A little known change was made in the budget passed in the middle of the night this year - a family on TANF were reduced to a lifetime maximum of one year.  Think about that.  A family who is in poverty can get help from the state for only one year.  Is one year enough to get out of poverty?  To get through school?  To get a job with a living wage?  Arizona now has the shortest time for assistance of any state in the country.  Before this budget passed, it was five years.  


Please contact Governor Doug Ducey and let him know this is not going to stand.  Contact your state Senator and both state Representatives and tell them that in January of 2016, they must fix this and return to the 5 year maximum.  


The Supreme Court did a good job of messing up the 1965 Voting Rights Act that has provided protection to minority voters for 50 years.  Please help us correct the damage done by urging your two senators (Flake and McCain) and your congressional district's representative to co-sponsor H.R. 885, the Voting Rights Amendment Act.  Two Arizona representatives have co-signed - Kyrstin Sinema and Ann Kirkpatrick.  So if they are you're representatives, thank them. If your representative is someone else, please call them right now and ask them to co-sponsor the bi-partisan H.R. 885.


Also the Smarter Sentencing Act has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to address racial and ethnic disparities in federal criminal mandatory minimum sentencing.  S. 502 and H.R. 920 would expand the existing federal "safety valve" to re-sentence victims of mandatory minimum, promote consistent sentencing and allow judges to determine if the harshest penalties should apply.  Again tell both senators and your congressional representative to co-sponsor that bill.  


Let's keep up the pressure on Governor Ducey!


We need to continue to speak up for our families and communities, despite the catastrophic budget.


As you know, we allocate an ever-increasing proportion of the state budget to mass incarceration at the expense of neighborhood schools and badly needed social services.


Join with us - parents, foster parents and grandparents, teachers and schools administrators, business, community and faith leaders, students and seniors - in demanding that Governor Ducey provide badly-needed resources for children and families, especially those who are most vulnerable and underserved.



Here's how to show Governor Ducey that you won't be silenced:


1.     Buy a postcard with a nice picture of Arizona. You can find one at any drug store.


2.     Write your own message to Governor Ducey, including 2 or 3 of these points:


A.     Stop spending more and more taxpayer money on prisons. Utilize alternatives to prison that keep low-risk offenders in their communities - working, taking care of their kids, and paying taxes - and cost much less than incarceration.


B.     Compel the Department of Corrections to assign many more inmates to transition programs towards the end of their sentences. This would result in lower recidivism and safer communities.


C.    Cancel the plans for new prison beds. We don't need more incarceration.


D.    Terminate our relationships with the three private prison companies. For-profit incarceration is just wrong.


E.     Develop programs to keep kids in school. More education means less incarceration.


F.     Invest in education, including neighborhood schools, public universities, and community colleges. Every kid deserves a great education, and a strong economy requires a well-educated workforce.


G.    Stop the corporate tax giveaways.


3.     Sign your name and address.


4.     Address to Rae Hopf, 1207 W. Manor St., Chandler, AZ 85224.


5.     Stamp and mail by May 1st.

6.     AJA will join with other community groups to deliver these citizen messages to the Governor with the media watching.

Contact Amy Halpern Laff at amyhlaff@gmail.com or (480) 215-2710 with any questions or suggestions.

The 2015 National NOW Conference will be held from June 19-21 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Hyatt Regency. This is an opportunity for us to gather and tackle the critical issues on NOW’s agenda and shape the future of women’s rights. Additionally, this year’s conference will give NOW activists the opportunity to address our bylaws and organizational structure.

Washington, D.C. –  I welcome Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for President in 2016 because gender matters in the United States today, and Hillary Clinton’s life experiences as a woman give her knowledge, insights, and wisdom that others do not have.  That’s good for our politics and good for our country.

Secretary Clinton’s candidacy is a powerful message to girls that they can aspire to the highest office, and an equally powerful message to boys that women can be leaders on an equal footing with men.   That’s a transformative milestone in our society that is long overdue.
NOW and NOW activists have been working steadily since the 1960s for women’s rights, and we were proud when feminist leaders like Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder and Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun ran for President and during Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro’s historic campaign for vice president.  They helped make Hillary Clinton’s journey possible.

The National Organization for Women is always on the side of making history, and we love the sound of barriers breaking down.


Elise Coletta , elise@now.org , (951) 547-1241

Join the Sun Cities NOW chapter for their May 6th meeting.  Meeting starts at 1 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Surprise. (17540 Ave of the Arts, Surprise, AZ 85378)
Guest Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Allison has practiced cardiology in Phoenix for 21 years.  She is the former Section Head of Cardiology for the Cigna Medical Group, and now practices with Heart and Vascular Center of Arizona.  She has been voted one of the Valley’s “Top Doctors” in several annual Phoenix Magazine surveys.
Dr. Allison is a past president of the Board of Directors of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality.  Her special interest is support and education for transgender persons, and her website features resources helpful for such support, including the story of her personal transition experience in 1993.  For seven years, Dr. Allison co-produced the Arizona Day of Remembrance, honoring the memory of transgender persons killed in the past year.