Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sen. Landrum Taylor recognized for Grandfamilies housing effort

Project named a Housing Hero by the Arizona Department of Housing

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today an effort that Senator Leah Landrum Taylor has worked on for twelve years was recognized as a model project. The Grandfamilies Place of Phoenix Apartments was named Exemplary Urban Multifamily Project at the Brian Mickelsen Housing Hero Awards held during the Arizona Department of Housing's Arizona Housing Forum held at the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson.

Grandfamilies Place of Phoenix Apartments opened just this past July with 56 apartments for senior caregivers who are raising their grandchildren and features a social-services coordinator on site to assist the resident families.

The Grandfamilies project was inspired by a 2000 visit to a similar facility in Boston while Sen. Landrum Taylor was attending leadership classes at the Harvard Kennedy School, with an emphasis on affordable housing. Upon returning home, she began steps to create a similar housing community for her community.

After years of meeting and helping grandparent/grandchild families in South Phoenix, seeing the dire need for housing assistance, Sen. Landrum Taylor formed a coalition of community organizations, government agencies and community members to realize her vision.

Repurposing an apartment complex notorious for crime and violence, the Grandfamilies project not only provides housing but has dramatically improved the surrounding neighborhood.
Sen. Landrum Taylor
"I've been working on this concept for twelve years now and to now know that it has not only recently come to fruition but has been recognized as a Housing Hero brings joy to my heart and to those who have worked so hard to see this happen," said Sen. Landrum Taylor.

"The real winners, though, are the residents who are reaping the benefits of this effort by keeping families together, safe and in an environment designed to help them succeed in life. They are the real heroes in my mind."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Don’t believe Senate Republicans’ sudden interest in ethics reform

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira released the following statement in response to Senate Republicans’ claim to be champions of ethics reform.
Sen. Schapira
“It's striking to see Senate Republicans finally seizing the mantle of ethics reform at our state capitol. Unfortunately, its timing reveals it to be little more than an election-year stunt. The truth is Senate Republicans have had every opportunity to support comprehensive ethics reform, but didn't,” said Sen. Schapira.

Sen. Steve Gallardo and I introduced eight bills last session to limit lobbyists’ influence on legislators, require more frequent financial disclosure statements from elected officials, set a consistent standard of proof for ethics committee investigations, prohibit public officials’ ability to use official materials to promote themselves for election purposes and require disclosure of election expenditures by companies and labor groups.

“Senate President Steve Pierce, who is quoted in today’s release as being in support of the new ethics plan, refused to hear a single ethics reform bill this year. Sen. Jerry Lewis walked away from a bipartisan ethics reform effort just 10 months ago. Republican County Attorney Bill Montgomery denied multiple requests to meet with Democratic legislators on ethics reform.

“But now that there is an election approaching, they're all for reform?

“How convenient.

“What you won't see them address, however, is the unbridled influence of conservative special interest groups like ALEC, the Goldwater Institute and the Center for Arizona Policy. Those are the sources of legislation that put bible studies in public schools, let deceptive debt collectors scam consumers and limit women's access to contraception.

“Arizonans deserve leaders who are looking out for everyone in this state, not just their special interests.”

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sen. Gallardo: Horne should resign, be held personally liable

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Steve Gallardo released the following statement on findings by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office of campaign finance violations by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne:
Sen. Gallardo
"The FBI and the Maricopa County Attorney have both concluded that Attorney General Horne intentionally broke state election laws while he was an elected state officer and while he was running for his current office,” said Sen. Gallardo.

“It is disgusting that our state's top law enforcement official considered himself above the laws he sought to enforce. Therefore, I call on Attorney General Horne to immediately resign and return his fraudulently-gained office to the citizens of Arizona.

“Not only should Horne resign, he should be held personally liable for any fines or penalties and should be fully prosecuted if found guilty of his apparent hit-and-run incident.”