Candidate for Arizona Statehouse, Legislative District 10

Photo_1_of_Kirsten_Smaller_File.jpgGreetings southern Arizonans!  My name is Kirsten Engel, and after years of working for progres­sive causes, I am running to be your representative in the Arizona State House. Please let me take this moment to introduce myself to you. 

I am running for the 2016 open seat in Arizona’s Legislative District 10, following incumbent Bruce Wheeler’s decision to not run in the next election.  Please join me so we can make Arizona’s future better. 

My husband and I moved to Tucson in 2005 with our baby daughter, now in 5th grade in Tucson’s Unified School District.  We came here to teach at the University of Arizona – myself in environmental law, and my husband in biology – and to put down roots for our new family. 

Sadly, while we were investing in Arizona by teaching our students and raising our family, Arizona’s own State Legisla­ture was not.  When I learned that Arizona ranked 49th in per pupil funding nationwide, I knew I had to speak out. My family stands with me in this effort.

I support education for our children and to provide opportunity for working families.

I am dismayed by our State’s failure to adequately support our children’s education.  I cannot accept it as normal for kids to be sent home with lists of needed classroom supplies and for teachers to beg for donated band instruments.  By seemingly every measure, our investments in our children – the future of Arizona – are near the bottom.  Is it any surprise that Arizona is among the worst in the country for educational achievement? 

In 2015 our Legislature passed the deepest cuts to higher education in the nation – $99 million taken from our world-class Universities, with Arizona’s community colleges cut to ZERO.  These cuts threaten the future of our children, and of our economy.  What business wants to move to a state that balances its budget on the backs of its schools and universities?

I support development of clean energy for our environmental and economic future.

Here in the desert Southwest we face some of the biggest risks brought by a changing climate: increasing wildfires, drought, sky-high temperatures. But our biggest environmental challenge is also Arizona’s biggest economic opportunity.  With 250 days of sunshine a year, Arizona has the foundation for a new high-tech economic boom in clean renewable energy.  Let’s invest in clean energy to grow Arizona’s economy and protect our environment at the same time!

Can I count on your support? 

Our community must work together to hire and keep skilled, qualified teachers.  We must decide that investing in clean energy and renewable markets is the smartest way to provide good paying jobs and a better tomorrow for our children. 

I am reaching out to tell you that I will work hard to advance these goals, and to ask for your support. Please feel free to contact me with your concerns about our future, or advice what we can do about them.

Thank you for your support!