Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Where’s the diversity?

Is it coincidence, fate, or maybe poor planning on my part that I am spending 3 evenings in a row at the Pima County Democratic Headquarters this week?

The Pima Dems Executive Committee met last night; tonight Legislative District 28 (where my precinct is) met; and tomorrow I am making phone calls for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and MoveOn. (That’s me and Gabby on election day 2008, when I was also making calls for her. Wasn’t that a great day!)

What really struck me about last night’s meeting– besides the vote– was the lack of diversity in the Pima County Democratic Party’s upper echelon. When I made phone calls for Barack Obama in 2008, I was in the minority on most nights. Didn’t the local Dems recruit any of those 2008 black and Hispanic phone bank volunteers or walkers to be precinct committee people?

I had planned to raise the lack-of-diversity issue at tonight’s LD28 meeting, but with only 1 black campaign worker for Rodney Glassman (Hi, Zeke!) and 1 Polish Mexican, tonight’s meeting was older and whiter than last night’s meeting. (Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with old white folks; these people are hard workers. And, besides, I plan to be an old white person someday.)

Yes, I know there is an African American Democratic Caucus. Great group of folks, but I don’t see many of them in leadership positions. Actually, I only saw 1 last night.

This is a problem– and a missed opportunity. Nationwide and statewide, the Republicans are alienating many groups and particularly people of color. The “energized” Republican base– primarily Tea Partiers– ranges from old white folks to white supremacists on the diversity scale. Obviously, that leaves a lot of people left out.

Come on, Democrats. Let’s show everyone that we really do have a big tent that all of us can fit under. We need to bring these diverse populations into the fold– not just for their vote but for their ideas, their energy, and their leadership.

I challenge the Arizona Democratic Party to make a concerted effort to recruit more diversity to the ranks of its precinct committee members between now and 2012. This will only make the progressive movement stronger. We can do this.

2 comments on “Where’s the diversity?

  1. Three Sonorans
    October 8, 2010

    Giffords has no Democrats on her ads… even Jon Justice is wondering if she is a Republican.
    Latinos are pissed off at her for ignoring them and her border militarization nonsense.  But that is how her district was created… with the ability to ignore Latinos, so why should she care about us, and why should we care about her…
    … something more substantial than “I’m not Jesse Kelly”


  2. Pamela Powers
    October 9, 2010

    Yes, Giffords is often not progressive enough for me either. I’m sick of Blue Dogs. I’m backing her because I’m seriously worried about the small government folks like Jesse Kelly and others funded by secretly-funded right-wing extremists. I can understand why Latinos are pissed off, but ask yourself what life would be like without Social Security, minimum wage, a healthcare safety net, and public education. The uber-capitalists are in the process of eliminating the middle class. They want to throw all of us (regardless of color) into serfdom. Check out my story about Big Money. Thanks for the discussion!


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This entry was posted on October 6, 2010 by in 2010 elections, Arizona, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Gabrielle Giffords, Tucson.
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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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