In 2016, I ran for the Arizona House on a platform of economic reform, equality, and tackling the opioid epidemic. I stood up to big-money politics and ran as a Clean Elections candidate, despite much advice to take the money and run.
I am running for re-election in 2018. As a Clean Elections candidate, I have pledged not to take big-money donations from special interests. This is my report card to you, the voters of Legislative District 9. It has been an honor to serve you.
I fought against multiple attempts by the Republican Party to weaken or eliminate the Citizens Initiative process. Why is the Republican-led Legislature afraid of the people? The progressives who wrote the Arizona Constitution gave the Citizens Initiative to the people; the Republican Party has no right to take it away.
I supported returning transportation funds (HURF) to local control. When the Legislature starves local governments, it leads to crumbling local infrastructure and increased local taxes to fill the income gap. It’s time for the Legislature to give local governments their fair share.
I voted against using taxpayer funds to pay for private and religious school education, through the expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Awards (ESAs). In addition, I fought for increased funding for K-12 public education, JTED, community colleges, and the universities. Improving access to quality education is the surest way to lift our citizens out of poverty and to build Arizona’s economy.
I defended the rights of patients and workers during debates and voted in their interest on all insurance company bills (and there were a lot of them!)
Equality & Paycheck Fairness
I proposed ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In 2017, House Judiciary Chair Eddie Farnsworth and Senate Government Chair John Kavanagh tried to kill the ERA by refusing to hear it in committee. House Democrats used a parliamentary procedure to bring the ERA up for a vote. This sparked a lively debate on equal pay for women on the floor of the Arizona House. Ratification of the ERA was proposed in eight states in 2017. Since Nevada ratified the ERA this year, we need only two more states to ratify it before the ERA can be sent to Congress for enactment. Arizona, let’s make history in 2018 by standing up for equal pay and equal protection under the law for women. Again, what are the Republicans afraid of?
I voted against all bills to decrease worker protections, pensions or benefits. I was one of the only Legislators who voted against changing the Arizona Constitution to enable reduction in benefits for workers.
I fought for restoration of cash assistance and childcare subsidies for needy families. Arizona is the stingiest state in the country with cash assistance for the poor. Our state will not dig itself out of its own economic doldrums as long as we continue to ignore children and families living in poverty.
Standing up for the minimum wage increase at the 2016 Labor Day Picnic.
I proposed a bill to offer addiction treatment instead of jail for people who call 911 during an overdose situation. Again, as with the ERA, House Judiciary Chair Rep. Eddie Farnsworth tried to single-handedly kill this Good Samaritan bill. Luckily for addicts and their families, this bill appears to be a priority for 2018, as opioid deaths continue to rise in Arizona. I’m hoping we can pass this out of the Health Committee in 2018.
I proposed adding new Spice ingredients to an existing Republican drug bill. As a result, dozens of compounds were added. The bill passed and was signed into law.
I proposed a bill requiring healthcare providers and institutions to reveal religious beliefs that would stop them from providing legal drugs or medical procedures. Patients– particularly pregnant women– need to know upfront what legal services or medications are available when they are shopping for care. I voted against fetal resuscitation and will continue to fight for the rights of women to control their own bodies and to make their own medical decisions.
I proposed a bill that would raise standards and require additional training for home health workers. Arizona has some of the lowest training requirements for home health aides; consequently, it is not surprising that elder abuse complaints have risen dramatically. It’s time that the Arizona Legislature opened its eyes to the needs of our Seniors.
I proposed a bill that legalized death with dignity and outlined a process for patients, family members and physicians to follow.
I proposed a bill that would lengthen the renewal period for a medical marijuana card from one year to five years. Arizona has one of the most expensive and complicated medical marijuana programs in the country; we have a medical marijuana program for people who can afford ~$250/year for a card renewal and the required doctor’s visit. This high annual renewal cost pushes poorer citizens to buy marijuana illegally on the street. Marijuana — a plant that never killed anyone— is a safe alternative to dangerous prescription painkillers for some patients. Let’s make it affordable. Perhaps we could save some lives.
I voted against all bills that would have increased pollution, harmed the water supply, decreased environmental protection, or destroyed public parks and natural monuments. It’s common sense to protect our water supply and our state’s natural wonders– and our planet.
Election Reform & Big-Money Politics
I proposed a bill to expand Clean Elections to county supervisor races and unpaid boards, like the school and water boards. The maximum individual donation in the county supervisor’s race is $6250 (thanks to a late-night Republican vote a few years ago). That’s obscene. If you look at campaign finance reports for the 2016 Pima County Supervisors’ race, you can see a proxy bidding war between the few local folks who can afford to donate $6250 per candidate. In contrast, the maximum individual donation to a “traditional” privately funded Legislative candidate is $5000 (also increased by the Legislature recently). For Clean Elections candidates, it is $160. Do you want rich folks and special interests to continue to control local and state elections? I strongly believe that our local, state, and federal governments would be more responsive to the people if big-money politics and special interests were not controlling the elections game. When people run clean, they vow to accept only small donations from real people– not from political action committees (PACs), not from dark money donors, big corporations, or unions. Only real people– not corporate people– can vote. It’s time that real people– not money– controlled our government. Money is destroying our democracy. Clean Elections levels the campaign finance playing field and strengthens the voice of the voters, by diminishing the voice of money in politics.
