Evans Interview – Podcast January 13, 2020

“I’m not trying to be a politician. I’m trying to be a statesman.” Democratic Perspective welcomes Coral Evans, Flagstaff mayor and LD6 candidate for the Arizona House. When asked why she’s running for the legislature, she responds, “I believe that everybody should be represented and everybody should have an opportunity to be part of the political process. Many at the state level have never been elected at the local level. That leads to more partisanship. That’s why local control, water and education funding are issues.”

Specifically regarding education, she says, “We need to look at the entire system. We also need to look at the prison system. What are we doing to help people when they get out and re-enter into society? If we don’t help them get a job, we wasted the money to incarcerate them. We need to look at the totality of where our money is spent.”

You can learn more about Evans and her positions at coralevansaz.com or by searching for coral4az on any social media platform.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Climate Change, Community, Continuing Education, Criminal Justice Reform, Democratic Governance, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Environmental Issues, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Education, Public Service, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navidad Interview – Podcast January 8, 2020

Protecting Civil Liberties In Arizona And The US . Klaus von Stutterheim, Mik Jordahl and Kat Ginzel discuss civil rights issues with Alesandra Navidad of the Arizona ACLU. Though the show was recorded in December, we were unable to broadcast it as part of our regular weekly show. But it’s definitely worth your time to listen.

Navidad is a former journalist, civil rights worker, and current executive director of ACLU of Arizona. Navidad has overseen the growth of the organization in Arizona from a three-person office in 2008-09 with a membership of 5,000 to a staff of 22 and 22,000 members today. She explains the variety of issues that require the ACLU’s attention and the many accomplishments that have occurred under her leadership.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Constitutional Issues, Criminal Justice Reform, Education, Human Rights, Immigration, Interviews, Legal Issues, LGBT Issues, Private Prisons | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Podcast – January 6, 2020

Looking At 2019 In The Rearview Mirror. Many of the Democratic Perspective crew recap their view of the past year’s events. Kat Ginzel begins by explaining her efforts to Outlaw Dirty Money (aka Dark Money).  Gary LaMaster outlines the consequences of actions not taken in 2019 – addressing the climate crisis, inaction on 400 House-passed bills, etc. Klaus von Stutterheim discusses the destruction caused by the inconsistent and vanity-based foreign policy of the Trump administration. Mike Cosentino address the idiocracy of the Trump administration and recent events in Sedona. And Steve Williamson talks about events in the Middle East that led up to the assassination of General Soleimani.

Finally, the whole crew opines on the upcoming 2020 election.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Climate Change, Congressional Oversight, Constitutional Issues, Dark Money, Deficit Reduction, Elections, Environment, Foreign Policy, Government, Iran, Local Politics, Mass Extinction, Middle East Policy, National Politics, Presidential Elections, Taxes and the Deficit | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Schudson Interview – Podcast December 30, 2019

The Politicization Of Our Judiciary. Democratic Perspective hosts, Mike Cosentino and Klaus von Stutterheim welcome Charles B. Schudson, former Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and author of Independence Corrupted: How America’s Judges Make Their Decisions.

Schudson begins by explaining that, contrary to popular belief, the US does not have a single legal system. It has as many systems as there are states. He goes on to explain the consequences of the little-known Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that ended a more than 200-year code of ethics prohibiting judges from announcing their position in advance of a case. The result was to politicize the selection of judges.

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Elections, Ethics, Founding Fathers, Interviews, Judicial System, Jurisprudence, Justice System, Supreme Court, U.S. Court System | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rimel Interview – Podcast December 23, 2019

The 4th Industrial Revolution. Mike and Klaus welcome LeAnn Rimel, a technology evangelist, to discuss the consequences of automation and  the wide range of ways that technology will affect our lives – both positively and negatively.

The greatest challenge, according to Rimel, is creating new jobs to replace those eliminated by automation and getting more people prepared to work in sectors that are growing. Not only are jobs disappearing faster than they can be replaced. There is a cascading effect. For example, she notes that in the coming years, 2-3 million truck drivers will lose their jobs to self-driving vehicles. That will also impact the small-town truck stops, hotels, and cafes that cater to truckers. And it’s not just laborers who will be affected. Rimel states that many other industries, even medicine, will be impacted by automation.  In fact, some studies predict that as many as 30-40 percent of existing jobs will disappear. 

Despite the job losses, Rimel claims that automation can have really positive implications as long as we make appropriate changes to public policy.

Posted in Automation, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Rural Economy,, Business, Economic Policy, Industrial Policy, Interviews, Medical Science and Technology, Technology, Underemployment, Unemployment | Leave a comment

Estes, Jackson Interview – Podcast December 16, 2019

The Conflict Between Property Owner Rights And Community Interests. Democratic Perspective welcomes Bev Jackson, president of the Cornville Community Association, and Steve Estes, director of Verde Valley Land Preservation Institute. They discuss plans to fight a zoning request for another large development in rural Arizona. The proposed Spring Creek development would add approximately 6,000 people to Cornville, an unincorporated community of 3,200 people.

