- 1 Updates
- 2 Actions Taken by the State Government
- 3 Ways to Resist
- 4 Key Upcoming Elections
- 5 Obamacare / ACA
- 6 Policing
- 7 Immigration
- 8 Voting Rights
- 9 Mass Incarceration
- 10 Benefits / Tax Cuts
- 11 Housing/Infrastructure
- 12 Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- 13 LGBTQ+ Issues
- 14 Educational Justice
- 15 Consumer Protections /Worker's Rights
- 16 Climate / Environment
- 17 Disability Rights
- 18 Organizations
- 19 Local News Sources
- 20 Relevant City and County Information
- In the aftermath of the implementation of the Muslim Ban, Republican Senator Jeff Flake spoke out against the action. He is one of the few elected Republican officials who has spoken out on this subject.
- Republican lawmakers in Arizona are pushing to prohibit school courses and events that promote ethnic studies and social justice, with legislation that critics say broadly targets academic freedom and students of color. 
- The Arizona Board of Regents promises to stand in solidarity with DACA students and will continue to provide in-state tuition rates. The universities affected are ASU, U of A, and NAU.
Actions Taken by the State Government
Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by Arizona lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:
- HB 2456 would require candidates to release their tax returns from the past five years to appear on the state's ballot.
- SB 1423 would repeal a law allowing police to stop and question people based on suspected immigration status.
- HB 2364/SB 1320 would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- HB 2477 would work require a higher standard for police to take people's property in connection with a crime before the person has been found guilty of committing a crime. HB2477 would also drastically increase transparency in police procedures including how seized funds are spent.
Harmful bills proposed by Arizona lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:
- No harmful bills identified
See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.
Executive / Administrative Actions
Ways to Resist
Contact your elected officials:
- Get involved with local organizations.
- Find organizations with state and local presences working in your area.
- Check out our Tools of Resistance.
- Look for upcoming state and local events.
Key Upcoming Elections
Click here to find out if you're registered to vote.
A general election will take place on November 6, 2018. All nine of Arizona's seats in the House of Representatives plus the Senate seat currently occupied by Republican Jeff Flake will be up for election.
2018 House Elections
House Republicans and Democrats have named their targeted seats for the 2018 elections. Midterm elections are typically very challenging for the party in control of the federal government. Only presidents with job approval ratings above 50% have been able to stave off losses. Since 1982, the party in control has lost an average of 28 seats, which would seem to mean that the Democrats have the advantage in 2018. Republicans, however, are optimistic, noting that Democrats have had great difficulty getting their voters to turn out for midterm elections.
Competitive House Districts
- Arizona District 1 is a competitive district. The current representative, Tom O'Halleran, is a Democrat. O'Halleran won the 2016 election with 51% of the vote. However, Trump won the district in the 2016 presidential election with 47.7% of the vote. Republicans are targeting this seat in 2018, believing they can turn it red.
- Arizona District 2 is a competitive district. The current representative, Martha McSally, is a Republican. McSally won the 2016 election with 56.75% of the vote. However, Clinton won the district in the 2016 presidential election with 49.6% of the vote. Democrats are targeting this seat for 2018, believing they can turn it blue.
- A general election will take place on November 6, 2018. Arizona's governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and two Arizona Corporation Commission seats are up for election.
- Phoenix City Mayor elections on August 27 & 29, 2017 
- Phoenix City Council elections runoff on March 14, 2017
- If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 592,000 people in Arizona (or 8.7% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 709,000 people (or 10.4% of the population) would lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/22/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.) This is because with a full repeal, premiums will not increase the way they would under a partial repeal, since insurance companies will be able to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions and won't be required to provide essential health benefits. Not covering preexisting conditions will disproportionately affect people with disabilities.
- Prior to the ACA's ban on gender-rating, women in Arizona could pay up to 31% more for the same coverage, compared to men; an ACA repeal could bring back that coverage gap.
- Arizona could also lose more than $46 million in funds for prevention of Zika, opioid addiction treatment, and other public-health needs over the next five years. Arizona is among the states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.
- Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 34,000 jobs could be lost in Arizona. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.
- Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay Strategy, young adults in Arizona could pay $1,013 more in 2018.
- Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who is up for reelection in 2018, asked Congress to essentially gut the ACA's protections and premium limits, but keep funding it.
- Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018, voted to repeal the ACA with no replacement.
- The Pima County Access Program (PCAP) aims to provide affordable medical care to people ineligible for health insurance. To be eligible for healthcare through the Marketplace, an individual must be a citizen, or have lawful status in the country. Therefore, many undocumented immigrants in Pima County depend on the Pima County Access Program to obtain their health care. However, since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, individuals who depend on PCAP when they are sick no longer have access to many specialists they once did. Because many doctors with specializations can now get paid more for their work through new Marketplace health-care providers, they no longer provide their discounted service for individuals with PCAP, leaving thousands without access to proper care. 
- 191 people have been killed by police in the state of Arizona from the years 2013 through 2016.
- 8% of the people killed by police were black.
- Black people are 2.2 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
- Phoenix, Tucson, and Scottsdale are among the state's largest cities with the highest rates of police killings per capita, while Mesa and Glendale have the lowest rates.
- There is a population of 325,000 undocumented immigrants among Arizona’s total population of 6.25 million people.
- Giving all undocumented immigrants legal status would add 39,000 jobs and increase Arizona’s tax revenue by $54 million.
- Undocumented workers make up $13.2 billion of Arizona's GSP (Gross State Product).
- Immigrants pay $6 billion in taxes to Arizona.
Rights of Non-Citizens
- Arizona does not allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers' licenses.
- In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive order (DACA) that defers deportation for children who were brought to the country as children. The action allows them to work lawfully but does not create a pathway to citizenship or give them legal status in the United States. In Arizona, 45,295 individuals have benefited from this executive action.
- Arizona explicitly prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving in-state tuition benefits. In 2015, a Maricopa Supreme Court judge ruled that DACA students are eligible for in-state tuition if they present proof of residence. This was previously unavailable to young undocumented students who wanted to pursue higher education. Currently, there are only 240 DACA students in the big three public Arizona universities (U of A, ASU, and NAU).
- 400,000 people, or 6.4% of Arizona's population, were undocumented immigrants as of 2010.
- An estimated 210,000 out of 400,000 undocumented immigrants were working, providing $2.4 billion in tax revenue and $13.3 billion in productivity.
- If all undocumented immigrants were deported, total wages in Arizona would decrease by $6.25 billion, and the state would also lose the $2.4 billion in tax revenue and $13.3 billion in productivity that they provide.
- If the state complied with a mass deportation, Arizona would lose $6.2 billion in employee compensation.
- If employers were able to fill 15% of the vacancies thus created, the state would still lose $937 million.
- Local police officers cannot stop people solely to conduct immigration investigations, and they cannot hold people beyond the time necessary to deal with the reasons for a stop in order to investigate immigration status, per an agreement approved by a federal judge regarding a state law.
- If police officers suspect that a person is in the country without authorization, they may contact immigration officials, including US Customs and Immigration Enforcement and US Border Patrol, "unless doing so would prolong the stop or detention," according to the court-approved settlement.
- In the event that officers believe a federal immigration crime has taken place, they may wait "a reasonable time" for federal officials, but if ICE or CBP fails to respond or does not arrive within a reasonable amount of time, officers must release the person, per the agreement.
- Tuscon is the one city in Arizona that has been described as a "sanctuary city". The term "sanctuary city" is used to describe places that limit how much they help federal law enforcement (usually ICE) with removals (also known as deportations). However, the mayor of Tucson has clarified that it is not a sanctuary city but rather "immigrant-friendly". This is because the city does not limit how local jails can work with federal immigration enforcement (ICE).
- In 2016, Arizona resettled 4,110 refugees.
- The Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) administers refugee resettlement services and time-limited cash and medical assistance for eligible beneficiaries.
- In 2016, a Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill limiting the collection of mail-in ballots and making it a felony to knowingly collect and turn in another voter’s completed ballot, even with that voter’s permission. A 2004 referendum requiring documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote was invalidated by the US Supreme Court in 2013, as it applied to the federal voter registration form, but it remains in place for the state registration form.
- Five bills were introduced in 2016 to allow for automatic voter registration. All five died in committee.
