Charlie Fisher visited Kingman for the very first time last week. Charlie is the Arizona Democratic party’s candidate recruiter for the state legislature. And while his visit may appear to be a partisan visit that affects only registered Democrats, Charlie’s visit impacts the constituents of every party within the “politically irrelevant” 5th Legislative District.
Charlie hasn’t recruited in person before because LD5 is categorized as the lowest rung of political importance. This means the Democratic party doesn’t spend their resources here because the “numbers are what they are.” And the Republican party doesn’t spend their resources here because Kingman is virtually guaranteed to help elect their LD5 (and CD4) candidates, so they can shuttle their resources into higher priority legislative and congressional districts.
However, the problem with living in one of Arizona’s “bottom of the barrel” politically irrelevant districts is that candidates across party lines don’t waste time fighting for our vote. And once they’re elected, these same public servants don’t waste their time listening to constituent voices. Regardless of party affiliation, everyone loses.
When was the last time our state officials (Sen. Sonni Borrelli, Rep. Paul Mosley, Rep. Regina Cobb) held a town hall in Kingman? What about Sen. McCain, Sen. Flake, or Rep. Gosar? Neither McCain or Sen. Flake’s offices could provide me with an answer, and the only “senate” town hall I could find online was McCain’s November 2009 town hall from eight years ago. Rep. Gosar fared “best” with his January 2014 town hall.
We the people of Kingman are taxpayers just like the “highly competitive” and “emerging district” tiers, yet our collective voice is virtually ignored by candidates and representatives alike, an unacceptable modern day “taxation, without representation.”
The path to political relevance for Kingman is simple: show up, call, write, and post on official social media constituent open public forums. Let our representatives know that “We the People” of Kingman are watching what they’re doing and will hold them accountable. Most importantly, thank them when they do something that you appreciate.
But for today, regardless of party affiliation, we can all feel a bit more hopeful about the political winds of change blowing through our district, because Charlie Fisher visited Kingman for the very first time, and he is confident that LD5 will soon be categorized as an “emerging district” where candidates will need to start fighting for our votes, and representatives will need to start listening to our constituent concerns.