PPAA volunteer with Rep. Raul Grijalva
This summer I had the awesome opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., with Emily Herrell, PPAZ advocacy coordinator, and three other students for the annual Planned Parenthood Youth Conference. We spent three days in the city going to workshops, meeting other activists and listening to speakers like Cecile Richards and Jon Lewis.
The experience was especially valuable to me as the newly elected University of Arizona VOX chapter president. In one workshop I got to meet other VOX leaders and we bounced event ideas and strategies to increase membership off of each other. While there are some pro-choice groups on my campus, it’s rare for us as activists to be able to connect with other than Planned Parenthood student volunteers. I was relieved to find that most VOX leaders struggled with the same problems (i.e. membership) that we do at the UA. Continue reading
Opponents of choice and reproductive rights are always ready with inflammatory statements and divisive rhetoric, but there’s one candidate who’s taking her extremism to a new level. Ruth McClung, who’s challenging long-time progressive champion Congressman Raúl Grijalva, told a community forum a few weeks ago that she can’t support a local job training program because it has “extensive ties” to Planned Parenthood, and as someone who’s “extremely pro-life,” she just has too many concerns. Click here to watch a video of Ruth McClung in her own words.
The program is called JobPath, and it’s modeled on the extremely successful Project Quest in San Antonio. JobPath has been training workers for the Pima County area for more than 20 years, and it’s roundly hailed as a boon to the local economy. Ruth McClung is opposing job training in Southern Arizona because she’s too anti-choice. (No wonder Sarah Palin endorsed McClung a few days ago.) It’s a strange position, even in this strange election year. Continue reading