FEDERAL and AZ ACTION ALERTS – Oct. 23, 2021

Produced by the Legislative Committee of the Coconino County Democratic Party and Democrats of the Red Rocks

THIS WEEK’S ALERTS:   

  • Arizona Redistricting – Time to Step Up 
  • Filibuster Reform after defeat of Voting Rights bill
  • ALL IN ON SINEMA:  Aggressive Messaging for Sen. Sinema to stop sabotaging President Biden’s agenda

A.  ARIZONA REDISTRICTING IS HEATING UP

The once-in-a-decade redistricting process is reaching a critical stage. Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission will be finalizing the “draft maps,” proposing 9 congressional districts and 30 legislative districts. While they trumpet their transparency and creation of tools for receiving public input and suggestions, the fact is that many portions of our state – including tribal reservations and rural areas, including here in northern Arizona – have had far fewer opportunities to participate, and their suggestions have received less attention from the Commission.

  1. Attend an important briefing by the Arizona Democratic Party, this Sunday (10-24) at NOON. You’ll hear from state party Chair Raquel Teran an update on the latest versions of maps being pushed by the IRC and guidance on how to have your voice heard, both in the meetings of the coming week and in public hearings the IRC will hold during November before finalizing their maps. Register at this link: Redistricting Update from Fair & Competitive Districts Team · AZ Dems (mobilize.us)
  2. Check out the latest versions, Series 8, of both maps here (Draft Maps | AZ Redistricting Hub (arcgis.com) ) and provide your thoughts about whether the lines, demographics, and political competitiveness of the proposed districts would serve us well. (Click on “Open Plan” to see the map, click on the PDF for “Demographic and competitiveness data analysis” to see how the proposed districts in that map would look with respect to census and voting data, click on “Provide Feedback” to give them your reaction.)
  3. Watch one or both IRC meetings this coming week – Tuesday, 8 am – and Thursday, xxx – by using links on the website at Public Meetings | Independent Redistricting Commission (az.gov) . Tuesday’s meeting agenda is already posted and the Thursday agenda and link should be posted soon. The agendas contain links to a webform where public comment can be entered during the meetings – comment that the commissioners do seem to read. (To get ideas for commenting, look at “submitted comments” next to recent meetings at the same link.)

B.   NOW THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE TORPEDOED THE “FREEDOM TO VOTE ACT” ITS TIME TO MODIFY FILIBUSTER.   BOTH SENATORS

Sen. Manchin worked all summer with Republicans to try and bring about a compromise voting rights bill. His scaled-back “For the People Act” (supported by all Democrats) went down last Wednesday without a single Republican Senate vote.  60 votes were needed to pass.  It’s time to modify the filibuster to at least require an old-school speaking filibuster. 

SAMPLE VOICE MAIL FOR SENATORS: 

I’m a lifelong Democrat living and voting in XXXXX, Arizona.  Now that every Republican Senator has voted down Sen. Manchin’s “Freedom to Vote Act” return the Senate to some reasonable order.  The filibuster used to be a rare event.  Now it’s used to prevent almost anything including our rights to vote.  It’s time to restore the Senate take the extreme politics out of the Senate and return the filibuster to a “talking” filibuster, at least on voting rights.”

Sen. Sinema:  Call (202) 224-4521 (DC) or (602) 598-7327.  Email via her website at “http://www.sinema.senate.gov”  Tag the Senator at @senatorsinema. Senator Sinema sits on the Commerce Science and Transportation Committee (drug prices, Medicare), and on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs (housing proposals).

Sen. Mark Kelly: Call (202) 224-2235 (DC),  Email via his website at http://www.kelly.senate.gov Tag the Senator at @senmarkkelly. Senator Kelly sits on the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Committee on Aging.

C.  AGGRESSIVE MESSAGE FOR SENATOR SINEMA.  STOP WORKING AGAINST PRESIDENT BIDEN AND THE BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA! 

Has money bought Senator Sinema?  Sen. Sinema campaigned in 2018 on a promise to reduce drug costs.  Her position is now completely the opposite after taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Pharma.[1]   Now she threatens to tank President Biden’s entire Build Back Better plan if it 1)  allows for Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices (supported by 80% of Americans and even Donald Trump!) and 2) is paid for rescinding the Trump tax cuts and by making the obscenely wealthy and major corporations pay their fair share in taxes.   What is going on with Sinema?   

Sample texts or message for Senator Sinema:  “My name is XXXX, and I’m a Democrat living and voting in XXXXX.    I was stunned to hear that you are actively working against President Biden and his Build Back Better agenda (PICK AN ISSUE BELOW):  

[MEDICARE FOCUS]  “You campaigned on a promise to reduce drug prices.  1.35 million Arizonans receive Medicare and now you have sold us out to Big Pharma.  By opposing granting Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices you are taxing us every time we go to the pharmacy.   Why?  Allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices would save consumers $450 billion over ten years[2]. Your position harms (us) older Arizonans struggling to pay for things like insulin.  Please stop doing this.”

[TAX THE SUPER RICH FOCUS]  “You’ve threatened to tank the social infrastructure plan if it was paid for by rescinding the obscene Trump tax cuts that benefited super rich tax cheats.  What happened to you?  Raising taxes on those earning over $400,000 per year and on super wealthy corporations affects only a tiny fraction of Arizonans.  71% of Arizonans support increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%.[3]  Please stand with the vast majority of Arizonans and don’t let super rich tax cheats get away with it.”

[CLIMATE PITCH]  “Build Back Better will create millions of clean energy jobs, including a Civilian Climate Corps; the crucially needed Clean Energy Standard and use of both incentives and penalties to speed up the move away from fossil fuels to true renewables.  I know you support this.  Investments in mitigating climate change will save literally billions in near-term damages from climate-caused disasters.  So please make sure these climate provisions are passed into law.” 

[CARE ECONOMY]:   “Build Back Better would bring affordable childcare benefits to those who need it, and improved quality of and access to home and community-based care for seniors and those with disabilities.  Please stop standing in the way.  We all must compromise in life.  I’m asking you to compromise as well.” 

Sen. Sinema:  Call (202) 224-4521 (DC) or (602) 598-7327.  Email via her website at “http://www.sinema.senate.gov”  Tag the Senator at @senatorsinema. Senator Sinema sits on the Commerce Science and Transportation Committee (drug prices, Medicare), and on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs (housing proposals).


[1] See The New Republic, Sept. 22, 2021, “Kyrsten Sinema is Corporate Lobbies’ Million-Dollar Woman”  https://newrepublic.com/article/163745/kyrsten-sinema-corporate-donations-chamber-commerce?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tnr_daily

[2] Kaiser Family Foundation. 

[3] Hart &ALG Research, July 2021 poll.

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