Maricopa County
Democratic Party


MCDP 2015 Summer Convention

MCDP's 2015 Summer Convention was packed and the attendees enthusiastic and ready to roll to victory this year and in 2016. OUR values of inclusion and empowerment were on full display -- in direct contrast with the divisive and hateful speeches flowing from the GOP's Trump/Arpaio event down the street.

We had an overflow crowd at the MCDP 2015 Summer Convention in Phoenix. Democrats supporting our candidates and ready to fight for our values -- education, jobs, and opportunity with dignity and justice for EVERYONE.


Maricopa County Democratic Party precinct committee members (PCs) voted unanimously to support the Move PHX Transportation Initiative (Prop 104) on the August 25 ballot, and also the One PHX Municipal ID proposal in Phoenix, and the Earned Sick & Safe Days proposal for workers in Tempe.

After a rousing address from Rep. Andrew Sherwood (D - LD 26) and an update from Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick's campaign for the U.S. Senate by D.B Mitchell, the PCs learned of details about MCDP's new, greatly expanded internship program -- Building Arizona's Leaders.  They also heard from two of our previous interns about what the program meant for them and their futures.

All in all, it was a great, inspiring day.  At the Maricopa County Democratic Party, we are ready for the fight ahead.

Arpaio Must Go

For far too long, the people of Maricopa County have paid the price for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's arrogance and abuses of power.

He's cost us hundreds of millions of dollars as taxpayers, and he's painted our county with a reputation of intolerance, bigotry, and overt racism. Residents of minority communities – most of whom are U.S citizens – have lived in fear of his agency for years.

Arpaio's antics, formerly seen as entertaining by much of the national media, are now seen for what they truly are: the actions of a vindictive, mean-spirited, petty man.

Nothing shows this more than the shocking admission, by Arpaio himself under oath on the witness stand, that he hired a private investigator to dig up dirt on the wife of the very federal judge who has found Arpaio in contempt of a federal court order.

In addition to civil contempt of court, will we now see Arpaio facing criminal intimidation and obstruction of justice charges?

Enough. The people of Maricopa County have endured far more than we deserve.

Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo says, "Sheriff Arpaio has a long history of using specious investigations to intimidate his political enemies – including elected officials, journalists and judges – and it has cost the taxpayers millions. So in that sense it’s not surprising. But the Sheriff has really bitten off more than he can chew doing this with a federal judge. He is in very real danger not only of losing his job but his freedom. At the very least he should resign and stop embarrassing his department and the taxpayers who have had to pay for all of this malfeasance."

Unfortunately, our experience shows that Arpaio will not likely go anywhere until we force him to go.

This is why we need to stand strong and united, determined to defeat Arpaio. We continue to speak up and work against his outrageous conduct, and we prepare ourselves to run the strongest candidate and campaign possible to send him into permanent retirement.

Please stand with us now and do what you can to help – we can't lose this chance to rid our community of Arpaio.

Yours in the fight,
Jon Ryder
Executive Director
Maricopa County Democratic Party

Remembering and Honoring Gov. Raul Castro


Former Gov. Raul Castro, Arizona's only governor of Latino heritage, has passed away at the age of 98.

Gov. Castro was born in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico and immigrated with his family to Arizona when he was 10 years old.

Overcoming the challenges of poverty and discrimination while growing up, Gov. Castro leaves an example of dignity and selfless service to our state and country.

Gov. Castro was elected Pima County Attorney and subsequently a Superior Court judge. He served as ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia, and Argentina.

Closest to the hearts of his fellow Arizonans, he was elected our 14th governor in 1974.

Today, we mourn his passing as we remember his legacy of service and accomplishment. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

With deepest respect,

Kelli Butler
Chair, Maricopa County Democratic Party

Call your Senator: Vote NO on SB1241

Many of you have been following what the City of Tempe has been doing with its plastic bag ordinance; now, unfortunately, the legislature is trying to usurp local control and pass a bill, SB1241, that would prevent cities like Tempe from making their own decisions about issues such as a plastic bag ordinance.

