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Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari is the youngest woman ever elected in Phoenix City Council history and the first Iranian-American elected to public office in the state of Arizona. She is an Arizona native, daughter of immigrants, and a graduate of Stanford and Cambridge universities. She’s dedicated her career to finding solutions to critical issues such as climate change, air pollution and public health, most recently as a senior policy advisor at the United Nations.
Councilwoman Deb Stark is currently representing Legislative District 3 in the Phoenix City Council. She has dedicated her whole life to public service, and to advocating for our community as a whole. Deb seeks to promote economic development and job growth and improve our infrastructure.
Anna Tovar is a proud Arizona native and has served her community as a teacher, mentor and elected official. Anna was a school teacher for five years, served on the Tolleson City Council for over seven years, and was Vice Mayor for two years until she was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. In 2013, she won election to the State Senate. As a State Legislator, Anna earned a reputation as a leader who fought for the dignity of all people. In 2016, Anna was the first woman elected to be Tolleson’s Mayor where she continued delivering results to make people’s lives better.
Rosanna Gabaldón is a dedicated public servant and an experienced legislator. Her legislative priorities include water sustainability, public education, and economic development. She believes that our best days are ahead of us, and that it’s going to take cooperative leadership to stand up and make it happen. She has worked diligently on issues pertaining to the environment, notably the Drought Contingency Plan, education, and infrastructure.
Representative Sally Ann Gonzales has a long history of public service. Prior to her election to the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2018, she served in the state legislature from 1997-2000, and in the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council from 1992-1996. Senator Gonzalez was most recently re-elected to the Senate in LD3 in 2020.
Lisa Otondo was elected to the Senate in 2016 after serving two terms in the House of Representatives. As a second-generation Arizonan born and raised in Yuma, she comes from a large Basque family with deep farming roots. This upbringing has given her a keen awareness of the issues and challenges facing farming and rural communities.
Arizona Native Jamescita Mae Peshlakai was first elected to the state legislature in 2012. A combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Jamescita served in the US Army for 8 years. She was most recently re-elected in 2020.
Victoria Steele was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2012 and was elected to the Arizona Senate in 2018. She has worked tirelessly on legislation focused on the Equal Rights Amendment, indigenous rights, and protections for our most vulnerable populations.
Kirsten Engel was first elected in 2016 and is currently serving her second term in the Arizona House. As a law professor and a mom, Kirsten ran for office to fight for public, career/technical, and higher education funding as well as to bring her expertise in environmental & administrative law to the legislature. As a Representative, she has expanded her work to include a presence in the Criminal Justice Reform Committee as Ranking Democrat of the Judiciary Committee.
Lela was first elected to the Arizona Senate in 1976, serving on the Appropriations Committee for 18-years. After being encouraged by the community, Lela ran for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010 and, after serving 8-years in the House, was returned to the State Senate in 2018. She has been a member of the PUHSD Governing Board since 2008. Her fierce advocacy has made her one of Arizona’s most respected voices for public education.
A fourth generation Arizonan, Rebecca served in the Arizona Legislature from 1995 to 2010 where she was chosen to serve as Democratic Whip and Assistant Democratic Leader. Elected In 2014. from her new home in LD 27, Rebecca was again selected to serve as Minority Whip. She Is a fighter for better education and healthcare and an outspoken advocate on issues of equality and justice for Arizona’s Citizens.
Christine Marsh is a Phoenician and graduate of Arizona public schools. After attending UCLA on a track scholarship, she made the decision to come back home to Phoenix, where she raised her two sons and foster children and taught English for 27 years. After 23 years in the classroom, Christine was honored to be named Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. Through that experience, she traveled the state to see first-hand the issues that public schools face. While her experiences as a mother, teacher, and foster mother helped her to decide to run. Her key issue is creating a more balanced Senate in order to allow good ideas from both sides of the aisle to have a fair hearing, with public input, and that will benefit all Arizonans.
Andrea Dalessandro has taught elementary, high school, community college and university for over 25 years and is a retired CPA. Since 2008 she has run for the legislature to fight the systemic defunding of public education. She serves as the Ranking Member of the Senate Education (K-12) Committee. You can learn more about her on her website here.
Alma Hernandez was born and raised on the south side of Tucson, and is a proud product of Sunnyside Unified schools. She is an outspoken activist who has worked a variety of issues, from education to women’s rights, criminal justice reform and health care.
Charlene Fernandez is the Democratic Minority Leader in the Arizona House of Representatives from the 4th Legislative District. She was first elected to the State House in 2014 and has been making her mark on Arizona politics for more than 25 years. Charlene is known as a leader on education policy, and in 2016 was named Legislator of Year by the Arizona Parent Teacher Association. She has also been an ardent foe to the private prison system in the state supported by Governor Doug Ducey. She has challenged the governor’s staff from her seat on the Appropriations Committee to justify the need to provide more prison beds.
Prior to being elected to the Arizona house in November 2016, Pamela Powers Hannley, MPH had a long career in public health, health promotion, behavioral research, and communications. Most recently, she was the managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most influential internal medicine journals. In the Arizona House, Powers Hannley is the ranking Democrat on the House Regulatory Affairs Committee and also serves on the Health and Human Services Committee and Ways and Means Committee.
Stephanie Stahl Hamilton is an Arizonan, born in Flagstaff and spending her early childhood years on Navajo Tribal Lands. After completing her Masters of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary, Stephanie and her husband Derek made Tucson their home. Stephanie was the Regional Lead for Save Our Schools working to successfully defeat the voucher expansion that was signed into law in 2017.
