Biggest Challenge Facing Our District and How to Address It

The question is:

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING LD18 RESIDENTS AND WHAT SPECIFIC MEASURES WILL YOU TAKE TO ADDRESS IT?

Answer from Mitzi Epstein, Democratic Candidate for Arizona House of Representatives

9/26/2016

Our greatest challenge is fostering a better future for ourselves and for our children. The path that our legislature is taking is doing very little to assure that.

Our K-12 schools have been cut year after year. Some may tell you that education funding has increased, but not funding per pupil. The $3.5 billion that they claim to have added is mostly just a matter of taking money for schools from our future to help students today. That’s not planning. That’s copping out. That was Prop 123, and that’s the only help for schools they would do. Yet, our legislature added money for private prisons. From 1980 to 2013, money for prisons grew twice as fast as population. Sadly, money for schools has not even kept up with growth in population. Priorities matter.

Too many people are still reeling from the recession. You have a job, and you’re getting by, but you want to get ahead! Higher education is either out of reach or the cost is burdening graduates so much it’s forcing them to delay plans to buy a house, get married, and start a family.

Finally, the growing influence of money in politics is poisoning democracy and opening the door to corruption. How can the next generation get ahead when they are facing such mounting challenges?

I grew up in Chicago and my family always valued education. Like many parents, my parents told my sisters and brother and me that the keys to success were education and hard work.

I’m ready, willing, and able to put that hard work in motion for you.

As your representative, I will use my skills in business and experience building statewide coalitions to get the work done with positive collaboration.

I will work every day for strong public education– not the status quo, but the best our schools can be -- by listening to teachers, parents, retirees, people working in local businesses, and the whole school community. The current legislators had the chance, but did not reverse their cuts to education. I will work to restore education funding, without creating new taxes and by making no new tax loopholes for special interests. Arizona has the resources for a thriving future. 

Arizona Universities are shining examples of innovation! We need to invest in them to make tuition more affordable, and to continue the research that grows our bioscience, aerospace, and technology sectors. Arizona’s high-tech jobs can continue to grow by using the Bioscience Roadmap, a collaboration of academics, industry and government.

I have a track record of transparency as your school board member in the Kyrene Schools. In the State House, I will work collaboratively, and with determination to restore transparency and accountability. We must repeal the destructive “Dark Money Corruption” law (SB1516) that the incumbents passed this year. Legislators decide whether you compete on a level playing field, and whether you have access to a good education. Keeping elections fair matters for your life and freedom.

I will work hard to make the changes we need to make a better life for us, and for our children. I ask for your vote Nov 8th.


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