Representative Mitzi Epstein - Action in 2017-2018:
1 . Education - Restore education funding
- Educate the whole child. A child is not a test score.
- Mitzi was invited to participate in the AZ Town Hall on the topic of Education Funding because she is recognized as a state leader in knowledge and advocacy for public schools.
Fight for teachers and better salaries for all school employees.
Mitzi sponsored the 4% teacher raise in 2017.
(Republicans voted no and gave teachers a 1% raise instead.)
- Mitzi voted With the #RedForEd supporters who testified in the House Committees that the Governor's budget was not enough. They asked House lawmakers to vote, "No." Mitzi was one of the first to point out that the 2018 budget was not "20%" at all. It is a 5.7% increase to per-pupil funding.
She wrote, "That budget is a castle built on sand. It is not enough even if the economy is super-charged, and it will fall apart if the economy has a hiccup."
To make it even worse, an amendment was added by the Speaker of the House to force school districts to make unwise purchasing decisions based on the least cost, instead of the safety of children. Mitzi voted, "No" on that budget because it should have been revised. The people of Arizona deserve a better budget.
- Led opposition to voucher expansion. Vouchers for Special Needs are ok, but voucher expansion drains money from our public schools and vouchers have no accountability to the taxpayer.
- Mitzi has led Floor Debates to fight against tax loopholes. Taxes should be fair. Loopholes are not fair.
- Taxes must be adequate for public education and public safety. Carve-outs diminish revenue available for teachers, public health crises, and roads, etc. Stop the carve-outs!
2. Jobs and Technology
- Support growth of bioscience and technology in Arizona for good jobs
- Driverless cars, bitcoin, drones and other technologies are ahead of our laws. Mitzi brings her knowledge and network of technology experts to the Capitol to help lawmakers understand these fast-paced changes.
- Mitzi hosts Science Café at the Capitol - panel discussions with scientists for lawmakers, about technology and state laws
- Protect consumers from fraud and workers from exploitation.
- Mitzi has worked with bill sponsors to make many lists of changes to bills to protect consumers and taxpayers.
- Some tax incentives can support economic development, but Mitzi is not a pushover for them. She fights for taxpayers and teachers by saying, “Show me the money. Show me the evidence that this makes better jobs.”
“Mitzi is one of our caucus experts in tax policy, education funding and technology. She’s my go-to person for high tech issues like blockchain, fintech and driverless cars. I frequently consult with Mitzi and benefit from her broad, professional experience, especially in banking and computer technology.
I want Mitzi at the Capitol, asking the smart questions and looking out for Arizona families. ” - Rep. Kelli Butler.
- Mitzi fights for local control and safe cities.
- Our cities are unique and should be allowed to thrive in their own ways.
- She was awarded "Friend of Cities and Towns" for her consistent work defending freedoms for people in cities.
- She established the “Neighbors Council” to listen to our community. Their current project is to reduce youth suicide in Arizona, which is at crisis levels, but is preventable. Mitzi has gathered experts and everyday folks from across the state to develop sets of practical and far-reaching solutions to this problem.Via press conferences, a set of 5 bills, and continuing meetings with stakeholders, she is tenaciously working to make an impact and save lives.
Mitzi and the Neighbors Council have had some good results.
- The full-time position of Suicide Prevention Coordinator has been added to AHCCCS, Arizona's mental health agency. Further, the job will report directly to the Chief Medical Officer and she will meet regularly with Mitzi's stakeholder group, Neighbors Council. Outreach makes strong solutions!
- She is organizing “Renters and Landlords” to improve laws about security deposits, fees, confusing contracts, rent taxes, and so on. As many as half of the people in our district rent their homes.
She fought for renters to have a little more time to get their security deposits back, but a new bill cut that to 60 days.
- She is working with neighborhood groups to push back against big businesses that set up motels in the middle of neighborhoods because of a bad law that was passed in 2016. AirBnB is a great travel app, but neighbors need a way to stop the house next door from being converted into a 10-room motel with customers coming and going at all hours of the night.
Not all AirBnB rentals are that way, of course. Some rentals can increase the value of the home and the friendliness in the neighborhood. Of course we want small rentals to be able to continue, in an unobtrusive way.
The bottom line is that this is an issue of local control. Cities need to have the authority to solve problems from one neighbor to another. Neighbors should not have to wait a year for the next legislative session to fix a bad law. Instead, I fight for local control to let cities solve local conflicts. Your Neighborhood; Your Rules.
Read more at Mitzi Epstein's legislative website (Click Here), where she blogs and posts current actions, not related to campaigning.