Jennifer Jermaine is the current State Representative from Arizona’s Legislative District 18: Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Ahwatukee. Jennifer is the Chairwoman for the statewide taskforce investigating missing and murdered Indigenous people and sits on the Government, Elections, and Military and Veteran’s Affairs committees.
Jennifer Pawlik was elected as a State Representative in November of 2018; she is the first woman, and the first Democrat to ever be elected to this seat in Legislative District 17. She is a member of both the House Education and House Judiciary committees. As a career educator, Representative Pawlik’s focus is on educational issues that impact students from preschool through university.
Mitzi Epstein was elected to the State House in 2016 and re-elected in 2018, A computer systems analyst and small business owner, she is focused on listening to her community and working collaboratively to improve the quality of life for Arizonans. Prior to running for the legislature, Mitzi spent years working at the community and state levels to promote strong schools, youth sports programs, entrepreneurial opportunities, and the arts. She was elected to the Kyrene Elementary School District Governing Board in 2004, and worked successfully with education professionals to improve transparency of operations, while always keeping the focus on student achievement
Judy Schwiebert grew up in Arizona and has spent her life serving our community as a teacher, mom and community leader. Her focus is to restore public education funding so that every child gets the quality education they deserve, ensure quality affordable health care solutions, and build a strong economy so that all Arizona families and businesses can thrive. She was elected to the House in 2020, representing LD20.
In 2004, Jen Longdon was paralyzed in a random drive-by shooting, changing the trajectory of her life overnight. But in the face of such adversity, Jen triumphed. For 14 years Jen has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and improve the lives of people with disabilities. As LD 24’s representative in the State House, Jen has fought back against extremist policies and fought for our community through investment in education, attracting quality jobs and promoting the health and safety of all Arizonans.
Growing up in a multiracial family in Arizona, state Rep. Athena Salman developed a deep appreciation for our country’s rich diversity. Her maternal grandparents came from Mexico and Germany because they believe in America’s promise. Her father came from Palestine because he believed in our nation’s potential. Her mother ingrained in her that anything worth having was going to have to be fought for. Rep. Salman’s humble beginnings has led to her reputation of tirelessly working to advance the rights of frontline communities in powerful institutions.
In November 2016, Butler was elected to represent Arizona’s 28th district. After election, Butler became a sitting member on the Commerce Committee, the Health & Human Services Committee, and the Technology Committee. Kelli is working to help Arizona remain competitive and attract new business, and for funding be responsibly restored to public education, from pre-K through college.
Melody Hernandez was born and raised in the southeast valley of Arizona to a first generation Mexican-American family. Stunned by violence plaguing our country on the news and in her community, Hernandez was called to help those in need. She has been working in emergency medical services for five years, where she currently is a paramedic. Activism for Hernandez started at a young age, having grown up attending demonstrations with her family supporting immigration reform and protesting police brutality. She was elected to the Arizona House in 2020, representing LD26.
Representative Raquel Terán is a mother, wife, community organizer and lifelong Arizonan. For the last twelve years she has been a vocal and active community advocate. Raquel mobilized Arizonans to rally against the injustices faced at the hands of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and SB1070 author Russell Pearce – resulting in Pierce’s recall and Arpaio’s re-election defeat. She currently serves for Legislative District 30.
Laura Conover has served as an advocate for the Tucson community and criminal justice reform for the past 20 years. She was raised in Tucson, attended the University of Arizona, and has been volunteering for the Democratic Party and Democratic Candidates since she was a high school student. Since graduating from the University of Arizona Law School in 2005, Conover has dedicated her career to helping the Southern Arizona community by defending the poor, advocating for victims, and fighting for justice in local and federal courts.
Gabriella Cázares-Kelly (she/her) is a proud, dues paying, #RedForEd public school educator, community organizer and candidate for Pima County Recorder. She is one of four women who founded Indivisible Tohono, a grassroots, community organization that provides opportunities for education and civic engagement for members of her tribe: the Tohono O’odham Nation. She is extremely politically active in Tucson and Statewide and believes in the need to infiltrate, create or transform spaces to include Indigenous voices and issues.
Sharon Bronson is the current Pima County Board of Supervisors representative for District 3. She was first elected in 1996 and has served 5 terms. As a County Supervisor, Sharon has worked hard to implement economic development strategies that provide high-wage job growth, reduce economic disparity, and improve regional livability. Sharon is also a strong proponent for criminal justice reform that provides equal protection under the law for all people.
As a native Tucsonan, educated through TUSD schools and the University of Arizona, Adelita is committed to improving the quality of life in Pima County. She is currently a member of the TUSD School Board and was recently elected to her 5th term. Adelita has worked with youth and their families for the last twenty-five years and has the experience and dedication to fight for the right for each child to achieve academic excellence and the opportunity to succeed.
After serving in the Arizona House of Representatives representing LD24 from 2007 to 2013, Lynne Pancrazi was elected to the Arizona State Senate in 2012 by voters in the new LD4 and served until 2017 when she began serving on the Yuma County Board of Supervisors representing District 5. She received a Master’s degree from Northern Arizona University in Elementary Education. Pancrazi has dedicated herself throughout her life to teaching and education.
Patty Hansen was first elected Coconino County Recorder in 2012, after serving in elections administration for 24 years in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Arizona. She has been a strong advocate for opening up the voting franchise and speaking out about the voter suppression laws in Arizona and nationwide. She has worked vigilantly against voter suppression efforts, whether on the state level (such as voter ID laws) or the national level (such as the elimination of pre-clearance rules). She is seen as a leader nationally and has been invited to serve on committees for the Election Center and the federal Election Assistance Administration.
