Now that the Presidential debates are in full swing, the races at the top of the ticket are sucking even more air out of the political room. But we really need to remember that in Arizona, there are a lot of races that are critical to our everyday lives, that very few people are talking about. We call these "down ballot races", because the typical voter will need to scroll through lots of different, more high profile races and issues, before getting “down” to the bottom of the ballot contests such as judges, statewide propositions, local propositions, school board members, and a host of other decisions that we make through the democratic process.
At Stand for Children Arizona, we've always known that leadership at the state and local level is critical to making solid policy decisions for kids. So while we might get exhausted by the "top of ballot" races, we must stay patient in order to vote smartly for all of those other people and races that you may not have heard about as often in the news.
Maricopa County Community College Governing Board
One example of this is the Maricopa County Community College Governing Board. In Maricopa County, seven members make up the board that governs budget decisions, hiring of the Chancellor, and other key community college issues.
If you don’t have a child in community college, you might not know that the system plays a vital role in the local economy. The community college District adds almost $7.3 billion per year to the local economy, on top of providing specific job training for employers. To Stand, the importance of a vibrant community college system seems fairly clear, but not everyone in Maricopa County sees it that way.
What's At Stake
We've heard some politicians talking about how they would like to close down campuses simply to save money for the taxpayer. They don’t seem to understand that investment in infrastructure is worth more to the taxpayer in the long run and is the key to economic success, regardless of your political party.
For example, many nurses, police officers and first responders get their education through Maricopa Community Colleges. We need to make sure that the pipeline to these vital skills stays open and accessible.
Who you vote for in this down ballot race can make the difference between a vibrant workforce and a weak one. We've endorsed three candidates who we know will keep the community colleges on track with a strong identity, while ensuring that administrative costs don’t get out of control.
View more information on who to vote for either on your mail-in ballot, or in the voting booth on November 8. We know the ballot is going to be long this year, so please, stay patient, stay strong and vote down ballot with us.