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ERA in AZ

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This short documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment features attorney Dianne Post and State Representative Jennifer Jermaine, and it examines the fight for passage at the federal and state level. This film attempts to answer the following questions: What is

This short documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment features attorney Dianne Post and State Representative Jennifer Jermaine, and it examines the fight for passage at the federal and state level. This film attempts to answer the following questions: What is the ERA? What is its history? Why do we need it? How do we get it into the Constitution of the United States of America?

The text of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The amendment was authored by Alice Paul and was first introduced into Congress in 1923. The ERA did not make much progress until 1970, when Representative Martha Griffiths from Michigan filed a discharge petition demanding that the ERA move out of the judiciary committee to be heard by the full United States House of Representatives. The House passed it and it went on to the Senate, where it was approved and sent to the states for ratification. By 1977, 35 states had voted to ratify the ERA, but it did not reach the 38 states-threshold required for ratification before the 1982 deadline set by Congress. More recently, Nevada ratified the ERA in March 2017, and Illinois followed suit in May 2018. On January 27th, 2020, Virginia finalized its ratification, making it the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Supporters of the ERA argue that we have reached the required goal of approval by 38 states. However, opponents may have at least two legal arguments to challenge this claim by ERA advocates. First, the deadline to ratify was 1982. Second, five states have voted to rescind their ratification since their initial approval. These political and legal challenges must be addressed and resolved before the ERA can be considered part of the United States Constitution. Nevertheless, ERA advocates continue to pursue certification. There are complicated questions to untangle here, to be sure, but by listening to a variety of perspectives and critically examining the historical and legal context, it may be possible to find some answers. Indeed, Arizona, which has yet to ratify the ERA, could play a vital role in the on-going fight for the ERA.

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2020-05

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Arizona Civic Education: A Plan to Strengthen Engagement Beyond the Classroom

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This thesis explores the current standards and the progress being made for civic education in the state of Arizona. To develop a new model, it draws on the programs offered to students in the community of Camden, NJ by the

This thesis explores the current standards and the progress being made for civic education in the state of Arizona. To develop a new model, it draws on the programs offered to students in the community of Camden, NJ by the thriving civics department at Rutgers University. Motivated by the current lack of civic resources in Arizona high schools, this research seeks out a practical, community-centered approach to improving the civic education standards. Arizona was one of the first states to make civic education a priority by passing the American Civics Act, but there is still a long way to go to create civically engaged classrooms for students. The proposed plan combines citizenship pedagogy with direct service opportunities, mentorship, and community projects to help students become engaged in their local communities.

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2020-05

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Modernizing Truth in Sentencing in Arizona

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Debates about criminal justice have erupted onto the American political scene in recent years. Topics like mass Incarceration, civil asset Forfeiture, three strike laws, and mandatory minimums have been dredged up and discussed at every level of government from county

Debates about criminal justice have erupted onto the American political scene in recent years. Topics like mass Incarceration, civil asset Forfeiture, three strike laws, and mandatory minimums have been dredged up and discussed at every level of government from county courtrooms to state legislatures and all the way up to the halls of the US Senate and the desk of the White House. According to Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project, a non-profit entity focused on prison population reduction, this new focus has yielded some important victories with New York, and New Jersey both reducing their respective prison populations by 26% between 1999 and 2012 (1). In the summer of 2015, President Obama became the first sitting President in American history to visit a prison. His visit to El Reno Prison, just outside of Oklahoma City, came on the heels of a speech against Mass Incarceration that the President made at an NAACP conference in Philadelphia (Horsely). The movement for change had reached all the way to the desk of the oval office. Indeed, it is of little wonder why our criminal justice system has come under such close scrutiny. With mass protests breaking out around the nation due to clashes between the criminal justice system and those it has victimized, the rise of a new Black Lives Matter movement, and an overburdened prison system that houses almost 25% of the world inmates (Ya Lee Hee), criminal justice in America has been driven to an ideological and financial breaking point. In a nation that purportedly values freedom and individual choice, the stark realities of our prison system have created a divide between those that would reform the system and those who seek to keep the status quo. I align with those stakeholders that desire comprehensive reform. In my opinion, it is no longer fiscally responsible, nor morally credible to lock American citizens up and throw away the key. The days of tough on crime, of Willie Horton, and of super predators are gone. Crime has been reduced to historic lows in almost the entire country despite significant increases in the population. According to Oliver Roeder, in a Brennan Center scholarly article, violent crime has been reduced by 50% since 1990 and property crime has been reduced by 46% (Roeder et al, p.15) while the population during this same period has grown by how much 249 million to 323 million, almost 30%. For the first time in almost 20 years, the conversation has finally shifted to how we can make the system equitable. My vision for our criminal justice system will stretch beyond the following plan to revise truth in sentencing. TIS remains a small component of a much larger question of our justice system. It is my fundamental belief that the way America treats its offenders needs reformation at every level of the system, from the court, to the prison. It is my view that our prerogative when treating offenders should be to address the root causes of crime, that is the societal structure that causes men and women to commit crime. Poverty, education, economics, and community reinvestment will be just some of the issues that need to be addressed to secure a better future. If we seek true justice, then we must seek to reinvest in those communities that need it the most. Only then can the lowest rungs of our society be given the opportunity to climb upward. In my view, a reimagined prison system idealistically strives to put itself out of business.

