By Anthony J. Wallace
PHOENIX — Enthusiasm across Arizona was higher this election than in the 2016 presidential contest, and final results show the contrast was even more stark in Indian Country, where voters said they were especially motivated because of the COVID-19 pandemic and issues of race.
A census analysis of 2018 data found American Indians were at least 4.4% of eligible voters in Arizona, or more than 220,000 people. Considering the neck-and-neck battle in Arizona’s presidential election this year — decided by a mere 10,457 votes — they had the power to swing the outcome.
“Knowing the thin margins in the last couple of elections, this was a year that we knew that a vote really mattered, and we took it seriously,” said Kevin Allis, CEO of the National Congress of American Indians. “(Native voters) likely played a very key role in close races in Arizona.” …
In November, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the Solar Jobs Preservation Act with Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ) to protect jobs in the solar industry by strengthening the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Since the ITC was created in 2006, it has helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in investment. However, the tax credit has become more difficult to use due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is also facing a phase down. The bill is also cosponsored by Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Paul Cook (R-CA).
“As we continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating effects on our economy, we cannot forget about the climate crisis and the need to preserve clean energy jobs that help us protect our planet,” said Rep. Levin. “The solar industry plays a critical role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and driving economic growth, which is why we must support them during this pandemic and extend the investment tax credit. …
BY NOLAN RAPPAPORT, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
President-elect Joe Biden intends to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban American immigrant, to be the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If Mayorkas is confirmed, he will be the first Latino to lead that department.
This should please the immigration advocacy groups that supported Biden’s campaign, particularly the Latino ones. In fact, Janet Murguía, the president of the Latino advocacy group UnidosUS, has called Biden’s pick “historic and inspired.” UnidosUS is the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization.
by: Ellen O’Brien | Staff Writer
“Transformative” and “monumental” — that’s how Tim Eckstein, a Jewish criminal defense attorney and member of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, describes the passage of Proposition 207, which legalized adult possession of marijuana in Arizona.
“The fundamental recognition that this is a public health problem and not a criminal justice problem, that sort of philosophical shift — the import of that can’t be understated,” Eckstein said.
Arizona voters passed the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, or Prop 207, by a 60% majority in the Nov. 3 election. The initiative legalizes the possession and use of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older and the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants in a person’s primary residence. The bill also allows for the licensure of businesses selling marijuana for recreational use and imposes a 16% excise tax on sales of marijuana. …
By: Veronica Acosta
TUCSON, Ariz. — Officials with the Pima County Health Departmentsay 2020 holds the record for the most overdose deaths, since tracking began.
In 2019, there were 337 overdose deaths in Pima County, according to an alert issued on November 4 of this year.
The report went on to say in the first nine months of 2020, there were a recorded 334 overdose deaths.
Mark Person, the program manager for the Community Mental Health and Addiction Unit within the Pima County Health Department told KGUN9 that as of the first week of December the number of overdose deaths in 2020 have grown. …
According to Southwest Gas, the agreement provides that the distribution company pays the city an amount equivalent to 2% of the gross turnover it generates in Maricopa. As we have already said, southwest gas use the city`s supply rights for up to 25 years. The company has been supplying gas to Maricopa since its inception, but has no formal agreement with the municipality. Question 1 is a local Measure by Chandler that invites voters to check whether or not to grant a franchise to Southwest Gas Corporation for a gas distribution system. Council member Marvin Brown called the agreement in his plea for the proposal “an important monitoring tool.” “The Smart and Safe Act will not only push Arizona to adopt a more compassionate policy on adult marijuana use, but will also provide an option for people who have previously been convicted of low marijuana charges, in order to have equitable access to employment and housing, while they spend millions of dollars each year on the prevention of the addiction they sorely need.” Addiction Treatment, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Programs and Other Justice Reinvestment Projects,” wrote Jared Keenan, president of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, in information he presented for the official election advertising brochure. Proposition 452 asks Maricopan if they want to give a 25-year franchise to Southwest Gas Corp. The contract was negotiated by the company and the city of Maricopa. In June, a decision by the City Council was passed calling for an election on the matter. …
by: Asma Khalid / NPR
Joe Biden won the presidency by stitching together a broad coalition of voters — Black and white, from young progressives to former Republicans, and across cities and suburbs — united by a singular mission to defeat President Trump.
But once Biden takes office, and without Trump as an adversary, a key test for Biden’s presidency will be how he prevents the broad coalition that got him into the White House from splintering once he begins governing.
Staking a claim to the win
Progressive activists insist Biden would not have won swing states like Arizona or Georgia without their support. …
Pundits are expressing surprise that so many Latinos voted for Donald Trump.
But pollsters who specialize in the Latino vote knew for months before the election that Latino support for Biden was soft, with many Latinos — especially in Florida — undecided. In Florida 57% of Latinos ultimately supported Biden, compared to roughly 70% nationwide.
These numbers are reliable because they come from exit polls designed to capture Latino political preferences. National exit polls have been mostly wrong about Latino voting patterns since they first began including Latinos in the 1980s.
The 60.6 million Americans lumped together under the umbrella term “Latino” are a racially, ethnically and geographically diverse group, as my research on Latino identity shows. And they have equally diverse political opinions. …
TEMPE — The Centerpoint for Hope-Mobilize AZ free mobile health clinic will visit Springerville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2. The clinic will take place in the vacant lot at 225 E. Main St. Everyone is welcome and no appointment is necessary to attend.
The mobile clinic is the result of a groundbreaking partnership among Crisis Response Network’s Centerpoint for Hope and Mobilize AZ, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona’s public health movement. The free mobile clinic travels across Arizona to bring resources to people struggling with opioid and substance use.
The mobile clinic provides a variety of services to deliver individualized support, promote recovery, and reduce overdoses. …
Historically, the environment has taken a back seat to many other issues in national politics, but 2020 has not been an ordinary year
The election. It’s what everyone’s been talking about for the past month. People have been talking about President Donald Trump, President-elect Joe Biden, congressional seats, local seats and everything in between. Voting is a fundamental tenet of our democracy and Trump’s recent attacks on it have rightfully shaken the core of the nation. The administration’s various lawsuits and baseless claims of widespread voter fraud are a thinly veiled distraction from a last attempt to push through a wide variety of policies as quickly as possible. These last efforts of a dying administration include 24 environmental rollbacks in addition to the 84 completed dismantlements of fundamental environmental protections. These federal regulations range from legislation on toxic substances and pollution to federal climate change policy. …