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Mitzi Epstein

arizona State Senate | District 12 | Challenger
2022: Running

Mitzi Epstein is a problem-solver who has spent decades contributing to our community. As our current State Representative and a former Kyrene School Board member, she has listened to the needs of our community and taken action to get things done.

Mitzi excelled at a tech career in the manufacturing and finance industries and is also a small business owner. Her business skills in teamwork, planning, and evaluating projects have been instrumental to creating success in her volunteer positions as a statewide PTA leader, a youth soccer coach, and founder of state and local groups that bring together parents, business, and school officials as advocates for children.

Mitzi Epstein’s work over the last 25 years is a testament to her commitment to strong schools, continued economic development, and ongoing community improvement. She and her husband Rick have been married for over 35 years and raised two boys who are now adults pursuing careers of their own. Representative Epstein is deeply invested in the success of her community, and the state of Arizona as a whole. That’s why Mitzi is running for state Senate in Legislative District 12, where she will continue to fight for our schools, our workers, our businesses, and fiscal responsibility.

Endorsements:

  • Moms Demand Action- “Candidate of Distinction”
  • Arizona Nurses Association PAC
  • Friends of ASBA rated Mitzi as “Always a Friend of Education.”
  • Arizona Education Association Fund
  • Stand For Children
  • Voting Rights Fund
  • 314 Action Fund
  • Climate Cabinet PAC
  • Sierra Club
  • Arizona List
  • Realtors of Arizona PAC
  • Professional Firefighters of Arizona
  • Progressive Turnout Project
  • AFSCME
  • UNITE HERE! Local 11 PAC
  • Arizona AFL-CIO
  • Arizona Pipe Trades 469 PAC
  • Arizona Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Full list of endorsements and candidate scorecards available here!

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On the Issues

Education

Our community expects high-quality public schools to support property values and local businesses today, preparing children to solve the problems of the future. Public education is the foundation of a thriving economy, freedom, and quality of life. Mitzi believes we must ensure we are educating the whole child. Neither a student nor, a school should be reduced to a single test score. Our schools need arts, PE, technology, school counselors, as well as rigorous courses in English, math, science, and social studies. Arizona’s teachers and students deserve both respect and support. Mitzi will work to ensure we’re investing to make our schools high-quality, equitable, and accountable.

Economy

Having worked in the financial and technology sectors, Mitzi’s experience and knowledge have been put to good use in the Arizona legislature, taking a critical eye to any proposed legislation. “I leverage my own experience and skills, with the knowledge of an ever-growing network of experts in technology and finance. Together, we do the work to balance support for business innovations with protections for consumers,” Mitzi explains.

In the Senate, Mitzi will ensure our local small businesses are supported and corporations are accountable to the community, while also given space to innovate. Above all, as taxpayers, it is important that every resident enjoys the balance between keeping our hard-earned income, while also contributing fairly to the community services that ensure a high quality of life for us all now, and future generations.

Government Accountability

Taxpayers deserve transparency and accountability for every dollar our government spends. Too often, programs and cuts alike are passed without a clear understanding of how they will affect our budget and our communities. “How will it affect you?” Mitzi asks real people all the time. Representative Epstein has experience using analyses and metrics to understand the impacts of proposals before voting them into law. The government shouldn’t be allowed to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on partisan games, whether on farcical election audits or partisan vanity projects. Fiscal responsibility and transparency with government spending are vital to building strong communities and public trust.

Water & Environment

Arizona is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including extreme weather and drought. As we are already experiencing, climate change will have significant impacts on our water resources and our state’s economic opportunities. In the Senate, Mitzi will work with hydrologists, attorneys, community members, and all stakeholders to consider the facts and the data to make informed decisions. We must make sure that our choices today will assure access to adequate, clean water tomorrow and into the future.

As we consider potential sources of water for the future – such as extremely expensive desalination projects– we must address groundwater management now. Otherwise water augmentation is like adding endless water to a leaky bucket. Higher taxes and higher costs for water are the wrong path, but a balance of conservation and growth can be reached if all stakeholders are included in developing solutions.

Public Safety

Safe neighborhoods are fundamental to our overall quality of life. Our firefighters and public safety professionals need and deserve adequate funding to meet today’s challenges, as well as a secure retirement. Arizona should pass sensible background checks, keeping firearms out of the hands of people with dangerous histories. Responsible gun ownership is every American’s right. There are common-sense approaches to gun ownership that are both proven and effective in protecting our children and our communities from violence. It is beyond time to enact sensible laws for safe schools and safe communities. Your safety is Mitzi’s priority.

Community

The cost of living, especially the cost of housing, has risen dramatically all over the state. Mitzi will ensure the choices within our control are made responsibly, with children, taxpayers, and families as the main priority. Renters want simpler contracts and easier processes to get repairs done. Property owners want reasonable laws to support their efforts to keep apartment buildings safe. Our children and teens need better education and support when it comes to mental health, social media threats, and suicide prevention. We can keep our communities safer while reducing red tape for everybody, and Mitzi is ready to get it done.

