Black Political Cultivation Arizona 2022 November General Election
Full Voter Guide
Black Political Cultivation AZ, a collective of Black and queer organizers in Arizona, has created this guide for Black voters seeking information about how to participate in the Tuesday, November 8th State General Election.
This guide includes basic information about voting–dates, deadlines for participation, links to find your polling place, and more–and our explanation of the importance of different races and takes on numerous candidates running.
Arizona’s Black community needs to exercise our right to vote while we still have it—every time there is an election, Black lives are on the line. Every single office and candidate on the ballot has the potential to have a significant impact on our Black community—some of the candidates represent an opportunity for progress. Others are extremely dangerous, including many Republicans who have used their power to restrict voting access, LGBTQ+ freedom, and reproductive rights and are now seeking higher office. The anti-Black attacks on our freedom, safety, and health will continue if we don’t take action. Thankfully, there is so much more that we can do than vote—but if we waste our right to vote, we are giving up an opportunity to protect one another.
Suppose you have questions about how to vote, about different offices on the ballot, or seek guidance on candidates' records and positions. In that case, BPCAZ’s team of organizers and policy experts are ready to help – contact us:
Have questions about voting, or ready to get down with Black folks in Arizona building political power?
Contact us now:
Basic Election & Voter Information
All set to vote?!
The Election is on Tuesday, November 8th. For those who have signed up for a ballot by mail, ballots will be sent out on October 12th.
Start by checking that you are registered to vote and that your information matches your current address at this link.
Are you not registered? The deadline to register is Tuesday, October 11th. October 28th is the last day to request a ballot by mail.
If you have a reliable address where you can receive mail, make sure to sign up to vote by mail so your ballot can be sent to you, rather than having to go in person at a polling place to vote.
If you are heading in-person to vote, you require a proper ID – here is a link to the information to verify that you have what you need.
Trans Voter Protection Hotline: Transgender individuals may be subject to discrimination and trouble voting if they are trying to participate at the polls. Here is the link to the hotline for trans folks having trouble voting and needing assistance.
What the heck is on my ballot?
BPCAZ has provided a list of critical Offices and Candidates running for these offices in the Primary Election and listed the Ballot Measures you will be voting on.
We have explained why each choice on your ballot is essential to the Black Community, covering various issues that impact our lives—and demonstrating how important it is for every voter to fill out your entire ballot.
Elected Offices & Positions
Candidates On The Ballot
U.S. Senator Role: The U.S. Senate is one of the two bodies of Congress. Each state has two Senators, who servee 6-year terms. Senators have significant power to make national laws, confirm the appointment of federal officials, as well impeach members of government. Of Arizona's two Senators, only the junior Senator, Democrat Mark Kelly, is on the ballot in this election. Why It Matters To Us: The Senate has a great amount of power to influence our lives through legislation across all issues, for example, climate action, policing, funding for public programs, as well as racial justice.
U.S. House Candidates Candidates: District 1 David Schweikert (R) Jevin Hodge (D) District 2 Tom O'Halleran (D) Eli Crane (R) Chris Sarappo (Independent) District 3 Ruben Gallego (D) Jeffrey Zink (R) District 4 Greg Stanton (D) Kelly Cooper (R) Stephan Jones (Independent) (Write-in) District 5 Andy Biggs (R) Javier Garcia Ramos (D) Clint Smith (Independent) Debra Jo Borden (D) (Write-in) District 6 Kirsten Engel (D) Juan Ciscomani (R) Avery Thornton (D) (Write-in) Frank Bertone (Independent) (Write-in) District 7 Raul Grijalva (D) Luis Pozzolo (R) District 8 Debbie Lesko (R) Alixandria Guzman (D) (Write-in) Jeremy Spreitzer (D) (Write-in) District 9 Paul Gosar (R) Richard Grayson (D) (Write-in) Thomas Tzitzura (D) (Write-in)
U.S. Representatives Role: The U.S. House of Representatives is the larger of the two bodies of Congress, with 435 members divided among the states based on population. Arizona has 9 congressional representatives, currently 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans. All of these seats are on this year's ballot. Representatives serve 2-year terms representing a particular congressional district. A representative's responsibilities include introducing bills and resolutions, offering amendments, and serving on committees. They share legislative duties with the Senate and the president of the United States. Why It Matters To Us: Like the Senate, the House has a great amount of power to influence our lives through legislation across all issues, for example, climate action, policing, funding for public programs, as well as racial justice.
