By TJ Cuddy
You would never guess how many Park-and-Ride locations exist throughout the East Valley, until you ask a group to meet at one. The proposed departure time found candidates and campaign staff scattered among multiple locations. The calls, texts and reroutes were fast and furious and, after a short while, the group assembled at a single location. The trip was officially underway.
Our roadshow carpool consisted of Outreach team members TJ Cuddy and Sarah Meaney, along with an all-star cast of candidates and surrogates including Arizona Democratic Party Vice-Chair Karyn Lathan, Arizona Attorney General candidate January Contreras, U.S. Senate candidate Deedra Abboud, campaign staff for Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira.
In an effort to expand our operations into the rural communities of Arizona, events and meetings have and continue to take place in Pima and Pinal Counties. But this Roadshow was aimed at bringing our message to Navajo County, a rural county in the northeast that spans across Legislative Districts six and seven. AZ Blue 2020 Outreach organized a team of candidates, campaign staff and ADP officials to bring a group of exciting and engaging speakers to the White Mountain Indivisible and White Mountain Democrats groups in Pinetop-Lakeside.
The event was the definition of a collaborative win/win, with all parties involved as beneficiaries. A meet and greet prior to the general meeting afforded candidates and Outreach team members the opportunity to meet local dignitaries, party officials and county elected officials. White Mountain Indivisible arranged catering for the meet and greet and coordinated with the president of the White Mountain Democrats to organize the joint meeting. During the course of the meeting, we were able to discuss the reasons for AZ Blue 2020’s formation, the organization’s mission, guiding principles and plan for success. Outreach team member TJ Cuddy gave the AZ Blue 2020 PC Recruitment Presentation. Candidates, eager to spread their message and garner support among all Arizona communities, gave their stump speeches and took questions from the audience of about 35 attendees.
Despite the disjointed beginning to our journey, the roadshow was an overwhelming success. Leaders from the Northern Arizona groups were appreciative of the outreach effort and look forward to future opportunities to connect with groups from around the state. The candidates were grateful for the opportunity to engage with constituents in an often overlooked area of the state. AZ Blue 2020 was able to recruit several new PC applications for the Navajo County Democratic Party and connect several new PCs to AZ Blue 2020’s mission to empower PCs with tools, resources and best practices.
Our rural areas are important and deserve to be represented in the discussion of voter rights, education and healthcare. It is by connecting these communities to the issues and giving them the road map to create change that AZ Blue 2020 will achieve the goal of turning Arizona blue. AZ Blue 2020’s mission is to continue to facilitate the success of the party across the state by raising people.
Stay connected to AZ Blue 2020 for more reporting as we continue our roadshow across the state of Arizona. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want our Outreach Roadshow to visit your community.