Tempe, AZ / By Lauren Kuby
Ten Reasons to Elect Juan Mendez to the State Senate
by Lauren Kuby
It’s the first time in 10 years that Democrats in Legislative District (LD) 26 has faced a competitive primary. Juan Mendez, our State Representative since 2012, is running to be our State Senator. I’ve known Juan for 12 years, since his time as a Young Democrat and campus leader at ASU. For years, we’ve volunteered together for community projects and countless campaigns—from Harry Mitchell to Ed Ableser and David Schapira.
Here are 10 reasons why I think Juan is the best choice to represent us at the State Capitol:
1. Juan is a voice for the voiceless and the vulnerable—the conscience of the Capitol. He’s a true progressive who speaks out with passion and commitment at the Legislature.
2. Juan is the quintessential community guy. He served in Tempe Leadership Class XXVI, which created the Escalante Community Garden, and his life’s work has been about giving back to a community that supported his family back when they faced times of need.
3. Juan is dedicated to building leadership in others and selflessly helping other candidates. Just look at the way he has run his campaign, as a team effort with House candidates, Athena Salman and Isela Blanc. At their countless campaign events, they encouraged volunteers to carry the petitions of candidates up and down the ballot—from Ann Kirkpatrick for US Senate, to Paul Penzone for Sheriff, down to schoolboard candidates Berdetta Hodge and Veekas Shrivastava.
4. Juan first ran as a Clean Elections candidate in 2012 and relished visiting with voters at their doors. In that year, he raised 250 five-dollar donations—all from within his own precinct—a feat unmatched today.
5. He continues to champion the Clean Elections system. No corporate special interest fuels his campaign—just people power. Alongside rising stars Isela and Athena, as well as their army of volunteers, the Clean Elections Team is engaging thousands of residents and registering hundreds of new voters.
6. He has fought for the rights of our cities, embedded in our Arizona Constitution, to pass laws that reflect our values, free from Legislative interference.
7. He was the first legislator to stand in support of the housekeepers of an iconic Tempe hotel fighting for the right of collective bargaining. He fasted and sat vigil with these brave women and he participate without fanfare.
8. Juan was an early advocate for Tempe’s earned sick day initiative and, after the Legislature quashed that effort, joined the statewide ballot initiative to bring sick days and a raise to ALL workers in our state.
9. Juan’s temperament serves as an antidote to the extremist and, at times uncivil, legislators at the Capitol. He is calm and respectful, while championing a clean-energy economy, worker protections, and investment in education.
10. Our Legislative District, which includes North and Central Tempe, West Mesa, and the Salt River Pima Indian Community, was drawn to enable minority representation. Juan represents the diversity of our progressive community.
Let’s elect Juan Mendez to be our next State Senator!
Early voting has begun. If you haven’t already received your early ballot, you can:
1. Contact the Maricopa County Recorder to receive a ballot by mail: www.recorder.maricopa.gov
2. Vote early, weekdays, in person at Palo Verde East, ASU campus
3. If all else fails. vote on Primary Day, Tuesday, August 30th!