Senate Candidates Mark Kelly (D) Blake Masters (R) Marc Victor (L)
Governor Role: The head of the Executive Branch of the State of Arizona, Commander in Chief of Arizona National Guard, and the official who signs or vetoes laws that are passed by the State Legislature. The Governor is tasked with appointing directors of state agencies and court justices and has the power to grant pardons to individuals who are convicted of crimes. Why it Matters to Us: The Governor grants a seal of approval on Arizona laws: anything the legislature does around reproductive rights and justice, immigration, carceral systems, education quality and funding, public health, the right to protest, and more – our governor must reject or legitimize. Outgoing Republican Governor Doug Ducey has also used his power to mobilize armed forces against Black Lives Matter protesters. The Governor has a lot of power to shape our daily lives and lead the state’s direction.
Gubernatorial Candidates Kari Lake (R) A right-wing extremist conservative former local news anchor with no political experience who falsely promotes the lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 Presidential Election. Endorsed by Trump, Represetnative Marjorie Taylor Greene, and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, a White Supremacist law enforcment group. Lake has emphasized dumping resources into Southern border security and promoting racist lies about immigrants, including the threat of “invasion”. Katie Hobbs (D) One of two candidates running in the Democratic Primary. Incumbent Secretary of State, former social worker, and former state legislator representing northwest Phoenix now running for Governor. Supports abortion and voting rights. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.
Secretary of State Role: Second in line to the Governor. The responsibilities of the Secretary of State are largely administrative, and they oversee elections, public services, business services, and state archives. The Secretary of State's work usually makes the news regarding Elections. One of the ballot measures that we will be voted upon in the November General Election is a Constitutional Amendment to create the position of Lieutenant Governor and supersede the Secretary State – because many Republicans in power do not like that the 2nd in line to the Governorship is not currently required to be from the same party as the Governor. Why it Matters to Us: Of all of the vital areas this office is responsible for, the Elections Division has the most impact on us. Black people, other People of Color, immigrants, and other marginalized groups have experienced a violent history of disenfranchisement through the electoral voting system. The Secretary of State’s Office oversees our election process: they certify voting devices, election results, candidates, and ballot measures; they are the Chief Filing officers of our state.
Attorney General Role: Chief Legal Officer of the State: they are the head of the Arizona Department of Law. The state Attorney General is third in the line of succession behind the Secretary of State to the office of Governor and thus holds a position of legal and political power. The Attorney General has authority over civil rights law, consumer protection, financial crimes, environmental laws, organized crime, public corruption, and crimes committed across different jurisdictions. The Attorney General prosecutes cases that are typically dealt with by County Attorneys when they have a conflict. All Appeals from felony convictions in the state are dealt with by the Attorney General's Office. The Attorney General also gives legal guidance to the majority of State offices. Why It Matters to Us: Past Attorneys General have represented the State in court on issues such as immigration and abortion rights – given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings, it’s likely that Arizona’s Attorney General and our County Attorneys will be brought to court to represent us again. Our current Attorney General, Republican Mark Brnovich, applauds the Supreme Court’s recent harmful decisions, including the overturning of Roe vs. Wade (restricting abortion rights).
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Role: The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is one of the nation’s largest public prosecutorial agencies, serving the fourth largest county in the U.S. with a staff of nearly 1,000 employees, including 400 attorneys, investigators, paralegals, victim advocates, and support staff. The County Attorney is the chief prosecutor of Maricopa County – they prosecute all felonies that occur in the county and all misdemeanors that happen in unincorporated areas. Additionally, they serve as legal counsel for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (a county-level equivalent of a city council) and all county departments. Why it Matters to Us: County Attorneys prosecute almost all criminal cases, meaning they decide whether police officers face charges in use-of-force and violent cases that are disproportionately committed against Black, other BIPOC, LGBTQ+, unhoused, and underrepresented and marginalized people. These offices have also represented and prosecuted the state in court on issues like immigration, abortion rights, consumer fraud, and white-collar crime cases. When it comes to the civil right and liberties of Black Arizonans, County Attorney Offices are key.
