Arizona House, District 4 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Sixty lawmakers, two from each legislative district, comprise the House of Representatives. The chamber has been under GOP control since the mid-1960s. The partisan divide is currently 35 Republicans and 25 Democrats. The job pays $24,000 a year, plus mileage and per-diem during session.

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  • Charlene Fernandez
    (Dem)

  • Geraldine 'Gerae' Peten
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Sara Mae Williams
    (Grn)

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Biographical Information

Why are you the best person for the job?

Do you support the teacher pay-raise plan passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey? Why or why not?

State funding for Arizona schools remains below pre-recession levels. How should the state address funding for its schools in next year’s budget? How would you pay for any increases?

Does Arizona do enough to require accountability and transparency for charter schools?

Would you support stricter gun laws, including raising the minimum age to 21 for all gun purchases, banning bump stocks and universal background checks on gun sales between private parties?

What should Arizona do to prevent mass shootings in schools?

As a legislator, would you be inclined to support additional tax cuts for individuals or businesses? If so, which taxes would you like to see reduced?

Should recreational marijuana use be legalized in Arizona? Why or why not?

Has Arizona taken the right approach by increasing restrictions on abortion providers and clinics? Why or why not?

What should Arizona be doing to prepare for a potential water-shortage declaration on the Colorado River?

Would you support a statewide law that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public accommodations, such as restaurants and other businesses? Why or why not?

Would you support a statewide law to allow business owners and others to deny services to customers based on religious beliefs? Why or why not?

In terms of the economy, how can the Legislature best encourage sustainable growth that benefits people of all income levels?

Do you support further expanding the Empowerment Scholarship Account program, which provides state funding for private-school education?

What is your position on Proposition 305, the ballot measure that would repeal the Legislature’s 2017 expansion of the voucher program?

What role should Arizona play in helping the federal government secure the border with Mexico?

Has the Legislature done enough to address concerns about sexual harassment among its membership?

Is there an issue not mentioned about that you feel hasn’t received enough attention at the Capitol? How would you address it?

What is the greatest threat to Arizona’s future, and how would you address it?

Last spring, lawmakers – at the direction of the governor’s office – opted to not authorize the state’s expenditure of $56 million in federal aid for child-care costs for the working poor. Should the state accept the $56 million? Why or why not?

Family members who take in their relative’s children when the kids are removed from their parents’ home get a sliver of the money paid to foster parents, about $45 a month, compared to $650. What responsibility, if any, does the state have to these family members? Should they be paid the same as foster parents?

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Age 44
Education In progress
Work history Freelance Graphic Designer
Previous public office Baboquivari Unified School District Governing Board Member 2011-2018
Campaign Phone (520) 561-3132
I am a concerned citizen, first, an school board member for eight years, second, and a tribal community member of this great state, third. I was inspired to run when the students at my school district organized a teach-in regarding gun-violence. They invited Pamela Simon, Gabrielle Giffords, Congressional staffer to speak. Pamela asked one question, "How many of you know who your LD4 elected leaders are...few if any of the audience raised their hands. She said, they should be here today. They following week, teachers across the the state, walked out to improve their pay and our schools. They also inspired me. Change will not come to my community if elected leaders choose to not show up, For years, I have never seen LD4 leaders in our community and yet we are key to issues regarding the international border, we can testify on school funding, we are in need of solutions to combat poverty. So, I have chosen to run, to be that voice for my community that resides in LD4.
No, what was passed by Ducey and the Legislature, was nothing but smoke and mirrors created to give the appearance that they care about Education. Truthfully, there is no real plan to invest in education, unless it's a private school or for-profit charter. Public Education has been under attack for years. Funding cuts have been so severe that even with a real investment like the InvestInEd Initiative proposes, will only begin the process of fixing our schools.

As a Governing Board Member at Baboquivari Unified, a tribal public school district located in Southern Arizona, we hit rock bottom when we were labeled a Persistantly Lowest Achieveing School District. Everything the Red4ED movement requested, our school district implemented 7 years ago, we raised our base pay to 51k, attracted great teachers, raised the bar academically and slowly, we have worked ourselves out of a very deep hole.

Once we decide to make that investment as a state, will we then begin to see positive results.
In our case, we are sitting at the bottom of all states when it comes to teacher pay. Amazing teachers are leaving in droves for states that show that the teaching profession is a necessity to the future of their economic growth, and choose to pay their teachers appropriately. Nobody wants to pay taxes, just as nobody wants to invest education, welfare, children services, healthcare, etc. Ultimately, as the demographics begin to rapidly shift in our state, we see major cuts to all of those needed services. I imagine there is a fear that has impacted taxpayers that might feel their dollars are being utilized to uplift poor minorities. That fear has deeply divided our state. The truth is that we need to start thinking about how we uplift all communities before we create entire generations of dependents. We either pay for it now, by way of taxes, providing quality education and social services or we pay for it in the end, for more welfare, prisons, and government programs.
No.
This is a tough question. Many of my family members have been career military, and support their right to have a gun. They are incredibly responsible and they know their rights. At the same time, background checks and banning certain weapons, could be a solution but I would have to consult both sides of the issue to make a real, honest, decision.
At my school district, we have secured the perimeter of each school with tall, harder to climb chain link fence, installed Windows that can hold back a shooter for a brief but crucial amount of time, installed cameras in strategic areas. Beyond that, I'm certain our kids are safe but we never know. I believe schools implementing Trust-Based Relational Intervention program can provide effective support for those at-risk. It's hard to say what will truly prevent a mass shooting.
I support shifting the burden to high-income households and corporations.
Yes, I am a strong supporter in legalizing medical and recreational marijuana in Arizona. Now that recreational marijuana failed to make the ballot, I believe Arizona tribal communities should delve deeper into the benefits of legalizing marijuana in their communities. It could have huge economic, medical and judicial impacts for tribal communities, especially where marijuana has had devasting impacts. Legalization could overturn convictions, allowing individuals to be active members in society again. More jobs can be created and revenue can go to help establish much needed programs in tribal communities. Once it's legalized in tribal communities it opens the door to all of Arizona for legalization. Marijuana has already proven to have positive impacts medically, recreational could have positive impacts economically allowing us to invest in needed programs such as education, children's programs and healthcare across the state. It's a win-win on many levels.
No. It's a woman's right to choose what happens to her body. At this current moment, there are pro-life protestors standing in the way of woman deciding what is best for their life and their body, while simultaneously, cheering as immigrant children are being ripped away from their families when seeking asylum at our southern border.

