Crossposted from BloForArizona.net (Update Available!)

Original Post by David Gordon

Dr. Jill Biden is an exceptional spokesperson for her husband, the 2020 Democratic Presumptive Presidential Nominee.

On Thursday, May 14, 2020, the former Second Lady of the United States met and talked with Arizona Democratic Activists and Educators in two Thursday afternoon virtual group events.

In an earlier morning virtual session, Dr. Biden held an event with Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and other Latina leaders.

The two-afternoon events centered on virtual campaigning and education. Both began with introductory videos of Dr. Biden promoting the needs for inclusiveness, unity, and social justice.

Virtual Organizing Event

Arizona Democratic Party Chairperson Felecia Rotellini introduced Dr. Biden at the first virtual event, noting:

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm here that has built since our 2018 wins and we know we can turn this state blue if we focus on the issues that matter to Arizonans: Arizonans want affordable, accessible, health care – Trump has said he wants to terminate health care, even while we are in the middle of this pandemic. “
“Arizonans believe in investing in public schools – Not ripping dollars away like Secretary DeVos would have us do.”
“Arizonans want an economy that works for everyone – right this country has the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression and half a million Arizonans have filed for unemployment.”
“Arizonans want their leaders to defend Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – Trump’s budget calls for cutting these programs.”
“Arizonans want to protect our DACA kids. There are roughly 25,000 DACA recipients in Arizona who are stuck in limbo because of this President.”
“And Arizonans know we must address the climate crisis – COVID-19 is a major emergency that will have a lasting impact on our lives, but the threats posed by the climate crisis will be even worse. We need to act now.”
“Like Arizonans, the Bidens understand these issues and have the right plans to fix them. They are experienced leaders, which we need more than ever.”
“Like Arizonans, the Bidens understand these issues and have the right plans to fix them. They are experienced leaders, which we need more than ever. Arizonans recognize that and, the truth is, Dr. Biden and her husband have a special relationship with Arizona that Trump just cannot match.”
“Arizonans remember the Vice President’s eulogy for the Granite Mountain Hotshots in Prescott Valley, Arizona, and they remember him speaking at Senator McCain’s memorial service. He and Jill are well respected in Arizona, and that’s why the Vice President is winning here. This country needs a return to common sense, a return to civility, and most importantly a return to compassion and empathy — the Bidens are offering that and that’s why we need them in the White House.”
Dr. Biden then delivered remarks to the attendees.

While acknowledging that this was not the campaign she and her husband expected to run, she expressed enthusiasm for “trying something new” (virtual campaigning.)

Biden then expressed concern for everyone “on the frontlines” battling the Coronavirus, saying “the heart of this nation still beats with kindness and courage.”

She then railed against the divisiveness encouraged by the current administration and the gaps in health care, wealth, education, and opportunity that “has been amplified by COVID but it existed before.”

Dr. Biden followed this up by stating:

“We want to lift each other up and keep everyone safe. We are not united by what we hate but we love. Picture a future where the headline is not about a late-night tweetstorm but it is how the United States is once again a leader of the world addressing health crisis.”

She then talked about specific policy proposals like universal preschool and the renegotiation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

She finished by commenting:

“… (Imagine) When the tv shows the President, you don’t turn the channel. (Imagine) Someone who brings people together instead of tearing them apart and having the forethought about preparing the worst. Joe will be that steady leader but he needs help. Call to action to volunteer and be part of the campaign.”

After the former Second Lady answered some questions where she reinforced the need to work together, “choose hope over cynicism,” the ability “to build a better nation if we work together,” and repeated her admiration for frontline workers like pharmacists, grocers, and health care workers, the event transitioned to Gaby Cascone, the National Training Director who spent the remainder of the session advising attendees how they could spread the campaign and its message virtually.

Ms. Cascone continually emphasized to attendees to go to Joe Biden.com/organize now for assistance after the introductory training.

Maintaining that we have to be one united team virtually, Cascone emphasized the need to:

  • Thoughtfully engage supporters (through hosting or attending virtual events for example) and get out the vote.
  • Talking to key audiences (by making community calls to neighbors for example) and get out the vote.
  • Need to identify new and current volunteer leaders who can create unified teams.
  • Building an organization that will persuade key voters in key states like Arizona and “using these actions to grow together. This is how we expand the network of supporters and volunteers.”She also referred students to the site joe.link/students to see how they could help the campaign.

She used examples of Biden team efforts in Wisconsin like making facemasks or holding community bake sales as ways of reaching out to communities.

Educator Roundtable

Dr. Biden’s last virtual Arizona event centered on meeting with Arizona educators and discussing the needs of students, teachers, and staff during the Coronavirus and normal times.

After an introductory video that broadcast the thought-provoking quote calling “A country that out educates us will outcompete us” emphasized the Biden’s commitment to an education system where quality is not dependent on “zip code, demographics, or a parents income,” the former Second Lady was introduced by Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas.

Dr. Biden, a community college instructor, was clearly in her element in this session, empathically connecting with the educators who voiced concerns for their students and the needs for schools and districts going forward in any post-pandemic scenario.

The concerns expressed by educators centered on:

  • Technology (laptops or broadband) and supply (art for example) inequities including student access to it and the need to give instructors professional development to meet the likely new normal of staggered schedules and blended learning when children return in the fall.
  • Student attendance because of the Pandemic where it is sporadic in some cases because of the lack of technology access (either a device or broadband.)
  • Helping children meet the emotional and social strain caused by the virus.
  • Appropriately adjusting curriculum and pacing to make up for the lost learning time.

It should be noted that no instructor, in the time I attended this roundtable, said anything about their salaries, still ranked at the bottom of the country. That is a testament to their commitment to the children and the profession. 

Dr. Biden praised the teachers for working and adjusting through this period of confusion and inequity, saying “we just have to push ourselves through it.” She agreed with all the concerns expressed by the attending educators and conveyed that “teachers are the glue to moving the nation’s children forward.”

She also emphasized that her husband, should he become President, would champion education programs that would:

  • Double the number of school psychologists and counselors.
  • Expand broadband throughout the country.
  • Increase funding for schools.
  • Provide for arts and music.
  • Free Community College.

Readers should note that if nothing else matters, the Bidens will pursue policies that benefit all children. They will definitely not pick winners and losers like the current President and his vile Secretary of Education who has been steering stimulus funds to favored private and religious educational institutions.

The Biden Administration will, in all likelihood, not do that.

For more information on Joe Biden and his candidacy, please click on his website here and his Facebook Page here.

Please remember to:

Turn out and vote on November 3, 2020.

Register/sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) in Arizona or any state that allows early or absentee balloting and mail. Arizona residents can sign up at servicearizona.com

Arizona residents, mail your General Election ballot by October 28, 2020, for the November 3, 2020 election.

Check-in with the Secretary of State’s office where you live to verify your mail-in ballot was received, processed, verified, and counted.

Know the voter ID requirements in your state.

If you can, support Clean Election Candidates with a small contribution.

Also, please remember to stay informed on all the candidates and vote for all the offices on the ballot.

Also, remember to research all the ballot initiatives, sign to get them on the ballot if you support the measure, and vote on them as well.

Remember Election Day is on November 3. 2020.