Secretary of State Candidates Adrian Fontes (D) Former Marine; former Maricopa County Recorder. Top priorities include simplifying and updating election procedures, updating the address confidentiality program to protect individual privacy, and fighting election disinformation. Endorsed by Latino Victory Fund, VoteVets, and several labor unions. Mark Finchem (R) Former police officer and current member of the AZ House of Representatives; a far-right insurrectionist who participated in the January 6th election solely focused on tampering with elections. His unsuccessfully tried to have him recalled from the state legislature. Endorsed by Trump.
Attorney General Candidates Abraham "Abe" Hamadeh (R) A former Maricopa County prosecutor and Army intelligence officer endorsed Trump focused on taking on “the radical left”. Kris Mayes (D) Former Corporation Commissioner (regulated utilities like the public energy sector in AZ). Focused on environmental protection. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona. Samantha Severson (L) (Write-in) No information publicly available. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information.
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Candidates Julie Gunnigle (D) The only candidate in the Democratic Primary. Ran for this seat in 2020 and lost the election by a tiny margin of 1.5%. Her stated areas of focus include criminal justice reform, fighting corruption, and protecting voting rights and election integrity. Gunnigle has commited to not prosecuting Arizonans for seeking abortions, which have been legally restricted after the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade, and as well as because of laws that have been passed by the White Supremacist-dominated State Legislature. Rachel Mitchell (R) Incumbent who was appointed in the wake of disgraced Maricopa County Attorney’s Allister Adel’s resignation and passing in spring 2022. Mitchell is known for her record as a prosecutor of sex crimes, and having been invited to question Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanugh during his Congressional hearing. Mitchell has continued her predecessor’s agenda of prosecuting protestors and using her power to put Black Arizonans in prison.
Arizona Supreme Court Duties: The final authority of Arizona law. Whereas the state legislature creates laws, the Supreme Court confirms constitutionality and hears cases from throughout the state of Arizona. Why It Matters to Us: The Arizona Supreme Court, currently controlled by conservatives appointed by Governer Ducey, has as much power to impact our lives as the U.S. Supreme Court, on issues like abortion and incarceration, for example.
Arizona Appellate Courts Duties: Arizona has two appellate courts: The Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Courts of Appeals are intermediate appellate courts, while the Supreme Court is the last resort. The Court of Appeals was established in 1965 as the first level of appeal up from the superior court. The Phoenix Division has 16 judges, and the Tucson Division has six judges initially appointed by the Governor and subject to retention elections every six years. All matters properly appealed from the superior court are heard and decided by three-judge panels, and all decisions adequately appealed are reviewed by the Court of Appeals.
Justice of the Peace Courts Duties: Traffic and civil cases are heard by the Justice of the Peace Courts. These officers handle domestic violence and harassment cases. Disputes between landlords and tenants are heard by the justice courts up to a dollar amount of $10,000. As well as hearing small claims cases, justices of the peace also hear cases involving amounts less than $3,500.
Municipal Courts Duties: The Municipal Courts operate within the Arizona Court System as limited jurisdiction courts. A Court is responsible for adjudicating all criminal misdemeanors, code violations, traffic violations, and certain juvenile offenses occurring within the jurisdiction of its town. You can also obtain protective orders from the Court by petitioning them.
The Arizona State Legislature is the lawmaking body of Arizona (equivalent to our state’s Congress), makes laws regarding all matters, and passes budgets that fund public programs like education, transportation, public safety, policing, and more.
The Legislature is made up of two bodies, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The state is broken up into 30 districts, and each district has 1 Senator and 2 Representatives, for a total of 90 members that each serve 2 year terms. On your ballot, you will get to vote for 2 House candidates, and 1 Senate candidate.
Unfortunately, the State Legislature, which has been controlled by Republicans for most of recent memory, has been largely dominated by White Supremacy, and has passed a great number of deeply harmful laws in the past few years. These including an abortion ban, dismantling LGBTQ+ rights, prohibiting the teaching of Black history in schools, restricting the people’s ability to protect ourselves from police officers and hold law enforcement accountable, withholding funding from public schools primarily attended by minority children, and more extremely damaging decisions.
It is vital that the voters take power away from White Supremacists and elect more progressive leaders to the Legislature that will protect Black Lives.
Our list of candidates includes only those we have identified to be running in key districts, which may have significant Black populations.
In 2020, the State Legislature districts were redrawn to reflect population changes after the Census count, so the number of your district is probably different then the last time you voted. To find out what your district is now, you can enter the address you are registered to vote at using this link:
LD2 District Description: Legislative District 2 is located in Northwest Phoenix and has a 2% Black population. One of the few districts that have some potential to flip from Republican control to Democratic control in the November General Election, which is essential for preventing the continued success of White Supremacist lawmakers at the state capitol. Christian Lamar (R) Works in the Information Technology sector. Top priorities include requiring the AZ Secretary of State to publish the number of ballots that don’t have proof of US citizenship; requiring body cams for all election workers; and decertifying the 2020 AZ presidential electors. Lamar’s agenda is not based on science or fact. Judy Schweibert (D) Former teacher and librarian, Schweibert has been a State House Representative since 2021. Her top priorities include education, the economy, health care, and the environment. Endorsed by Save Our School AZ, Moms Demand Action, Arizona List, Our Voice Our Vote, and Arizona Education Association. Pierce Waychoff (R) Practicing Chiropractor for 14 years. Top priorities include a 10-year moratorium on all immigration (including legal immigration); stopping state benefits for any immigrants; using unspent funds to pay for troops, and finishing parts of the border wall. Another example of a candidate running on xenophobia. Justin Wilmeth (R) State House Representative since 2020. Top priorities include growing the economy; improving infrastructure; securing the border; and ending the Critical Race Theory. Wilmeth’s platform prioritizes the economy and racism over issues that matter most for Arizonans.
LD2 Jeanne Casteen (D) A former teacher and school board president of Creighton Elementary School District. Top priorities include education, raising the minimum wage, and reproductive freedom. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Save Our School AZ, Moms Demand Action, AZ Working Families Party, Our Voice Our Vote, and Arizona Education Association. Lawrence DeVoto (R) No information is publicly available. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information. Edward Hampton (R) Precinct committee member for the AZ Republican Party. No further information is publicly available. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information. Steve Kaiser (R) Previously served as an Arizona State Representative. Sponsored legislation including allowing the Attorney General to investigate schools, removing the sales tax on firearms, and a referendum that bans Critical Race Theory. None of these bills target what the Arizonans need at this time.
LD4 District Description: Legislative District 4 is located in Northwest Phoenix and Paradise Valley and has a 4% Black population. One of the few districts that has some potential to flip from Republican control to Democratic control in the November General Election, which is essential for preventing the contuined success of White Supremacist lawmakers at the state capitol. John Arnold (R) Small business owner. Top priorities include economic security, border security and safe neighborhoods, water security, election integrity, and ending Critical Race Theory. Arnold’s platform is white supremacy that conflates racism with security. Kenneth Bowers (R) Navy veteran and active attorney. Top priorities include reforming the prison system and transferring federal land to Arizona control. Vera Gebran (R) Limited public information. Priorities include safer communities, ending Critical Race Theory; anti-abortion policie,; and lowering taxes. Matt Gress (R) Former Governing Board Member of the Madison Elementary School District. Top priorities include border security and opposing defunding the police. Gress’s policies prioritize White Supremacy and xenophobia. Richard Hopkins (R) Chairman of the 4th Legislative District Republican Committee. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information. Jana Jackson (R) Former teacher and college professor. Top priorities include school choice and investing in the police. Investing in the police means in White Supremacy and incarcerating Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Maria Syms (R) Former Arizona Assistant Attorney General and former state representative. Top priorities include incarcerating more people, education reform, and investing in the police.Investing in the police means in White Supremacy and incarcerating Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Aram Katz (D) No information found. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information. Laura Terech (D) Teacher and community organizer. Top priorities include investing in underfunded schools, guaranteeing the right to vote, and improving healthcare. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Arizona List, Moms Demand Action, and Save Our Schools AZ.
LD4 Nancy Barto (R) A long-time member of the Arizona Legislature who has gone back and forth between the State House and Senate. Top priorities include being pro-life; “backing the Blue;” ending Critical Race Theory, and supporting a strong economy with low taxes and regulations. Barto is one of the most effective agents of anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion, and anti-Black legislation, and it is crucial that she not be re-elected if we want to keep White Supremacy out of power. Andy Kunasek (R) Former representative on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors from 1997 to 2016. Limited public information. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information. Christine Marsh (D) State Senator since 2021; public school teacher. Priorities include enhancing education and the economy, ensuring access to affordable healthcare, and expanding Arizona’s renewable energy industry. Voting for Marsh’s platform is a vote for investing in education, healthcare, and renewable energy. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Emily’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Equality Arizona, and Arizona Education Association. Chris Riggs (R) Mayor of Gila Bend. Limited public information. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information.
LD5 District Description: Legislative District 4 is located in Central Phoenix and has a 7% Black population, making it the 5th Blackest district in the state. This area is safely controlled by Democrats, meaning whichever Democrat candidate wins the Primary Election is likely to win in the General. Sarah Ligouri (D) Incumbent state representative since 2021. Top priorities include public education funding; homelessness and housing affordability; climate change and water security; voting rights; income inequality and equity; and reproductive rights. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Arizona List, Moms Demand Action, and Arizona Education Association. Jennifer Longdon (D) Incumbent state representative since 2018. Top priorities include equity, education, health care, and gun violence prevention. Endorsed by Chicanos Por La Causa, Everytown for Gun Safety, Stonewall Democrats of Arizona, Arizona List, Moms Demand Action, and Equality Arizona. Aaron Márquez (D) Veteran and Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board member. Top priorities include protecting democracy, improving schools, and protecting abortion rights. Endorsed by VoteVets, Chicanos Por La Causa, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA). Amish Shah (D) Incumbent State House member since 2019. Priorities include education and healthcare. Brianna Westbrook (D) Openly transgender woman, longtime progressive activist, a leader in local Democrat politics, and former political director of Equality Arizona. Top Priorities include increased access to voting, automatic voter registration, restoring the right to vote for all presently and formerly incarcerated people, supporting the rights of all workers; increasing the minimum wage; fully funding public education, and completely removing school resource officers (SROs – police) from schools. Endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Moms Demand Action, and Arizona Education Association, various labor unions, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), and Democratic Socialists of America Phoenix and Tucson chapters.
LD8 District Description: Legislative District 8 is located in Tempe, Scottsdale, and the Salt River Reservation and has a 7% Black population, making it the 3rd Blackest district in the state. This area is safely controlled by Democrats, meaning whichever Democrat candidate wins the Primary Election is likely to win in the General. Caden Darrow (R) Top priorities include auditing the Arizona public education system, enforcing election integrity, protecting the southern border, ending homelessness, reducing state income tax, and supporting the police, fire, EMS, and border agents. Darrow’s platform is for continued incarceration and persistent education barriers that plague the Black community. Melody Hernandez (D) Incumbent Arizona state representative since 2021; working paramedic. Bill Loughrige (R) Long career in law enforcement. Limited public information available. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information. Athena Salman (D) Incumbent Arizona state representative since 2017; progressive activist. Priorities included healthcare, education, reproductive justice, civil rights, and the environment.
LD11 District Description: Legislative District 11 is located in Urban Phoenix to the South Mountain area and has a 19% Black population, making it THE Blackest district in the state. This area has historically been the concentration of Black people in Phoenix, and more than anywhere else absolutely deserves progressive Black representation. This area is safely controlled by Democrats, meaning whichever Democrat candidate wins the Primary Election is likely to win in the General and be elected into office. Shams AbdusSamad (D) Democrat precinct comitteemember with work experience as an adjunct community college professor and as a city employee. Top priorities include: education, infrastructure, worker’s rights, police reform, public safety, and voting rights. Michael Butts (D) Black man. Former police officer, teacher, and elementary school administrator. Top priorities include: supporting law enforcement, criminal justice, and increasing education funding. Endorsed by National Organization for Women AZ. Oscar De los Santos (D) Latino man. Former public school teacher, Obama Administration economic advisor, public policy representative for nonprofits, and Rhodes Scholar; currently works at the Arizona Democracy Resource Center. Top priorities include: funding and improving education, economic affordability, reducing health care costs. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, AZ Working Families Party, Moms Demand Action, Equality Arizona, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, several labor unions, Arizona Education Association, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), and Sierra Club Arizona. Wesley Leasy (D) Black man. Former NFL Arizona Cardinals linebacker; small business owner and coach. Top priorities: voting rights, immigration policy, reproductive rights, and the environment. Tatiana Peña (R) Latina woman. She is an elementary/preschool teacher and musician. Top priorities: supporting law enforcement, religious freedom and free speech, anti-abortion, and gun rights. Marcelino Quinonez (D) Latino man. Incumbent state representative of this district since being appointed in late 2021. Former outreach director at ASU and for nonprofits, and school district governing board member. Top priorities include: gun law reform, reproductive rights, improving transportation infrastructure, environmental protection, and access to quality healthcare. Endorsed by labor unions, Chicanos Por La Causa, Sierra Club AZ, and Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Naketa Ross (D) Black woman. Member of the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board since 2019. Trauma-informed care specialist, working previously as an executive director and founder of ResilientMe. Top priorities include: ending the school to prison pipeline and replacing student punishment with restorative practices, funding public education, and criminal justice reform. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, AZ Working Families Party, Moms Demand Action, Equality Arizona, Our Voice Our Vote, Emily’s List, Stonewall Democrats of Arizona, Arizona List, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), National Organization for Women AZ, and Emily’s List.
LD24 District Description: Legislative District 24 is located in Encanto Village, Maryvale, and Glendale and has an 8% Black population, making it the 9th Blackest district in the state. This area is safely controlled by Democrats, meaning whichever Democrat candidate wins the Primary Election is likely to win in the General. Lydia Hernandez (D) Former member of the state House from 2013-2014. Former nonprofit executive and public employee and current elementary school board member. Anti-abortion rights. Hector Jaramillo (D) Limited information is publicly available. BPCAZ cautions against voting for candidates that have limited public information. Pedro Lopez (D) School board member. Limited information is publicly available. Analise Ortiz (D) Democratic activist and former journalist. Top priorities include investing in public schools, housing, a living wage for all, protecting abortion and reproductive healthcare, protecting civil rights, and making healthcare affordable. Endorsed by Living United for Change in Arizona, Working Families Party, Equality Arizona, Stonewall Democrats of Arizona, National Organization for Women Arizona, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Chispa Arizona, and Sierra Club Arizona.
LD26 District Description: Legislative District 26 is located in Phoenix and Glendale and has a 9% Black population, making it the 7th Blackest district in the state. This area is safely controlled by Democrats, meaning whichever Democrat candidate wins the Primary Election is likely to win in the General. Cesar Aguilar (D) Incumbent state House member for this district since 2018. School board member and nonprofit executive. Priorities: funding public education, accessible healthcare, and protecting reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights as well as labor unions. Endorsed by Living United for Change in Arizona, labor unions, AZ Working Families Party, and Arizona Education Association. Flavio Bravo (D) Voting rights advocate and former educator. Priorities: education, affordable housing, worker rights, and healthcare. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Sierra Club, and labor unions. Gil Hacochen (D) Priorities: addressing homelessness, housing, protecting early mail-in voting, and gun reform. Christian Solorio (D) Incumbent state representative for this district since 2021, elementary school board member, and architect. Priorities: affordable housing, education, and climate action.
LD5 Lela Alston (D) Incumbent Arizona State Senator who has been in and out of office since the 1970s. A former teacher in the Phoenix Union High School District, as well as a current governing board member. Top priorities include civil rights, natural resources, defending democracy, affordable housing, and funding education. Al Jones (D) Army Veteran and Democrat Precinct Committeeman. Sarah Tyree (D) Army Veteran and Black queer woman running for the State Legislator for the second time. Top priorities include renter rights and protections, job creation, protecting the rights of minorities, and increasing funding and access to mental health and support services. Endorsed by Moms Demand Action and National Organization for Women AZ.
