LatinaLista -- Randy Parraz is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Arizona. He also happens to be the only Latino Democrat running for the Senate. Given the level of unprecedented international attention on the state since their governor signed the now infamous SB 1070 into law, Latina Lista thought it would be interesting to know more about the lone Latino Senate candidate who will discover his fate in tomorrow's primary election.
Parraz is one of a full slate of candidates running to replace Sen. John McCain, but just who will turn out and vote tomorrow is anybody's guess:
Elections officials say the vote-by-mail effort is running below its usual clip, slowed either by voter disgust or indecision, as they wait to see what last-minute developments might blow up in various races.
The Parraz camp is hoping that if any group turns out in full force tomorrow it's Latino voters. Parraz has gone on record supporting the DREAM Act as a standalone bill and is no fan of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which he showed by recently suing the sheriff for a 2008 wrongful arrest.
In the following guest post, Parraz explains who he is and why he thinks running for political office in Arizona is so important.
Let me tell you a little about myself and why I am running as a Democrat for the United States Senate in Arizona.
I was born and raised in a working class family. My father was a Deputy Sheriff and my mother was a clerk at JC Penney's. I attended Berkeley and Harvard, and then spent the past sixteen years as an organizer, working with communities, neighborhoods, and cities to address bread and butter issues that impact peoples' lives.
I am not a career politician; I have dedicated my life to working with people to figure out what needs to happen and getting things done. I helped establish the National Strawberry Commission for Workers Rights and organized Arizona residential construction workers.
In the spring of 2008, I worked with hundreds of other citizens to expose Sheriff Arpaio's abusive practices. I opposed SB 1070 even while it was being drafted. I have a long history of bringing people together while standing strong on principles.
In Arizona, we are in an economic crisis that affects everyone. We just posted the worst unemployment rate in 27 years, and one out of every 167 homes are in foreclosure. Politicians like John McCain, Jan Brewer, and Sheriff Arpaio are cynically trying to make immigrants scapegoats.
Since the recession started, bill after bill has been introduced trying to criminalize and dehumanize people. People are suffering in isolation, and these divisive laws only isolate more people and more communities. But the foreclosures and unemployment were not caused by immigrants or people who "look" like them.
The recession was caused by the reckless behavior of big banks that caused the economy to collapse and cost millions of Americans their jobs.
As Senator I will hold the big banks accountable, and be clear about who is responsible for the economic crisis. Foreclosures, not immigrants, are destroying our communities. Joblessness, not immigrants, is causing unemployment. Drugs and guns, not immigrants, make the borders dangerous.
I am running for the United States Senate to help Arizona address this economic meltdown and hold those responsible, including John McCain, accountable. Support for SB 1070 is only skin deep; people are desperate for anything that sounds like a solution.
As a Senator, I can provide a more hopeful vision, one that calls on our best traditions as Americans.
As the Democratic nominee, I will beat John McCain by turning out new voters and winning over voters who once supported him for his integrity. If I am the nominee, thousands of new volunteers will join the Arizona Democratic effort.
I am a generation younger than McCain, I am not a career politician, and I have a positive vision for Arizona.
I can beat McCain on his demonstrably bankrupt economic policy; I can elevate the debate on immigration. I'm not scared to be a progressive who stands for people, not corporations.
As a Senator, I will represent all the communities of Arizona, and lead the national fight to elevate the way we think about immigration, the economy, and the future.
I know a better Arizona is possible.