Sarah Benatar was appointed to this office by the Board of Supervisors to fill out the term of the previously elected Treasurer and and was elected in 2016. She has been an active member of the Flagstaff community serving in leadership of the Community Information and Referral Services and the Flagstaff Housing Authority Board.
Throughout her 45-year career in law and in her forty years in Coconino County, Patrice has worked with numerous community organizations that advocate for social and economic justice; economic development; open spaces; sustainability, and conservation; and has worked to maintain the quality of life here in northern Arizona. A graduate of NAU and the U of A, public service and community engagement are Patrice’s cornerstones.
A native of Flagstaff and fourth generation resident, Liz’s history and knowledge of Northern Arizona has been an invaluable asset to the Board and to her District residents during her six terms on the Board of Supervisors. Liz has been the leader of discussions on water issues on the state level and in Northern Arizona, where emphasizing the need for regional solutions led to the development of he the Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council.
Judy Begay is a lifelong resident of Coconino County and also a lifelong supporter of Democrats. Served as a public school Board Member for 16 years in Tuba City. Experience in oversight, including management and supervision of health programs; School administration; Facilities Management, including roads and infrastructure and public Housing. Graduate of NAU in Business Administration – Management. Graduate of UOP – Masters in Organizational Management. Served as adjunct faculty at DINE college teaching Business Classes. Served on several non-profit organization boards. A rancher and farmer. Native American -Speaks fluently and writes the Navajo Language.
Dr. Michaels is a published author in the area of social policy, Founding Director of Planning and Development for the Yavapai County Education Service Agency, and Founding Director of the Sedona Center for Arts and Technology, Yavapai College. Dr. Michaels served as an officer on Yavapai College Board during a strategic planning process which resulted in redefinition of the mission and a new strategic plan. She continues to serve on national, state, and local boards of non- profit organizations. She was elected to the Yavapai Board of Supervisors in 2020, representing District 3
Currently the chair of the Coconino Board of Supervisors for the third time, Lena Fowler has served for 12 years as a supervisor. She made history in August 2011 when she became the first Diné chairwoman of the board. She was elected again as chair in late February 2016 and then for the third time this June. Lena is a founding member of the Tuba City Concerned Citizens, Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation and served as President of the Association for Indian Self-Determination in Healthcare where she helped organize healthcare contractors to implement P.L. 91-638 on the Navajo Nation. Fowler currently is working with the city of Page and the Navajo Nation on ways to diversity and revitalize the Page-Lake Powell economy.
Catherine Ripley is a retired U.S. Naval Officer with over 25 years of service to her country. As a diplomat she served at two different U.S. Embassies abroad for Defense Cooperation in The Hague, as well as for the Defense Intelligence Agency as the Defense Attaché in Madagascar. After retirement she held an executive leadership position with Raytheon, and now is a professor of political science at Pima Community College. Catherine was raised in Montana. She became one of the first women to be accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy, where she earned a B.S. in Engineering and a minor in Political Science. She later received her Master’s in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School, and went on to serve as Executive Director for the Naval ROTC in Boston. In that role she trained over 1,600 midshipmen to receive degrees and commissions from Harvard, MIT, and other colleges and universities in the Boston area.
Jacqueline Smith is a higher education professional and advocate who currently serves as Vice President at the Arizona State University Foundation for a New American University. She has also taught about civic leadership and cross sector collaboration.Jacqueline is a collaborative, future-forward problem solver who is wholeheartedly committed to access to higher education and student success. She appreciates the depth and breadth of the Maricopa Community Colleges’ offerings from workforce development to dual enrollment to community enrichment and more.
Mayor Kate Gallego has spent her career working to find solutions to complex problems. Prior to being elected Mayor, she served for five years as the Councilwoman for District 8, a district covering much of South Phoenix. In March 2019, Mayor Gallego became the second elected female Mayor in Phoenix history and the youngest big-city Mayor in the United States. Mayor Gallego is passionate about building a Phoenix that works for everyone, including her two-year-old son, Michael.
Mayor Ginny Dickey is bringing her decades of local experience including two terms as a Councilwoman and FHUSD Board Member to the office of Fountain Hills Mayor. Since moving to Fountain Hills in 1983, Ginny has been very involved in the community and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. During her tenure on the Fountain Hills Unified School District Board, from 1994 to 2002, she served twice as President. Her record of community involvement is extensive.
An Arizona native, Becky Daggett currently directs Coconino and Mohave County organizing efforts for the statewide Outlaw Dirty Money campaign. Becky previously served as the Executive Director of three Flagstaff nonprofits and worked for the City of Flagstaff as the Business Retention and Expansion Manager. She managed successful ballot campaigns raising more than $50 million for trails, recreation amenities, economic development, tourism, the arts and sciences, and open space protection in Flagstaff and throughout Coconino County.
Holli Ploog is a dedicated six year resident of the City of Sedona. She served on the City’s Budget Workgroup for five years and on its Fiscal Sustainability Workgroup, developing financial solutions for large-scale infrastructure projects. A retired attorney with a 30-year background in information technology and government coalition building, she he has worked with local, state, federal, and international agencies.
Kathy Kinsella has lived in Sedona for over ten years and has a broad background in community issues has well prepared her for service on the Sedona City Council. She is an active volunteer with several local non-profits focusing on food insecurity, housing, civil rights, and justice and is the recipient of League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley 2017 Citizen Engagement Award.
Miranda has been a resident of Flagstaff for the past 26 years. For the past eighteen years she has been the owner of Rainbow’s End, a downtown business featuring clothing, shoes, and locally made jewelry. Miranda is also the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Flagstaff Birth, Breastfeeding and Women’s Center. She is an eight- year Board Member of the Flagstaff Leadership Program, and volunteers her time to mentor the next generation of Flagstaff leaders.