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2017-05

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School Choice: An Arizona Case Study

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ABSTRACT The origins of School Choice in the United States can be predominantly attributed to Milton Friedman's 1955 essay, "The Role of Government in Education." Since that time, the idea of leveling the educational playing field with a free market

ABSTRACT The origins of School Choice in the United States can be predominantly attributed to Milton Friedman's 1955 essay, "The Role of Government in Education." Since that time, the idea of leveling the educational playing field with a free market approach has been championed by conservatives and abhorred by liberals. Currently, there is overwhelming evidence to support the fact that public schools are failing today's youth and are not providing them with the tools to succeed post-high school graduation. Many policymakers have attempted to improve the education system by increasing the options available to parents. Today, that choice comes in the form of charter schools, Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), Vouchers, and Tax-Credit Scholarships (STOs). Each of these mechanisms seeks to empower families to make the best decision for their child, yet each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Fraud and abuse plague every system and School Choice is not immune to such problems. However, the root concept at the core of school choice - that every child should have to opportunity to attend any school of their choosing, whether public, private, or charter - is fundamentally positive for society. The concept of School Choice is a noble and intelligent solution to the complex task of educating millions of youth across the United States. However, the process must be properly executed, through ESAs and Vouchers, to truly promote access and opportunity for all. Specifically, in Arizona, tax credit programs should be phased out in lieu of more efficient programs readily available. If this is not achieved, then School Choice becomes just another piece in an already dysfunctional puzzle.

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2017-05

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Ending Homelessness in Phoenix: How Investments in Housing First Could End Homelessness in the Valley

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Homelessness is one of the most visible and tragic problems facing Phoenix today. As Tucson cut its homelessness count nearly in half over the past six years, Phoenix only saw a reduction of 25%. The question remains: what is the

Homelessness is one of the most visible and tragic problems facing Phoenix today. As Tucson cut its homelessness count nearly in half over the past six years, Phoenix only saw a reduction of 25%. The question remains: what is the best solution for Phoenix to reduce and eventually eliminate homelessness? This paper examined costs and benefits as well as examples in other cities and states of Housing First solutions' effectiveness at reducing the number of people suffering from homelessness. It was found that Housing First solutions, namely Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-Housing, would be highly effective in combating the homelessness experienced by those in the Phoenix area.

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Date Created
2017-05

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The Demographics of Polling Places

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Elections in the United States are highly decentralized with vast powers given to the states to control laws surrounding voter registration, primary procedures, and polling places even in elections of federal officials. There are many individual factors that predict a

Elections in the United States are highly decentralized with vast powers given to the states to control laws surrounding voter registration, primary procedures, and polling places even in elections of federal officials. There are many individual factors that predict a person's likelihood of voting including race, education, and age. Historically disenfranchised groups are still disproportionately affected by restrictive voter registration and ID laws which can suppress their turnout. Less understood is how election-day polling place accessibility affects turnout. Absentee and early voting increase accessibility for all voters, but 47 states still rely on election-day polling places. I study how the geographic allocation of polling places and the number of voters assigned to each (polling place load) in Maricopa County, Arizona has affected turnout in primary and general elections between 2006 and 2016 while controlling for the demographics of voting precincts. This represents a significant data problem; voting precincts changed three times during the time studied and polling places themselves can change every election. To aid in analysis, I created a visualization that allows for the exploration of polling place load, precinct demographics, and polling place accessibility metrics in a map view of the county. I find through a spatial regression model that increasing the load on a polling place can decrease the election-day turnout and prohibitively large distances to the polling place have a similar effect. The effect is more pronounced during general elections and is present at varying levels during each of the 12 elections studied. Finally, I discuss how early voting options appear to have little positive effect on overall turnout and may in fact decrease it.

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Date Created
2017-12

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Social Impact Bonds to Address Phoenix Homelessness

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Social impact bonds (SIBs) are a multi-year contract between social service providers, the government, and private investors. The three parties agree on a specific outcome for a societal issue. Investors provide capital required for the service provider to operate the

