Other Issues

Position Paper on SB 1070

SB1070 is an illegal, immoral, and racist piece of legislation. Illegal, since it violates the Constitution, being an infringement on our 4th amendment rights, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, …” It also encourages the use of racial profiling, violating the rights of American citizens with Hispanic American heritage. It feeds on the fears of our citizens in a time of international unrest. It is being used as an distraction from the real issues; illegal wars that cannot be won, the threat of international terrorism, the international and domestic corporate juggernaut that has created the current world economic crisis and the need for real immigration reform that is fair, non-racist and takes into consideration the needs of peoples in all the Americas.

The European community of nations has been able to open its borders for the economic and social benefit of its citizens and yet here we are, supposedly the greatest country in the world, but unable to understand what needs to be done for the future of our hemisphere. The well planned and executed organized attack of the far right in this country smells too much like the Fascism that we fought two world wars to defeat and from which our grandparents and their grandparents fled to this country, a place that offered life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all!

Governor Brewer’s erroneous statement that most illegal immigrants are smuggling drugs is a slap in the face to all Arizonans. She must think that we are all stupid, racist and ill informed. She and her cronies around the state want us to believe that the continued violence and illegal drug trafficking at our border is tied to the issue of immigration and undocumented people. They are two separate issues.

Immigration reform needs to begin by understanding this. The real roots of the large number of Mexican citizens crossing the border to look for work and a better life stems from the dismal failure of NAFTA to provide jobs, living wages and economic development. It stems from the millions of rural people flooding to Mexico’s cities with the promise of housing and work, while finding nothing but foreign owned banks willing to lend money at usurious rates. And, it stems from the decrease in agricultural opportunities due to the huge subsidies that the US Government gives to our agriculture making Mexico’s cash crops less competitive.

Brewer and her buddies in the state legislature have used SB 1070 as a wedge issue. It has been used to distract us from more important financial problems which they are largely responsible for creating as the huge 4.5 billion budget deficit, that was mainly caused by the huge tax breaks they gave to special interests, the wealthy, and corporations over the last few years. Without these ill advised tax breaks, we would have had a budget surplus and a Rainy Day Fund to better prepare for times like the state’s current economic crisis. The Arizona Legislature must take responsibility for these financial shortfalls, the under funding of schools and resulting failing educational system, the huge cuts in essential services, and it’s clear lack of vision to lead our state back to prosperity.

Governor Brewer and the majority of the state legislature have followed a shameful tradition of scapegoating blaming others for problems which they have not created but are never the less held responsible, in this case poor people just looking for work and trying to feed their families and survive. Essentially, they are saying the immigrants are the source of all our problems and the answer then is to sweep them away. Many right wing demagogues in history have used this horrific tactic successfully. When we finally sit down at the table to talk about immigration reform we need to look at the big picture and not just into Jan Brewer’s mirror of shame.

—Kent Solberg Candidate for State Legislature, District 27

Arizona Green Party argument against Propositions 106

The Arizona Green Party recommends a NO vote on Prop 106, which would amend the Arizona Constitution. The so-called “Freedom of Choice” amendment would disallow the state from setting up a health care system that would provide care for every citizen. We, the Arizona Green Party, assert that an amendment this narrow in concept does not serve the people of Arizona. Instead, it advances the rights of insurance companies.

The Constitution is the tool we have to protect the citizens. This amendment does the opposite. Prop 106 would “set it in stone” that the providers of health insurance in Arizona will always be private corporations. If passed there would be no possibility of a public insurance plan, like seniors have with Medicare. A Medicare-For-All plan could provide health care that is privately delivered and publicly funded. This would mean that Arizonans would still have the freedom of choice of their own doctors, clinics and hospitals. The payer of these services would be a single entity, rather than dozens of insurance companies. An added single-payer benefit is the cost reduction in administrative overhead.

Slamming the door on a single-payer system forever, because of this proposed amendment to the Constitution, is a step backward not forward. Vote NO on Prop. #106. (For more information on the Green Party, including opinions about other ballot measures, go to AzGP.org.)

