Maricopa County
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As AZ Jobless Rate Climbs, Study Finds Educated Workers Would Boost Economy

The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona's unemployment rate increased for the third straight month. To make matters worse, "Arizona ranks 48th in the nation for the largest share of people who are unemployed, underemployed or too discouraged to look for work," according to The Arizona Republic.

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Most AZ High School Grads Ineligible for AZ Universities

Friday's The Arizona Republic detailed a report from the Arizona Board of Regents finding "fewer than half of Arizona high school graduates meet the admission requirements for the state universities."

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Bring Arpaio's Wasteful, Hateful Reign to an End

Are you reading the current Arizona Republic series on Arpaio? What do you think? We're frankly left scratching our heads -- why all the PR in advance of the upcoming racial profiling and contempt of court trials?

More importantly, what is the Maricopa County Democratic Party doing NOW to make sure incompetent Arpaio's wasteful, hateful reign comes to an end? Find out here!

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Phoenix City Elections -- August 2015

Phoenix voters resoundingly re-elected Mayor Greg Stanton on August 25.  In fact, the Mayor WON EVERY PRECINCT in the city. Voters also said YES to Prop 104, the MovePHX transportation initiative -- one of the largest transit approvals in US history.

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Ducey Too Busy With Arts and Crafts to Work on Department of Child Safety

The Department of Child Safety (DCS) is continues to struggle to keep up with child abuse and neglect investigations with over 14,000 cases currently inactive, as noted by Democratic Arizona State Representative Debbie McCune-Davis on Sunday's Politics Unplugged. Rep. McCune-Davis went on to detail how the most recent reports from DCS have lagged and date back to March while there is still no word on a promised technology upgrade from Gov. Ducey. "$5 million was appropriated for a study to tell us what was needed to replace the CHILDS (data) system. I am still waiting to see that recommendation."

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 Meanwhile, Gov. Ducey seems to have plenty of time to arrange to have posters touting his school funding plan placed by the office of one the plans opponents, as documented in an article in The Arizona Republic. Posters promoting Gov. Ducey's plan to overdraw from the state land trust fund to pay for education popped up by the entrance of Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit's office.

 

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Republican Legislators Paid Over $100,000 at the Expense of Public Schools

Republican legislators are cashing in on an education tax loophole that exclusively benefits private schools, according to an article in The Arizona Republic. Arizona State Sen. Steve Yarbrough has introduced many bills over the years to expand Arizona's Student Tuition Organization tax credit program, and "according to fiscal 2014 data acquired by The Arizona Republic, is the third-highest-paid tuition organization head in the state. That year he earned $113,000."

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According to state law, this is perfectly legal. "Legislators do not have to declare a conflict of interest unless their vote benefits fewer than 10 people. There are more than 60 school tuition organization directors, and thus no conflict of interest for Yarbrough."

 

Arizona State House Democratic Leader Rep. Dr. Eric Meyer has been very outspoken against legislators working to benefit themselves through the STO program. “'Ten percent of the money you give goes to some middle man, some of whom are legislators. They introduce bills that directly impact their income. And then there is no accountability on performance or how the money is spent.'”

 

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Zero Stars: Maricopa County Republican Party Wrong On Prop 104

The Maricopa County Republican Party was found to have stretched the truth in a fact check in The Arizona Republic regarding a comment made by the MCRP on the Phoenix transportation initiative. The MCRP claimed "Proposition 104 is a proposal to levy more than $30 billion in new taxes on the citizens of Phoenix for the next 35 years."

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 As pointed out by The Arizona Republic "Prop. 104 is projected to generate $16.7 billion from taxes over 35 years." A number almost half as much as the MCRP claimed.

 Furthermore, the initiative is an extension of a tax already in place meaning Prop 104 "would bring in another $6.8 billion. Both $16.7 billion and $6.8 billion are less than the $30 billion the Maricopa County Republican Party said the measure would levy in new taxes."

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Voting in Phoenix and How Mayor Stanton is Voting

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Ballots will be mailed out Thursday, July 30.

People can return their ballots in the mail up until Friday, August 21 (the Friday before Election Day).

People can drop-off their ballots at Phoenix City Hall July 30 through Election Day from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Phoenix City Hall
200 W Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003, Floor 15

AND PLEASE VOTE TO RE-ELECT GREG’S FELLOW COUNCILMEMBERS

District 1
VOTE: Councilwoman Thelda Williams

District 3:
VOTE: Councilman Bill Gates

District 5:
VOTE: Councilman Daniel Valenzuela

District 7:
VOTE: Councilman Michael Nowakowski

Click here to see explanations for Mayor Stanton's support for the propositions

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Phoenix Mayor Stanton Pushes for Expanded Transportation, Economic Development

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton spoke about how his working-class family benefited from Phoenix public transportation during his childhood, in an interview aired on KJZZ Wednesday. "I grew up in west Phoenix in a working-class family. My dad who sold shoes at J.C. Penny at Park Central Mall in Central Phoenix...He took that city bus and put food on our table and got me through college, and the four Stanton kids through college."

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Mayor Stanton understands the way accessible public transportation can exponentially impact local economy over generations. Mayor Stanton has been very outspoken about the importance of Prop. 104, on the ballot going out in the mail this weekend and August 25, which would improve streets, expand the light rail, and improve bus service.

 

Proposition 104 will triple light rail and expand service to south Phoenix, Arizona State University West, Grand Canyon University, Metrocenter Mall, Paradise Valley Mall, and the Arizona State Capitol, continuing on to 79th Ave.

 

 

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AZ Tax-Credit Program Continues to Undermine Public Education

When it was created 18 years ago Arizona touted the first tax credit for private education as a way to support low-income children and children with special-needs, as detailed in an article in The Arizona Republic. However, now "about 3% of the money is designated specifically for special-needs students and 32% of the scholarship money given through the individual tax-credit programs goes to children of 'low income' families."

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Even more disturbing, the program, long advocated for by Republican leaders in the legislature and Gov. Ducey, was initially estimated to cost $4.5 million a year in 1997 but now tops $140 million.

 

Rep. Dr. Eric Meyer, Democratic Leader in the Arizona House of Representatives, knows the impact this program has on public schools. “'When you give to a private-school tax credit, it’s taking over $100 million out of the general fund to pay for your neighborhood school', he said."

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