Democracy can only survive when all of us work together for solutions. Increasing polarization has driven us apart from each other. By building trust in each other, though, I believe we can rebuild a united community.
Arizona politics are built on a foundation of self-interest that builds unnecessary walls. Citizens are locked out of the democratic process when our voices come together and remain ignored.
In the spring of 2017, the Arizona state legislature passed an expanded voucher program even though an overwhelming majority of the state rejected it. While Arizonans turned out en masse to voice their dissent, legislators ignored the community and built distance.
Citizen campaigns like Save Our Schools show that we agree on more than the legislature believes. Arizona isn’t about political division, but working to ensure our families live a better tomorrow than we do today. When we come together, that’s what we get.
When I was growing up, the world seemed smaller and more like me. As I became an adult, I recognized that we embody so many beliefs and identities that it seemed we’d all go different places. For decades, the Arizona legislature has treated our multicultural state with suspicion and fear. I believe in a new day, when we realize the spirit of E Pluribus Unum, our national motto of Out of Many, One, that we are all working for a better future.
Building united communities requires us to make sacrifices. Voter registration and engagement takes place year-round, even in the Arizona summer. Coming together requires patience, tact, and being willing to challenge our own basic assumptions.
We can forget how much we have in common. Different sexualities, religions, and ethnicities aren’t lines in the sand that we can’t cross. Celebrating our identity doesn’t mean that we can’t work together. It makes the work that we do together that much better.
When we acknowledge that our differences don’t have to divide us, we will start to work towards all our better future. Our love of Arizona and our hope for a better tomorrow will bring us together. We are not sentenced to division; it’s a choice we each make.
With united communities, #TogetherWeCan.