Dr. Syed Taj David Schapira A Guest Post From Arizona Progressive State Senator David Schapira
Saturday, 30 June 2012 13:38

A Guest Post From Arizona Progressive State Senator David Schapira

Written by 

Endorsements are a funny thing. Most of them aren't worth anything at all. I have two friends running in the Democratic primary in Arizona's brand new 9th CD, Kyrsten Sinema and Andrei Cherny. Kyrsten is a progressive and Andrei is somewhere in his own world ideologically. But the third guy... well, he's the one who's been endorsed by Raúl-- and by PDA. Whomever wins the August 28th primary is, likelier than not, headed to Congress. That third guy is David Schapira, the Senate Democratic Leader.

Endorsements are a funny thing. Most of them aren't worth anything at all. People and groups endorse candidates for all kinds of reasons. When a candidate comes to me and says they're being backed by the DCCC, all it tells me is that I have dig extra hard to find out what's wrong with the candidate, since the DCCC is notorious for endorsing conservatives with a distinct lack of ethics. Labor unions? The Building Trades unions of the AFL-CIO have given most of their money this year to Republicans and of their 5 top recipients, 3 are Republicans. A whole slew of professional Beltway liberal fundraising groups are endorsing Patrick Murphy, a lifelong Republican running as a New Dem against an especially heinous teabagger, Allen West. On the other had, when I see PDA or Raúl Grijalva, let alone both, have endorsed a candidate... that's golden. I have two friends running in the Democratic primary in Arizona's brand new 9th CD, Kyrsten Sinema and Andrei Cherny. Kyrsten is a progressive and Andrei is somewhere in his own world ideologically. But the third guy... well, he's the one who's been endorsed by Raúl-- and by PDA.

This is important. The 9th is in Arizona, McCain's home state, but if the district would have existed in 2008, Obama, who did't even campaign there, would have beaten the home state senator 51-47%. The district is even more Democratic-leaning now. Whomever wins the August 28th primary is, likelier than not, headed to Congress. That third guy is David Schapira, the Senate Democratic Leader. He's written that he opposes "continuing or starting wars of choice when so many Americans are struggling at home. I support the advancement of alliances that will promote prosperity around the globe and believe that America must work to create new partners in the international community, not new enemies. In Congress, I will work tirelessly to advance the cause of education that will develop green energy technologies in order to reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources and create a sustainable economy." That sounds about right... and I asked him to introduce himself to DWT readers. Fortunately for us, he agreed.

An Opportunity To Elect A Progressive Champion In Arizona

-by David Schapira

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a win for millions of Americans for whom healthcare would not otherwise be accessible. Healthcare is a very personal issue for me. As a childhood survivor of cancer, I would be uninsurable in the open market without the requirement of insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. The belief that everyone has a right to healthcare should not be a partisan issue. We are morally obligated to find ways to make healthcare more affordable and accessible to all Americans. This is why we need a public option.

There were many courageous Democrats in Congress who voted for the Affordable Care Act, knowing that it could cost them their jobs. Many Democrats across the country advocated for the legislation to include a public option, however, they supported the legislation because it was a step in the right direction. Sadly, there were also some Democrats, including my opponent, who ran away from Obamacare in the months after the vote. Today, we need leaders who are willing to communicate our progressive values, not only to the voters, but also as members of Congress. Now, more than ever, we need Congress to focus on the next important step in healthcare reform: a public option.

That is why I am running for Congress in Arizona’s new Ninth Congressional District. I believe that my community, state and nation deserve a Congressman who will stand up for working-class Americans. I need your help in this endeavor.

First, let me tell you a little about myself. I am the Senate Democratic Leader in Arizona. I am a former high school math teacher, and I decided to get involved in politics because I became very frustrated that the kids that I taught did not have the same opportunities I had in growing up. At the age of 26, I disregarded the advice of nearly everyone around me and challenged a ten-year incumbent Republican in a district with a Republican registration advantage in a race for the State House of Representatives. In the end, I won by over 3,000 votes because the voters shared my vision of a strong public-education system and appreciated that I was willing to discuss that vision with them at their doorsteps.

