Wenona is honored to receive the endorsement of United Steelworkers District 12, which covers 11 states in the Western United States. In CD1, USW has members in Bellemont, Snowflake, Kearny, Ray, and Hayden. Says Chris Youngmark, USW District 12 Assistant to the Director, “USW District 12 has formally endorsed Wenona Benally Baldenegro for Congress. We are proud to support a candidate with the commitment to fight for working families.”
In Wenona’s words, “The United Steelworkers are the largest union in this district, and for decades, the USW has stood on the frontline to defend workers’ rights in Arizona, and continue to do so, today. I am truly honored to have received this endorsement.”
“This is a critical time for Arizona and the nation. Our nation’s working people and middle-class families need jobs and are calling for help. Our nation’s seniors are under attack by Tea Party extremists’ efforts to dismantle Medicare and Social Security. Meanwhile, instead of working to create good jobs and change the failed economic policies that have led us to this current crisis, Rep. Paul Gosar has only concerned himself with partisan politics that include slashing funding to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, mining uranium in the Grand Canyon, and supporting anti-union and anti-worker policies that disadvantage working Arizonans. This is unacceptable. As Congresswoman for Arizona CD1, I will bring jobs to our district, I will strongly support educational opportunities for our children, and I will protect Medicare and Social Security. Furthermore, I will work for solutions that help our working families and local and small business owners in this economic downturn while at the same time, protecting public health and the environment.”
In regards to Rep. Gosar’s push for uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, Wenona says “my family, friends, and community members have experienced the deadly effects of uranium contamination in Northern Arizona. Instead of opening up one of America’s greatest national treasures, the Grand Canyon, for contamination, uranium companies need to take responsibility for cleaning up the radioactive waste they left behind years ago that continue to contaminate the water we drink and the air we breathe.”
In addition to this endorsement, Wenona is endorsed by scores of people that include Indian tribal leaders, members of Congress, union/labor advocates, state legislators, environmentalists, students, and seniors . Wenona has received the endorsements of: U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-7); U.S. Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-39); U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5); Navajo Nation Speaker of the Council Johnny Naize; former Hopi Tribal Chairman Ben Nuvamsa; former national AFL-CIO Director for Arizona Randy Parraz; Arizona State Representatives Bruce Wheeler, Macario Saldate, Catherine Miranda, and Sally Gonzales; Pima County/Tucson Women’s Commission Co-founder Cecilia Cruz; Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo, and former CD1 candidate Howard Shanker.
Wenona grew up in a single-parent household in Kayenta, AZ, a rural town on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona. Her humble upbringing taught her the value of perseverance and of hard work. Wenona attended public schools in Kayenta, and went on to receive a law degree from Harvard Law School, as well as a Master Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to this, she completed her undergraduate degree at Arizona State University and was the first American Indian to graduate from ASU’s Barrett Honors College. Over the past decade, Wenona has worked with a broad base of advocacy groups, policymakers, and local nonprofit organizations to advocate for the interests of Arizona’s rural communities, and to develop and finance small businesses, housing, and construction projects.
Wenona’s campaign is historic, in that she would be the first American Indian woman to ever serve in the U.S. Congress, and the first American Indian from Arizona to serve in Congress.