by Ann Kirkpatrick
Suffice to say, last week was a challenging one for our community. The tragic, heartless, and unjust murder of George Floyd led to a nationwide outcry — an outcry sadly not unfamiliar to us. There is systemic racism still embedded in our country’s fabric, and more must be done to address it. I released a statement last week in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. I am committed to listening and educating myself on how to be a better ally.
On the global pandemic front, case numbers have been rising in Arizona. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed Arizonans and thousands who are ill. Many are facing immense adversities — like not being able to pay rent, put food on the table, get tested, or see their loved ones who might be living in nursing homes. I wrote a letter to Governor Ducey weeks ago, and still have not heard back. Last week, I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to HHS and CMS demanding more transparency on how they are working to increase testing, protection, safety, and accountability within nursing homes. I am alarmed at the statistics regarding coronavirus in Arizona nursing homes. We need answers.
I also wrote to ICE regarding the inhumane conditions in which COVID-19 is spreading at the La Palma detention center in Eloy, AZ. The situation is escalating and the letters from detainees describe the appalling conditions they are in. I have yet to hear back.
Legislation & Letters
Bills and Resolutions that I signed onto last week:
- H. Res. 988: Resolution condemning police brutality
- Resolution calling for the establishment of Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Commission
- H.R. 40: Establishment of a commission to study and develop reparations proposals
Letters I sent with colleagues:
- A letter to ICE and CBP asking for details of recent reports of ICE and CBP deployments at protests
- A letter to Congressional Leadership asking to include provisions to support the clean energy industry in future COVID packages
- A letter to Trump explicitly rebuking any calls for resumption of explosive nuclear weapons testing, as has been discussed within the administration
If there is any legislation you’d like for me to support, please feel free to let me know by sending me an e-mail.
I have been conducting a Weekly Taskforce meeting on COVID-19 to communicate, engage, and inform stakeholders in the community on issues related to the pandemic and its impact in Southern Arizona.
My office has begun highlighting AZ-02 residents who are doing great things in our community. This week’s “AZ-02 Hero Highlights” include: Audry De La Rosa, Diana Alarcon-Amado, and Spencer Couturier. Check them out on our social media!
We recently hit the $2 million mark in recovered funds for our constituents! I am very proud of our caseworkers for their diligence and hard work for AZ-02. Last week, our caseworkers were also able to recover a tax refund in the amount of $8,108.34 from the IRS due to a delay. As a reminder, caseworkers are still ready and available to assist you with navigating a federal agency.
In closing, as Congress continues to assess and respond to our developing health crisis, I am committed to remaining accessible to my constituents. If you would like to share your experience or thoughts with me, I encourage you to do so by clicking the “E-Mail” tab at the top of the newsletter. For immediate updates, follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
Most importantly, my staff and I are here to assist you. There are Arizona-specific COVID-19 resources and information on my website. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.
Remember: Arizonans are resilient. We persevere and rise up to challenges — no matter the difficulty. We will get through this and emerge stronger on the other side.