As members of the Flagstaff community, each of us has an obligation to work for the common good. This work is both political and non-political. It can take the form of working on political campaigns and voting, or volunteering one’s time and participating in organizations and activities that benefit all of us.
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future strongly encourages both types of civic engagement. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3), we do not endorse individual candidates, but we do work to help citizens understand important local issues and where various political candidates stand on these issues. We also lend our support to various organizations in town working to make Flagstaff a more just, affordable, and environmentally responsible community.
F3 believes democracy is more than a particular form of government. It is a way of living, an evolving culture of trust grounded in the values of inclusivity and mutuality. We shape its norms and expectations as workers, students, employers, parents, community members, clients, and citizens. Living democracy is something we do. It is never finished.
Voter Suppression in Arizona
In spring of 2021, the Arizona State Legislature passed several laws that chip away at Arizonans right to vote and put unnecessary hurdles and expenses on County Recorders ability to run elections.
Friends of Flagstaff’s Future supports the efforts of Arizona Deserves Better, the organization leading a statewide petition drive to put these three voter suppression laws on the ballot in November, 2022 so that voters can be given the opportunity to overturn them. The petitions to get these referenda on the ballot must be turned in by September 27th in order to stop the bills from becoming law on September 29, 2021.
Arizona Deserves Better Referenda (https://arizonadeservesbetter.com/)
SB 1485 – Purging vote by mail voters
If a voter who is on the Permanent Early Voting List does not vote by mail in two consecutive elections the County Recorder is required to send them a notice which they must sign and return if they wish to remain on the list. The list of those who didn’t vote by mail includes those who chose to go to the polling place to vote instead of sending in their early ballot.
SB 2569 – Prohibiting Grant funding for elections
This law prohibits State and County Election Departments from receiving grants to help run their elections. In the November 2020 election, the Coconino County Recorder’s Office applied for and received grants to expand the drop box locations in the county and to hire personnel to man their mobile voting vans. This enabled rural and reservation residents to vote early and avoid long distance travel to their polling places. Receiving and using this additional funding for voter expansion is now prohibited by the State.
SB 1819 – Unnecessary and expensive “ballot security” regulations
Additional voting rules were added at the last minute to the Budget Reconciliation bill. These rules include a menu of requirements for Counties to implement that are expected to increase the costs of printing ballots 5-fold and may affect voters’ right to privacy.
Invest in AZ Referenda
The legislature also passed changes in the tax laws that affect the ability to implement the voter approved Proposition 208, the 2020 ballot measure which increased funding for schools. Invest in AZ (formerly Invest in Ed) is leading a petition drive to put three Referenda on the ballot before the voters. Friends of Flagstaff’s Future believes these new tax laws are an underhanded way to overturn the voter’s will and supports these Referenda.
What You Can Do
- To volunteer with Invest in AZ or see where you can sign the Invest in AZ petition view this link https://www.mobilize.us/investinaz/
- For more information, to sign the petitions, or to volunteer to collect signatures on all six petitions contact the Coconino County Democratic Party at (928) 214-0393.
- You can sign all six petitions at the Flagstaff Community Market on Sundays (8-12 at the City Hall parking lot) and Wednesdays (4-8 at Heritage Square) .