Remember Fireside Chat? A radio show where President Roosevelt discussed issues facing the nation? Radio was so important in informing the people of the United States about what was going on. We have patterned Native Issues Conference, a series of hour-long radio programs reaching potential voters on rural reservations, after the power inherent in those fireside chats. In Arizona, keeping tribal members in touch with their elected leaders and informed about issues in Phoenix and Washington that affect them is crucial.
Though the Navajo Reservation is the size of West Virginia, radio station KTNN has enough towers to cover almost the entire area. The programs also reach Hopi and Apache listeners.
These are critical voters to engage because the Apaches vote more than 90% Democratic and the other major tribes are close to that same level. Democrats want the same things generally, access for the people to resources, healthcare, freedom to choose the way you want to live, care for elders by protecting Social Security, access to fair elections, a healthy and cared for planet. Keeping lines of
communication open. Keeping in touch is an important part of turning and keeping Arizona blue. Democrats won the state for Biden with 11,000 votes to spare. In the most recent election, Democrat Kris Mayes won the attorney general’s seat by 280 votes, in a state with more than 7 million people. Democrats Katie Hobbs and Adrian Fontes won governor and secretary of state by narrow margins as well.
I don’t want to indicate that Native Issues Conference did all of this alone. The Northeast Arizona Native Democrats do an excellent job canvassing the vast reservations and turning out the vote, but it’s fair to say the radio program is one of the most effective ways we help win Arizona elections. .
If you would like to contribute to the Arizona Native Victory Fund, please visit us at secure.actblue.com/... . If you prefer to send a check, you can mail to Native Arizona Victory Fund, c/o Eric Kramer, 1910 Douglas Fir Dr., Pinetop, AZ 85935. If you would like to hear some of our past programs, you can listen to them at www.buzzsprout.com/... or visit our website at nativearizonavictoryfund.com .
We started these programs because we would often hear the complaint that Democrats only come to the reservations during election time. That is of course not true, but perceptions are powerful. Having U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly regularly on the radio explaining what he is doing for Native voters is important in creating connections and understanding.
We start the campaign this cycle at a disadvantage. A gerrymandered redistricting resulted in the defeat of Rep. Tom O’Halleran, a strong champion of Native rights and needs. We now have Eli Crane, a know-nothing MAGA extremist from Prescott – a red city in western Arizona very far from eastern Arizona’s large reservations. Essentially, everything he knows he learned from Paul Gosar – which is saying something.
The DCCC has indicated they won’t be helpful in recovering this important seat. To win, we will need a lot of independents to see the light, as well as huge turnout on the reservations.
Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention, we need to beat ex-Democratic Sen. Kristin Sinema. Though there are many reasons for wanting to be rid of this turncoat, the recent bank failures are one of her major accomplishments. In exchange for cold hard cash, she voted with Republicans to undermine the solvency of regional banks. Yes, we will need a lot of Native votes in 2024.
You should hear from our friends at the Northeast Arizona Native Democrats next week. Thank you for what you do.
If you would like to contribute to the Arizona Native Victory Fund, please visit us at secure.actblue.com/... .