Not just a bill, an Impact on the Problem!

As State Representative, I have been working with community groups to solve problems.

Writing new laws is a good pursuit,  but that is not my goal.  My goal is to implement sets of holistic solutions that will have an impact.   Passing a new law is no good if it doesn’t help solve the problem.

It takes a lot of time to gather many perspectives, many areas of expertise, and many people to develop creative solutions that will work,  and that will have the intended impact.

Comty_2017-1024_renters_Andy-ME

It is worth the time.     I am grateful to the people of my community for pitching in together to do the work of solving problems via the power of the People’s House.

My community groups and I are taking action on these projects.

  • Education:
  • Jobs and Technology:
    • Better jobs for the innovation economy, and the creative economy
      Artists are an important part of thriving neighborhoods and economies.
    • Support for cool things like driverless cars, with caution for safety
  • Community:
    • Improve “Apartment Life”  –  About  50% of Arizonans rent their homes.
      I’m listening to good ideas and complaints to find solutions to problems with confusing contracts,  keeping apartments healthy,  and removing red-tape.
    • Protect local control in our cities to support police and fire fighters, and  the charm of neighborhoods!

See notices in this blog and on this website for updates,  as well as
Facebook:  MitziEpsteinforAZ on Facebook      and
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/MitziEpstein

Reeling from the news

We have had another sad, –horribly, tragically sad week.

A terrorist in New York City,  a murderer in Texas,  and in our own community 2 more teenagers died by suicide.   These are the most difficult conversations to have.  We don’t know what words to use.   But we know that we must care.

We know that as long as we do keep on caring, and hurting when we hear these tragedies, then we are still in touch with our humanity,  and then we can hope to make the tragedies stop.

Our Neighbors Council, to prevent hate crimes and promote understanding is taking on weeks like this one to build on hope and develop solutions.  We might not come up with the perfect answers,  but we will take action and choose things that will work.

I am not interested in just passing some laws.  Our Neighbors Council is dedicated to finding solutions that will work.

Please join us Tuesday, Nov. 7  for our next meeting.   5:50 pm in the House of Representatives,  Hearing Room 4.  

ME save my school sign 2017_0812
Rally for strong schools August 2017

We will hear from 3 organizations that provide programs to schools to support the whole child.

  1. Stephanie Orr, Executive Director of the Casa Center for Positive Social Change will present information about their programs for children and adults to improve skills in social emotional learning,  SEL.   “Brighter Hearts. Kinder Minds.  Our futures depend on it.”  https://www.casacares.org/
  2. DeVon Bryant has mentored and coached students in a variety of programs, including Anytown Leadership Camp.  “Developing Leaders. Embracing Diversity.”
  3. Melia Dunn,  leader of  the Anti-defamation League’s “No Place for Hate”  initiative in Arizona will present information about this program that is committed to “using the power of positive peer influence to build inclusive and safe schools in which all students can thrive.” http://arizona.adl.org/no-place-for-hate/

We will learn about these programs as examples of options we have to make a difference.   Since 2009,  teen suicide has increased by over 80% in Arizona.  We can make a difference,  and it can mean the difference between death and life.

Join us and help us build on hope to promote understanding.

 

Tackling the Big Issues

My job is to listen to you.
When we talk at community events two things are worrying you:  Schools and Hate.

We have seen bigotry and prejudice explode in recent times.

Our schools need better funding and our children deserve a solid start.

What can we DO about prejudice, bigotry, and bullying? 

I have established the Neighbors Council.  The group is open and meets monthly at the AZ House of Representatives.  (We might take it into communities soon.)  Very purposefully, people of diverse races, faiths, political parties, and other walks of life are included.  The mission is to prevent hate crimes and to promote understanding.  The group will develop  potential legislation, programs,  or events that will promote understanding among  diverse people.  An important outcome of our work will be to establish and improve the process for public input to lawmaking.   Your voice should be heard when bills are discussed, not just professional lobbyists’ voices.

Neighbors Advisory Counci first mtg 2017_0905
Neighbors Council – First Meeting 9/5/2017

 

How are these stakeholder groups different from others?

In addition to the Neighbors Council,  I have established PALS – Parents are Legislative Stakeholders.  These 2 groups are your chance to speak up in an informal setting.  The focus is on listening to what you, the ordinary Arizonan thinks, and to listen to how a potential law might affect your life.

During typical legislative committee hearings, there are 2 problems.

  •  Paid lobbyists get the first and foremost opportunities to talk.
  •  When concerned citizens speak, they get very limited time and it is intimidating.

PALS and Neighbors Council are intended for you to feel comfortable and empower you to have an impact.   You can speak up.   You will be heard.

 

What can be done to restore education funding? 

PALS will be key for this work.  Working with Republicans, Democrats, Greens, and people with no party affiliation, we are evaluating revenue options that are fair, sustainable, exportable, adequate, and neutral to economic balance.   We need to fix tax policies that are unfair to you.    Bring your viewpoints,  your knowledge, and your ideas.

Arizona must stop looking at one tax idea in a silo separate from real life!   Instead, we must consider how proposals affect everybody:  small businesses, millennials, retirees, our big employers, schools, roadways, and all of our state responsibilities.   It is a lot of work to do.    It is work that must be done.    Join us.   ** Click Here ** to sign up for emails about meetings, or surveys you can answer to give your opinion.