—Claudia Ellquist, AzGP CoChair

Kent Solberg, AzGP Treasurer, Green Party candidate for state representative, LD 27

—Rebecca DeWitt, AzGP secretary, Green Party candidate, US Congress, CD #4

—Linda Macias, AzGP ViceChair, Green Party candidate, AZ state representative, LD 21

—Luisa Evonne Valdez, Green Party candidate, AZ state representative, LD 15

—Gregor Knauer, Green Party candidate, AZ state representative, LD 17

—Jerry Joslyn, Green Party candidate, US Senate

Kent’s ballot argument against Proposition 400

The Mayor and Council’s request of a local .5% sales tax increase to be piggy-backed with the 1% state increase that was just approved is unconscionable. Our economic problems coupled with our government’s historic inability to do common sense long term planning and to follow through with projects promised is a recipe for still another boondoggle. Of the 34 projects approved in the RTA vote four years ago, 27 of them were carryovers from 1997 bond elections that were approved but never completed. Now, many of the RTA projects are under-funded and won’t happen. If our Mayor and Council really wanted to be responsive to this economic crisis, they would join the Pima County Board of Supervisors and bring the RTA vote back for revision by the voters. They could reprioritize the current RTA .5% sales tax. This huge pool of accrued money and future projected income could then be used for “Public Safety, Transportation, and Parks and Recreation” services. 70 % of the traffic problems in Tucson would be easily mitigated by putting in bus pull-offs and right hand turn lanes, still leaving the majority of the funds for other needed services. It is all too easy to solve problems by raising taxes, but we do not elect people to solve easy problems. If they can’t solve hard ones then we need to elect people who can. Regressive sales taxes take a disproportionate amount of money from the working class and those on fixed incomes. As a Co-Owner of Kent’s Tools I already feel the pinch of people shopping outside the City or on-line to avoid paying sales taxes. The passage of Proposition 400 would make the merchants of Tucson less competitive and in the long run hurt our economy.

Kent Solberg, Candidate LD27
Kent for House, Chairman

Save “A” Mountain

Kent Solberg Candidate for State Legislature, District 27

For years, the people who live on the north side of “A” Mountain have been trying to restrict access to Sentinel Peak Park (“A” Mountain Park). Using the technique of very limited public notices for changes, they are denying the community full access to the park, as if they are the only ones that matter. People from all over the city use the park. Imagine the reaction if people who lived around the zoo started restricting access to the zoo. They have already caused the park to close at 8:00 PM, before dark in the summer.

A trip to the top of “A” Mountain, especially at night, has always been a special treat for generations of Tucsonans and visitors. A small group has taken this away from the entire community. Now, based on a survey of just 66 people, they are attempting to completely close the Loop Road that passes just under the “A” and prohibit parking below the “A”.

Kent Solberg and the Green Party of Pima County oppose both these proposed closures. We support other planned improvements to “A” Mountain as outlined in the Sentinel Peak Park Master Plan. These are ecologically sound initiatives that will make the Park a more attractive destination for both locals and tourists.

Generally we support public policy measures that aim to reduce automotive traffic. However, in this situation, due to the steepness of the climb, the vast majority of the patrons of Sentinel Peak Park approximately 100,000 motorists annually drive up “A” Mountain, park at the East Overlook, spend a few minutes enjoying the iconic, panoramic vista of Tucson and our five mountain ranges, and then drive back down the mountain. For most of these patrons this is the only practical way currently available to enjoy this unique experience.

It is undemocratic to deny this access to such a majority of the visitors to the park. It is also unfair to the many elderly, disabled, and ADA visitors to the Park to limit their access to the East Overlook panorama by forcing them to navigate from the parking lot on the other side of the peak. We suggest you contact your neighbors, community leaders, and city council members to express your dismay and opposition to having yet another city park restricted.

Tell the City Council to remove the Loop Road and East Overlook parking closures from the Sentinel Peak Master Plan before it is passed into law.

Send comments to the Mayor and all Council Members:
Mayor Bob Walkup by email: mayor1@tucsonaz.gov or phone: (520) 791-4201
Ward 1 Council Member Regina Romero by email: ward1@tucsonaz.gov or phone: (520) 791-4040
Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham by email: ward2@tucsonaz.gov or phone: (520) 791-4687
Ward 3 Council Member Karin Uhlich by email: ward3@tucsonaz.gov or phone: (520) 791-4711
Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott by email: ward4@tucsonaz.gov or phone: (520) 791-3199
Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres by email: ward5@tucsonaz.gov or phone: (520) 791-4231
Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik by email: ward6@tucsonaz.gov or phone: (520) 791-4601
Mayor and Council Links and Information - www.tucsonaz.gov/mcc.html

Kent Solberg is candidate for State House from District 27 and a co-chair of the Pima County Green Party.