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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Rain didn’t dampen Tucson turnout for Garcia rally

Claudio Cerrillo
Senator Bernie Sanders delivers a passionate speech that both endoreses David Garcia and encourages the crowd to inspire others to vote. Running for the state governor seat, David Garcia held an election rally at Jefferson Field with Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday October 24th.

Shielding themselves from the rain with purple “David Garcia [for] governor” signs, hundreds of students and Tucson locals came out to support David Garcia, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Arizona, at a rally in front of the Richard Jefferson Gymnasium on Tuesday.

Garcia was endorsed by Bernie Sanders, Arizona state representative Raúl Grijalva and Ohio state senator Nina Turner, who not only encouraged students and Tucson locals to vote for him, but also to vote in general. 

“More important than us [politicians] is you, and you, and you and you. The change happens because of you,” Turner said, when talking about knocking on doors and making phone calls. “All that we love is on the line.”

Garcia grew up in Arizona and went to Mesa High School. As a “product of Arizonan public schools” and an associate professor at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University in the educational leadership and innovation division, he acknowledged that Arizona schools rank at the bottom compared to other schools in the country. 

“I’m running for governor because our schools rank near the bottom at nearly every indicator. We rank further and further behind and I know in my heart that we in Arizona are the best state in the country, which is why we need to have the best public schools in the country as well,” Garcia said. 

He also emphasized the unfair wages teachers are paid, giving examples of stories he’s heard of hardships teachers face.

“I hear stories everywhere I go of teachers who pay out of their own pocket for the good of their own children,” Garcia said. “I hear stories of teachers who have to work two or three jobs to stay in the classroom. And while I admire that, folks, it does not have to be that way. We can make a difference.”

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In terms of higher education, the Arizona Constitution states that public universities should be “as nearly free as possible.” As an ASU professor, Garcia said that was not the case, that instead “this state right now is run by a small group of super-wealthy folks” who do not pay attention to what students want.

“That’s not the way it should be. I’m going to make it the way it should be,” Garcia said.

Garcia also touched on healthcare, pledging to provide all citizens of Arizona with affordable and accessible healthcare.

“The next governor needs to recognize that healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” Garcia said.

Garcia went on to talk about climate change and said, “The future of Arizona depends on doubling down on solar and making sure that we take care of our environment in the future.” 

Lastly, Garcia said he wanted to “stop making immigration a political agenda” and to enact fair immigration laws to keep families together. 

After Garcia spoke, Sanders stepped up to the podium to support Garcia, to encourage people to vote and to talk about President Donald Trump.

Sanders emphasized Trump’s inability to address climate change and his support of the fossil fuel industry.

“We have a president who does not believe in science, but we know that, in your state and around the country, the time is now to take on the greed of the fossil fuel industry,” Sanders said. “The time is now to transform our energy away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and solar energy and wind energy.”

He also warned that Trump was not good at defending democracy in other countries such as Russia or Saudi Arabia.

However, in America, Sanders said he knows things are different. 

“We’re telling Trump here in Arizona democracy is alive and well and we are going to come out in large numbers to create a government that works for all people, not just the one percent,” Sanders said. 

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Sanders also talked about Trump changing Medicare policies, but said “we have a very different vision.” Emphasizing a point Garcia made, Sanders also advocated for affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans. 

Reiterating Garcia’s stance on free education, Sanders said, “We are going to make public colleges and universities tuition free.” 

The crowd cheered as Sanders expanded on his well-known ideas of cost-friendly college education. 

Sanders went on to talk about raising minimum wage to $15 an hour and ensuring pay equality for women.

“Instead of refusing to raise the minimum wage, we are going to raise that minimum wage here in Arizona and all over this country to $15 an hour. And instead of women making 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, we’re going to have equal pay. Equal pay for equal work,” Sanders said.

Finally, Sanders encouraged everyone to vote and to encourage their friends to vote.  

“The only way to create a government that works for all of us is to stand up, to fight back and to vote,” said Sanders.

The youth vote has been historically absent, but Sanders’ professed goal for this midterm election is to have the highest turnout in Arizona history. 

“The United States has one of the lowest voter turnouts of any country on Earth, and young people vote at a significantly lower rate than do the general public,” Sanders said. “If in this election, young people vote at the same rate older people do, we are going to transform Arizona and we are going to transform the United States of America.”

There were people attending the rally from all over the Tucson community, as well as groups from the University of Arizona in support of various social issues. 

“We try to support candidates who hold the same values as we do,” said Keely Davis, Planned Parenthood Generation Action office and Feminist Majority campus organizer and co-director of FORCE. There were also members of NextGen America and Young Democrats of the University of Arizona.

The rally was met with a supportive and positive group of Tucson citizens willing to face the rainy conditions to support the Democratic candidate.

The deadline for voting in the midterm elections is Nov. 6. There is an early-voter station in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona office in the Student Union Memorial Center. 

Follow Gwen Spencer on Twitter

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