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5 Minutes for Families

  1. Difference Made! Lydia Vest 20-May-2016
  2. Unprecedented power grab threatens children's safety Lydia Vest 13-May-2016
  3. A Time to Pray: Wake Up America! Lydia Vest 06-May-2016
  4. Students, Privacy, and Bathrooms Lydia Vest 29-Apr-2016
  5. ICYMI Lydia Vest 22-Apr-2016

Action Alerts

  1. Protect_Our_Children Info AZ Policy 22 hours 59 mins ago
  2. Vote Yes on Prop 123 Today! Lydia Vest 17-May-2016
  3. It's Time to Vote! Lydia Vest 21-Apr-2016
  4. ACTION ALERT: Supreme Court Nomination Lydia Vest 15-Apr-2016
  5. Another Video - Make Your Voice Heard! Info AZ Policy 15-Sep-2015

Breaking News

  1. Gov. Ducey Signs Pro-Life Bills Lydia Vest 31-Mar-2016
  2. Phoenix City Council Reinstates Prayer on a 6-2 Vote Lydia Vest 23-Mar-2016
  3. Abortions Decrease 3.7% in Arizona Info AZ Policy 12-Oct-2015
  4. Gov. Ducey and A.G. Brnovich Respond to Planned Parenthood Video Info AZ Policy 20-Jul-2015
  5. Históricamente Trágico: La Corte Suprema Dice que las Mamás y los Papás No Son Necesarios Info AZ Policy 26-Jun-2015

Protect_Our_Children

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Take action to protect all Arizona students. Sign the petition urging elected officials to stand up for our children and our schools.

President Obama recently threatened to withhold education funding from every public school in America if they do not open all public school girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers to male students. This flies in the face of common sense and logic. Moreover, this extreme change was not debated and passed by Congress; rather it was decreed in dictator-like fashion by President Obama.

We are thankful that Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas have taken a stand by joining Texas and other states in a legal challenge against this bullying by the federal government. They are fighting for Arizona’s interests, ensuring that President Obama hears how Arizonans feel about boys in girls’ bathrooms.

We call on Governor Doug Ducey and all elected officials to take a bold stand against this extreme political agenda. In doing so, they will be joining a long list of respectable and courageous leaders throughout the country taking action on behalf of students. Parties to this lawsuit include:

State of Texas
Harrold Independent School District, TX
State of Alabama
State of Wisconsin
State of West Virginia
State of Tennessee
Arizona Department of Education
Heber-Overgaard School District, AZ
Paul LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, Pro Se
State of Oklahoma
State of Louisiana
State of Utah

Action Needed:

  1. Sign the petition urging Governor Doug Ducey and all Arizona elected officials to do everything in their power to keep our children safe. The petition also thanks Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas for standing up to the federal government.
  2. Forward this email to a friend and invite them to also sign the petition.
  3. Circulate the petition at your church and among your family and friends by printing off the PDF here! Our elected officials need to know how Arizonans and parents feel about boys in girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers.
  4. Pray! Pray that the legal efforts will be successful to protect our children, and pray that our elected officials will take a stand for our students.

Difference Made!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Progress often comes in small, but significant, steps. This legislative session, we enjoyed a series of steps on our journey to protect life and freedom. Lawmakers passed a record 15 CAP-supported measures – a true victory for Arizona families.

A step toward defunding Planned Parenthood

The budget passed by lawmakers and signed last week into law by Governor Ducey includes a provision that ends the deceitful practice by some clinics of overcharging taxpayers via the Medicaid system by up to ten times the amount for medication. Planned Parenthood not only admitted the move would have a “significant” effect, but went on to defend the practice of virtually stealing from taxpayers. A Planned Parenthood spokesperson was quoted as saying, “This is how billing has worked … everybody’s got their revenue streams. Everybody’s got to keep the lights on.” This budget item will defund the abortion giant by an estimated $200,000 a year.

Lawmakers also empowered the state to hold such violators accountable. Through the Taxpayer Protection and Medicaid Integrity Act, clinics that continue to overcharge Medicaid for drugs, fail to report the sexual assault of a minor, or fail to segregate taxpayer dollars from abortions can be removed from the Medicaid program altogether.

A second chance at life

Too many women have anguished over the decision to choose abortion. Few know that they can possibly reverse the effects of the abortion pill if they have taken only the first of the two-pill process. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers must now inform regretful women that the first pill is not always effective – something Planned Parenthood admits in court but has hidden from women in the past. Abortion clinics must also immediately refer the woman to a physician if she would like more information.

