Saturday, May 11, 2013

Respect Arizona, Recall Arpaio

by Pa Rock
Voting Resident of Maricopa County

I earned a couple of civic stripes today by traveling over to the Glendale Public Library and signing one of the Recall Joe Arpaio petitions.  Then I earned a couple of more civic stripes by helping to man that recall stand for a few hours and encouraging others to sign the petitions.

And that community involvement felt good, damned good!  (Except for the part where the top of my head got sunburned!)

The recall petitions are being circulated by a group of activists and volunteers calling themselves Respect Arizona.  Many  were also involved in last year's successful recall of our odious state senate president, Russell Pearce, and then organized to help thwart  Pearce's political comeback in the following election.

Maricopa County leans east.  Everything worthwhile from concerts, to plays, to certain movie screenings, to major political events always seem to happen in either downtown Phoenix, or out around ASU, or in Scottsdale - and the West Valley is routinely forgotten.   That is why I was so pleased to learn that the Recall Arpaio petition drive was setting up in a couple of places in the West Valley today.  In fact, signatures were collected in nineteen different Maricopa County locations from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

I had a stroke of good luck in volunteering to work at the petition station at the Glendale Public Library because one of the other two workers there was Randy Parraz, an attorney and community organizer who  was instrumental in the Pearce recall.  Parraz, an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, shared several interesting stories of his local activism - including one about the day he spent in Sheriff Joe's infamous 4th Street gulag and his close encounter with Joe's green baloney.

I found the young organizer to be sharp, very personable, and righteously dedicated to the cause of removing our onerous sheriff from office.  He spent much of the morning on his cell phone in communication with the other petition stations, and chatted casually, yet earnestly, in two languages with every potential signer who wandered near our table.

But Randy Parraz isn't the only concerned citizen of Maricopa County who is focused on the need to remove Joe Arpaio from office.  Over two hundred thousand individuals have signed the recall petitions to date, and thousands more are stepping forward to add their names to the petitions each week.

These young people from Respect Arizona are doing yeoman's work to remove the blight of Joe Arpaio from our county government - and it feels like it's really going to happen!  They respect Arizona, and I respect them!

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