Peggy is a retired lawyer, active in the life of Fountain Hills. As a Board Member of the Fountain Hills Democratic Club, member of Liberal Ladies, AZ Democratic Women in Blue and the League of Women Voters, she is connected with the progressives of Fountain Hills. As a member of Fountain Hills Women’s Club, she helps to raise scholarship money for women re-entering the workplace. As a small business owner, she is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Phoenix Chapter and the Women of Scottsdale Networking Group as well as Women Who Mean Business, Scottsdale. She has been a volunteer with Hospice of the Valley since 2018 and was a recipient of the Snell & Wilmer Community Leadership Award.
Sharron holds a BA in Business Administration and several Associates Degrees in the insurance field. Sharron has lived in four states and worked in insurance underwriting and compliance as well as a neighborhood bank. Seeking greater challenges and a return to her roots, Sharron left the corporate world to own and run her own business. Dedicated to her community Sharron is on the Fountain Hills Community Services Advisory Commission, the EVIT Business Accelerator Board, and the Leadership Academy Board. As an advocate for women’s rights, Sharron was part of the visionary board to establish what is now known as Cultures of Consent.
Alicia Vink taught Kindergarten after finishing her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. She has volunteered internationally, fostered 9 children as a licensed provider, served as elected chair for the local moms’ organization and my neighborhood children’s committee, and developed an in-home play-based preschool. She is running for governing board to ensure parent voices are heard and our schools are equitable for ALL students, teachers, and families.
Allison Ewers was elected to the Tempe Elementary School Board in 2020. She is a Tempe resident who is very involved in the business community. Being a mother of a 5-year-old boy, our future is her main concern. Her philosophy is that it takes a strong army to raise a child, and that does not only include parents, teachers, administrators, and businesses, but local citizens of all ages. Everyone benefits immensely from strong local schools.
This is Amy’s second term serving on the Creighton School District. Amy has lived in Phoenix, in the Creighton district, for twenty-five years. Amy initially got involved with the Creighton school district as a committed parent volunteer at Biltmore Prep Academy. She served as PTO president and was instrumental in marketing and recruiting for Biltmore Prep’s Spanish Immersion program. As a volunteer, Amy has learned a lot about the challenges public schools face as well as the successes that are possible when you have the right team of people who are dedicated to making a difference for not just their own kids but for all of our children.
Beki Quintero was re-elected to the Sunnyside Unified School Board in 2020. She is a lifetime resident of the Sunnyside community and a graduate of Sunnyside High School. As a strong community advocate, passionate about education and promoting opportunities for the youth in her community. Ms. Quintero also works with local businesses to develop key funding and operational support for our schools. She was a positive vote for comprehensive sex education when Sunnyside was the first School District in the state to allow the program in its schools.
Berdetta Hodge serves as the President of the Tempe Union High School Governing Board. She was the first African-American woman elected in the City of Tempe with her election to the TUHSD Board. As a Tempe Union Alumna, Berdetta Hodge, serving as the president of multiple parent-teacher organizations, as a financial committee member for the Tempe Union High School District and the Tempe Elementary School District, Berdetta knows her district. She is a passionate advocate for children, families and education for the city of Tempe.
Dr. Elizabeth Hart-Wells is a teacher, chemist, inventor and proud parent. She currently teaches chemistry at Glendale Community College, a campus that serves primarily Hispanic and Veteran communities. Dr. Hart-Wells is a critical and strategic thinker with proficient diplomatic skills exemplified by her professional experiences in science, higher education, policy, industry, and technology transfer. She brings a unique and transferrable skill set that, coupled with a strong work ethic, dedication and honesty, will benefit and inform governance.
Heather Ayres was elected to the Creighton Governing Board in 2020. Heather is a native Arizona resident. She is a qualified and certified teacher at Joseph A. Zito elementary school where she has been teaching upper grades (3-6) for nearly 20 years. She serves as President of Isaac District Education Association and represent the district members at both statewide and national conferences annually. Her desire to serve on the Creighton school board stems from my desire to create equity for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status and with the unique challenges of each and every student and family in mind.
Jenni was elected to the Washington Elementary School Board in 2020. She is a native Arizonan and the daughter of two Washington Elementary School District educators. She was a middle school teacher for seven years, including six in the Glendale Elementary School District where she also coached, supervised student teachers, and took on many leadership and volunteer roles. She is a mother of three children and has been an incredibly involved parent including classroom volunteer, PTO Secretary/Volunteer, WESD Parent Leadership Team member.
Jessica Bueno was elected to the Phoenix Elementary School Board in 2020. She was born and raised in El Paso, TX. Along with a younger brother, she was raised by a single mother who kept them involved in organized athletics, volunteering and church. Jessica learned the value of hard work and service to others through her upbringing. Jessica is currently a Phoenix community leader working towards strengthening the assets that make a vibrant and healthy community livable. She is passionate about business, public education and community development.
As a parent of two SUSD graduates, community advocate, and award-winning educator, Julie supports equality of opportunity and collaborative decision-making as the means to move SUSD forward. Her diverse experiences and personal skill-set are unique and demonstrated by her extensive work in: curriculum development, assessment and grading, personnel evaluation, restorative justice, social-emotional wellness, school safety, and extensive school administration coursework. Her leadership on the Arizona Education Association Board of Directors, and as Scottsdale Education Association President enhances her commitment to excellence for ALL children.
Kiana Sears was elected to the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board in 2020. Kiana is an avid ASU Sun Devil, community advocate and experienced public policy creator and implementer. She has contributed to critical laws, committees and organizations such as Children’s Action Alliance, Arizona State Senate, Arizona Corporation Commission, East Valley NAACP, East Valley Martin Luther King Parade and various charities of the United Way. Kiana believes “every single child deserves an opportunity to learn and to access a quality education.”