LD8 Juan Mendez (D) Incumbent State Senator since 2017, former community organizer, and non-profit leader. Priorities included healthcare, education, reproductive justice, civil rights, and the environment. Roxana Holzapfel (R) Former police officer. Top priorities include law enforcement, the second amendment, and border security. Holzapfel’s platform is for continued incarceration that plagues the Black community
LD11 Maryn Brannies (R) National Guard combat veteran, small business owner, a state registered EMT. Top priorities: gun rights, border security, anti-abortion, criminal justice reform, free speech, and education. Junelle Cavero (D) Cavero is a political professional and small business owner who has worked on several presidential campaigns on veterans issues and advocated for Asian Americans with several nonprofit organizations. Top priorities: living wages, affordable housing, education, protecting natural resources, voter protection rights, health care, universal childcare, criminal justice reform, and civil rights. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, several labor unions, Arizona Education Association, Arizona List, Emily's List, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), National Organization for Women (NOW) Arizona, Progress Arizona, Save Our Schools Arizona, and Sierra Club Arizona. Catherine Miranda (D) A previous member of the Arizona Legislature in 2010; has worked as an elementary school assistant principal. Top priorities: education, job and business development, health care, veterans, criminal justice, and immigration. Janelle Wood (D) She is the founder and president of Black Mothers Forum, Inc, which has worked with Republican Governor Doug Ducey. Her organization is focused on serving the Black community by dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Top priorities: anti-abortion, racial issues, education, economic, infrastructure, and job creation. Endorsed by the National Organization for Women (NOW) Arizona and Stonewall Democrats of Arizona.
LD24 Cesar N. Chavez (D) Incumbent Arizona State Representative since 2017; founding member of the LGBTQ+ Caucus in the legislature. Anna Hernandez (D) After her brother was killed by the Phoenix Police in 2019, she became an advocate for police accountability and reinvesting the police budget in community resources. Top priorities include funding education; access to quality jobs, reproductive justice, climate, affordable housing for all, resources for mental health and substance use, and freedom from state violence. Endorsed by Arizona List, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, AZ Poder, AZ Working Families Party, Progress Arizona, Chispa, Sierra Club, Our Voice Our Vote, New American leaders, and National organization for Women.
LD26 Raquel Terán (D) Incumbent State House Representative since 2019. Appointed to the State Senate in late 2021 to fill the remainder of Tony Navarrete's two-year term following his resignation. Before the election to the state legislature, Terán was a community organizer who was active in opposing SB 1070 and part of the successful recall of Russell Pearce, the primary sponsor of the anti-immigration bill. The current head of the Arizona Democratic Party. Facing no competition in the primary or general election.
Ballot Measures and Intiatives
Ballot measures, also called propositions or initiatives, are an opportunity for voters to directly decide whether to approve or reject a proposed law, including making amendments to the state's constitution. Some are initiatives by the public through petitions, others are created by the members of the Arizona Legislature and then sent to the public for a vote during the election.
There are several ballot measures that you will get to vote on during the November election, mainly related to topics of education, voting and democracy, and taxes. It is incredible important that we make our voices heard and cast our votes in favor or against these propositions. Unfortunately, many of the ballot measures could have very harmful effects if they become law. We have explained what the propositions on your ballot mean, and what their potential impact could be on the Black community.
Click read more to see more information about each ballot measure. We’ve also marked with a “Jim Crow Comeback” warning for all of the measures that are especially threatening to democratic freedom and Black people’s rights.
Prop 129 Official Title: Single-Subject Requirement for Ballot Initiatives Amendment Subject: Direct Democracy Recommended Vote: Hell No! Description: This measure would add a provision to the Arizona Constitution requiring citizen-initiated ballot measures to cover a single issue. If the initiative’s subject is not expressed in the ballot title, it will be considered void. This means that if the State Legislature or the Supreme Court declares an initiative invalid or unconstitutional, the State Legislature may repeal or amend them—overruling the public's opinion in reshaping the law with its own agenda. This “single subject” excuse has been used as a roadblock to progressive and popular initiatives, especially education-related ones. Just like Prop 182, this proposition asks you to vote to approve, making it more difficult for you to vote on comprehensive law changes! We must not approve of limiting our own power to shape our lives through direct democracy.