- There were 54,145 incarcerated individuals in Arizona in 2014, with 40,175 in prison and 13,970 in jail.
- 6,955 people were incarcerated in private prisons.
- The state's incarceration rate for Hispanic people is nearly double that of white people—842 Hispanic inmates per 100,000 people vs. 444 white inmates per 100,000 people.
- Black people are incarcerated at the highest rate, at 2,126 black inmates per 100,000 people. Black people are incarcerated at 4.8 times the rate of their white counterparts in Arizona.
- 4.25% of Arizona's overall population, or 221,170 individuals, cannot vote due to a prior felony conviction.
- The rate of disenfranchisement for black people is staggeringly high—as of 2016, 11.89% of Arizona's black population, or 25,492 individuals, are prohibited from voting due to a prior felony convictions.
Benefits / Tax Cuts
- Arizona residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:
- Households: 173,000
- Adults and children: 555,000
- Children: 334,000
- In 2015, an average of 439,330 households and 999,401 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in Arizona. In 2011, approximately 16% of the population of Arizona was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps). The average monthly benefit per Arizona household was $273 per household and $117 per person in 2016.
- In 2016, an average of 20,512 households received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in any given month. The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in Arizona was $278 in 2014. Average benefits in Arizona have fallen in value by 47.5% since 1996.
- In December 2015, there were 16,164 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category who received an average of $392.91 per person, for a total of $6,351,000.
- As of 2016, 200,900 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.
- In 2014, Arizona had 21 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income).
- In Arizona, there were 9,707 homeless people in 2016.
- Of the homeless population, there were 917 families, 1,036 veterans, 489 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 1,395 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- Arizona received $323 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In Arizona, more than 45,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all Arizona households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- Arizona’s infrastructure received a score of C from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2015.
- This study gave the state “good” scores for aviation and bridges, and identified roads as being in “poor” condition.
- In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 12.1% of Arizona’s bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 52% of Arizona’s roads were in poor or mediocre condition.
- Driving on these roads leads to an additional $205 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.
- According to Governor Doug Ducey (R), water is a major infrastructure priority for Arizona.
- Phoenix is increasing streetcar and rail service to extend to neighboring Tempe and Gilbert, with plans to extend in all directions.
Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- Arizona has 10 Planned Parenthood centers.
- In 2015, three centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 132,500 women of reproductive age.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There were 12 abortion providers in Arizona in 2015.
- In 2014, 10 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Arizona had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There is a 24-hour waiting period required after mandatory counseling.
- Parental consent and notice is required for minors.
- Ultrasound requirements exist.
- Medical abortion is limited.
- Private insurance coverage is limited.
Women and Wages
- In Arizona, 16.5% of women live in poverty. 40.1% of these are single mothers, while 10.7% are women age 65 and older.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.83, which is three cents above the national average of $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.67 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.54 for every dollar made by white men.
Domestic Violence in Arizona
- First- and second-time domestic violence offenders are not charged with domestic violence; only the third incident is charged as domestic violence. First- and second-time offenders are charged with offenses that have domestic violence flags attached.
- In 2010, there were 25,376 domestic violence–flagged arrests made by law enforcement, which was an increase of 17.8% over arrests in 2001. Many other incidents were not reported to police and did not end in arrests.
- When controlling for population, there was an 8.2% increase in domestic violence aggravated assault between 2001 and 2010.
- The most common sentence for a perpetrator convicted of aggravated domestic violence (third offense) is probation.
- There were 109 domestic violence–related deaths in Arizona in 2014.
- In 2012, Arizona ranked eighth in the nation in femicides per capita.
Religious Freedom Law
Religious Freedom laws protect the right of people to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities.  However, in Arizona numerous laws on religious freedom, including a protection for Licensed Professionals and Exemptions from Nondiscrimination Laws for churches and religious groups were passed in 2015 and allow for discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Arizona lacks nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care, insurance and credit, but has passed a nondiscrimination law for jury selection and a nondiscrimination policy for state employees.
Lawmakers will have the opportunity to vote to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s nondiscrimination laws in 2017.
- Arizona introduced a so-called “bathroom bill” (forcing trans individuals to use the public toilets matching their gender at birth and not their gender identity) that failed to pass in 2013.