Legislative Accomplishments

As a current State Representative, Mitzi keeps the needs of her district in mind and works hard for her constituents.  She has listened to the people of her district, and together, they have solved problems, making life better for all Arizonans!

During her time in office, Mitzi has collaborated with legislators – Republicans and Democrats, experts in their fields, parents, and many stakeholders to develop and pass these bipartisan bills and amendments.

UI – Unemployment Help:

  • Historic, bipartisan, bicameral Unemployment Insurance improvements. Workers get better benefits, and employers get lower tax rates.

Suicide Prevention and Mental Healthcare:

    • Jake’s Law provides better access to mental healthcare to assure you get the benefits you paid for from your insurance. Jake’s Law was the result of working for over a year, bringing together hundreds of parents and patients, with insurance companies, psychiatrists, and many healthcare providers.
    • A statewide Suicide Prevention Coordinator position
    • A suicide prevention reference guide for schools

Family Caregiver Grants help families to make home modifications for loved ones with disabilities.

Protection for domestic violence victims will improve as orders of protection are increased to 2 years, and emergency orders increased to 7 days.

Protecting Renters

  • Renters must get a receipt for their rent, even when they pay it to a real estate agent’s office.

Why This Race Is Important

With the momentum of the 2020 Presidential Election on our side, we have a huge opportunity to flip the Arizona legislature – and electing Rep. Epstein to the State Senate is imperative to do so. After serving in the lower chamber, Mitzi is looking to continue serving her community and the people of Arizona as a State Senator.

Election Timeline

Last day to register for primary: July 5, 2022

Deadline to request absentee ballot (primary) July 22, 2022

Date of primary: August 2, 2022

Last day to register for general: October 11, 2022

Deadline to request absentee ballot (general) October 28, 2022

Date of general: November 8, 2022

About the District

District 12 is located in Maricopa County and includes the municipalities of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert. The district also borders the Gila River Indian Reservation.

Nested Congressional Districts:
CD04: D+1
CD02: R+15

Past Results in District

2020 PRESIDENTIAL
Democrat: 58.40%
Republican: 39.90%

2020 SENATE
Democrat: 59.50%
Republican: 40.50%

Demographics

Population: 247,330
Households: 76,368
Over 65: 8.06%
White: 72.4%
Black: 3%
Latin: 15.7%
Asian: 5.3%
Other: 4%
Median Income: $86,800
Poverty: 39.6%
Unemployment: 3.6%
College: 52%
HS Grad: 43.6%
NO HS Grad: 4.4%

About the Opponent

Republican David W. Richardson paints himself as a moderate conservative by espousing the same harmful policies embraced by the MAGA movement without the extreme language. He speaks of finding common ground, but don’t let this fool you! There is no common ground when the reproductive rights of more than half the American population are being eroded. As a staunch advocate for “liberty” and the second amendment, the irony is palatable. In addition to being against abortion care and gun safety measures, David also advocates for school choice programs that will divert public school funding to for-profit and religious institutions, a move that will irreparably harm Arizona’s public education system. Arizona deserves better!

 

Republican Suzanne Sharer is an enduring and enthusiastic member of the MAGA movement who still considers herself an ardent Trump supporter despite his seditious actions in the final months of his term. Suzanne’s campaign is based on scaring voters into believing they are under attack by their Democratic neighbors and being “invaded” by vulnerable asylum seekers. Accordingly, she continues to propagate lies about the 2020 election, sowing distrust for future elections while painting immigrants as “illegals” and criminals. True to MAGA talking points, she is also laser-focused on further eroding reproductive rights and abortion access in Arizona, diverting public education funding to private or religious schools, and infusing her religious beliefs into policy that impacts all Arizonians.

Why Arizona is important

Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission produced maps that give Democrats an opportunity to compete for legislative majorities, in addition to defending a number of fragile incumbents.

There are open Gubernatorial and Secretary of State elections this year, as well as a critical Senate incumbent defend election (D-Kelly) and several competitive Congressional seats.

Arizona narrowly voted for Joe Biden and elected two Democratic Senators in 2018 and 2020. It will continue to be a critical electoral battleground state from the Presidential level all the way down. It is also a democracy battleground, where GOP legislators and operatives are pursuing election subversion and sowing seeds of distrust in election administration.

Redistricting & Gerrymandering

In November 2000, Arizona voters passed Proposition 106, a citizen initiative that amended the Arizona Constitution by removing the power to draw congressional and state legislative districts from the state legislature and reassigning this task to the newly created Independent Redistricting Commission.

On January 24, 2022, Arizona enacted its new congressional map after the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission transmitted its finalized congressional map plan to the secretary of state. The commission initially voted to finalize and certify the congressional map plan on Jan. 18. The commission’s nonpartisan chairwoman, Erika Neuberg, joined the two Republican members—David Mehl and Douglas York—voting in favor of the map. The commission’s two Democratic members—Shereen Lerner and Derrick Watchman—were opposed.

Paid for by Sister District Project with 100% from out-of-state contributors. Authorized by Mitzi Epstein for Arizona’s State Senate, Legislative District 12.
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Mitzi Epstein

arizona state house of representatives | 12 | Challenger
2022: Running
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