Prop 130 Official Title: Property Tax Exemptions Amendment Subject: Taxes Recommended Vote: Neutral Description: Property tax exemption amounts and qualifications may be set by the legislature (such as those for widows and widowers, the disabled, and disabled veterans) and consolidating property tax exemption provisions under a single article. While this proposal would allow certain Black Arizonans to receive tax exemptions and qualifications, it would decrease state budgets allocated for social safety nets.
Prop 131 Official Title: Create the Office of Lieutenant Governor Amendment Subject: State executive official Recommended Vote: Hell No Description: This proposition would create a lieutenant governor position. The legislature would define the responsibilities of the lieutenant governor, whose duties are not currently known. Arizona is one of five states without a lieutenant governor as of 2022. A lieutenant governor is also elected on the same ticket as the governor, following 26 other states. Running mates must be selected 60 days before the general election unless the legislature prescribes otherwise. If the incumbent dies, resigns, or is removed, the lieutenant governor succeeds. Currently, the secretary of state is the one who succeeds the governor. This is seen in history, where Arizona's secretary of state has succeeded six governors. A lieutenant governor could benefit from this position by being elected alongside the governor. Due to undefined duties and limited public information, we do not recommend supporting this proposal.
Prop 132 Official Title: 60% Supermajority Vote Requirement for Constitutional Amendments and Ballot Initiatives Amendment Subject: Direct Democracy Recommended Vote: Hell No Description: This constitutional amendment would require a 60% supermajority vote for voters to pass ballot measures to approve taxes. This seems like another preemptive measure– an attempt to remove power from the people– that could enact abolition policies. This would create another barrier, another step from allowing the people to dictate policy rather than the Republican majority in the legislature. As a result, it would make it extremely difficult to establish taxes that would benefit Black Arizonans that could fund social programs and education.
Prop 308 Official Title: In-State Tuition for Non-Citizen Residents Measure Subject: Education Recommended Vote: Yes Description: Proposition 308 undoes the harm created by the racist, anti-immigration laws of Proposition 300 during the “Show Me Your Papers” era of Arizona law (2006-2010). Proposition 300 was a way for legislators to slam doors shut on the faces of immigrants and people of color by denying them access to family literacy programs, immigrant and adult education classes, community college and university residency requirements, tuition/fee waivers, and financial assistance, and child care assistance that is sponsored or subsidized by the state whether in part or in whole. Proposition 308 will allow people who have been high school or homeschool equivalent students for at least two years while in the state of Arizona to be eligible for in-state tuition at Arizona colleges and universities. This will create equitable opportunities for Black and BIPOC Arizonans who are refugees, immigrants, or otherwise non-citizens and attend school in this state to continue their education with the same opportunities as their resident peers. Scholarship opportunities, financial aid, and social services should be available to all Arizona residents irrespective of citizenship status.
Prop 309 Official Title: Voter Identification Requirements for Mail-In Ballots and In-Person Voting Measure Subject: Voting Recommended Vote: Hell No! Description: Proposition 309 feeds off the unjustified doubt conservative lawmakers have been trying to sow over election integrity and mail-in ballots, despite a total lack of evidence that mail-in ballots in Arizona have ever been used in a fraudulent manner. Proposition 309 makes multiple changes to Arizona’s voter identification and mail-in ballot policies, including requiring dates of birth and voter identification numbers for mail-in ballots and eliminating the existing two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting. The measure will make voting more difficult for people as it increases the requirements necessary to participate in democracy/elections; as such, this proposition is a form of voter suppression.
Prop 310 Official Title: Sales Tax for Fire District Funding Measure Subject: Taxes Recommended Vote: Neutral Description: This ballot measure seeks to create a tax that will generate $150 million yearly for Arizona's fire districts. Though this proposition raises money for fire districts – and contributes to firefighters in areas that are less likely to have necessary funding– putting ourselves in a predicament of supporting ‘public safety’ may conflict with our overall mission of abolition. Furthermore, this ballot measure does nothing to raise these funds to fight climate change. As a result, it gives money to the response rather than tackling the inherent issue at hand.
Disclaimer: The listing and descriptions of candidates running for office in the November 8th state general election election are for informational purposes only, and do not indicate an endorsement of any of those candidates by BPCAZ as an organization. BPCAZ has not endorsed any candidates in this election.
Black Political Cultivation Arizona (Black Phoenix Votes) is a 501(c4) non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona.
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