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Hopi, Navajo, Apache Work With DuVal, Goddard, Rotallini To Solve Problems
Caption David Garcia, center with hand on chin, candidate for superintendent of public instruction, meets with tribal members, school superintendents and teachers, as conference co-host Dawnafe Whitesinger (standing) looks on.
Native American Issues Conference in Winslow
Hopis, Navajos and Apaches worked with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal and others on Friday to develop solutions to problems ranging from jobs to reservation roads.
Other candidates attending the Northeast Arizona Native American Issues Conference included Terry Goddard, secretary of state; Felecia Rotallini, attorney general; David Garcia, superintendent of public instruction; Jim Holway, corporation commission; and candidates for the Legislature.
County officials from Navajo, Apache and Coconino counties participated in the discussions. The event at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow was chaired by Navajo County Supervisors Dawnafe Whitesinger and Jesse Thompson, the board chairman.
“The cuts are over – not another dime,” said DuVal in addressing education funding. He added that he does not support further taxes because two decades of tax cuts have not encouraged economic growth in Arizona.
DuVal decried raids on gasoline tax revenues which have reduced investment in roads and highways. He mentioned that Arizona needs “smart people” as a resource to bring jobs into the state. He also pledged to create a cabinet-level Tribal Relations office to make sure Native Americans have a voice at a high level within state government.
Goddard said the Secretary of State should not be sitting on $10 million in Help America Vote money, but should be using it to get Native Americans involved in the election process. “If we can move these numbers up, we can have a very different Arizona.”
Rotallini promised to return the attorney general’s office “to its core mission of prosecuting criminals and protecting Arizona families.” She added, “The job of the Attorney General is to keep Arizonans safe.” She pledged to fight consumer fraud, senior fraud, white collar fraud and work for child protection and to fight human traffickers and sex trafficking. Rotallini promised to work very closely with tribes. “What is sacred to you is sacred to me,” she said.
Whitesinger introduced the “Intertribal Cup” a contest among the tribes for the best voter registration and voter turnout numbers. Based on the 2012 election cycle, Navajos are leading with 68% of the population registered and 47% voting. White Mountain Apache are second with 50% registered and 48% turnout.
Also speaking at the conference were Lanny Morrision, candidate for the Arizona House in District 6; Eric Descheenie and Jamescita Peshlakai, candidates for the Arizona Senate in District 7; and Jennifer Benally, candidate for the Arizona House in District 7.
Here are the issues identified by the committees at the conference:
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