Independent Report Cards
The Sierra Club gave me an A+ rating for voting to protect our home– the Earth.
The Secular Coalition honored me as a Secular Star for standing up for religious freedom (even for the non-religious).
Protesting anti-woman laws at the Arizona state capitol.
Pamela Powers Hannley, Progressive Democrat for Arizona House, LD9
Occupy encampment in Armory Park– before it was cleared out in the middle of the night by Tucson Police.
PDA members, including Advisory Board Chair Mimi Kennedy, protested food stamp cuts in front of Congressman Henry Waxman’s office.
Martin Luther King, Jr. march.
Protesters hand deliver symbolic big check from corporate American to McCain.
Jim and I were part of a contingent of Unitarian Universalists who came up from Tucson. Here I am with Rev. Ron Phares from the Mountain Vista UU Church in my district. (Jim is photobombing us.)
Arizonans for New Economy co-directors Jim Hannley and Pamela Powers Hannley with UA Tech Park VP Bruce Wright.
I have a background in research. Help me build Tucson’s tech industry and grow our own local businesses.
The Oberlin Rescuers outside of the Cuyahoga County Jail.
#RedForEd teachers and supporters in the Arizona House Gallery, 2018.
PDA Tucson Coordinator Jim Hannley speaks against both the crowd management ordinance and the urban camping ban at the City Council meeting.
Congressman Ron Barber and Pamela Powers Hannley at Cyclovia
It was truly a honor to meet Nevada State Senator Patricia Spearman (center) in October and to confer with her regarding our efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Arizona. Spearman led the successful Nevada efforts to ratify the ERA in 2017. Here we are with activist and NOW leader Dainne Post after the ERA workshop at the We the People Conference in Phoenix. There are a lot of Arizona women who are ready to make history in 2018. Watch my blog here and my Facebook page here for ERA updates.
Giving the LD9 update at the June meeting. What a great crowd!
There have been many lively debates in the Arizona House in 2018. This team of House Democrats fought for consumer protections and fought against risky financial deals in a “regulatory sandbox.” (Pictured are Reps. Mitzi Epstein, Kelli Butler, Athena Salman, Pamela Powers Hannley, Ken Clark and Isela Blanc.)
Safe Park, downtown Tucson
Jobs with Justice marching with Occupy Tucson in support of postal workers.
Protesting cuts to education
John Nichols of ‘The Nation’ addressed progressives and unionists at a Tucson event.
Protesting migrant deaths in the Arizona desert.
Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley with members of the Tucson Chapter of NOW on opening day at the Arizona Legislature, 2018.
Ironically, I posted this blog post on the anniversary of this election on June 19. 1970ish.
In the 1980s, the Tucson Weekly called Tucson the “Baked Apple”.
This is a broken sink in the Ladies’ Room at the Arizona State Building in downtown Tucson. One of the elevators also was broken. It’s time to fix Arizona government.
Visiting with PALF chairman Fred Yamashita at the 2016 Labor Day Picnic.
A giant poet’s head made up of stainless steel letters marks the stop near the UA Poetry Center.
Governor Ducey had proposed increasing prison beds and funding, while cutting education. Protesters took issue with that short-sighted idea.
The Living Economy event was very informative; we had a great time hob-nobbing. My husband Jim is a small business owner and a member of Local First Arizona. I have owned two small businesses in the past– Powers/Queen Associates and Wind Dancer Design. We support Local First Arizona and buying/investing locally. We believe that supporting local small businesses with low-interest loans through a public/private partnership between a public bank and community banks and credit unions is the sustainable route to improving our local economy. Trickle down economics doesn’t work; it’s time for new ideas.
Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales and I were interviewed by NBC at the Phoenix rally.
Despite the sweltering heat, Jim and I had a great time at the Labor Day Picnic. We collected a lot of Clean Elections $5 donations and signatures. Here I am with LD9 chair Michael Dues.
We often hear that corporations need migrant workers because Americans “don’t want to do these jobs.” When I hear this statement, I picture farm workers picking vegetables. Recently, I toured two dairies and an animal feed packing plant in Pinal County. The photo above from the Zinke Dairy shows a giant cow milking carousel. Nine migrant workers milk 4000 cows three times a day at this dairy. Legislators watched the two men pictured here– working at a brisk pace– bend over and pick up, lift, and attach large electronic suction cups to the cows as they ride the carousel around the giant facility. This level of automation is the wave of the future for industrial jobs.
We are the 99%.
A homeless man sleeps in the shadow of corporate America.
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.”