Let’s Start With a Positive Note
Our Coconino County Democratic Party interns have made over 1500 phone calls since we’ve been in quarantine. This effort has supported both Mission for Arizona (the Mark Kelly Campaign) and our LD-6 Candidates (Felicia French and Coral Evans).
Before quarantine, they were out in good and bad weather all semester and we covered nearly every apartment complex in Flagstaff with our voter registration push. We thank our PCs and volunteers who joined in these efforts, which are vital to our plans for victory in November.
Our interns will soon be moving on as they finish their semester-long commitments to the County Party. (Some have been with us all year.) It’s up to us to pick up and continue this push for our candidates! Consult our Events Calendar for opportunities to learn how to phonebank and to jump in and work to win this election.
Our Latest COVID Action Call
This past Tuesday, we heard from County Supervisor Matt Ryan (who is a candidate for re-election in District 3) and Mayor Coral Evans (who is running for LD-6 House). Both provided information about the pandemic, answered questions, and took suggestions from our group of Zoom participants.
Supervisor Candidate Patrice Horstman submitted this article about SNAP and food meal programs. Please share it with anyone you think should know about it.
More news from Tuesday’s call and beyond:
We continued to discuss access to County information. Ryan says the Supervisors have regular calls with Governor Ducey and he has committed to not reopen Arizona until May and then only with testing. Epidemiologists speak with the County Board regularly on Fridays regarding the county situation and tracking of cases. We asked if these meetings were available for live-streaming and for other information to be made more readily available to the community through press releases, Facebook, and the County website.
We were pleased that the County Board of Supervisors live-streamed its Special Meeting on Friday where it received reports from Public Health Experts about the COVID-19 situation in Northern Arizona. The video of that stream will be posted here at some time soon. Shannah Redmon (Party Chair) and Ann Heitland (First Vice-Chair) listened to most of the video meeting. We recommend you review the full pack of materials that were provided to the Supervisors. The information is very sobering and should force a realization that we cannot “re-open” on May 1 as scheduled, nor can we have mass gatherings like the 4th of July Parade for a long time. We will be posting more information from the County Supervisors’ packet on our website over the next few days so that it can become more accessible to the public.
Advocate for Fire Restrictions to Protect Our Frontline Personnel
Supervisor Ryan suggested we advocate to the State to close down campfires on state lands. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, for firefighters to take COVID precautions while fighting a fire.
As of Wednesday at 5 p.m., the Forest Service has restricted the use of fires on all National Forests in Arizona. The City of Flagstaff followed suit on Thursday, imposing Stage 2 fire restrictions. Matt said the County also would be acting this week to restrict fires on private property.
Many of our Flagstaff neighborhoods are adjacent to State Land, especially around University Heights and the Country Club neighborhoods.
We’ve created an Alert Alert with contact information for the state officials who might have an influence on making this decision. Please make calls and write emails.
National Action Items
The COVID Bill passed this week by Congress still leaves out aid to states and municipalities. Democrats aren’t giving up but we need to keep pushing. Our push needs to include a plea that funds should go directly to counties based on their needs. This was a topic raised by Supervisor Archuletta in last week’s Zoom meeting and raised again this week by Keith Brekhus of Congressman O’Halleran’s office. Why is the GOP opposing this aid?
Contact our Senators and ask that the next COVID bill be fast-tracked and include fairer distribution of resources. Learn more.
On April 22nd, Governor Ducey announced a conditional reopening of elective surgeries in AZ on May 1st. What is lacking is any provision for the fair distribution of resources in the state. Personal Protective Equipment supplies are still at critical levels and there are still testing shortages in Northern Arizona. These will be exacerbated if an improved statewide distribution of resources isn’t part of the equation for reopening.
The Arizona Legislature is now set to reconvene on May 1 for the sole purpose of adjourning. If they do this, they may leave $6.5 million of federal funding on the table. Congress allotted over $400 million to the States in the CARES Act to support elections, but in order to receive the money, the Legislature must match 20% of the federal funding. Arizona’s share of the federal allotment is about $6.5 Million. This means Arizona needs to allocate some $1.5 Million to voting support for August and November to receive $6.5 Million in federal money. When our counties desperately need funding to deal with the pandemic, it seems to be a no-brainer to match these funds. But, then, this is the AZ legislature. …
Quarterly Business Meeting Coming Up
Our monthly Coconino Democratic Action Meeting for April was amazing! Seventy people joined the Zoom event. We heard from candidates Bryan Bates (District 4 Supervisor) and Patty Hansen (County Recorder), talked about expanding our party’s base, heard from LD-6 Field Organizer Jay Ruby, and discussed our on-going COVID advocacy work.
Our May 9 meeting will be our quarterly business meeting. PCs! Please plan to attend so we have a quorum. We’ll be talking about the impact of the pandemic on our campaign work and on our financial health. We’ll have candidate speakers. Finally, the Executive Committee has decided to announce the winners of the 2020 Roosevelt Kennedy Eleanor Roosevelt Award and the 2020 Chair’s award.
Want to Have An Impact on Redistricting?
Or do you know someone who does? There is a deadline to apply to the important commission that has the final say on who sits on the Independent Redistricting Commission. Read all about it here. Then, share with a qualified friend.
Our Stimulus Check Campaign
Over the last few weeks, we have investigated places where we recommend you donate to help those in need — if you can donate. Here are our suggestions.
One bit of good news: One of our suggestions, The GoFundMe account for undocumented people in Flagstaff, has been able to help over 50 families. The fund needs continued support — over 100 families have applied for assistance and there is not yet enough to help all in need.
Information You or Others May Need
Why Don’t I Have My Stimulus Check? — Thanks to State Senator Jamescita Peshlakai for compiling this information about how the federal government is distributing the “immediate” relief Congress appropriated.
The Arizona Department of Health started listing COVID-19 cases by zip code. You can check out the information here.
Arizona Together: AZ State website for resources
Danger Ahead For November
We’re all in a bit of a state of shock and still trying to absorb how much the pandemic is changing our lives. On top of that, Trump is performing so poorly in responding to the crisis that it seems self-evident to us that Democrats will sweep the election in November. That kind of thinking is dangerous because there are many people who are even more overwhelmed than most of us are, who don’t have time to pay attention to why their lives have just been upended, and who may not vote in November if we can’t explain to them why voting is important.
The Arizona Legislature is unlikely to change the law to allow County Recorders to mail ballots to everyone, so it’s urgent that we reach all likely Democratic voters who are not already registered to get their ballots by mail to sign up to receive their 2020 ballots by mail.
That’s why the work we do can’t stop. As you know, our office is locked down with access highly restricted due to COVID-19 precautions. Our staff and volunteers are working from home. All of our in-person canvasses, gatherings, and social hours have transitioned into digital spaces.
In the face of all this, we’ve remodeled our field canvassing program. This campaign includes a host of digital innovations including social media advertising, website enhancements, and other digital marketing tools. It also includes old-fashioned phone-banking, but that phone-banking is super-charged with digital tools. Perhaps most importantly, we need to reach voters by mail at a much higher rate than we’ve attempted in the past. We need more money in our budget for these mailings and to cover the costs of our new digital expenses.
It is contributions from grassroots donors like you who help us accomplish our goals. In 2018, you helped us increase Democratic voter turnout. In 2019, you helped us register more Democrats than ever. In 2020, we need your help again. Can you become a sustaining donor at any amount that fits your budget?
COVID Action and Advocacy History
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