Social impact bonds (SIBs) are a multi-year contract between social service providers, the government, and private investors. The three parties agree on a specific outcome for a societal issue. Investors provide capital required for the service provider to operate the project. The service provider then delivers the service to the target population. The success of the project is evaluated by outside party. If the target outcome is met, the government repays the investors at a premium. Nonprofit service providers can only serve a small community as they lack the funding to scale their programs and their reliance on government funding and philanthropy leads to a lot of time focused on raising money in the short-term and inhibits them from evolving their programs and projects for long-term strategic success. Government budgets decline but social problems persist. These contracts share risk between the government and the investors and allow governments to test out programs and alleviate taxpayer burdens from unsuccessful social service programs. Arizona has a severe homelessness problem. Nightly, 6000 people are homeless in Maricopa County. In a given year, over 32,000 individuals were homeless, composed of single adults, families, children, and veterans. Homelessness is not only a debilitating and difficult experience for those who experience it, but also has considerable economic costs on society. Homeless individuals use a number of government programs beyond emergency shelters, and these can cost taxpayers billions of dollars per year. Rapid rehousing was a successful intervention model that the state has been heavily investing in the last few years. This thesis aimed to survey the Arizona climate and determine what barriers were present for enacting an SIB for homelessness. The findings showed that although there are many competent stakeholder groups, lack of interest and overall knowledge of SIBs prevented groups from taking responsibility as the anchor for such a project. Additionally, the government and nonprofits had good partnerships, but lacked relationships with the business community and investors that could propel an SIB. Finally, although rapid rehousing can be used as a successful intervention model, there are not enough years of proven success to justify the spending on an SIB. Additionally, data collection for homelessness programming needs to be standardized between all relevant partners. The framework for an SIB exists in Arizona, but needs a few more years of development before it can be considered.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Arizona State Senate: First Hand Accounts of the Female Political Experience in Arizona

Description

In Arizona's early history, Females garnered more independence than most other women in the United States because they were forced to build a completely new life in settlements with little to no infrastructure. Now, Arizona has achieved a level of

In Arizona's early history, Females garnered more independence than most other women in the United States because they were forced to build a completely new life in settlements with little to no infrastructure. Now, Arizona has achieved a level of equality that no other state has yet to achieve in regard to gender representation. Yet, we have yet to achieve total equity. This paper looks to analyze responses that female senators from the Arizona State Legislature gave while being interviewed by the author. With questions derived from previous research conducted on women in politics at the state and federal level, this paper will delve into the personal experiences of six female senators. Although their personal narratives differ, their stories seem to reflect a collective tie that unites the female members together, beyond party allegiance. Each of the responses given by the senators had some aspects that showed trends supporting the majority of the hypotheses. Moving forward, in order to achieve 50% equality, two more senators would need to be elected and replace male senators.

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2016-05

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LGBT Recognition in Arizona: A Honnethian Analysis of Gay Rights in Arizona's Recent History

Description

Although significant progress has been made in terms of LGBT rights in the United States, the topic has still remained one of the most prevalent and divisive issues in recent history. In Arizona, this prevalence and divisiveness has been illustrated

Although significant progress has been made in terms of LGBT rights in the United States, the topic has still remained one of the most prevalent and divisive issues in recent history. In Arizona, this prevalence and divisiveness has been illustrated through the state's civil rights and legislative history. Additionally, the importance of this issue is highlighted by the incidents of discrimination and bullying towards LGBT students in Arizona's schools. With this in mind, it was critical to conduct an exploratory historical analysis of LGBT rights in Arizona to better understand the recent history and current climate towards the LGBT community in the state. To explore this issue, the data consisted of reports on the fiscal impact of adopting LGBT-friendly policies, reports on LGBT health and well-being, reports on the school climate, court cases, pieces of legislation, opinion polls, news articles, and opinion pieces. This data on LGBT rights in Arizona was then codified, summarized, and analyzed using Axel Honneth's theory of recognition. Through the application of Honneth's theory to the data, it was possible to examine the history of recognition and misrecognition towards the LGBT community in Arizona. In total, there were six identifiable areas that emerged in which recognition and misrecognition exists: LGBT identity and well-being, marriage recognition, LGBT youth, rights and partner benefits, allies of the LGBT community, and opponents of LGBT rights. This project examined those areas through the lens of Arizona's history and provides insights into the current status of LGBT rights in Arizona.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Water: Are We Using it Wisely? A comparative analysis of water demand management trend and strategies in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona

Description

As Arizona enters its fifteenth year of drought and Lake Mead hits historic lows, water management and policy planning will become increasingly important to ensure future water security in the Southwestern region of the United States. This thesis compares water

As Arizona enters its fifteenth year of drought and Lake Mead hits historic lows, water management and policy planning will become increasingly important to ensure future water security in the Southwestern region of the United States. This thesis compares water demand trends and policies at the municipal level in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona over the time period from 1980-2010. By analyzing gallons per capita per day (GPCD) trends for each city in the context of population growth, drought, and major state and local policies over the twenty year period, reasons for declines in per capita water demand were explored. Despite differences in their available water sources and political cultures, both the City of Phoenix and the City of Tucson have successfully reduced their per capita water consumption levels between 1980 and 2010. However, this study suggests that each city's measured success at reducing GPCD has been more a result of external events (supply augmentation, drought, and differing development trends) rather than conservation and demand reduction regulations adopted under the auspices of the Groundwater Management Act.

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Date Created
2015-05