US House of Representatives, District 3

The 3rd Congressional District in southern Arizona is solidly Democratic. Congressional representatives make $174,000 annually and serve two-year terms.

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    Raul Grijalva

  • Nicolas "Nick" Pierson

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Biographical Information

What makes you the best person for the job?

How would you evaluate President Donald Trump’s priorities and performance so far?

Border security, especially a wall of some sort, and immigration reforms, in particular for those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, have received a lot of attention. Would you require addressing either of these matters as a precondition to working on the other? Explain.

The national debt now tops $20 trillion. Can you give examples of the kinds of specific changes you are advocating to significantly address this issue?

f you are elected to the next Congress, who would you like to represent your party for top leadership in 2019? (Speaker, Majority Leader, Minority Leader) Explain.

Do you think the nation’s health care system should move closer to offering Medicare for all or back to what existed just before the Affordable Care Act? Explain.

Do you think human-caused climate change is a real and significant issue? What, if anything, should be done about it?

Do you think the Mueller investigation is a political witch hunt or a serious examination of election security and the rule of law? Explain.

Has the president properly imposed tariffs to protect U.S. jobs and national security? Explain.

What, if anything, should be done to address school security and gun violence more broadly? Explain.

What are some of the biggest contributing factors to the U.S. economy’s performance over the past year? What would you do to keep or change this?

On balance, do you think NAFTA has helped or hurt Arizona? Explain

Can you identify a significant policy area where you have broken with most in your party? Explain.

How much, if at all, does personal character and reputation matter for seeking public office?

What living politician do you consider your biggest role model? Explain.