Dignity for the preborn

In one of the most significant steps, Governor Ducey signed an historic law prohibiting the sale, experimentation, and research of aborted remains in Arizona. Not on our watch will Planned Parenthood and other clinics be able to peddle tiny livers and other organs on the open market. The Center for Medical Progress videos pulled back the curtain for all to see the callous actions happening inside clinics. 

College: A place to speak freely

A student at Paradise Valley Community College simply wanted to hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution. Yet the bureaucrats said no. Thankfully, Arizona lawmakers responded by strengthening an already-existing law to ensure that blatantly illegal actions like this by school officials cannot continue. This measure also prohibited the creation of so-called “free speech zones” on public university and community college campuses.

More money for those in need

Another new law doubles the amount Arizonans can give through the state Charitable Tax Credit for organizations serving the working poor. Qualifying charities include many pregnancy resource centers, rescue missions, and substance abuse ministries like Teen Challenge. This means individuals can now contribute up to $400 a year and couples can give up to $800 a year while receiving a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Lawmakers also created a new and separate tax credit for foster care charities with limits of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples. This new credit will benefit agencies like Christian Family Care. 

These victories provide protections and freedoms, as well as encourage more care for the least among us. But they are also building blocks on which to grow as we fight for life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. We’re grateful to Gov. Ducey and the Arizona Legislature.

ICYMI – Latest News & Articles of Interest 

  • Center for Arizona Policy released its Family Issues Voting Records! Check them out here and see how your legislators voted on key life, marriage and family, and religious freedom issues.
  • Prop 123 was too close to call election night but the education funding measure seems to have prevailed. Governor Ducey claimed victory late Thursday.

Vote Yes on Prop 123 Today!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Your vote in today’s Special Election makes a difference! Special Elections often have a lower turnout compared to other elections, making every vote even more important.

Center for Arizona Policy recommends a YES vote on Prop 123. To read our statement, click here.

Our longstanding position at CAP has been to support parents in the educational decision they deem best for their children. We advocate for an Arizona where school choice options are robust, offering parents a wide variety of educational options. Robust school choice depends on quality options for public, charter, private, homeschool, and online educational opportunities.

In order for your vote to be counted – ballots must be received by TONIGHT at 7 p.m. That means if you still have your mail-in ballot, you should NOT drop it in the mail. Instead, drop it off at any polling location.

Action Needed

  • Go to the polls to vote! Find your polling location here.
  • Forward this email to a friend and invite them to vote in this Special Election.
  • Pray! Pray for school choice to continue to be robust in Arizona so that parents can choose what is best for their children.

Let your voice make a difference! Make sure your vote counts today!

Unprecedented power grab threatens children's safety

Friday, May 13, 2016

President Obama’s administration has issued a sweeping mandate to all public schools in the nation, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. See below for my statement on this extreme overreach from the federal government. Center for Arizona Policy will continue to take a stand against any directive that places the privacy and safety of our children at risk.

PHOENIX – “The government has a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students. We will not put a price tag on the privacy and safety of schoolgirls. That is exactly what the Obama administration is doing by threatening to withhold federal funding if we do not conform to an extreme political agenda that opens all public school girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms to male students.

Contrary to what President Obama would like, Americans do not elect a king every four years. Yet that is what the current president is trying to assert with today’s edict that seeks to go back in time and unilaterally amend a 44 year-old law to say that the word “sex” actually means “gender identity.” No one, certainly not the lawmakers who wrote the law, was talking about gender identity 44 years ago.

Think about the many girls who are victims of sexual assault or come from unsafe backgrounds – are we going to disregard their fears, putting them in a position to be re-traumatized? A society that rails against campus rape, teaches “no means no,” and fights a “war on women” – shouldn’t be putting those women in vulnerable situations.

Today’s mandate is completely unnecessary. There are common sense accommodations than can be made instead of reverting to an extreme and dangerous approach.

This is a fight that didn’t need to be fought. The government should not be taking sides when it comes to the safety and welfare of our children. It is incumbent upon our schools to reject the extreme political agenda of an over-reaching federal government and use commonsense measures to protect every single student entrusted to them.

I call on all elected officials and public school administrators to stand against this dictator-like move and tell President Obama that his values do not represent Arizona values. Please join me in reaching out to local school administrators and other public officials to ensure children’s safety remains the priority.”

ICYMI – Latest News & Articles of Interest

A Time to Pray: Wake Up America!

Friday, May 06, 2016

Millions of Americans gathered yesterday to observe the annual National Day of Prayer. The rallying cry – Wake Up America – rang throughout the nation.

The 2016 National Day of Prayer verse is Isaiah 58:1a, “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” The chapter goes on to highlight God’s call to come to him in reverence and humility, to bow our heads in submission to him. When we do, he promises to answer us – to answer, “Here I am” when we cry out to him.