Not only would the development change the character of the community. It would threaten Native American ruins of archeological significance, a natural spring, and a pristine stream that provides water for numerous endangered species. Residents have provided 5 alternative development proposals that would meet with community approval. Yet the property owners only seem to care about maximizing profits.

The fate of the community and the development will be up to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Biodiversity, Capitalism, Community, Community Activism, Development, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Interviews, Local Politics, Regulatory Agencies, Sustainable Development, Water Policy | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Estes, Jackson Interview – Podcast December 16, 2019

Riemer Interview – Podcast December 9, 2019

Gender Inequality And Climate Change. Steve, Mike and Klaus welcome Frances (Frankie) Riemer, PhD to speak about gender inequity from climate change. Riemer is a professor at Northern Arizona University and member of the Northern Arizona Climate Change Alliance. She explains that people experience climate change differently and that, because most of the poor are women and children, they are impacted more severely.

Reimer notes that research following Hurricane Katrina found that women are unnecessarily compromised in shelters. This is critical because the impact of climate change will force many into refugee camps. Additionally, because 70 percent of the world’s farmers are women, women will be disproportionately affected by climate-caused water shortages.

Posted in Climate Change, Community Activism, Environment, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Global Warming, Government, Interviews, Mass Migration, Privatization, Water Policy, Women's Issues | Tagged , | Comments Off on Riemer Interview – Podcast December 9, 2019

Starky Interview – Podcast December 2, 2019

Defeating One Of Washington’s Worst. Steve, Mike and Klaus welcome Stuart “Stu” Starky who is running in the Democratic primary for the AZ-DC4 congressional seat currently held by Paul Gosar. Starky is a school Principal in South Phoenix who previously ran for the US Senate against John McCain. His message is that it’s time to change the tone and the level of hate coming out of Washington.

Regarding Gosar, Starky says, “The message I’m going to deliver is who I am and what I stand for makes me the best candidate to take on Paul Gosar. I’m a school principal in South Phoenix and my school is 88 percent Hispanic and Gosar says those are little terrorists coming across the border. Clearly there is a difference between who Paul Gosar is and what he says and how I’ve lived my entire life.”

Starky continues, “…if you listen to Paul Gosar, he is an evil man who spreads hate and backs people who spread hate. So the concept of kindness and human decency is a big inspiration for me in this race and the way I look at my kids every day when I go to school and I say, I’ll fight for them. This is a campaign that needs me.”

To learn more about the candidate, click here.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civil Society, Conservative Paranoia, Cultural Change, Cultural Diversity, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Environment, Food Insecurity, Government, Gun Control, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Interviews, Mental Health Programs, National Politics, Paul Gosar, Political Candidacy, Political Polarization, Public Education, Racial Discrimination | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Starky Interview – Podcast December 2, 2019

Michaels, Estes Interview – Podacast November 25, 2019

A Balanced Approach To Development. Democratic Perspective welcomes the first-ever Democratic candidate for Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, Donna Michaels, and one of her supporters, Steve Estes, director of Verde Valley Land Preservation. Michaels is running for the county’s 3rd District.

Michaels says she was asked to run to change the way the county approaches development in the district. She says, “There’s a tone deafness about development. We’re looking through the wrong end of the telescope in terms of dealing with the Verde Valley.” Michaels believes that county supervisors need to listen to residents so they feel they are a part of the process and that developments need to align with a community plan. For more information, you can visit her website by clicking here.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community, Community Activism, Development, Environmental Issues, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Michaels, Estes Interview – Podacast November 25, 2019

Podcast – November 18, 2019

The Case For Ranked Choice Voting. New York recently adopted a system to replace the traditional plurality-based system. In the plurality system, the candidate with the most votes wins even if the winning candidate has received less than half the vote. And that happens in every election cycle. Too often, voters cast votes for the top federal and state offices. But leave the ballot for lower offices blank. This often results in the winning candidate having received only 40 percent or less of the overall vote. And it’s even more true in the party primaries.

The alternative is ranked choice voting which ensures that the winner receives a majority (50 percent or more) of the vote.

The system is already being used in Maine for general elections and it is being tried in a number of other states for the party primaries. Here’s how it works: Voters rank candidates as their #1 choice, #2 choice and so on. When the votes are totaled, if no candidate has received a majority of the vote, the candidate(s) with the fewest votes are eliminated. But the ballots for those who voted for them still count. Their vote is assigned to their second choice and the votes are again counted. The process continues until one candidate receives a majority.

The hope is that, especially in the primaries, the process will eliminate the most extreme candidates. There is also hope that it will improve the chances of third party candidates.

Posted in Elections, National Politics, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Political Theory | Tagged , | Comments Off on Podcast – November 18, 2019