|A CHANGING ARIZONA|
|1. What do you think the state's policy on gaming should be? What is your position on each of the gaming initiatives?|
Implementing gaming in Arizona has helped reservations fund education, health care, road development, water and utilities systems, and other basic social and civic needs. It has increased the overall standard of living on reservations and helped students fund their college education. It has been perhaps the most important factor in improving quality of life on reservations. I do have fundamental concerns about the effect that gambling (both casino and lottery) has on low-income and senior populations, as these are the groups that are most negatively impacted by gambling losses, and I support education as the tool to remedy this unbalanced loss. I respect the right that individuals have to make their own decisions and, given the vast improvements that gaming revenues have created for Arizona reservations, I support continuing gaming on Indian reservations. I also support regulation of casinos to ensure that customers are being informed fairly and accurately about the odds of winning and risks of playing, and that machines are operating appropriately, etc. I support the gaming initiative by the Arizona Indian Gaming Association, comprised of 17 tribes. This initiative provides funding for education, teacher pay, emergency/trauma health services, conservation, and community safety support. It shares 8% of casino revenues with the state, more than the 3% of casino profits offered by the Colorado River Indian Tribes. It restricts slot machines to reservations, unlike the Arizona Racetrack Alliance's initiative, which would allow horse and dog racetracks to operate them. It sets a 10-year term with a 10-year extension, unlike the CRIT initiative with has a 20-year term with a 20-year extension. It is simply a better initiative.
|2. Do you favor increasing the qualification requirements for justices of the peace? Do you favor merit selection for JPs in Maricopa and Pima counties?|
Yes. Yes. I support increased professionalism and education requirements for justices of the peace. These individuals are deciding matters of law, and should have knowledge of the law sufficient to perform the job. Training programs similar to those provided for police, firefighters, paralegals, hairstylists, and a number of other professions would ensure a higher quality of knowledge and practice.
|3. What should Arizona do to improve health care for citizens?|
In Arizona, 370,000 children live without health care - we're 50th in the nation. This is an abysmal and embarrassing statistic. After years of so-called prosperity and growth, we are the worst in the nation when it comes to taking care of our children's health and well-being. I support universal health coverage that provides comprehensive coverage, ensures access to children, and removes profit from health care provision. Many countries throughout the world utilize universal health care systems for less cost to consumers and greater results, such as Canada, Germany, and Australia. Universal health coverage is possible in Arizona, but will take years to achieve. In the meantime, I advocate major adjustments to our current health care provision system. Some ways to increase coverage and benefits to children and low-income seniors and families are: 1) Expand and reform the state AHCCCS, KidsCare, and Medicare programs to include more people; this can be done by raising the eligibility level to 250 or 300% of the federal poverty level (it's currently capped at 200%), then accessing a greater share of available federal funding to offset increased costs; 2) Take full advantage of tobacco tax and tobacco settlement money to access matching federal dollars, then use this funding to provide comprehensive care to Arizona's uncovered and under-covered families; 3) Use state funding to improve the level of service offered by AHCCCS and other state-sponsored programs so that public and private employers can purchase this system over privately-funded for-profit health insurance companies that charge high premiums yet provide shoddy, incomplete coverage. State funding to cover increased health care costs can be generated by implementing one of several tax reform measures that I discuss in the Economy/Fiscal portion of this questionnaire.
|4. How important is it that Luke Air Force Base stays open? What, if anything, should the Legislature do to ensure that the base stays open?|
I do not support our country's trend of expanding and increasing militarization. The U.S. military spends more money on weaponry and equipment than many countries spend altogether. The money spent on planes that are too heavy to fly, missile systems that don't work, and weaponry in numbers too large ever to be used should be used to create useful jobs for working people. For this reason, I do not support keeping Luke Air Force Base open. What I do support is shifting funding from the military base to create alternative jobs for all individuals who would be displaced by the closing of the air force base. I also support funding for job transition programs for individuals who need new skill training.
