FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dozens of community organizations to rally at AZ Capitol to ask political leaders to stop ignoring minority causes
(Tues., Jan. 9, 2018) Phoenix, Ariz. – Dozens of advocacy organizations and hundreds of their supporters gathered Monday morning at the Arizona State Capitol to tell state legislators to stop ignoring the voices of minority communities. Expressing frustration with the majority party’s unwillingness to hear bills supported by marginalized groups in recent years, nearly 200 Arizonans participated in the purposefully loud rally to ensure that elected officials would hear them. Attendees gathered with cowbells, drums and other noisemakers, addressing officeholders in chants, “Hear us now! Hear us now!”
Tory Roberg, founder of Fortitude AZ, the main organizer of the event and one of Arizona’s largest and fastest growing progressive lobby groups, said her firm wanted to give a platform to communities that are not heard at the legislature. “This was about making sure legislators know who they’re silencing when they don’t hear the legislation brought forward by our communities.”
Leaders from local advocacy groups spoke at a press conference following the rally, and admonished elected officials for ignoring policy solutions brought forward by minority groups.
“I’m tired of not having equal rights. I’m tired of my vote being suppressed. I’m tired of my children not being safe. I’m tired of men legislating my body. I’m tired. And we’re not doing it anymore,” said Quiana Dickenson of Arizona’s ERA Taskforce—a group dedicated to passing the Equal Rights Amendment in Arizona. “We are putting everyone on notice that this year: we are not going to just stand by.”
“We go through the same exercise every session, don’t we? That’s why I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach going into this one: ‘Here we go again.’” said Jodi Liggett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Arizona, in reference to the perpetual cascade of bills aimed at dismantling reproductive healthcare rights in this state. “We’re not going to take any of it anymore. No more harassment. No more wage discrimination. Get your laws off our bodies!”
Fortitude and other partnering organizations pledged to support one another this legislative session in hopes of growing their numbers and influence, and ultimately winning the opportunity to have their bills heard by the legislature.
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Fortitude AZ is Arizona’s premier government affairs firm representing progressive nonprofits, community interests, and advocacy groups throughout the state. Founded in 2009 by social worker and professional policy advocate Tory Roberg, Fortitude has already brought hundreds of grassroots activists to the Capitol for political action; worked for six major grassroots communities; grown its staff to four, and met with nearly the entire Legislative body one-on-one to keep community issues in front of elected officials—making Fortitude one of the largest and most rapidly growing progressive lobby groups in the state. Learn more at www.fortitudeaz.com.