If you live in Arizona’s Legislative District 26, you have a very important vote to cast for State Senator this November. Candidate Cheryl Cage is running against the incumbent Al Melvin. With your vote for Cage you can have a hand in helping ensure the women of Arizona, in conjunction with their families and doctors, will retain the right to make their own health care decisions, rather than having our state legislature make decisions for them.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed Cheryl Cage because of her respect for women and her stand on the issues. As a volunteer with Planned Parenthood and a resident in LD 26, I’m very interested in knowing a candidate’s positions on women’s health and reproductive issues, so I asked Cheryl Cage questions about her positions.
Education is at the top of Cheryl Cage’s list of important issues, so I asked if this includes age-appropriate, medically-accurate sex education for the children of this state. Cage understands that “this information is vital for the physical and emotional health of a child.” Arizona has the second highest teen pregnancy rate in the country, yet no legislation supporting “real sex ed” has made it out of committee. With Cheryl Cage in our state senate, I believe comprehensive sex-ed classes stand a chance of being put in place and our state’s teens could be 50% less likely to become pregnant.
Of course education is closely tied to economic growth, another extremely important issue for all of us and for Cheryl Cage as well, since she owns a consulting firm for the career and technical training of professional pilots. “We must view public education as an investment, not simply an expense. An educated person is better able to make the best decisions for his or her personal and professional life, including family planning.” It’s clear she is the candidate who fully understands how education and family planning play a key role in the economic health of individuals, families and the state in general.
In addition to being endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Cheryl Cage has been endorsed by many other groups including Arizona List, the Arizona Women’s Political Caucus, and Las Adelitas.
Our current senator, Al Melvin, has been endorsed by the Center for Arizona Policy and Arizona Right to Life for his 100% anti-choice rating. Over the past two years, he has co-sponsored and supported some of the most restrictive legislation this state has ever seen. He has made it more and more difficult for women to exercise their legal rights, not only the right to make their own decisions about abortion, to to other areas as well, voting to extend the waiting period for a divorce from 60 to 180 days.
Cage however, has a different view about women’s abilities to think and make good decisions. She takes the position that “we must must continue to protect a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions. We must also work to ensure that individuals facing domestic violence have the tools to remove themselves from the situation. In addition, we must continue to pursue equal pay.”
This year the highly conservative state legislature (rather than the voters of Arizona) put Proposition 107 on the November ballot. This deceptively-titled “Civil Rights” proposition was originally introduced to Arizona by Ward Connerly of California in 2008. It never made it to the ballot that year because so many of the signatures were deemed fraudulent. This year the Arizona legislature, including Al Melvin, decided to bypass that stage and voted to put it on the ballots as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. If this wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing measure passes, funding for women and children’s programs could be at risk because under this proposition, such programs as Prevent Violence Against Women, Teen Parents, and Women in Science and Engineering could be considered discriminatory.
Proposition 107 is one more reason the citizens of Arizona need Cheryl Cage in office. She takes the position that she “will fight to the very end to make sure that funding for women’s and children’s programs remain healthy. NO one can move forward in their life until they are educated and feel safe in their home and community.”
If you live in LD 26, then I suggest you volunteer and vote for Cheryl Cage to help her win in November. If you don’t live in LD 26, then please encourage your friends and family members who do live in the area to find out more about her by visiting her web site: www.cageforazsenate.com — then all of you can volunteer together for this highly-qualified candidate.
Of course you can also volunteer with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona anytime. It’s very easy – just email firstname.lastname@example.org. I live in LD 26, and I want a senator who will work hand-in-hand with women, rather than one who seems determined to push us back.
If you’re unsure which district you live in, you can find out here.