If life truly matters than stand up for all life.

Furthermore, it's an abomination when men feel they can decide what is best for a woman's body.

Planned Parenthood provides women's healthcare and so much more. In fact, as a teenager I had the pleasure of being in the Positive Force Players, a teen acting troupe supported by Planned Parenthood, that performed real life issues impacting teen lives, from suicide, abuse, teen pregnancy, etc.

What a great opportunity to perform in high schools all over the state. Those performances resulted in peers helping peers cope, real discussions that led to real solutions.

We will first need to create a sustainable economic development plan for the entire state. We will need to look at all industry in Arizona to create and implement more sustainable practices. As far as water is concerned, planning for a sustainable future will require reliable knowledge of resource available, recharge, future demand and community involvement. Wastewater reuse will be key. Repurifying wastewater for industry and irrigation, it will provide a drought-proof water resource though reuse, and we can increase availability of potable water. Industry will demand that we stay out of their business but the future of our state will depend on everyone creating solutions together. Water will become scarce and some industry might make it even more scarce faster than others. Solutions exist and buy-in will be key.
As an openly gay candidate, that would be an adamant, NO. What purpose does it serve to exclude? All my life I have experienced some form of exclusion as a Native American, as a woman, and at times for being gay. I always remember my older brother telling me when I came out to him in my late teens he said, "I don't care, just don't use it as an excuse. Don't you ever say, I can't because I'm gay". That was the best advice I could ever receive because I can't hide it, So, I don't walk around thinking about it. I walk in as me, take it or leave it just know I won't go silently if you make it an issue.

Life is way to short for you to care about my life and who I love. Find your own purpose, live your own life and just be happy. If not then you miss out on great clientele that will take their money elsewhere.
No, love thy neighbor. Simple as that.
Sustainable Economic Development, I believe in growing a greener economy in Arizona.
There is a promise being made that with ESA’s you will receive a better education. Sign the dotted line, giving up your right to a public education. Find the private school of your choice, uproot yourself, ship you away from your family, away from your language, culture and community.

ESA’s were offered to tribal communities and few have taken the opportunity. I imagine where tribal communities live closer to urban hubs and have actual access to so-called "choice" they have taken advantage of ESA’s but I cannot confirm that.

Each child that receives these dollars takes from public school funding and deposits those funds into private schools and some for-profit charters leaving public schools with less funding and still in dire need of help.

ESA’s do not fix public school, they just fund private and religious schools. For tribal communities, they are the modern day assimilation mills that only serve to strip you of your tribal identity and way of life. Been there done that.
Vouchers serve private schools and for-profit charters. They serve to decimate public education.Failing public schools are still failing and in need of help. Can public schools be fixed, yes. As a Governing Board Member of Baboquivari Unified, a tribal public school located in Southern Arizona on the Tohono O'odham Nation, when we were labeled, Persisitantly Lowest Achieving, we made the necessary changes to improve our schools. I come as a candidate with first hand knowledge, that when an investment is made in education great things transpire. Voucher are not the answer, funding, committed leadership and vision can and will help our schools. It's time to make an investment of public dollars in public education and let our schools thrive!
First, there is a false narrative that has been created about our international border. Not all elected leaders in the legislature live in close proximity to the border. So, they are making judgement on an area they know little about, and sometimes that judgement has created a level of unnecessary fear. I personally live within 15 miles of the border and can tell you that, injustice at the hands of the US Border Patrol is rampant in my community and has been for years. The state of Arizona can sit down with communities along the border and help create a list of expectations of the role of border patrol and Arizona communities. Right now there is no oversight and rights continuously are trampled on and the State can bring these communities together to help minimize that injustice. There are some cases where the state can help request more funding for local solutions rather than putting it solely in the hands of the federal government.
I would assume No, but should I find myself in the legislature and if it's an issue I'll be the first to call it out. We are elected by the people to serve. Anything beyond that goes against your oath of office.
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Poverty. It will take everybody, every organization and corporation to come to the table to help create real solutions. If we allow poverty grow, we I'll pay one way or another, over the course of decades probably to pull ourselves out. I we want to thrive, we will need a true investment, in real solutions.
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