Miranda Lopez: Redistricting is #1 Challenge for Democrats

Redistricting in Arizona is expected to break up Democratic powerhouse LD9, but also to change Republican-held LD11, according to Miranda Lopez, the Director of the Pima County Democratic Party. She spoke at the July 5, 2021, meeting of Democrats of Greater Tucson.

Miranda Lopez started as the new Director for the Pima County Democratic Party in March. She graduated from the UA in Tucson in 2018. Miranda worked in 2018 as a Democratic organizer in Flagstaff, and in 2020 as a regional organizing director.
After the election, she returned to the PCDP as the Operations Coordinator and was promoted to Director.

The Independent Redistricting Commission hasn’t drawn lines yet, but it will by August when it receives new census data. Its work may not be finalized until 2022.

“Redistricting is a great unknown factor that will affect everything we do,” Lopez said. “What I have been hearing is that LD9 [the Foothills] is the most likely to be broken up. I’m sure LD11 [Oro Valley] will change. The demographics are hopefully going to change because it’s just one of those areas that we’ve never quite been able to get ahold of.”

On the plus side, blue Pima County had an 82% voter turnout in 2020, propelling Democrats to flip the US Presidency, a US Senate seat, the Pima Sheriff, and a Pima Supervisor seat by only 730 votes.

There were also setbacks in 2020. Democrats lost the State Rep. seat in LD4, the legislature enacted voter-suppression laws, the county party has lost funding since 2019, and unions have stopped donating to the party because US Senator Kirsten Sinema is pro-filibuster (effectively halting the Biden agenda).

Preparing for 2022

Working to flip the Republican legislature to Democratic, the County Party is working with the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC). Democrats are only four seats away from a majority — two seats in each chamber. Lopez said that she expects there will be 18-19 open positions in the state legislature in 2022, and the party is already recruiting candidates.

Lopez said she is also coordinating with the State Party’s Mission for Arizona (formerly the “coordinated campaign.”) “I firmly believe that this year is going to be really different. The people who are involved are just some of the most hard-working people that I know personally. They know that it’s really important that they are the ones who take responsibility for providing those resources and not just coming in and taking over and then not giving us anything,” she said.

Democrats can support a blue wave in 2022 in four ways:

  • Become a precinct committee person. The county party aims to recruit 20 new PCs per month.
  • Volunteer now to make calls to voters. Shifts are 90 minutes long, and volunteers are asked to make a total of 40 dials at the County Party headquarters at 4639 E. First St., Tucson, AZ 85711. Shifts run from 4-6 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Contact Miranda at director@pimadems.org or call (520) 326-3716.
  • Become a sustaining donor at $3 per day. In other words, donating $83 per month will support PCDP and make you a member of the Catalina Dems.
  • Buy a ticket to the Yes We Can climate action fundraiser on July 17, featuring renowned climate scientist Michael Mann, a Professor at Penn State University.

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