Lindsey McCaleb was elected to serve on the Creighton Elementary School Board in 2020. She has been an educator for 11 years, beginning on the Navajo Reservation. She taught in the Creighton School District for 5 years and holds a Master’s degree in Administration from ASU. She is currently the Technology Coach for the Balsz School District and has participated in many district committees, learning about how to improve the district, implement initiatives, and create positive school cultures that promote high academic achievement.
Monica Gallardo Pimentel is a member of the Glendale Elementary School District Board. She aims to make sure students from the Glendale Elementary School District have every tool to be successful for a lifetime. She attended public school in the Peoria Unified School District, and later attended both Glendale Community College and Phoenix College where she studied Criminal Justice and Paralegal Studies. While at GCC, she got her first taste of activism by learning voter outreach by becoming a voter registrar, became involved in MEChA and later served as Vice President.
Monica Trejo currently serves as the President of Tempe Elementary School Board, as the district 3 representative. She is a native Arizonan and attended Arizona State University, joined Teach for America-Phoenix and taught special education in Tolleson. Currently she is an instructional coach at a Phoenix elementary school and doctoral student at Columbia University. Monica has been committed to work for schools that can move children out of the cycle of poverty and help them reach their dreams.
Natalie Luna Rose has 20 years of experience in communications and the electoral process at all levels – from local races to the U.S. House of Representatives. A native Tucsonan, Natalie spends time with husband Josh and their seventh grade daughter, Lily. Natalie’s key issues to address as she runs in TUSD are navigation of the district as it moves through COVID 19, family life education, unitary status and restoration of full funding. She has served on the Tucson Unified Parent Advisory Council, the board of Children’s Action Alliance and with the Center for Progressive Leadership.
Nikkie Whaley was appointed to serve a two year term in March of 2017 and was reelected to a two-year term in November 2018. She has over 15 years of experience working with youth and families in the areas of behavioral health and education and currently works for the Arizona School Boards Association providing leadership development to school boards across the state and promoting equity in education.
From Akron, Ohio, Paul’s family moved to Phoenix in 1955. After attending West and North Phoenix High Schools, she graduated from East Phoenix High School in 1967. After two unremarkable years at NAU, she invested four years with the United States Navy and Marine Corps. After completing her enlistment, she received my bachelors and masters degrees from ASU. After more then thirty years as a public school, classroom teacher, guidance counselor, coach, building and central office administrator, she retired in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas in 2009. In 2015 Paul and her wife returned to Arizona.
Sophia Ramirez was elected to the Creighton Elementary School Board in 2020. She is a Precinct Committee Person for the Democratic Legislative District 24, a volunteer of Moms Demand Action, and on the Democratic Latino Outreach Committee. Sophia was taught the value of hard work from a young age and raised to take decisive action in her community. She started with the Adios Arpaio campaign and blossomed from there. Sophia, in 2019 along with her aunt, launched a podcast which focuses on how Latina women have evolved into the women we want to be and become. Her vision is to unify children, the community, and the district.
Ylenia Aguilar is a member of the Osborn School District Governing Board and currently serves as President of the Board. Her career began in the legal field as an interpreter at the federal correctional detention centers in Florence, Arizona. Determined to have an impact on vulnerable families in Arizona, Ylenia is now a small business owner and runs a translation and interpreting services company. In this role, she provides legal and medical interpreting services.
Doreen has lived in Arizona since 1976 and is proud to call Tempe her home. She has spent the last three decades involved in local and global charity work, in addition to growing her leadership skills volunteering in local schools, community groups and organizations. She is a member of the Navajo Nation and proud of her heritage.
Mayor Regina Romero was elected in 2019 and is the first woman and first Latina mayor of Tucson. Regina was elected to serve on Tucson City Council in 2007, representing Ward 1. Romero was the first Latina woman elected to City Council, and the first woman to represent to Ward 1.
Nikki Lee is an Air Force veteran, information technology expert, wife, and mother of three. As a City Council Member, Nikki will fight for economic development, job growth, and environmental sustainability. She is running as a City Clean Elections candidate because she believes in grassroots campaigns and the importance of connecting directly with Tucsonans rather than dark money donors.
I am Lane Santa Cruz and I am running for the Ward 1 Council seat. I am bilingual-bicultural and a testament to the resiliency of the people in the Southwest. At my core, I am an educator and community organizer. Before returning to work as a Council Aide to the Ward 1 Council Office, I spent 12 years in nonprofits and grassroots community efforts working on sexual/gender violence, food justice, migrant rights, DIY bicycle mechanics, and Ethnic Studies. Since obtaining my Ph.D., I teach courses in Mexican American Studies and Education at the UA and organize community bike rides on the Southside.
Since being elected to Phoenix City Council in 2013, Kate Gallego’s entrepreneurial spirit and extensive economic development knowledge have helped transform Phoenix’s economy and revitalize the city’s transportation system. As Mayor of Phoenix, Kate has focused on infrastructure, sustainability, and the economy.
As the Senate Minority Leader, Katie Hobbs led the Arizona Democratic Caucus in their tough fight against extremist legislation that harms women, children and families. As Secretary of State she has worked to make sure all Arizonans have access to the resources necessary to vote.
Carmen Trujillo is a working-class mother, lifelong Phoenician, community advocate and Governing Board Member of the Phoenix Elementary School District.
Kathy Hoffman is a dedicated educator who is committed to improving educational achievement for all of Arizona’s students. Her passion for education arrives from personal experience in a diverse array of settings including bilingual education, special education, and volunteer work. As Superintendent of Public Instruction, she has worked to make public education better and more accessible to all Arizona students.