|5. Do you favor any changes to the state's public records and open meetings laws? Please explain. Would you favor amending the public records law to require public bodies that wrongfully deny access to public records pay attorneys fees and court costs?|
Yes. I support legislation that would expand access to public records and better publicize and ensure open meetings, that would greatly restrict the usage of "emergency provisions" to hold meetings without following open meeting law requirements, and that would demand greater accountability from those who do not follow the laws regarding access to public records and publicizing open meetings. I am in favor of amending the law to require those who deny access to public records to may fines and court costs. I am also in favor of requiring the same from those who misuse or abuse the emergency provision clause of open meeting laws.
|1. What is your position regarding increased taxes? Some candidates have pledged not to raise taxes. What is your response to that?|
I support broad tax reform to create a responsible tax policy for Arizona. Contrary to politicians' rhetoric, raising taxes is more economically sound than cutting vital social services, according to Joseph Stiglitz, recipient of the 2001 Economic Nobel Prize. In Arizona, there are a number of techniques that we could use to create a more balanced and fair tax system for the future. Broadening the sales tax to include services, closing exemptions on sales tax items, reinstating the state property tax, and eliminating tax credits are just some of the strategies to create a more broad revenue stream to fund Arizona's important programs. I do not support irresponsible pledges to "not raise taxes." Politicians who make this pledge are ignoring the fact that Arizona already spends less than any other state in the country per capita on state and local operating expenses, and are choosing instead to gut vital programs that our tax-starved state relies on.
| 2. Under what circumstances, if any, would you advocate a tax increase? Do you favor eliminating some income tax credits and sales tax exemptions? If so, what would be the criteria you would use to select those targeted for elimination? Please give examples.|
Now is the time to reform our tax system. We are a starved budget in a recession, and next year's projected fiscal budget only looks worse. As mentioned above, I advocate broadening the sales tax to include taxing personal and business services, such as telemarketing, auto repair, and hair and manicure services. This alone would generate roughly $565 million to the state budget per year. I support restoring the sales tax to items currently exempted, such as health club memberships. By restoring the sales tax by closing these exemptions, the state's revenue would increase about $1.4 billion per year. I support expanding the sales tax to include Internet sales, as recommended by the Morrison Institute. I advocate eliminating tax credits such as the education tax credit (which has never proved to be effective in any manner, and actually increases financial disparity between low and upper-income public schools) and the enterprise zone tax credit. The only sales tax exemptions and tax credits that we should maintain are ones such as child care services, social services, food, medicine, the family tax credit, and wholesale trade (because these goods are taxed later). Exemptions or credits that do not assist low-income individuals or do not achieve their goals (such as the education credit) should be eliminated. Not only would this generate additional revenue for the state, it would reduce distortion in the tax system.
|3. What areas of the state budget, if any, should be immune to budget cuts? What programs should be trimmed or eliminated if there's a revenue shortfall?|
All social service programs which assist children, the elderly, mentally ill, and families in distress should be immune. In addition, education, the state health care system, and the Heritage Fund should not be cut at all. Because Arizona functions on such a lean budget, it is difficult to okay cuts in any area because the impact will be felt not only by that system but by other systems as well. In the very likely case of a revenue shortfall, I advocate restructuring the system to generate new revenue rather than cutting necessary programs. I would like to see gradual reduction of DOC funding, provided that adequate resources are spent on prevention, early identification and intervention, and diversion programming to prevent the need for continually rising spending on containment.
|4. Some say there are fundamental weaknesses in the Arizona economy, including low wage jobs. Do you agree with that assessment? If so, what would you do about it?|
Arizona's economy suffers from fundamental weaknesses. I would begin by sponsoring legislation to institute a living wage, similar to Tucson's living wage law. There are some who argue that instituting a living wage would tank businesses and depress the economy, but history shows that the exact opposite is true. Not only do businesses succeed, but the economy is boosted by the increased flow of money through the system (lower-income people spend a much greater percentage of their income than do wealthy individuals). I would work to create more affordable housing, so that low and middle-income families are not spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs. I would work to reform our health care system so that families and individuals are not spending inordinate amounts on basic health care needs. I would sponsor legislation to reinstate the state property tax, reduce the overall rate of the sales tax while broadening its revenue base, and balance the personal and business income tax to be progressive and fair. Doing this would balance the "three-legged revenue stool" in Arizona.