The State Senate is voting on SB1241 TODAY, and we need you to contact your senator and tell him/her to vote NO on the bill. Contact information is below:

LD 18: Senator Jeff Dial: (602) 926-5550 or
LD 20: Senator Kimberly Yee: (602) 926-3024 or
LD 25: Senator Bob Worsley: (602) 926-5760 or
LD 27: Senator Catherine Miranda: (602) 926-4893 or
LD 28: Senator Adam Driggs: (602) 926-3016 or

Below are some talking points and information from Tempe City Councilmember Lauren Kuby:

The Tempe City Council has been exploring the options of a plastic bag ordinance that would address the environmental, economic, and health impacts that this waste stream creates. Our working group has been meeting with students from ASU's School of Sustainability, local businesses, and community stakeholders to research the issue and recommend the optimal solution for Tempe.

SB1241 would block cities, towns, and counties from enacting local ordinances that ban the use of plastic bags, Styrofoam, and other commodities. This ill-considered bill restricts a city's ability to reduce waste, lower costs, and divert material from the landfill. It undermines local control of waste management, a responsibility that has historically belonged to cities and towns, which pay for these services. And it is a slap in the face of Tempe residents who overwhelmingly favor sustainable solutions that benefit the environment and the City's bottom line.

Like most cities, Tempe has a plastic bag problem. We use over 50 million single-use bags, and less than 5 percent are properly recycled. Many of those bags are mistakenly placed in curbside bins where they damage equipment at the recycling plant. Bags that are not recycled end up in the landfill or littering our parks, streets, and waterways. Cleaning up all that litter creates more work for our maintenance crews and adds costs for taxpayers. With the right ordinance, we can fix these problems.

Cities across the country are adopting plastic bag restrictions with great success. Retailers in San Francisco expect to save $3M in one year by reducing their purchases of single-use bags. Los Angeles County is experiencing an economic boost as local companies emerge to meet reusable bag demand. In Arizona, Bisbee became the first town to enact a plastic bag ban, and Tucson and Flagstaff are considering similar bans.

The City of Tempe is in the early stages of considering a plastic bag ordinance, researching best practices and meeting with stakeholders to get feedback on what will work best for our businesses and residents. We are confident the working group will identify a solution that works for local retailers, residents, and helps us meet our goal to become a more sustainable city. But if SB1241 becomes law, this conversation will be stifled.

SB1241 is poor public policy. It is a strong-arm approach that directly impacts a city's ability to represent the will of its residents. That approach isn't good for Arizonans, the environment, or the economy.

Do This One Thing NOW to Stop an Unthinkable Budget

By now you've likely heard the bad news that the Governor and GOP legislative leaders have put together a budget for Arizona with plenty of secret, backroom deals.

Some of the unthinkable things their budget would do, include:

  • K-12 schools are cut another $98 million this year and an additional $157 million next year.
  • Community colleges in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties are zeroed out completely -- they will get no state funding.
  • Universities are cut 14% for a loss of another $104 million this year.
  • $10 million in cuts to the Department of Child Safety.
  • Cuts to hospitals and providers of $127 million over two years, which mean an additional loss of another $508 million in federal matching funds.
  • $360 million is left untouched and unused in the Rainy Day fund.
  • The remaining $883 million in corporate tax giveaways will go into effect in the next three years, and the existing $12.6 billion in special interest tax loopholes continue.

But YOU can do one thing right NOW to stop this tragedy from happening to our state.  Contact your state senator and representatives at the following link and tell them to vote NO on this budget:

The Governor and GOP legislative leaders want to push this terrible budget through today and tomorrow with little or no public oversight.

Don't let that happen.  Contact your legislators right now and tell them to vote NO.  If they are already voting no, thank them.  The time is now, and your legislators are waiting to hear from you:

Make your voice heard.  Not just at election time, but right now on the state's budget.

Together, we can make a difference for our state and for ALL Arizonans.

Thank you,

Jon Ryder
Executive Director
Maricopa County Democratic Party