Dr. Geraldine Peten was appointed to represent LD 4 in the Arizona House of Representatives in August 2017 and was elected in 2018. She is an educator and administrator with over 20 years of experience leading and improving primary and secondary schools in Arizona.
Representative Isela Blanc is a community organizer with over 15 years of experience advocating for children and families. She has worked on behalf of the children and families of LD 26 since she was first elected to the Arizona House fo Representatives in 2016.
Heather Macre came to Arizona in 2008, and immersed herself in both the local political scene and in conservation efforts. Heather was elected to the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.
Jennifer Martin is a life-long Arizonan. She currently serves as a water expert for the Sierra Club and works on water quality, flow and depth to groundwater monitoring and habitat restoration around the state as well as policy analysis and advocacy. She was elected to the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board in 2018.
Phoenix native Laura Pastor is a fifth-generation Arizonan who graduated from St. Mary’s High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Arizona State University. Laura serves on the Phoenix City Council, representing District 4 since 2013. Laura is a member of the Phoenix Union High School District Board, where she has been a strong advocate for strategic planning for the District.
Adelita Grijalva is a Tucson native and Pueblo High School alumni. She was the youngest woman ever elected to the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board, and is currently serving her fifth term.
Corina Madruga was elected to the Tolleson Union High School District Governing Board in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. She currently serves as the Board President. She’s earned two degrees in business administration, and is an alumni of the Valle del Sol Hispanic Leadership Institute.
Katie Paetz currently serves the Osborn Board as its President. An experienced teacher, for 12 years she’s worked in Arizona schools. In that time she’s been a staunch advocate for student growth and excellence in our public schools.
Stephanie Parra is an experienced educator committed to improving public schools in Arizona. She is a first generation American citizen, born and raised in Yuma, and is a product of Arizona public schools. She has been the Ward 3 representative on the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board since 2014.
Leila Counts is a dedicated educator, small business owner, TUSD parent, and the descendant of a long line of Arizona educators. She’s a passionate advocate for educational equity, inclusion, diversity and equal access to an excellent public education for all. She has been a member of the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board since 2018.
Lindsay Love is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Dedicated to social justice issues, she works closely with teens and adults who have experience trauma, and endeavors to create safe spaces for marginalized voices. She was elected to the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board in 2018 and has prioritized mental health, equal opportunity, and LGBTQIA+ protection.
Naketa Ross is a long-time advocate for the wellness of Arizona families and children. She has used her education and advocacy experience to ensure every student at Phoenix Union High Schools is given the opportunities they need to reach their potential in her role as the Ward 1 Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board Member.
Elora Diaz was elected to the Phoenix Elementary SD Governing Board in 2020. She is an Arizona native and a first-generation college graduate who is dedicated to serving her community. She is committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of where they come from, has the opportunity to choose their own future.
Consuelo Hernandez is a proud graduate of the Sunnyside School District, and is proud to call the Sunnyside community her home. Consuelo serves on the Sunnyside Unified School District as she works toward building a strong educational foundation for all Sunnyside students.
Fern Ward was elected to the Laveen Elementary School District Governing Board in 2018. She has been a proud Laveen resident since 1982, and is committed to making her community the best it can be by serving on the Laveen Elementary School District Governing Board.
Mayor Evans believes in a balanced approach to the stewardship of community resources and is passionate about creating opportunities that allow for civic engagement, civil discourse, community revitalization and genuine sustainability and advancement for Flagstaff citizens.
Jen Duff is a Mesa native and a longtime leader in the Mesa community. As a City Council Member Jen represents the voices and values of District 4. Elected to the Mesa City Council in November of 2018, Councilmember Jen Duff began her first term representing District 4 in January of 2019. Her term on the Council runs until January of 2023.
Joyce Jones-Ivey is a retired nurse who proudly served patients for 42 years. She was elected to the Oro Valley Town Council in 2018 to keep the town community oriented, fiscally sound, and environmentally and financially sustainable.
Alexis Hermosillo is a proud fourth-generation resident and Mayor of the City of El Mirage. Alexis has worked for a public transportation company in the Maricopa county area, and has also previously worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as a district representative for Congressman Raúl Grijalva.
In 1996 Solange Whitehead came to Scottsdale, intended to stay for “just six months”, fell in love and never left. She was elected to Scottsdale City Council in 2018 to preserve the charm and quality of life of her community.
Janice Hudson first visited Sedona fifteen years ago and knew it was where she was meant to be. Since moving to Sedona with her husband and their dog, Duffy, she has become an active community member including serving on the Sedona City Council.
Vania Guevara is a first-generation Salvadoran American. Growing up, Vania’s parents showed her and her siblings the importance of hard work and helping others. Vania was appointed to the Phoenix City Council to represent District 5 in March of 2018.
City Councilmember Karen Watts is a Yuma native, born and raised, whose family presence in the Yuma community dates back to the 1800’s. She has had the privilege to raise a family of her own here while having the opportunity to play an active role in serving her community.
Councilmember Leslie McClendon was born and raised right here in Yuma. She has been married to Bob McClendon Jr for 32 years and has raised four very talented children and is now getting to enjoy her eleven grandchildren.
Wenona Benally was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 2017 to 2019. She is a Harvard Law School graduate with a master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Masters of Law from the James E. Rogers College of Law.
Susan Benjamin has spent her career of 31 years in public education, as a teacher, principal and the Director of Special Education. She is the proud mother of 2 sons and grandmother of 2 granddaughters. She knows the best outcome for our students requires highly qualified teachers, a commitment to the needs of each child and strong ties to families and community.