|1. What would you do to improve transportation in Arizona? Do taxes need to be increased? If so, which ones and for what purpose? As for Maricopa County, do you favor an extension of the half-cent county sales tax for freeways that will end in 2005? If so, how much should be dedicated for mass transit and light rail?|
Public transportation will be difficult to effectively implement outside Central Phoenix until we stop our patterns of sprawl and begin regional planning efforts that rely on infill and mixed community development. I wholeheartedly support the creation and use of efficient, effective, and affordable mass transit systems, and support using increased revenues (from tax reform measures outlined in the Economy/Fiscal section) to pay for the planning and construction of public transportation. We currently rely much too heavily on transportation by car, which is evident by our county's pollution statistics. In order to create a mass transit system that works, we must focus on areas where people live and work, like South Phoenix and Sunnyslope. I would only support the extension of the half-cent sales tax if the revenue generated were dedicated to mass transit.
|2. What has to be done regarding urban-growth planning? Is a regional-planning entity necessary for transportation, air-quality and land planning?|
We must establish and utilize a regional growth plan that outlines specific strategies to be used in urban-growth planning, including the following:
*Revitalization of center city areas. Cities around the country are doing this with great success. Redeveloping downtown cores is more cost-effective than sprawl developments, it preserves open space and habitat, and it provides cities with cultural, entertainment, and business centers, as well as a sense of identity and character for its? residents.
*Impact fees that actually pay the true costs of development. Simple as that. If the developers want to build it, they have to pay for it. We have subsidized enough.
*Mixed development communities. This is essential in ending sprawl. We have to create communities that are pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Communities that include shopping, entertainment, and business facilities within a short distance of residents? homes are more efficient and reduce the need for automobile trips.
A regional planning entity is most definitely necessary for planning of land, air quality, and transportation. These three issues are integrally related, as changes in transportation affect air quality, and planning of land affects transportation, etc.
|3. What strategies would you support to improve our air quality? Should Arizona mandate the cleaner burning diesel fuel that's required in California?|
Arizona should mandate cleaner burning diesel fuel as a portion of its efforts to reduce air pollution, but it is not enough. I support the construction and implementation of mass transit as a tool to improve air quality. Our current public transportation system is extremely restricted in scope and effectiveness. By continuing to pour monies into road and highway construction, we are exacerbating the problem of air pollution rather than working to curb it. We will never be able to reduce our levels of air pollution until we devise, construct, and all actively utilize an effective system of mass transit. We have to create communities that are pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Communities that include shopping, entertainment, and business facilities within a short distance of residents' homes are more efficient and reduce the need for automobile trips. In addition, we need to repeal temporary and "grandfather" permits. For years, we have allowed dirty factories to continue operating under temporary permits that do not require even the lax standards required by other companies in Arizona. Under temporary permits, companies are not required to meet normal ADEQ standards and so are using archaic energy-producing methods that are polluting and wasteful. Similar to this situation are companies that operate under grandfather rules. These companies are excluded from standard pollution requirements and create huge amounts of energy in wasteful and dirty manners.
|4. Does the mission of the state Land Department need to be changed to place a higher value on preserving state Trust Lands as open space?|
I support changes to the Constitution to reserve state trust lands for conservation. Currently, the land is being leased at an unbelievably low rate (mostly to grazers), which is providing a very low financial return for public education. These funds could be increased dramatically by leasing the land at competitive rates, which conservation groups are willing and able to pay. By reserving lands for conservation, we can improve the quality of those lands (grazing has a horrible long-term effect on the lands leased, thereby reducing the value of the land over time and rendering it unfit for any use) as well as increasing the rate of financial return to education. The Supreme Court's decision that allows conservation groups to bid on the state land leases is an important decision, as conservation interests are willing to bid on these lands at competitive rates. Unused state trust lands should be evaluated, and those parts of the land that are most environmentally rich should be specifically designated for conservation, in order to ensure that these important areas are protected.
