The 2020 election is heating up in Arizona with plenty of candidates vying for office. While there is a huge emphasis on the presidential election, voters will also decide the outcome of state representative and senate seats.
Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
Douglas Ervin, a Phoenix resident, is running for State Senate District 20.
Party affiliation: Democratic Party
Family: Parents - Richard, a retired field engineer and Air Force captain, Arloa, a retired nursing teacher and nursing administrator;Spouse - Janet, an IT manager and community volunteer;Stepchildren - Madeline and Parker
Occupation: Retired Accountant (28 years) including as a software designer, business consultant small business controller and corporate tax auditor
Previous elected experience: Precinct Committeeperson
Family members in government: No
Campaign website: https://www.ErvinForAZ.com
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
As an accountant and volunteer tutor for second-graders, I believe Arizona’s inadequate education funding is the most pressing issue facing our state. Many Pre-K through post-secondary students are being denied a great education due to short-sighted cuts, including the defunding of community colleges which is hurting our economy and causing long-term issues for our state. Using my financial experience, I will work to restore fiscal responsibility to our state legislature so we properly fund public schools, improve teacher retention, protect our students, and demand transparency on how taxpayer money is spent. This will help support businesses, encourage innovation, increase public safety, help working families, create good-paying jobs, and grow our economy.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
My parents, an Air Force captain and teacher of nursing, instilled in me the important Arizona values of honesty, respect, hard work, civic responsibility, and serving with integrity. I will bring these desperately needed values to the state legislature along with my decades of financial experience, accounting knowledge, and fact-based problem solving skills. My opponent has had a long career in politics during which he has voted to send taxpayer money out of state, give massive tax breaks to special interest groups, and endanger healthcare for children. I will work to restore fiscal responsibility to the state so we have the revenue necessary to address our obligations, grow our economy and keep our neighborhood safe while reducing the tax burden put on working families. Unlike my opponent who suppresses speech on equal rights for women, I will fight so all people are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
During my decades in business, I was able to develop solutions to difficult problems, help companies succeed and create good-paying jobs by listening to different opinions and working together as a team. This allowed me to help grow a small local company into an international firm while assisting others along the way. I have also volunteered for many community organizations including as a tutor for second-graders at a local public school where I have helped many students overcome obstacles and gain the confidence necessary to grow and thrive.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
There are many steps that we can take to help grow our economy and create good-paying jobs on a continuous basis such as encouraging innovation, investing in education, helping establish more community banks, supporting small businesses, and making smart infrastructure investments. The most immediate needs to recover from the pandemic are to correct our out-dated and underfunded unemployment insurance system so people who have been laid off can continue to shop at our local businesses. We also need to be directly giving guidance and assistance to local small businesses to help them adjust to changes and address immediate cash flow needs to keep more people employed.
How will you address the calls for racial justice and police reform?
Clearly racism still exists in our nation and it is on all of us to learn how to be better. The first steps towards healing are acknowledging there is a problem and listening to our fellow citizens who are crying out to be heard. I do not have all the answers but I am committed to listening to the people who for too long have suffered, so we can begin the healing and implement change. Together we will work to address systemic racism in its many forms, from public safety to inequities in healthcare, education, and more. We can and we must seek to create a more just society for all. Specific actions include correcting the education formula, requiring police body cameras, and establishing independent citizen review boards that help improve trust, respect and communication between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
I have spoken with thousands of people in my district and listened to the issues that are most important to their families. Education, healthcare, and jobs are the issues that I hear most frequently, but overwhelming people tell me they want elected officials who put aside political ideologies and will work together to solve these problems. As I am not a career politician, I will work together with anyone to develop fact-based solutions to the issues facing Arizona.I will work together with others to improve our healthcare system by expanding access to quality affordable care and protecting people with pre-existing conditions. By making smart infrastructure investments, encouraging innovation, promoting renewable energies, and supporting working families, we will grow our economy and create good-paying jobs.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I will use my decades of financial and tax experience to correct the myriad of unproductive tax breaks that have been given to special interest groups recently and have continued to shift the burden to working families. This year, during the pandemic, my opponent co-sponsored a bill that would give a massive tax break to utilities and golf courses while imposing a new tax on family vehicles. It is this misguided approach in our legislature that I will work to correct as I will fight for working families across Arizona and serve with integrity.