This is a time to cry out to a holy God. Seek His forgiveness and mercy. Acknowledge that He is sovereign over the affairs of men. 

As we face uncertain times in a tumultuous election year, we have many praises to make and many prayer requests to offer.  

Take time to pray without ceasing, especially between now and November 8.

Pray for: 

  • A grateful heart for all of God’s provisions.
  • A nation that turns from its wicked ways and once again acknowledges God.
  • For those in authority over us – our elected officials and their families, both in Arizona and Washington D.C.
  • Wisdom and guidance for the presidential election and all offices up this election cycle.
  • For all to be free to live and work according to their beliefs.
  • For mothers to choose life for their preborn children.
  • For a culture of marriage between one man and one woman to be rebuilt in our land.

ICYMI – Latest News & Articles of Interest 

Students, Privacy, and Bathrooms

Friday, April 29, 2016

Note: At this writing, the Arizona Legislature is working to pass the state budget. Our Policy Team is at the Capitol, advocating for several measures still under consideration. Look for a full recap of CAP’s legislative priorities in the coming weeks.

You’ve seen the news – the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals supposedly held that public schools must permit boys or men who claim to be girls to use the girls’ bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms and vice-versa.

But not so fast. Neither the Fourth Circuit nor any other court has actually ruled like some would have you believe.

In a narrow, limited court decision, the Fourth Circuit only ruled that the lower court should give deference to the federal Department of Education’s radical position that the term “sex” in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 refers to an individual’s subjective belief of his/her gender identity. But the court also sent the case back to the lower court to hear additional evidence and determine whether the school must allow the student in this case to use the opposite-sex restroom. This 2-1 decision is an outlier decision that included a strong dissent by Judge Neimeyer (the dissent begins on page 45 at this link).

This court action results from the efforts by the Obama Administration and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) activists to reinterpret federal laws banning discrimination on the basis of one’s sex or gender to also prohibit discrimination on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

This reinterpretation, as well as the passage of so-called non-discrimination laws in cities, defies common sense. These policies violate students’ basic rights to privacy and safety, particularly when they are in vulnerable situations at school and away from the care of their parents.

Any safety and privacy policy should respect the needs of all children. Schools should craft policies that are both respectful of the privacy concerns of all children and sensitive to the diverse needs of individual children. No child should be forced into an intimate setting — like a restroom or locker room — with another child of the opposite sex.

Expect More. Shop Somewhere Else.

Then there’s the news that the retailer Target will “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity… Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”

Sadly, we’ve heard from a number of families who used to enjoy shopping at Target but will no longer shop at Target because of concern for the privacy and safety of their children and moms.

Target’s move to adopt this radical and extreme policy represents capitulating to political correctness at its worst. If you feel strongly about making a statement against such action, we encourage you to join the nearly 1 million Americans who have signed American Family Association’s boycott Target campaign. See below for more details.

Action Items:

  • If you wish to join the boycott against Target, click here. To send a note to Target management, click here.

ICYMI – Latest News and Articles of Interest

ICYMI

Friday, April 22, 2016

The week has been full of newsworthy stories that I wanted to share with you. Each day seems to bring a major development or important article pertaining to the issues of life, marriage & family, and religious freedom.

Rather than be discouraged by the daily onslaught of news stories showing a culture in disarray and lacking common sense, let me encourage you to not grow weary in well doing. Keep the faith! Each of us can be the difference by advocating for the truth in a winsome and persuasive way.

Read on for some of the latest updates you don’t want to miss…

College kids say the darndest things 

In a world swirling with uncertainty about the certain information of one’s own gender – check out this video produced by our allied organization in Washington state. The video has gone viral.

Feds warn states against defunding Planned Parenthood 

This past Tuesday, the federal Department of Health and Human Services issued a letter to warn states against defunding Planned Parenthood. They specified, “[S]tates may not deny qualification to family planning providers, or take other action against qualified family planning providers … solely because they separately provide family planning services or the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care, including abortion services.”

However, what the letter also touched on – but is not receiving much media attention – is the acknowledgement by the Obama administration that states are permitted to establish reasonable standards relating to the qualifications of providers. In line with this authority under federal law, the Arizona legislature is currently considering the CAP-supported Taxpayer Protection and Medicaid Integrity Act (HB 2599). This common sense bill assures that Arizona is empowered to take action against providers that abuse taxpayer trust in Arizona’s Medicaid program. No provider is targeted by this bill, and no provider will be automatically disqualified if it is passed. 

Read more about this purely political display by the Obama administration by clicking here.