Ann has been a member of the Bisbee Unified School Board since 2016. She has been committed to offering more education opportunities to the students, from vocational classes to college and on-line classes. She is also invested in a better working relationship with the city and the public, drawing on the residents’ talents and experience.
Senator Cajero Bedford was re-elected to the Arizona State Senate in 2016. Before having the opportunity to serve Tucsonans at the state level, Senator Cajero Bedford was a business owner and a director of sales and marketing for the tourism/hotel industry. Understanding the importance of public service, Senator Cajero Bedford followed in the footsteps of both her father and mother to become the second generation in her family to represent southern Arizonans at the state Capitol.
Barbara LaWall was elected in 1996 year as the first woman to serve as Pima County attorney.She has been re-elected since then, most recently in 2016. Since then, she has led the state in creating and implementing innovative programs to protect children, such as the SafeBaby program and the AMBER Missing Child Alert.
F. Ann was reelected for her seventh term as Recorder in 2016. Rodriguez has dedicated her time to the community by being a part of several boards, such as Kids Voting and Parent Aid Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. She has also worked hard to increase and simplify voting participation.
Kristel Foster was first elected in 2012 and won re-election in 2016. She has a passion for quality education and is dedicated to the students in this community. She has fought for things like LGBTQIA+ rights within school institutions, comprehensive sex education, and increasing multicultural based curriculums. She continues to be a strong voice in the “Red for Ed” movement, advocating for increased funding in our education system.
A product of Arizona’s public schools, Lynné Almy has taught in the Maryvale schools working every day to ensure that the students in her classroom are successful. Almy graduated from The University of Arizona, triple majoring in History, Economics, and Spanish. She received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and Teaching from Arizona State University. Almy has served on the Phoenix Elementary #1 School Board since July 2017.
Jamie Whelan is a professor of education and a leader in the LGBT community at Northern Arizona University. Whelan has lived in Flagstaff for over 26 years and owned several small business while continuing her career as a teacher. She was elected to Flagstaff City Council in November 2016 and was selected by the council to serve as Vice-Mayor from 2016 to 2018. Whelan is currently running for Mayor of Flagstaff.
Alexandra Arboleda has dedicated her career to solving Arizona’s water and natural resource challenges. The depth and breadth of her experience as a water attorney give her a unique and diverse understanding of the issues related to management of Arizona’s Colorado River supplies.
Shirley Scott was elected to the City Council in 1995. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Pima Council on Aging, Pima Prevention Partnership, and on the Advisory Committee for Tucson Clean and Beautiful. After 24 years of service, Scott retired in December 2019.
Determined to get everything she could out of life, Stefanie graduated from college in four years with a double major. After the events of September 11th, she dedicated a year of service to our country with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). Stefanie represented the 10th district in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017.
Barbara grew up in the Copper Corridor, gained hard working values in a multi-ethnic mining community. As she raised her family in the same town she grew up in, she opened a travel agency and worked as the Salvation Army Extension Unit Director for the Copper Corridor and surrounding area. Barbara represented the 23rd District in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. She then represented the eight district in the Arizona State Senate from 2011 to 2017.
Debbie attended R. E. Simpson in the Alhambra Elementary School District and Orangewood Elementary School in the Washington Elementary School District. During her years at Washington High School she was involved in a variety of activities at both school and church. She became involved in Student Council during her Junior and Senior year, graduating in 1969. Debbie was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 1979 to 1994 and from 2003 to 2006. She then served as Arizona State Senator from 2006 to 2017.
As a South Phoenix native, I believe that our community should expect more. High expectations from my family, teachers, and friends were critical to my educational and professional success, helping me be the first in my family to complete a Master’s of Education. With over 11 years experience in Higher Education, I have had the privilege of working with students from working class communities like ours
Angela’s commitment to revitalizing the Arizona economy, raising our education standards and increasing access to affordable healthcare are why she ran for Sedona City Council. She served as a City Council member from November 2014 to January 2016.
Lauren Kuby was elected to the City Council on a sustainability platform in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. She is a 34-year resident of Tempe and long-time community leader who advocates for worker protections, equity, and climate-change action.
Councilmember Celia Barotz was elected to the Flagstaff City Council for a four-year term in May 2010 and served as Vice Mayor from 2010 to 2012.
Eva Putzova was born in Slovakia before Flagstaff became her home in 2000. With an academic background in economics and marketing, she started her professional career first working for Southwest Windpower and later for Northern Arizona University. She also complete leadership programs at Harvard University and Cornell University. Eva is currently running for Congress with the goal to represent working people in Congress not corporations.
Karin Uhlich serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Economic Integrity, a non-profit research and advocacy organization. Prior to moving to Tucson, Uhlich served as Congressional Aide to U.S. Representative Howard Wolpe and Executive Director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. After seeing for 12 years, Uhlich stepped down from her role as a City Council member but is still active in her community. Uhlich was appointed to finish the term of former Council Member Paul Durham on March 1, 2021.
Linda Lopez served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009. She then served as a member of the Arizona Senate, representing District 29 from 2009 to 2014. Lopez was subsequently chosen by her peers to serve as assistant minority leader. After living in Indiana and California as a child, Linda earned her BA in Women’s Studies and an MA in History from the University of Arizona.
Nancy Young Wright was elected in 2008 to represent District 26 of Arizona. She is a strong advocate for education, environment, arts, and humane treatment of animals. Young Wright has served on the Amphitheater Unified School District Board, and became president in 2004. She served as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011.
