Kathy Knecht for AZ Senate in LD 21 - General Election, November 6th, 2018
Kathy’s Key Positions
Exemplify government of the people, for the people, by the people
Kathy Knecht, an independent for 22 years, is an independent thinker, determined to represent all the stakeholders in our state and legislative district. She believes that true power rests with the people. (And, that the people should not rest!)
Kathy is a long-time public servant and volunteer with deep roots in the West Valley. She’s worked as a non-profit director, as an elected school board member and has served many non-profit boards and service groups in the community. She doesn’t make deals or do favors in exchange for influence and she doesn’t take campaign contributions in exchange for pushing bad policy. She just does the right thing. She answers to the people, not a political party and not to outside special interests.
Many current legislators are influenced by out-of-state dark money that promotes the agendas of special interest groups - just two examples include the American Federation for Children which is pushing to privatize education, and out-of-state lenders who pushed a bill that would allow payday loans companies to charge 164% interest rates to desperate families.
Restore funding to Education (There has been $4.5 billion in cuts to education in AZ since 2009; Arizona has cut more than any other state.)
Reverse the teacher crisis (AZ Teachers are lowest paid in the nation and AZ is experiencing a mass exodus of professional educators from our classrooms, our state and the profession.)
Make education a priority - Arizona spends six times as much on an inmate as it does a student in K-12. State funding per student in 2018 is 19% below what is was in 2008. See the graph here.
Privatization of schools puts public funds into private and religious schools to the detriment of the 85% of children in the state who attend neighborhood schools. Privatization means education for profit, with no accountability, and turns kids into commodities.
Kathy embraces school choice when it provides all families the ability to choose the best fit for their children and promotes competition that is genuinely fair. Government should not be allowed to shirk its constitutionally-mandated responsibilities. or be able to create winners and losers in a free market. No child deserves to be treated like a "loser."
The state's failure to fund capital expenses for maintenance and repairs of schools threatens property values in neighborhoods and forces local communities to pass bonds to sustain the quality of their schools.
We must support a healthy business climate for technology-related jobs.
Economic Developers know that what really lures businesses and residents is a quality education system and quality of life. We need highly-trained talent to compete in a global economy.
Only higher paying jobs will support our tax base and fortify Social Security and Medicare.
As an elected school board member, Kathy has always been steadfastly committed to protecting students. Americans shouldn't live in fear of unstable people or criminals opening fire on innocent civilians and first-responders.
Kathy supports Americans’ right to bear arms as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. She agrees with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who wrote, “like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited...”
- To ensure that guns don’t get into the hands of criminals, terrorists, perpetrators of domestic violence and the mentally ill, Kathy would support universal background checks, restrictions on "dangerous or unusual" weapons, and increased resources for enhanced mental health services, especially in public schools.
- Unfortunately, gun violence in America goes well beyond schools. In the last few years our fellow Americans have experienced mass shootings in churches, movie theaters, concerts, offices, night clubs and military bases. Kathy believes that every citizen and elected official has a responsibility to do what he or she can to end the violence.
Kathy wants to restore funding to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The 2017 state budget cut 1.6M from MCSO in 2017, due to petty partisanship. (MCSO is the sole policing agency in Sun City and Youngtown, both in LD21).
Kathy supports efforts to ensure that first-responders get fair pensions while helping cities to remain financially stable.
Kathy will collaborate with state leaders and agencies to end the opioid crisis.
She support the Federal Medicaid Expansion which brings millions of dollars into Arizona and benefits more than 400k low income Arizonans, seniors, veterans, children and disabled citizens. Loss of Federal matching funds would mean more uninsured in AZ and increasing costs for the insured. Several current legislators filed a lawsuit (that cost taxpayers money) that attempted to reverse Medicaid expansion, though the AZ Supreme Court upheld the law.
Kathy will work to restore ethics and integrity to Arizona government which was ranked “most corrupt legislature” in a 2014 Harvard Study.
Kathy will reintroduce a bill that will fund Veterans Benefit Counselors. More VBCs will bring federal benefits back to AZ at 10x the rate of investment.
Kathy wants real, practical support for veterans. Veterans commit suicide 391% more than non veterans in Arizona. The nationwide rate for veterans is 38 suicides per 100,000, compared with Arizona's 55.
Kathy thinks that homeless veterans are a national tragedy.
Kathy is a lifetime member of the Blue Blazers, which is a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting airmen and women, their families and the mission of Luke AFB.
Kathy will not interfere with municipal and school district issues or elections. Let those we elect on the local level to do the jobs we elected them to do.
Kathy will not bully cities or city leaders into submission with political threats, sanctions or sweeps.
Kathy believes climate and the environment should be a higher priority in the State Legislature.
The urban heat island, rising temperatures, and risk of drought across the state pose a real and severe threat to our quality of life, property values, tourism and our economy.
Kathy will not attempt to roll back school tax exemptions for Sun City.
Kathy will be accused of raising taxes as a school board member, but school boards do not and cannot raise taxes. They can allow local communities to decide for themselves whether or not to impose local taxes to improve local schools.
Corporate tax cuts enacted by the Legislature, have shifted the tax burden onto local property tax payers. The Arizona Legislature’s budget analysts predict a budget shortfall in 2018 that could top $100 million as the impact of corporate tax cuts continues to overwhelm increases in sales, insurance premium and personal income tax collections. (Capitol Times, Oct. 12, 2017)
Immigration (is a federal issue)
Legal commerce and tourism in Arizona should be encouraged, not discouraged. AZ does $15B in trade with Mexico every year. Mexican nationals spend $8M in Arizona every day.
The Arizona Department of Child Welfare needs to be a higher priority so that abused and neglected children can be rescued from dangerous situations and be placed in permanent, safe, nurturing environments.
Kathy has served on the executive board of a domestic violence shelter and is a strong advocate for women and families.
As the mother of two very successful young women, and a 15 year Girl Scout Leader, Kathy has been dedicated to empowering women and girls to be themselves, assert their rights, follow their dreams, and find their voices in society.
Kathy is a champion of the US and AZ Constitution. Elected officials at all levels in the state take an oath to uphold both and they should be held accountable.
Existing laws should be enforced. Bad laws should be eliminated or changed.