Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

How progressive is Tucson?


How progressive is Tucson? Yes, it is general knowledge that Pima County is one tiny blue spot in a sea of blood red, but just how liberal are we?

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) started a Tucson Chapter in February. According to PDA leader Phil Lopes, since then PDA’s mailing list has grown to more than 800 Southern Arizonans. As with all mailing lists, they have e-mails and/or street addresses for most of the people who volunteered to receive information about the fledgling organization. Looking at the local PDA members with street addresses in their database, PDA plotted their membership by Legislative District (above) and Congressional District (below).

This map shows where the above Legislative districts are located. LD28– the district with the most PDA members (209)– is Tucson proper; pieces of 26, 27, 29, and 30 are also within the city limits. Yes, this is totally unscientific data, but it does give us a glimpse of Tucson’s progressive leanings.

We see our Democratic Party leaders sidling up to the right, but is this a good strategy? If PDA continues to gain steam statewide, I would venture to say, no! Purely conjecture here, but I can’t help wondering if the dismal turnout at the LD28 Democratic Party meeting last Wednesday (~25 people) is related to LD28’s strong presence in PDA. Pima Dems– take note. Maybe cozying up to the Southern Arizona Leadership Council isn’t such a good idea.


Raul Grijalva represents CD7. Gabrielle Giffords represents CD8.

7 comments on “How progressive is Tucson?

  1. jim hannley
    April 11, 2011

    Well done. Your point regarding the wisdom of the Democrats’ lurch to the right under the leadership of Cherny and Rogers is well taken. People do “vote with their feet” oftentimes. This will take the form of staying away from meetings when they disapprove of the agenda.


    • Pamela Powers
      April 11, 2011

      The Democratic Party Statewide Committee Meeting and the Progressive Caucus Meeting on Saturday should be interesting. 🙂


  2. Carolyn Classen
    April 11, 2011

    Not sure the 3 Democratic legislators in LD 29 would agree with the top graph.


    • Pamela Powers
      April 11, 2011

      This is the data from the PDA database. The numbers will change as the group reaches out. Maybe the LD29 bar will grow or maybe the LD29 Democrats are as disgruntled with the party as some others are? There was a very good turnout last night at Drinking Liberally to hear Phil Lopes of PDA.


  3. Flora Pena
    April 11, 2011

    Yikes!  It must be the water or excessive exposure to the sun that results in such a great deal of ALBD (Advanced Liberal Brain Disease)  in Pima county.   Our Kenyan president sure dosen’t do much to help.  LA Times story:    http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,2687256.story


  4. Don
    April 11, 2011

    These numbers don’t bode well for the fantasy…er, nascent state of Baja Arizona. 

    Assuming that the residents of the new, um, state will secede voluntarily—those numbers in the first chart make me doubt that many residents in LDs 25, 29 and 30 will follow the secessionist fireaters of LDs 26-28 into this new Hacky-Sack Shangri-La.

    Will Baja Arizona be the first state to be enclosed completely within another?


  5. Three Sonorans
    April 12, 2011

    I saw the graph on something else, clicked on it and it got me here… guess graphs do attract more visitors!


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

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 focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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