Legislative Update for September 18th, 2017



At the risk of repeating myself, I want to make certain you get the invite to the LD24 Team Campaign Kickoff Party.

The celebration will include a live mural painting from a famous downtown artist, a celebration of our local restaurants, a silent auction --and we've even set aside a special viewing of the new Will and Grace for those of you who don't want to miss it.

I'm proud to support Lela Alston for Senate. And, I'm proud to support John Glenn. He has been working selflessly in LD24 for years.

Please mark your calendars for our team kickoff on Sept. 28th, and please help me gear up by contributing here. Every dollar helps!

News Around the District
1) The first We the People Summit in June was an overwhelming success. 

We had over 1,500 people from all over the state, learning and building skills in everything from understanding the legislative process to learning more about civil dialogue.

So, now we are back for part two, on Saturday November 4th at the Phoenix Renaissance Downtown. We expect even more people, a whole new list of workshop topics and national-level speakers. 

There are fewer workshops, but some have been lengthened to allow for more information and conversation, in response to survey feedback.

Please purchase your tickets today at the new We the People website, where you can also find videos and materials from the first summit. 

Prices will go up on October 15th, so don't miss out!

2) The LD24 Democratic party is now meeting at Longview Elementary School at 1209 E Indian School Rd. We meet every second Thursday of the month at 7pm (except for September). So, don't go by the old location, or you might find yourself standing outside the party HQ, looking at a locked door.  Stay tuned to this Facebook page for updates. 

Brain Food
1) Poor and corrupt redistricting by politicians over the last few decades has created a political environment that is courser, less responsive and less able to find common ground solutions. This article does a great job of describing the problem and looking forward to the (hopeful) ruling in the Gill v. Whitford case, now in front of the Supreme Court, which could NYT_Redistrict_Article_Pull_Quote.pngreduce the amount of partisan gerrymandering all over the country. Here's a little more background for your reading enjoyment (now that Game of Thrones has completed its season.)

The case will rest on whether the court will accept a new redistricting measure called "the efficiency gap," which measures wasted votes.

This article also tells the story of on Wisconsin Republican who regrets supporting such a partisan map and who now works to install redistricting commissions around the country.

2) District 24 has some truly great charter schools, which do a good job for students and parents. However, we would have blinders on if we were to ignore the issues that some charter schools have around transparency. These problems are allowed because the original charter school law does not require many basic oversights, which protect taxpayer money. 

This article does a good job detailing the problems. It results from a multi-decade study of charter school expenses and accounting practices. 

The common refrain from the right (mostly) is that charter schools should be designed so that teachers and leaders can have more freedom to experiment and focus on specific areas, such as biosciences, computers or the arts. I understand that and agree with allowing a space for creativity. What I don't accept is the idea that a charter school principle does not have to follow general rules governing nepotism, general accounting principles or competitive bidding.

When you don't have that oversight, you see results like this, from the article, "In one case, a charter holder paid his own “for profit” company $12 million in one year for learning-management software. The cost should have been less than 10 percent of that amount, based on what the Mesa Unified School District spends for a similar type of software."