Age 72
Family Ramona Grijalva - wife Adelita Grijalva-Gomez - daughter Raquel Grijalva - daughter Marisa Grijalva - daughter
Twitter @standwithraul
Campaign Phone (520) 629-0050
During my time in Congress, I’ve proven to the voters of Arizona’s Third Congressional District that I’m in Washington to represent them, give voice to the voiceless, and fight for issues that affect their daily lives. As ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Education and Workforce Committee, I have fought for legislation that has helped Arizona’s economy, safeguarded our environment, and empowered working families. I support strong environmental protections to combat climate change, comprehensive immigration reform that creates a fair immigration system and halts border militarization, and a bold progressive agenda that provides working families with what they need to thrive. As we face unprecedented attacks on our values and hallmark policies that have improved the lives of millions, Arizonans can rest assured that I will fight for them, speak truth to power, and protect what truly makes America great.
If Donald Trump’s goals were to sow division, weaken our global reputation, and rig the economy in favor of his elite corporate friends, then I would say that Trump is a rousing success. Whether it’s attacks on the media, immigrants, people of color, women, vulnerable communities, or his acquiescence to white nationalist hate groups, Trump never misses an opportunity to sow division. But the threat Trump poses goes far beyond any one action and strikes at the core of our democratic norms and institutions. The corruption, abuses of power, and flagrant disregard for the law must be stopped. Instead of providing much needed oversight, the current Republican-controlled Congress stands idly by while Trump wreaks havoc on everything we stand for. It’s time for Congress to step up, do its job, and hold this farce of a President accountable for his actions.
For over a decade, we addressed border security and ignored the toll our broken immigration system took on young DACA eligible individuals and their parents. We built hundreds of miles of border wall and swelled the ranks of Border Patrol while starving our ports of entry of much-needed infrastructure improvements and customs officers. Despite meeting border security obligations, many of our leaders refuse to tackle the human crisis at our hands. Caught in the cross hairs of Trump’s horrific immigration policies are many of these DACA-eligible immigrants living their American Dream and serving our communities as doctors, teachers, first responders, and soldiers. Border security and humane immigration policy are not mutually exclusive. We’ve secured the border for years, and now we must secure the futures of young Dreamers. Wasting billions on political whims to justify divisive political agendas is shameful and something that I will not support.
Trump and Congressional Republicans ushered America into a new era of debt recklessness with their tax scam. Instead of funding long-term projects to create jobs and make America competitive, they spent more than $2 trillion on tax giveaways for the wealthy and huge corporations. Now they’re using the deficit they created as a justification for cutting important programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Smart investments in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, outdated schools, health care research and green jobs are ignored by Republicans, despite their potential to improve our communities and stimulate our economy. We can’t let them get away with blowing up our national debt to pay off the industries that donate to their political campaigns. By fixing our rigged tax code to make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, we ensure sustained economic growth and can still pursue a policy agenda that invests in the American people and empowers working families.
The Democratic Party needs a strong leader to fight against the president’s agenda and systematic destruction of our democracy. Since I arrived in Congress in 2003, Nancy Pelosi has led the party. I respect her and believe that she has the intelligence, instincts, and drive to make Congress a co-equal branch of government again and serve as a point of fierce resistance to the Trump administration. Allowing Republican attacks on her to be a reason for blocking her path to leadership is nothing short of buying into their destructive politics and discourse. I want a leader who’s been in the fight, knows how to fight, and wants to win. Whoever leads the caucus will need the rest of the Democrats to act boldly and urgently. The call for new leadership is a worthy discussion, but more important is for the American people and our own party to know where we stand. If Pelosi runs for speaker, I will support her. If she doesn’t, I will support someone who will not be afraid of the fight ahead.
I am a leader of the Medicare for All movement. Since my election to Congress, I’ve consistently supported legislation to fix our broken health care system and move towards universal coverage. For too long insurance companies have stood in between individuals and quality care and forced families to pay exorbitant costs for their health needs. The Affordable Care Act was a first step toward providing access to health care to millions, but repeated Republican attacks have caused plan premiums to skyrocket and millions to lose coverage. In addition, Trump announced he will once again allow insurers to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, putting the health coverage of potentially 130 million people at risk. A system that denies certain people coverage in the name of corporate profits is a failed system. Keeping people healthy should be at the heart of our health care system, and it is time that we improve Medicare coverage and make it available to everyone.
Despite the actions and protests of President Trump and his cabinet, climate change is a crisis for our planet, and not a question of personal opinion. The scientific community is overwhelmingly in consensus on the reality of climate change, but fossil fuel industries continue an aggressive campaign to discredit climate science while being aided and abetted by high-level Trump appointees and the President himself. Combating climate change requires global engagement through agreements like the Paris Climate Change Accords and sound domestic policy such as passing the 100 By ‘50 Act which would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We must continue to expand the non-fossil fuel economy that is creating ever-increasing clean energy jobs and investments that safeguard our planet for future generations.
The only political witch hunt is against Robert Mueller himself, who took on the difficult task of undoing the cobweb of corruption surrounding the president and his ties to questionable figures. The Mueller investigation is a serious and necessary examination of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and helps ensure the integrity of our democracy. The president and Republicans’ continued attempts to discredit and undermine the investigation only reinforce the need to keep it intact and impartial. Bringing clarity, confidence, and trust back to our democracy is critical, and we must ensure that our legal institutions remain impartial and credible, regardless of which party is in power. Congress must allow Mueller to continue his investigation, prosecution, and pursuit of justice without obstruction or political meddling. Not doing so is an injustice to our constituents and our democracy.
While I agree that U.S. companies and workers have been harmed by poorly executed trade deals, I continue to be dismayed at the irresponsible nature in which President Trump governs. His macho antics have real-life consequences that will impact millions of small businesses. Rash implementation of tariffs will undoubtedly have negative impacts on communities across Arizona as an isolationist approach clearly doesn’t work when it comes to international trade. If Trump were truly concerned with national security, his steel and aluminum tariffs would not punish our global allies. Trump's trade approach is clearly more focused on benefiting certain corporations rather than helping communities and workers.
Mass shootings in our nation’s schools like the one in Parkland, Florida have become all too common, yet Congress and the Trump Administration seem increasingly defiant in working toward a solution. Powerless commissions, such as those headed by Secretary Betsy DeVos, that address school safety without analyzing the role of firearms are a complete farce and offer no realistic solutions that will keep our children and communities safe. Calls to arm teachers and further militarize schools fail to understand the root causes of these senseless tragedies, and are nothing more than false solutions offered by NRA-bought politicians. Common-sense public safety legislation that provides universal background checks, bans assault weapons and other high-capacity magazines, and lifts the ban on public health research into gun violence are critical actions to making our communities safe.
While the economy has made strides towards recovery since the Great Recession, far too many working families remain left behind. Although unemployment is low, underemployment continues to plague recent college graduates and struggling working families who are simply trying to make ends meet. As stagnating wages continue making life difficult for the average worker, CEO salaries are skyrocketing. Trump and congressional Republicans exacerbated this situation with their tax scam that gives large, permanent tax breaks to corporations while leaving small businesses and working families with temporary crumbs. The foundation of a strong economy is not tax cuts for a select few, but investments in the American people that better prepare them for the 21st century economy and safeguard their needs.
I released a plan calling for a new NAFTA deal that raises wages and eliminates incentives for companies to outsource jobs. A renegotiated NAFTA must have strong, binding provisions that retain jobs here and hold corporations responsible for environmental destruction. Otherwise, corporations will continue to outsource US jobs, dump toxins in Mexico, and damage communities. Our largest and most important trade relationship is with Mexico and we must maintain it, albeit with fair and sustainable provisions. Trump rails against anything involving Mexico yet fails to recognize the importance of our economic relationship. Expanding economic opportunity in Mexico promotes a corresponding reduction in stress on our borders. For Trump to hold NAFTA hostage for a far-fetched political agenda involving walls, tariffs, and other demands on Mexico and Canada does nothing to shore up NAFTA and escalates a trade war that will deeply hurt Arizona and America.
I have consistently pushed my party to the forefront of embodying the democratic values that make our nation great. As the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for almost ten years, I’ve had various disagreements with party leadership and the previous administration over the best way to live up to our values. While all of us can agree that there are a litany of challenges that merit solutions, amongst our party we may disagree on those solutions. Even when it’s unpopular, I’ve supported bold policy reforms that will not just help our families survive, but thrive. Whether it’s expanding healthcare access to more people through Medicare For All or pushing back against bad trade deals that favor corporate interests over people, I’m never afraid to break with my party to do what’s best for my constituents.
Personal character and reputation are the foundation of establishing trust between elected officials and the people they serve. When the people of Arizona’s Third Congressional District send me to Washington, they expect me to stand for them, reflect their values, and fight for policies that empower them. I take this honor seriously and I wake up each day ready to represent my constituents in the best way possible and never sacrifice my values or beliefs in the process.
Robert F. Kennedy was a source of inspiration for me. His untimely assassination changed our history and we’re left with unanswered questions and unrealized aspirations about what could have been. One’s politics are never static. They change with us as we go through new experiences, meet new people, and experience periods of personal growth. When RFK changed as a person, his politics reflected this. He worked for the poor, pushed for a more equitable society, and sought tolerance and racial reconciliation. Unfortunately, our current political reality is quite the opposite. The ideals that RFK worked hard to embody are viewed as signs of weakness by the current administration. Values like tolerance, dignity, and a general desire to do what’s best for the American people are in short supply in the current White House. RFK represents the true strength of political leadership and the enduring need to do what’s right, not what’s politically expedient.
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