|5. Phoenix wants to build a new $600 million convention center. Should the state pay for half? Why or why not?|
In the midst of a budget crisis, we cannot spend $300 million on a new convention center that we're not even sure will bring more revenue into the state. In order to give that amount, we'd have to cut vital social services from the state budget, along with many important programs already at risk, such as the Heritage Fund. Arguments that the $300 million spent on the center will spur economic growth and alleviate budget cuts is simply not true, as the money invested will turn around slowly in use of the center, if it ever turns a profit at all. The money should be spent instead during the next session on the children and families who are at risk.
|1. Does Students FIRST require fundamental reform? If so, how would you alter the way Arizona now finances school construction and repair?|
I support funding Students FIRST through the use of bonding and lease-to-own, which can include maintenance and deficiency corrections. Bonding is an option for up to $200 million per year, and lease-to-own has no limitations on funding amounts.
Students FIRST must continue to be funded fully, as the need for school capital construction projects has not decreased. In order to provide quality education, we must have adequate buildings and structures in which to house students. Many districts in the state are not equipped to house the large influx of student population, or their buildings are old, dilapidated, and unfit for use.
|2. Should Arizona expand K-12 education to include full-time kindergarten and pre-school? If so, how would you pay for it?|
Yes, full-day kindergarten and pre-school are necessity's in today's educational environment. This is even more important for low socioeconomic and minority students, who are more likely to enter kindergarten with no prior exposure to education and are less prepared for the school environment. Arizona needs to create a School Readiness Board for early childhood education to ensure that these programs are implemented and implemented using best practices. I would support funding the program through funds generated from the comprehensive tax reform cited earlier.
|3. Should the AIMs test be a graduation requirement? Should it be modified? If so, how?|
The AIMS test should not be a graduation requirement. I do not believe in high stakes testing, where a single grade on a single standardized test can be the determining factor for a student's future. I do believe in multiple types of student assessment that accurately reflect a student's knowledge and work. In multi-method assessment, one portion may be a single standardized test, but the test does not drive the decision of graduation, it becomes one factor among many. Multi-method assessments allow students of all learning types to succeed, as they are afforded multiple settings to display or demonstrate their knowledge. That being said, the AIMS test should most definitely be modified, as it is currently not measuring accurately what students are learning and retaining. It is also very expensive, with the first test scoring service costing the state $16 million in one year - double the amount of its quote. Test results are not available to teachers, parents, and students for almost a year after the test is taken. In order for the test to be at all useful, it must solve the technical problems then modify the content and format to ensure that it really is measuring what students are learning.
|4. How would you improve the educational opportunities for Latinos? What would you do to decrease the dropout rate and improve test scores?|
I would work to repeal Prop 203. This proposition mandated that teachers not use bilingual education as a teaching strategy, when studies show that bilingual programs functioning effectively report the same or even greater levels of English acquisition among students. I would focus efforts on recruiting, training, and hiring Latino teachers and support professionals to provide active and effective role models for young Latinos in school. I would work to pay teachers appropriately for their education and work. I would allocate greater resources to schools with ELL populations to purchase teaching materials targeted towards second-language learners. I would dedicate funding to schools with high Latino populations so that teachers can receive professional development training in best practices. I would work to provide access to health care for all children in Arizona, regardless of their national status. Poor health is one of the biggest barriers to regular school attendance in elementary school, and elementary school is the place that sets the tone for further education. Students with adequate health coverage, food, shelter, and clothing are less likely to drop out of school or earn poor grades.
|5. Are charter schools working? Why or why not?|
The charter school system needs reform. Charter schools should be held to the same standards as all other public schools. Arizona currently has the most expansive charter school system in the United States, and the quality of education proved in these schools varies widely. Because charter schools do not currently adhere to the same standards, there is no way to ensure quality teaching and learning is occurring.