In the Arizona Legislature, I have been on the front lines of fighting against the extreme agenda of Arizona’s Tea-Party Republicans. When leading Democrats in our state distanced themselves from the recall of former Senate President and SB1070 author Russell Pearce, I publicly supported and even hosted a fundraiser for the recall effort. While some backed off holding both Republicans and Democrats accountable for various ethics scandals, I proposed the most extensive ethics reform legislation in Arizona history. I also sponsored comprehensive anti-bullying legislation and took on a right-wing advocacy group, who opposed the bill because of their homophobic agenda.

When Governor Brewer tried her hand at union busting, we stood tall and led the fight (watch my interview on The Ed Show here) against these anti-worker bills dubbed “Wisconsin-on-Steroids.” I’m proud to say the public response was so overwhelming that the bills were killed before they could reach the Governor’s desk.

I have been a staunch supporter of giving power back to the people in my state. Arizona’s Clean Elections system allows candidates to run for office using a public finance system, getting some of the undue influence out of politics. Republicans have consistently attacked the system, along with the help of some Democrats. I am the only candidate in my race to consistently participate in and publicly support Clean Elections. In Congress, I will fight for the federal Fair Elections Act, bringing public financing to all federal campaigns.

I am proud to have earned the support of Congressman Raúl Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the Progressive Democrats of America in my campaign for Congress. They know they can trust me to make education a national priority, defend Social Security and Medicare, fight for a public option for healthcare and advocate for the Fair Elections Act. We need leaders who will stand up to the Tea Party in Washington. I have a proven record of being a consistent and effective voice for progressive values.

For me, this race isn’t about advancing my career or climbing the political ladder - it is about the people of my community and our country. I need your help to spread our message. Together we can make the case that the economy and education are inextricably linked. If we are ever going to truly recover and be competitive in the global economy, we need to make education a national priority.

Arizona’s Congressional District 9 is one of the districts that Democrats need to win back the House majority in November. Help me bring our shared values to Washington, and I will achieve real results for middle-class families. Your donation by the end of this financial quarter on June 30th will make all the difference to help me fight back against the special interests that are sure to play a role in this race.

Remember, when Democrats hide from their convictions, they lose. I’ve won as a progressive in Arizona before, and with your help, I’m going to do it again.

Thank you for standing with me!

David Schapira

Link to original post from Down With Tyranny

Read 8583 times

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

Latest News from the Taj Campaign

  • Learned about Taj (letter to the editor)
    Learned about Taj (letter to the editor)

    I was anxious to attend the League of Women Voters Candidate Night because like so many other people in the new 11th District, I knew little about either of the major party candidates. I sat with more than 100 other voters and waited for Kerry Bentivolio to arrive.

    Written on Thursday, 01 November 2012 22:15
  • Blue America Preview: Dr. Syed Taj
    Blue America Preview: Dr. Syed Taj

    With the open seat, Dr. Taj has a more than favorable chance to win. His opponent is Kerry Bentivolio, reindeer rancher, failed business owner and part-time actor who has never held elected office. He has strong ties to libertarian financiers and Tea Party activists but has been ostracized by the Republican Party establishment, having taken large donations from Liberty for All Super PAC, affiliated with Ron Paul.

    Written on Sunday, 21 October 2012 12:48
  • Syed Taj: Democrat hopes voters will put a doctor in the House
    Syed Taj: Democrat hopes voters will put a doctor in the House

    He may be a Democrat in a largely Republican town, but don't tell that to Canton voters.

    Dr. Syed Taj finished fourth out of six candidates in 2008 to win a seat on Canton's Board of Trustees -- the first Democrat elected to the board in recent memory and the only Democrat on the seven-member board.

    Written on Monday, 15 October 2012 19:17
  • Interview with Mark Maynard
    Interview with Mark Maynard

    We also talk economics and tax policy. We can’t just continue to cut our way to prosperity, Taj says. We continue to fire public employees, he says, and that not only impacts quality of life, but it negatively impacts consumer spending.

    Written on Sunday, 14 October 2012 00:00
  • Syed Taj Says He's "on the radar"
    Syed Taj Says He's "on the radar"

    The sudden resignation of Rep. Thad McCotter led to a tumultuous Republican primary in Michigan's 11th District, but the fallout may also mean a competitive general election for a seat thought until recently to be safely in the GOP column. At least, that's what Syed Taj is counting on.

    Written on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

PDA In Your State

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.


Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016


Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab


MI Endorsed Candidate


MI-11 Dr. Syed Taj

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.


Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of