Federal Court: Schools may not provide separate bathrooms based on biology

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a Virginia school district that sought to accommodate a transgender student while also protecting the privacy rights of other students.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Niemeyer correctly states, “This holding completely tramples on all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes.”

Read Ryan T. Anderson’s response here.

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issues statement on religious freedom legislation

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a statement on Monday to strongly condemn recent legislation to protect religious freedom in states such as North Carolina and Mississippi. 

Read the Alliance Defending Freedom’s response, explaining the necessity of such laws, here. 

Don’t Forget…

The CAP Family Dinner with Brit Hume is less than two weeks away and tickets are still available! For more information and to purchase your tickets, click here.



It's Time to Vote!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Early voting for the May 17 Special Election begins today. Early ballots have been mailed out.

Special Elections often have a lower turnout compared to other elections, making every vote even more important.

To read our statement in support of Prop 123, click here.

Our longstanding position at CAP has been to support parents in the educational decision they deem best for their children. We advocate for an Arizona where school choice options are robust, offering parents a wide variety of educational options. Robust school choice depends on quality options for public, charter, private, homeschool, and online educational opportunities.

Action Needed

  • Vote! Mail in your ballot by May 10 or go to the polls on May 17.
  • Forward this email to a friend and invite them to vote in this Special Election.
  • Pray! Pray for school choice to continue to be robust in Arizona so that parents can choose what is best for their children.

Don’t let your voice be silenced! Make sure your vote counts this election!

ACTION ALERT: Supreme Court Nomination

Friday, April 15, 2016

Since President Obama announced his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, immense pressure has been building for the U.S. Senate to cave and simply vote to confirm President Obama’s hand-picked nominee. For those that support life, marriage and family, and religious freedom, a move like this by the Senate would have catastrophic results.

Despite the wild claims being made by extremists and some in the media, it would also be “unprecedented for a Supreme Court justice to be confirmed under a divided government during a term-limited president’s final year in office.” Rather, replacing Justice Scalia and potentially shaping the ideological divide of the court for decades should rightfully be decided after the American people have spoken in this election.

Thankfully, both Senator John McCain and Jeff Flake have issued statements noting their opposition to any action by the Senate on President Obama’s nominee. These courageous stands deserve our thanks and appreciation.

In addition to deserving our thanks, it is imperative that we continue to ask the Senators to stand firm in their resolve. This week, Senator Jeff Flake is expected to meet with Judge Garland for what is believed to be a courtesy visit. Although Senator Flake has not given any signals that he is wavering in his position, it is crucial that he, along with Senator McCain, hears from Arizona constituents so that they know we stand with them.

Action Needed:

  1. Contact your Senators, thank them for their public statements in opposition to any Senate action, and ask them to continue to stand firm.
  2. Forward this email to a friend and invite them to also contact Senator McCain and Senator Flake.
  3. Pray! Pray that the Senate will ensure the people are heard and wait until after the presidential election to confirm the next justice.

Vote Yes on Prop 123

Friday, April 15, 2016

At Center for Arizona Policy, our longstanding policy has been to support parents in the educational decision they deem best for their children. We advocate for an Arizona where school choice options are robust, offering parents a wide variety of quality educational options.

Whether the parents choose homeschooling, private schools, charter schools, public schools, or online education, our heart and goal is to support parents in their educational choice. We avoid making a “value” statement as to what that decision should be – it is between the parents and God as to what is best for their children and their family.

A robust school choice environment only happens if every school choice option is worthy of parents’ consideration. Passage of Prop 123 is a necessary step for those who favor school choice as well as those who support our local public schools.

Today, I encourage you to join me in voting Yes for Proposition 123.

Proposition 123 accomplishes the following educational goals:

  • Provides needed additional funding for Arizona’s K-12 public schools without raising taxes.
  • Directly benefits students by increasing classroom spending.
  • Helps retain quality teachers by providing the needed resources.
  • Settles a years-long lawsuit on public school educational funding that, absent this settlement, means prolonged litigation with a high likelihood of raised taxes.

The additional funding comes from the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund. A key purpose of the trust is to provide education funding. Prop 123 increases the distribution from the trust without jeopardizing future generations. You can read more about this important measure here.

In encouraging a Yes vote for Prop 123, we stand with legislative leaders who stand with us on life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. We stand with Governor Ducey who stands with us in support of robust school choices for all Arizonans. These leaders have examined all the issues surrounding Prop 123, and have resoundingly concluded that Prop 123 is worthy of a Yes vote!


Key Election Dates – Mark Your Calendars

April 18          Voter Registration Deadline to vote in the May 17 Special Election. Register to vote here. 

April 20          Early Balloting Begins for the May 17 Special Election.

May 17           Special Election Day on Prop 123 and Prop 124.

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