When you begin an endeavor such as Arizona List, I can’t imagine you understand the depth of your contribution. Nevertheless, that impact is felt by many and in many different ways.
Recently I met a women, an Arizona native who drove down the mountain from Flagstaff in support of Mayoral candidate Coral Evans. She was thrilled and a little overwhelmed by the concept of Arizona List. She curiously inquired about our founders Pam Grissom and Pam Sutherland. She smiled with delight at our growth from just 2 candidates to well over 50. She was visibly moved by the level of diversity we have among our list of endorsed candidates. She shared that an organization supporting women and women of color in a state that is not always kind to either, is something she never would have imagined.
I will say when I think about the growth of Arizona List I can understand her joy. Recently she and I gathered with forty amazing of women, some candidates, some activists, some supporters and almost all women of color. We assembled a panel of leaders from around the state including Lisa Blackhorse, the chair of the Native American Caucus, Janee Poussan, Northern American Chair of the Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus, Minority Whip Representative Rebecca Rios and Councilwoman Coral Evans. We engaged in meaningful dialogue about the obstacles that women face in Arizona and how we begin to work through those obstacles. This gathering of women was never designed to find answers, but to begin to ask the questions to create change in our state and to celebrate the small victories we have made along the way.
While we were busy battling for more diverse representation we have elected more women of color than this state has ever seen. We have women of color leading the Arizona Democratic Party lead by our Chair Alexis Tamaron and all five minority caucuses led by women. Now I know we are far from parity and we have a battle on our hand through this election cycle, but let’s just pause for one moment to share in the victories of Women of Color in Arizona.
As Shirley Chisholm so beautifully said ” if they won’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair”
Arizona List Political Consultant