Former middle school teacher Nathan Davis said he will focus on education, climate change and abortion if elected to the Arizona state House from LD9. He spoke at the October 4, 2021, meeting of Democrats of Greater Tucson.

“I believe we have the best chance that we’ve had in a while to retake the state legislature,” he said. Democrats need to win two more seats in the house and two more in the Senate to have a majority. Meanwhile, “Republicans can do something crazy. They have crazy ideas and even the majority of the Republicans think the ideas are crazy,” he said.

He is running for the seat held for the last seven years by Dr. Randy Friese, who announced he will step down to practice medicine sometime in November. Davis is seeking the nomination by the Pima County Supervisors to fill the House seat during the interim, and seek his own election in 2022.

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Democratic Pima Supervisor “Rex Scott provided the best example of how we reach out to everyone we possibly can. He was able to take a district that voted twice for (Republican) Allie Miller and was able to win,” Davis said.

Education

“Every child in Arizona deserves a high-quality public education from preschool to college, regardless of their parents’ wealth, or where they live. That is foundational that is core to my beliefs. And it’s unfortunate that Arizona has failed in this mission,” he said.

Davis called for crucial reforms, including:

  • Free high-quality preschool.
  • Investment in K-12 education.
  • Affordable post-secondary education.
  • Better pay for teachers. “I think a very simple thing we could do is say we’re going to pay our teachers like we pay our police and other public servants.”
  • Keep state university tuition “nearly free as possible,” as the Arizona constitution states. “Arizona students should not have to fork out a mortgage to get a bachelor’s degree,” Davis said.

“If you want to go teach at schools in Tucson, you’ll make about $40,000 your first year, and you’ll make $900 more your next year,” he said. “If you teach in rural Southern Illinois, you’ll start out making about the same about $40,000. But every year, you get $1,500 more, and that continues until you end your career making $80,000. If you’re in Chicago, you’ll start around $60,000 and you’ll end your career making in the low $100,000s.”

Climate change

“We’re in trouble because the people in power are not thinking about the future,” he said. Davis said that once elected he would focus on prevention and mitigation to fight climate change.

“Prevention means we must be at 100% renewable energy,” he said. “The support for 100% renewables is there. Even the polluters today are agreed that we need to move towards 100% renewables, GM has said that they are moving to an all-electric fleet within two decades.” He called for sustainable, greener agriculture, taking advantage of Arizona’s sunny climate, and investments in renewable energy production, manufacturing, and research.

“It’s time that we start electing candidates who listen to scientists and not the fossil fuel lobbyists,” he said.

Climate mitigation involves reducing the negative effects of global warming, such as Phoenix’s investment in greener, cooler, pavement.

Abortion

“Let me be clear,” Davis said. “If Republicans control the Arizona House and Senate, and Governor after the 2022 election, they will eliminate abortion care in Arizona.” He said that once Texas pass an abortion ban, Republicans in the Arizona legislature started talking about passing a similar law.

“The Arizona legislature must act to protect our privacy rights, our right to control our body and ensure legal access to abortion care in our state by codifying the Roe v. Wade decision into state law. We can’t just stop at protecting legal access to abortion. We must improve access to contraception, to reproductive health care, to comprehensive age-appropriate sex education.

Davis concluded with a warning: “The Republicans have a lot of money, mostly from out of town and from out of state, and they’re willing to spend as much as possible.”