As a public school social worker, I advocate on behalf of the public school system and support its progress in protecting children via mandatory fingerprinting, drug testing, and background checks. Research clearly shows that highly qualified teachers create highly educated students. Teacher certification creates a minimum standard of qualification and professionalism, and should be protected and required in all public schools. Doctors are not allowed to practice their profession without proper licensure, and neither should teachers. As a social worker, I am required to renew my certification every two years in order to retain status as a Certified Independent Social Worker. This ensures a level of skill and professionalism to my employer and to my clients. The same is true of education, and charter schools should be required to hire certified teachers.
|6. Do you support increasing the state subsidies for low income working families for child care? How would you pay for it?|
Yes. The child care subsidy is years behind the actual proportion of actual cost of quality day care. I support the biannual indexing of child care subsidies based on current market rate surveys in Arizona, with an initial substantial increase in the child care subsidy to ensure that working parents are able to send their children to fit, clean, and developmentally appropriate child care centers. By indexing the subsidy to coincide with market rate surveys, the 87% of federally-eligible families who currently receive no child care subsidy at all would be eligible for some level of subsidy. I also support repealing the law that that requires parents to work a minimum of 20 per week to qualify for subsidies. This law means that a single parent working 15 hours per week at a low-wage job receives no subsidy whatsoever for child care, which then means that s/he is spending almost all of the family's income on day care. This is unreasonable - single parents with young children cannot work as many hours per week outside the home because they are caring for their children. They should be eligible for subsidies just like other low-income working families. For funding, we first need to explore federal funding sources and try to access a greater share based on our commitment to finance matching funds at the state level. I would fund these, and all other social programs important to the vitality and future success of Arizona through the tax reform process outlined in the earlier part of the questionnaire.
|7. Is Child Protective Services working effectively to protect children's safety? If not, what changes would you make and how would you pay for it?|
Child Protective Services is horribly underfunded, so there is no possible way that it can be effectively fulfilling its purpose. Until the state legislature recognizes its responsibility to children and families in the state by allocating adequate funding, we cannot expect CPS to be more efficient or effective. I would begin by introducing legislation to fully fund CPS's work and would utilize revenues gained through my proposals outlined above. My priorities for increased funding include: restoring and increasing funding for early identification and assistance programs such as Family Builders (this program effectively prevents further incidents of child abuse in participating families); hiring degreed social workers and therapists who are licensed and have the knowledge required to provide high quality services; hiring more employees to reduce caseloads to realistic levels, so that workers can actually manage their workload and provide quality services; providing meaningful professional development to employees to ensure high quality provision of services in the future; training intake personnel (hotline phone workers, etc.) in basic social work techniques so that cases are identified and referred appropriately; purchasing supplies and resources for workers so that they can effectively provide services to clientele. Child Protective Services provides a vial function in our society - if we are not accountable for funding it properly, we can not ask it to be accountable for protecting children.
|8. What should be done about child drowning? Should the state require pool fencing?|
Child drowning is a particularly severe problem in Arizona, where many homes, apartment complexes, parks, and other areas have open access to water. I support Arizona's current education campaigns that remind adults of the dangers of child drowning and would support expansion of these campaigns. I also support requiring pool fencing for all new pools built in the state, for existing public pools, and for existing "shared pools" such as at apartment complexes. Although it would be unreasonable to expect all private pool owners in the state to rush out and buy pool fencing, I support creating a program to assist individual families in building pool fences at their homes. An assistance program could help families find affordable pool fencing, help with finding financing, or even help refinance current home loans to include funding to build pool fencing. As we become more and more educated about the real dangers of child drowning, people will become more willing to build fencing around their private pools.
