Photo by Aaron Ricca.
KINGMAN – Mohave County Democrats have their work cut out for them.
They went after Republican measures on healthcare, education and voter registration Wednesday night, along with finding ways to build more party cohesion.
The GOP’s proposed, as-of-then unseen, healthcare bill written to replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act was the first target in their shooting gallery.
MCDCC Chairwoman Marty Luna-Wolfe urged fellow Dems to contact their congressmen and ask them to wait on action until they’ve read the entire bill.
“We haven’t seen it. We don’t know what’s in it,” she said. “You need to call them and tell them, ‘Do not pass this bill until the nation has an opportunity to look at what this is.’ They have done this bill in such secrecy that even the members of the committee who designed the bill don’t know what’s in it. That’s not the way the United States needs to run.”
The 142-page healthcare bill was released to the public on Thursday.
MCDCC went on to criticize SB 1431, a Republican-sponsored school voucher expansion bill signed by Governor Doug Ducey April 6. Proponents say SB 1431 will give parents more say in where their kids attend school. Critics say it will shift taxpayer money away from already hurting public schools to private and parochial schools.
Some members of the MCDCC are backing the grassroots group ‘Save our Schools’, which hopes to put SB 1431 in voter’s hands to let them decide on voucher expansion.
“We’re eating our future,” said Kelly James Lindsey, president of the Democratic Association of Havasu and MCDCC District 3 vice chair. “If we lose this, we can’t educate our kids.”
Speaking of getting measures on the ballot, MCDCC also attacked HB 2404, a Republican sponsored bill that affects the initiative and referendum processes by increasing requirements on paid petition circulators in Arizona. This measure is also under fire by the Mohave County Libertarian Party as being yet another legislative roadblock to stifle the election process.
“I don’t see much hope for the common person if (legislatures) take our education and voting abilities away,” Lindsey said. “If we can’t get citizen initiatives on the ballot, we lose the election process.”
Voter registration will continue to be a hot potato for county Democrats.
“Always remember, if you register one vote or 100, don’t be overwhelmed,” said MCDCC Secretary Ed Pyrzynski, speaking on the club’s continuing task of registering more voters, particularly Democrat voters. “Take it one step at a time. The more we get, the better we get.”
The possibility of public debates might not be far off.
Beth Weisser, first vice chair of MCDCC, said she’d like to see debates on issues, not so much between the candidates, happen to both bring local issues into the spotlight, and rebuild a sense of civility that’s been lost over the last few years.
“We have to be able to talk to each other. The civil discourse is not there,” she said. “We are not creating good role models for our younger generations right now. If we can have debates that have rules and discourse, then we can be teaching that we can be reasonable and talk about issues without wanting to burn the curtains.”
Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green Party and everyone in between would be welcome to hash out their issues before the public. No word on when or where the debates would take place, but Mohave Community College was mentioned as a possible host.
The next MCDCC meeting is July 19 in Lake Havasu City. The location will be announced.
For more information, contact Marty Luna-Wolfe at 928-303-5832.