Encourage your lawmakers and others to make sure initiatives and referenda, and any communications from elected officials should be in clear language, understandable to all, and should be disseminated in a way that is accessible to everyone regardless of language barriers or disabilities. For articles about the current propositions, lawmakers and other Arizona political news visit Arizona Capitol Times or The Arizona Republic’s political columns.
If you would like to support the ability of people to providing testimony and addressing issues at the state legislature and other governmental bodies without having to physically register in Phoenix at the State Capitol and instead do so over the Internet, invite your legislator to advocate for this.
Advocate for government officials to be more proactive in seeking feedback from their constituents including utilizing means such as email, websites, blogging, social media and interactive television to solicit information from and to communicate with constituents and other members of the public. Include diversifying meeting places and timesevening hours. This will also support hearing from broader geographic regions and involve rural community voices more appropriately.
Encourage government to make more substantive efforts to bring lower socioeconomic communities into the dialogue, as well as implement ways to earn the trust of traditionally underrepresented groups such as the Hispanic community, the LGBT community,and senior citizens.
Local governments should encourage “Citizen Academies” to provide civic engagement skills, urge continuing active recruitment of those graduates, and create “Citizen Task Forces” to allow for greater dialogue on public policy issues. Opportunities to grow your skills can be explored through a number of groups, including:
People would trust government officials more if there were greater transparency and more moderate voices in politics. To ensure that moderates are better represented in Arizona, the following efforts can be supported:
Learn more about term limits for Arizona lawmakers. Once greatly touted, they are now viewed as having a negative impact upon the quality of political representation because when an elected official has a grasp on an issue or the process itself, his or her term is up and seeking re-election may be prohibited. Further, term limits provide lobbyists with a disproportionate amount of influence because they may be the main “constant players.”
To make better informed decisions on the issues and candidates, visit nonpartisan organizations that share information with the public in an unbiased manner. Some resources include: