Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Ward 6 Roast: From immigration reform to potholes, politicians answer voter questions (videos)

City Councilman Steve Kozachik, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Congressman Raul Grijalva, and State Legislator Bill Bradley were among the elected officials who answered gun control questions at the public forum.

City Councilman Steve Kozachik, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Congressman Raul Grijalva, and State Legislator Bill Bradley were among the elected officials who answered questions at the public forum.

Although gun enthusiasts threatened to disrupt last week’s Ward 6 Roast, the event featuring a dozen politicians who represent midtown/downtown Tucson came off without a hitch.

Organized by City Councilman Steve Kozachik and moderated by political cartoonist and commentator David Fitzsimmons, the roast featured local, state, and federal politicians answering questions from the audience, which numbered about 400. Rather than severely edit nearly two hours of video, I have created separate videos for candidate introductions, the immigration reform question, the gun violence question, the F35 question, and the neighborhoods/roads questions. Watch the first three videos after the jump. More to come.

For me, the biggest surprise of the evening– besides how outnumbered former State Legislator Frank Antenori and the gun nuts were– was Congressman Ron Barber. Check out his responses to the questions on immigration reform and gun violence; he sounds far less Republican than he has in the past on those issues.

 Since the purpose of the roast was to allow politicians serving Ward 6 (the bluest part of the state) to respond to voter questions, only two of the politicians present were Republicans– Ethan Orr and Kozachik. Now that Koz has defected the Republican Party and walked into the light, Orr is the only Repulbican serving midtown/downtown.

Fitz allowed the politicians to “self-select” who would answer which questions. One politician said nothing after introducing himself; otherwise, no one really dominated the evening. (Barber does need to learn to stick within the allotted time for questions. The various ring tone alarms heard on the videos are Fitz’s attempts to get the politicians to move on with their answers.)

Video files:

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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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