Councilmember Karla Brewster was elected to a four year term on the Flagstaff City Council in May 2008 and re-elected in May 2012. A native of Oregon, Karla lived most of her life in the Phoenix area until moving to Flagstaff in 1998 where she enjoys working with people and diversity. She earned degrees from Arizona State University, B.A. in Education, and University of Northern Colorado, M.A. in Education.
Christine Rhodes served the citizens of Cochise County as County Recorder for 44 years. In 2012 she was re-elected for another term. At the age of 23, Rhodes became the youngest elected public official in the U.S. She earned her academic credentials through Cochise College and Northern Arizona University. During her career as a Recorder, Rhodes organized and participated in several professional and citizen groups to help others better understanding government. After an extensive career of service, Rhodes retired in 2016.
Sylvia Lee, PhD, proud graduate of Pima Community College (PCC) and former PCC Campus President, was elected in 2012 to the Pima College Board from District 3. After obtaining her Associate degree from PCC, Sylvia transferred to the University of Arizona where she earned a Baccalaureate degree in Psychology and Masters degree in Counseling.
In November 2010 Kyrsten Sinema was elected to District 15 State Senate. She sits on the Senate Appropriations, Rules, Judiciary and Government Reform Committee. Prior to her election see served three terms in the House of Representatives. Sinema is an alumna of Arizona State University. From 2013 to 2019, Sinema served as the U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 9th congressional district. She has been serving as the senior United States Senator from Arizona since 2019.
Leah Landrum Taylor was re-elected to the Arizona state senate in 2012 where she was chosen by her peers to serve as the minority leader. She serves on K-12 Education, Natural Resources and Rural Affairs and the Public Safety and Human Resources Committee. Taylor attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and received her Bachelor’s and Master degree in Political Science at Arizona State University.
A graduate from Tucson High School, Paula earned her BA in English from the University of Arizona. A strong advocate of the Democratic Party, Paula worked to build up the Democratic Party in Tucson and Pima County. She served as a member of the Arizona Senate representing the 28th district from January 2006 until January 2013.
Sara Presler was elected Mayor of Flagstaff in 2008, and was re-elected in 2010. Presler received her Bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in English from Northern Arizona University. After earning her Law degree from Michigan State University, she returned back to Flagstaff to serve as a public defense attorney.
Beth Brizel was elected to the Kyrene School Board in 2010 and will serve until 2014. She plays a critical role in the formulation and approval of policies that guide the operation of the school district. Since October 2002, she has been the owner of a woman recruiting firm that specializes in property management, building engineering, real estate, and construction nationwide.
Sharon Wolcott represents Council District 1 in Surprise Arizona. Wolcott received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Education from Indiana University. Before moving to Arizona, Wolcott represented District 57 in Minnesota in state house and Senate.
Meg Burton Cahill is a ceramic studio artist, a community activist, and the proud mother of a son who is a Navy SEAL. She graduated from Arizona State University obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts and a Master Degree in Public Administration. Cahill was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 2000 until 2006. She served as a state Senator for District 17 until 2011.
Amanda Aguirre has been involved for more than 25 years in public health education and administration with a strong emphasis in U.S.-Mexico border health issues and has lived in Yuma for the past 23 years. She possesses a life-long commitment to education since she was raised by parents who were both elementary school teachers.
A resident of Sierra Vista, Pat has decades of public service on her resume. Pat’s decades of experience as a budget and manpower analyst for the US Army prepared her well to ensure that the state had a balanced budget while protecting families and education. Her focus while serving the public was getting real results from government programs.
A Tempe native and graduate of Tempe Union High School, Martha has gravitated to community issues. In 2003, Martha decided to run for and won a seat at the House of Representatives for District 13, where she has lived since 1971.
Rae Waters served District 20 in House of Representatives of Arizona from January 2008 to January 2011. Waters graduated from northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology. Rae was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey; she has lived in Arizona for 42 years and graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1978 with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology. She also served 12 years on the District Governing Board for Kyrene Elementary School.
Janet Napolitano was elected Arizona’s 21st governor in 2002. During her administration she focused on education, economy, and the environment. Prior to this election Napolitano was nominated by President Bill Clinton to serve as U.S Attorney for District of Arizona. She was later elected to be attorney general for Arizona, and became the first woman to hold this position. Napolitano resigned from office in 2009 to accept the appointment as U.S Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Jackie Thrasher was elected to Arizona House of Representative for District 10 in 2007. At this time she was awarded Legislative Partner Award from the Arizona Business and Education Coalition. Thrasher her Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, and went on to teach in the Phoenix area.
Lena Saradnik was elected to Arizona House of Representatives in 2006. In 2004 Saradnick was elected to Democratic Precinct Committee person. Prior to her involvement as a Legislator, Saradnick was a former University of Arizona Director of Special Projects-CHIP/Program in Integrative Medicine, International Tourism Marketing.
A retired farmer/rancher, Marsha received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Northwest Missouri State University (With Honors), a Master’s in Public Administration from Arizona State University (With Distinction), and has completed some Graduate work toward a second Master’s degree in Political Science at ASU.
Theresa Ulmer was elected as Arizona State House Representative in 2007 for District 24. Originally from Nebraska, Ulmer’s childhood instilled in her the importance of community. She is also an active member of the Yuma County Democratic Party, and the Precinct Committee for the County and State party.
Kirkpatrick was born and raised on an Apache Indian reservation near McNary, Arizona. She is a graduate of Blue Ridge High School, the University of Arizona, and the University of Arizona College of Law. In 1980 she became Coconino County’s first woman deputy county attorney, and she later served as city attorney for Sedona. She represented Arizona’s 1st congressional district from 2009-2011 and again from 2013-2017. Kirkpatrick has served as a representative for Arizona’s 2nd congressional district since 2019.