Phoenix,AZ –Arizona working voters took a day off to gather at the Capitol and asked lawmakers to stop attacks on Clean Elections and Voting Rights. Wednesday’s Day of Action was organized by Arizona Advocacy Network, a non-profit, grassroots organization working to strengthen Clean Elections, Voting Rights and Fair Courts. Sam Wercinski, Executive Director of Arizona Advocacy Network began by focusing on legislation that attacks government by the People.
"The annual attacks on the citizen-approved Clean Elections Act and working voters is exemplified this year by bills like SCR1003, SB1344 and blocking the citizens' referendum of HB2305." He went on to say, "Lawmakers supporting these efforts make it clear to Arizona voters who they support - Big money special interests who help these politicians stay in power," Wercinski said.
Federal bills like the Government by the People Act and Fair Elections Now Act show there is strong national support for laws like Arizona’s Clean Elections Act. Wercinski applauded Arizona congressional members Barber, Grijalva and Kirkpatrick for supporting these efforts and urged the entire state congressional delegation to join them in passing campaign finance reform.
Carmen Cornejo, an immigrant and successful small business owner from Chandler, spoke at the press conference on clean elections and voting rights. “I have always believed America had the strongest democracy in the world. Today, unfortunately, it appears to me that Arizona government is being corrupted by large sums of money and attacks on voters.”
Janee Pousson commented about politicians putting donors ahead of voters like her. “Lawmakers once again are putting big money and special interests ahead of working voters and families like my own. As a young professional and a mother who is passionate about civil rights and my children's future, it’s shameful to see politicians empower big money donors while attacking voters.”
Organizing and Advocacy Director for Arizona Students Association, Casey Dreher, stood up for Arizona students and young voters. “In a time when we should be striving to increase access to voting for our sons and daughters, many of them veterans like me, politicians continue to put up roadblocks to make voting more difficult for Arizonans.” He also highlighted the attacks on students registering to vote with the federal form and the two-track voting system.
Arizona Advocacy Network praised members of the legislature for bills related to freebies and gifts; exposing dark money; strengthening government integrity and citizen participation through Clean Elections. SB1060 (Event Tickets), SB1403 (Dark Money) and HB2651 (Clean Elections) are still being heard by lawmakers while bills attacking Clean Elections and voters are rushed through.