|THE LAST QUESTION|
|What additional issues would you work on if elected?|
Water - I support the creation of a statewide water planning board. Cities and towns throughout the state are struggling to deal with the current water crisis by buying and selling water through local municipalities, which has many complicating factors. I support measures to encourage water conservation. We live in the desert, and the desert was designed to utilize less water than other, less arid areas in the world. Most residents of Arizona have taken easy access of water for granted, and are not even educated about the serious need for water conservation and negative impacts of ignoring that need, have few ideas about how they could voluntarily conserve water, and don't realize how much water is used by various artificial, commercial sources such as man-made lakes and golf courses. I support first and foremost an aggressive education program for Arizona residents that tells people the facts about scarcity of water and the effects of over usage. Next, I support voluntary water conservation programs for communities - this involves rotating outdoor water usage in neighborhoods, household reduction of recreational usage of water, and water conservation devices in the home. I support the reduction of golf course expansions and additions and the reduction of man-made lakes and ponds that many of the newer housing developments are creating. As a legislator, I will introduce bills to allocate funding for conservation education, to provide incentives for individuals and companies using proven water conservation methods, and to institute growth management planning statewide and/or at the local level.
Privatization - I oppose the privatization of public responsibilities, especially in the area of schools and prisons. Voucher programs serve to increase the gap between high and low-income students and decrease the quality of public education by siphoning funding out of the system. Vouchers also violate the constitutional dictum of separation of church and state. Privatization of prisons decreases quality of care of inmates, reduces rehabilitation and education opportunities for inmates, exploits the labor of inmates, increases the incidents of inmate abuse and exploitation and decreases the quality of employee expertise through understaffing, hiring unqualified employees, and blocking organizing efforts by employees.
Equal Rights and Reproductive Rights - I support passage of ENDA, which would prohibit employee discrimination based on sexual orientation. I support full equal rights for domestic partnerships and believe that a couple, regardless of sexual orientation, should be eligible for the benefits typically provided by marriage. I support a woman's right to choose and oppose measures to infringe on this right, such as informed consent, fetal pain notification, and mandatory waiting periods. I support emergency contraception for assault victims, contraceptive equity, and medically accurate sex education.
Labor- I support the repeal of Arizona's harmful Right to Work and Employment at Will laws. I support affording all employees due process in a workplace free from harassment. I support the right of employees to organize and create unions and the right to collective bargaining.
Environmental Justice - Environmental racism and environmental justice should be a major concern to Arizona residents, as Arizona has the highest concentration of hazardous waste facilities in the entire Southwestern part of the country. These facilities are disproportionately concentrated in low-income and minority communities, which places a disparate impact on those communities. In addition, many of these facilities are operating with temporary permits (with less stringent reporting, health and safety requirements) up to 20 years old, which greatly increases the risk factors for accidents, spills, leakages, and fires. Arizona also houses companies who traffic hazardous waste by importing it in from other states, processing it, and disposing of it. It is bad enough that Arizona creates as much of its own hazardous waste as it does now, but to run a business that actually solicits others' waste is even worse. Currently, there are no regulations for ADEQ to grant or deny permits using disparate impact and cumulative risk as factors in the decision-making process. I support the passage of bills to legislate that ADEQ consider these factors when granting and denying permits.
Clean Elections and Election Reform - I support publicly-funded elections at every level of elected office. I support same-day registration, restoration of voting rights to ex-convicts, voting rights to all immigrants living and working in Arizona, optical scanning equipment in all counties, and implementation of the Voting Rights Act to ensure fair and equitable access to democracy for minority populations.
Voter initiatives and propositions - I very strongly support the public's right to refer initiatives and referendum. Arizona's track record of electing legislators is very conservative. Conversely, it's track record in regards to initiatives is surprisingly progressive. From 1990-2000, 35 items were placed on the ballot by citizen initiative, and over 50% of them passed. In contrast, far fewer than 50% of the legislative bills driven by voters have passed the legislature. The Arizona legislature has been unwilling to tackle strategic policy issues, and voter initiatives/referendums are currently our only alternative other than suing in court (which right must be protected as well). Those who say that restricting the right for voters to refer items to the ballot will force legislators to take responsibility and make these important decisions are wrong - the last decade of failed and self-serving leadership has shown that clearly. Currently, 84% of Arizonans don't believe that legislators care about the future of Arizona (Morrison Institute for Public Policy, 2001). I believe that the public will feel the need to refer items to the ballot less often when there is a responsive and responsible legislature that functions effectively, and that until that time comes, we should refer items to the ballot whenever necessary.