Arizona lacks nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in some aspects of parenting laws, including second-parent adoption, surrogacy, foster care, parental presumption and consent to inseminate, but has passed a bill granting de facto parent recognition for same-sex couples. However, Arizona has also passed a law prohibiting surrogacy, and another one allowing discrimination in adoption and foster placement.
Hate crime laws
Arizona does include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group, and does have required reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.
- Arizona does not have anti-bullying laws and does not require school suicide prevention policies. The state does not have laws promoting the inclusion of transgender youth in sports, nor laws protecting LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy or addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. The state does not have LGBTQ+ inclusive juvenile justice policies and does not require LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education. It has passed laws restricting the inclusion of LGBTQ+ topics in schools.
- The state does allow gender marker changes on drivers' licenses and birth certificates and does collect data on LGBTQ+ health, but has passed transgender exclusions in State Medicaid.
- Arizona is ranked 50th in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $4,016 per student.
- As of 2013, Arizona ranked 29th in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $49,885 per year.
- 92% of students in Arizona attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 55% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 17.8% of total public school enrollment.
- Arizona's overall graduation rate is 76%, which is below the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates are as follows:
- White: 76%
- Latino: 70%
- Black: 71%
- Asian/Pacific Islander: 83%
- American Indian: 63%
- Economically Disadvantaged: 70%
- Limited English Proficient: 18%
- Students with Disabilities: 63%
Consumer Protections /Worker's Rights
- Arizona’s minimum wage is $10.00, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, but this current amount is lower than the living wage of $11.24 for Arizona’s urban areas as of September 2016.
- Arizona passed paid sick leave legislation in November 2016, but it does not apply to state employees or small businesses.
- Arizona does not have a law for paid family leave.
- Arizona has Right-to-Work laws, which means that the state can prohibit unions, that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers, from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. They are designed to reduce unions' income and power.
- Arizona is a state with an at-will exemption. "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.
- Arizona also has a public policy exemption, meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).
- Arizona does allow for implied contract exemptions. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements. As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.
- Arizona does support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Courts have interpreted this in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.
Climate / Environment
- Nuclear power accounts for 37.6% of electricity generated in Arizona. Coal-Fired and Natural Gas-Fired both account for 30.8% and 20.7% respectively.
- Arizona has 9 sites on the National Priorities List.
- Approximately 48 percent of Arizona's land is federally owned.
- In 2014, the Black and Latino populations had the highest air pollution exposure indices at 61 and 62 respectively compared to an overall index of 52 and a White index of 48.
- In 2012, Both Native Americans and White adults have an equal probability of developing asthma at 10.8% compared to an average of 9.9%.
- The relevant environmental agency in Arizona is the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and they administer the state’s environmental laws and delegated federal programs to prevent air, water and land pollution and ensure cleanup. Under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986, the Arizona State Legislature created ADEQ in 1987 as the state’s cabinet-level environmental agency.
- ADEQ's total agency funds in 2016 was $129,218,400 with $15,000,000 coming from the Federal Government.
- Arizona has the 25th-highest percentage of disabled people in America: 12.9% of Arizona's residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- Arizonans with disabilities have an employment rate of 34.2%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. People without disabilities in Arizona have a 73.1% employment rate.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811]
- Approximately 16.6% of eligible voters in Arizona have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.
- Of adults with disabilities in Arizona, 28.1% live in poverty, as opposed to 15.5% of non-disabled adults.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under five is 51.6%, as opposed to 26.5% for nondisabled children.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130)
- In Arizona, 4.2% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]
Find additional state/local chapters of national organizations here.
- Arizona Progressive Coalition
- One Arizona
- Progressive Democrats of Arizona
- Progressive Arizona
- Progress Now Arizona
- Progressive Voices of Arizona
- Swing Left for Arizona's 1st Congressional District: In 2016, Democratic candidate Tom O'Halleran won Arizona's 1st district by only 20,474 votes. Learn how to support Congressman O'Halleran and protect this valuable swing seat in 2018.
- Swing Left for Arizona's 2nd Congressional District: In 2016, Republican candidate Martha McSally won Arizona's 2nd district by only 43,933 votes. Support efforts to turn this district blue.