“I got some ocean front property in Arizona. From my front porch you can see the sea. I got some ocean front property in Arizona. If you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the golden gate in free.” - George Strait
For years now, the Democratic Establishment has considered Arizona a lost cause, unworthy of precious campaign resources, and as solidly Red as a state can be. After all, the state has been Ground Zero for the most racist, anti-Latino, anti-woman actions and rhetoric in the country in recent history. How could we expect much from an electorate that put Governor Jan Brewer, Sheriff Arpaio, and Russell Pearce into office? Fortunately though, Newton’s Third Law still holds true: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
That reaction has taken the form of a renewed pro-Latino empowerment advocacy effort in Arizona that is stronger and more vibrant than ever before. And it has included a significant organizing effort among non-Latino voters willing to courageously lead the state in a more humane and reasonable direction. We first saw evidence of this reaction back in 2006 when residents of the state held massive rallies calling for immigration reform. In 2010, a leading advocate, Randy Parraz (a PAC+ Board Member), declared his candidacy for U.S. Senate in an effort to force the candidates to address the issues of greatest concern to Arizona, including immigration reform. And in 2011, he and a handful of other visionary leaders called for and delivered the recall of AZ State Senator Russell Pearce, the legislative Padrino of SB1070. Out of all of this organizing activity have arisen some of our nation’s leading Latino organizers and advocates, including Lilia Alvarez, 2012 candidate for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. PAC+ enthusiastically endorsed Lilia and encourages progressives around the country to contribute to her campaign. If elected, this bright, young, progressive Latina will become one of the five people overseeing the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and its budget.
Lilia personifies the American Dream. The daughter of farm workers, Lilia is one of the first from her family to obtain a college degree, and then went on to earn Masters and Juris Doctorate degrees. She is the co-founder of Citizens for a Better Arizona, the organization that led the charge to recall Senator Pearce. Fearless and fact-filled, Lilia has what it takes to play a pivotal role in Maricopa County government, and to bring real accountability to its multi-billion dollar budget. As the fourth largest county in the nation, and employer of the nation’s most offensive and dangerous Sheriff, Maricopa County needs a strong woman like Lilia Alvarez at its helm.
When we launched PAC+ in March of this year, our choice of Arizona as one of our six target states was met with skepticism by many in the media and mainstream Democrats. Undeterred, in May of this year, we “doubled down” on Arizona, and were the first organization up on the air in the state with anti-Romney television ads. Our Walls video was aired on television in all the major media markets in AZ, on both Spanish and English stations. The goal of the ad buy was simple: Define Romney early on for Latino voters who knew very little about him and who his friends really are. By connecting Mitt “at the hip” to Arpaio and Brewer, the ad communicated to Latino voters that they should be very, very afraid of the sorts of policies a President Romney would put in place if elected. It was our hope that the ad would draw attention to the state’s many possibilities for progressive victories, and jump-start interest in the elections by Latino voters. The media coverage of the ad, including exclusive coverage by the LA Times, was impressive.
Last week we followed on that success by releasing a second video, Juntos, aimed at Latino voters, urging them to vote on November 6th. The ad highlights how the Republican Party, its Tea Partinos, and its infamous leaders are plotting to steal the Latino vote all across the country. And it reminds viewers that “Together, Juntos, We Can Stop Them!” The Juntos GOTV campaign is about arming Latinos with the message that “This election is about more than who gets elected on Nov. 6th - It’s about telling the Tea Partinos that we won’t be cowered by their attacks.”
Help us get the word out that Latino voters and our friends will fight back against the Tea Party and their representatives on Nov. 6th, one vote at a time. In Arizona, that starts with a vote for Lilia Alvarez! And if you don’t live in Maricopa County, don’t worry. You can still help us support Lilia by contributing to her campaign and by sharing the video with a friend or on your Facebook page!