Saturday, March 21, 2009

Union Rally At State Capitol On Monday

Courtesy the website of the Arizona AFL-CIO -


Legislators To Join State Employees Calling on Governor to “Let Us Vote”

State Employees and supporters will rally at the State Capitol and call on the Governor to “Let us Vote” for a formal union with the ability to meet and confer with management to improve the quality of state services, reduce costs, and improve agency efficiencies.

WHAT: A rally on the house lawn of the State Capitol will highlight testimony from state employees and legislators. After the rally state workers with the Arizona State Employee Association – CWA will break into groups and lobby their legislators.

WHEN: 11:00 a.m. – 12 noon, Monday, March 23, 2009

WHERE: State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington

WHO: State Employees affected by budget cuts, furloughs, layoffs and elimination of state childcare. Supportive legislators including Rep Steve Farley and Sen. Linda Gray.

WHY: “Governor Brewer is making broad cuts without knowing the grave consequences” said Stephanie Seigla of the Arizona State Hospital. “As a state employee of 4-years I see ways the state wastes money, and we should have a say in eliminating that waste. It’s time for Governor Brewer to let us vote and for us to meet and confer on these important issues.” Governor Napolitano first granted meet and confer to workers at the Department of Corrections. It was so successful that she extended it to all cabinet-level agencies via executive order, recognizing that those at the front line should be empowered to have a say in decision-making. Now Governor Brewer should honor this executive order and let employees vote whether or not they want a union in their workplace.

Political junkies should make a it a day at the lege - sometime in the early afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a dog and pony showhearing on felony warrant service by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (something for which they are criticized for ignoring in favor of conducting anti-immigrant witch-hunts). The first presenter is scheduled to be Paul Chagolla, former spokesman and current deputy chief of the MCSO.

The Committee is scheduled to meet "upon adjournment of the floor" (aka - when the Senate gets done with it normal daily agenda - pledge, prayer, personal privilege, and partisan lectures" in Senate Hearing Room 1.

Phoenix New Times coverage here.



Eli Blake said...

Let's be clear here--

There are some legislators whose defining vision about what government should look like is that which was famously laid out by Grover Norquist when he said, 'shrink it (government) to the point where you can drown it in the bathtub.'

For these folks the present recession represents less a fiscal crisis and more an opportunity-- that when combined with the huge tax cuts they've made in years past and the fact that they law now only requires a 1/3 vote in either house to block a tax increase (that much they can muster) they indeed do feel this is the time to put the head of state government under the water and hold it there.

Their claim that we got here by 'overspending' is of course goofy given that our expenditure per student on education is already the lowest in the nation. It is only 'overspending' according to those who would rather see no spending at all, and are still looking for ways to get there even after the present crisis abates.

Eli Blake said...

Incidentally, I've also reached the conclusion that term limits have really hurt us in Arizona.

I say so because 1. the lack of institutional memory means that every few years our legislature essentially empties out any long term investments in strategies developed by their predecessors (our cuts in support to the biotech industry being just the latest example) so that we become by definition permanently mired in short term solutions, and 2. Writing, shepherding and getting legislation passed is not an easy thing to learn how to do right. By the time legislators learn how to be legislators, it is time for them to go. Just like any other job, you don't want the whole shop run by nothing but apprentices, but that's what we've become.

cpmaz said...

I'll disagree with you on one point here, Eli -

The lege these days is run less by apprentices and more by loons.

Utter loons.

The problem this year isn't just that Democrats lost a few seats, it's that most of the "public servant" class of Reps were either purged by a primary challenge (Hershberger, O'Halleran) or harassed into not running (Jennifer Burns).

One might have disagreed with them on many issues, but they tried to see to the interests of their districts and the state before partisan ideology. Which really ticked off the ideologues.

I attended the Education rally on March 4 and spoke to many of the participants. I told the Republican teachers and parents their that they had two choices long-term -

1. Vote Democratic (my personal favorite, partisan hack that I am :) )

2. If they can't bring themselves to switch parties, get involved in Rep politics in their areas. If enough sensible Reps get active, they'll be able to bring some sanity back to the AZGOP. Not the best option for those (like me!) hoping and working for a Democratic majority in the lege, but I'm an Arizonan (15+ years and counting).

I hate seeing what is being done to my home state.

As for term limits, I understand your reservations (because most of them are my reservations, too), but I have less of a problem with it. It's not a "hard" limit - chamber switching is allowed, with a new clock.

A report of the effects of term limits (I figure you've already read it Eli, but other readers might gain something from it) -

الفرقد أبو الفرقد said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cpmaz said...

Above comment deleted because it was completely off topic, reeked of blog spam, and was posted by an author with no profile.

The fact that it was an all-caps rant didn't help, either.

The comment is not permanently deleted; if the author wants to contact me and address a few concerns, it can be restored.