U.S. House of Representatives: Raúl M. Grijalva
Name: Raúl M. Grijalva
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Office running for: United States House Representative
In district: AZ07
Political experience: US. House Representative: 2003 – Present, Pima County Board of Supervisors: 1989-2002, Tucson Unified School District Board Member: 1974-1986.
Family: Married with three daughters
Please describe your platform:
My platform is fundamentally about assuring that we turn our economy around, create new jobs, educate our children and extend the American dream to all Americans. I will work to end corporate tax loopholes that ship our jobs overseas, protect Social Security and end tax breaks for the richest 2 percent of Americans and extend the tax cuts to the remaining 98 percent.
If elected, what is your first priority?
My first priority will be to stop any benefit reductions, stop attempts to raise the retirement age and any attempts at privatizing Social Security. Social Security did not cause the deficit. Bad fiscal policy, a de-regulated Wall Street, corrupt banks and greed over the past eight years caused our deficit.
Who do you think is your biggest challenger and why?
The biggest challenge is the division, anger and the rhetoric about immigration. We need to bring civil discourse to the debate in these times.
What do you think sets you apart from your opponent(s)?
The difference is my independence, consistency and not hiding my opinions or riding the fence. I believe that whether you agree or disagree, people need to know where you stand and why, and that has been my record.
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts?
I am an original sponsor of the Fair Elections Act. The Act would bring public financing to federal elections, which in return would cleanse the process of special interest money and weaken corporate influence on elections and the legislative process. I also believe we must pass legislation that forces corporations and independent expenditure campaigns to disclose who is behind political ads.
Public notices are regarded as one important way for the public to find out what is really happening in government. Newspapers currently not only print public notices but also operate a free, consolidated, online, searchable database. Some people advocate that public notices should be available only on government websites. Do you agree that the Legislature should change the current law to mandate that public notices be available only on government websites?
No, the public's right to know must be broad and comprehensive, our democracy depends on it.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans, and Arizonans?
Again, it is the economy and the need to increase people's access to job training and their acquiring of basic employability skills. We need to take advantage of the growing alternative energy creating industry in the western region of Congressional District 7. We also need to work with local communities to create a skilled workforce and diversified employment base which also ensures a stable, accessible workforce for the local agriculture industry. This is why I have championed bringing federal job training and retraining funds to the community as well as being a staunch advocate for the AgJOBS bill before Congress.
What would you do, if elected, to help change that?
I would once again, push for Job Creating legislation that rebuilds our public infrastructure, roads, schools, health facilities, and generates green jobs. I would provide incentives for business and corporations that create jobs here in America, and I would end tax break for those that ship their jobs overseas. Work to pass AgJOBS legislation.
What is one of your strength? Weaknesses (something you'd like to improve upon)?
I am committed toward goals that are vital to people who need and want the opportunity to improve their economic and personal standing in our society. I do so despite the difficulty involved. I would like to change my tendency to take on too many tasks at once.
What is one thing that you want voters to know?
I would like voters to know that I feel it is indeed a privilege to represent District 7 in Congress.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
We, all of us, are going through some challenging times, where the frustration and angst over the direction of our country is intense. I wish there was less anger and more compassion about dealing with our challenges as a nation. Nevertheless, our democracy will survive and does so by using our basic right to vote.