Katie Hobbs' Plan for an

Inclusive Arizona

Introduction

Arizona’s state government doesn’t work for all Arizonans.

People of color have been systemically locked out of opportunity in this state, and our government has failed to break down those barriers.

Together, with underserved communities across this state, Katie Hobbs has built a plan to change that. She is listening to marginalized communities across Arizona, hearing their concerns about the present, and their hopes for the future. Katie knows that systemic inequities and racism have long permeated every aspect of our society. That’s why she’s championed policies that expand health care in communities of color, defended access to the right to vote for all Arizonans, and fought for justice for victims of domestic abuse. This plan, along with Katie’s Accountable Arizona plan that was released last month, is just the beginning. Katie believes that the next governor of Arizona must have both an inclusive vision for her administration — and a track record of delivering meaningful progress for all Arizonans.

This plan challenges a broken status quo with bold new policies. It is centered on four key objectives:

  • Making state government more inclusive by recruiting, hiring, and elevating women and underrepresented members of our community, and ensuring equality across all of state government.
  • Ensuring communities of color have access to economic opportunity by expanding capital for minority-owned and women-owned businesses, building a better pipeline to make good-paying STEM jobs accessible to more Arizonans, and addressing inequities in tipped wages.
  • Improving and defending access to women’s reproductive health care, especially the right to choose, as rigid and uncompromising politicians play politics with women’s bodies.
  • Defending the fundamental rights of Arizonans, including the right to vote and full equality under the law.

I’m committed to listening, learning, and understanding how I can put my words into action — not just for those whose voices need to be heard in our government, but for everyone who I hope to represent and serve as governor. Because I am asking to be the leader of this great state, I need to be more than an ally, I need to be your advocate.

Katie Hobbs

Making State Government Inclusive

Katie will work to ensure that government is inclusive, provides equal opportunity, and dismantles systemic racism to uplift the lives of all Arizonans and ensure equal access to critical government services and opportunities.

  • Recruiting, Hiring, and Elevating Women and People From Underrepresented Communities. Katie knows representation is critical to ensuring all Arizonans are heard in a Hobbs administration, and across all agencies of the government. That’s why Katie will continue to focus on recruiting, hiring, and elevating women and people from underrepresented communities across the board, including in senior leadership.
  • Creating the Roles of Chief Equity Officer and Civil Rights Policy Advisor. To hold the state accountable to hire employees who represent the wide-ranging diversity of our state, a Hobbs administration will create the position of Chief Equity Officer to implement measures that build a more diverse government and enforce transparency and accountability within the ranks of the government. And Katie will empower a Civil Rights Policy Advisor in the Governor’s office to focus on executive orders for immediate action on equity, help develop Katie’s legislative agenda, and coordinate input from community leaders. These new positions will ensure the Governor’s office is inclusive and committed to advancing important policies for underserved communities.
  • Overhaul the Office of Equal Opportunity. The Office of Equal Opportunity has been underfunded and underutilized. Katie will support the Office by demanding additional funding to ensure clear and direct human resources protocols within every government workplace, including our legislature, to identify unequal pay in state agencies, to foster a work environment free of discrimination or harassment, and to implement accountability measures that protect public servants and foster a healthy work environment.
  • Dedicate a New Role Within Each Agency to Identify Opportunities to Collaborate With Underserved Communities. Too often, underrepresented members of our community and people with disabilities are disproportionately left out of government-funded opportunities and overlooked in the implementation of policy. A Hobbs Administration will create a new position in each state agency to focus on outreach to underserved communities and improve critical access to government resources. To track progress in expanding resources for these communities, each agency will be responsible for releasing an annual report that identifies baseline metrics to measure progress year-to-year and identify equity policy changes with their tangible impacts.
  • Publicly Audit Statewide Employee Salaries to Identify Pay Inequities. There are pay inequities within state position classifications that should be reviewed and corrected, as was undertaken by her administration in the Secretary of State’s Office in 2019. The state should publicly release and audit salary data on an annual basis to identify and correct these disparities while maintaining competitive salaries that help retain diverse talent.

An Economy That Works for All Arizonans

Every Arizonan deserves access to a good job that provides for their family, and Katie will take action — within the executive branch and together with the legislature — to build an economy in which the doors of opportunity are wide open for women and people of color.

  • Investing in Minority Businesses by Expanding Access to Capital. To spur the growth of minority- and women-owned businesses, Katie knows access to capital is critical but many of these businesses face unequal lending access from large banks, even as underrepresented communities have a higher rate of starting or running a business. That’s why Katie will work with the legislature to develop a program administered by the Arizona Commerce Authority aimed at easing access to capital by providing fixed-rate loans and lines of credit to these entrepreneurs through partnerships with local banks. A Hobbs administration will also investigate options to leverage a combination of tax credits, grants, and microloans to promote new business startups and growth in small but successful businesses.
  • Strengthening and Developing State Economic Opportunities. Katie will work to prioritize disadvantaged businesses in state contract opportunities by using a state certification for underrepresented businesses and prioritizing contracts for them. By utilizing a certification program, the state can readily grow and target opportunities to these vendors who may otherwise not apply for state contracts. Katie will also ask each agency to review and report the number of contracts given to disadvantaged businesses to hold the state accountable for expanding the number of businesses that receive contracts.
  • Expanding Diversity in STEM Jobs. We need to prioritize training students for good-paying jobs in our rapidly growing STEM sector. While STEM jobs pay double that of non-STEM fields on average, people of color and women are staggeringly underrepresented. That’s why a Hobbs Administration will work with the Department of Education to provide new funding for grants and scholarships dedicated to creating more STEM educators, and providing resources to build a pipeline of diverse students with the skills needed to land jobs with Arizona employers.
  • Eliminating the Tipped Minimum Wage. The tipped minimum wage is disproportionately harmful to women and people of color, particularly Black women, who earned on average nearly $5 less per hour than their white male counterparts. Katie will work to eliminate the tipped minimum wage, which will reduce poverty and inequality while promoting total employment growth for small businesses.

Improving Women’s Reproductive Health and Choices

As a social worker and a mother, Katie saw firsthand the disproportionate impact public policy has on women of color and will work to improve women’s reproductive health and choices. That’s why as a legislator, she fought to defend women’s reproductive rights and led the fight to ensure testing of rape kits.

  • Fighting for Access to Reproductive Health Care. Abortion rights are under attack in Arizona. That is why Katie will veto any legislation that attacks Roe v. Wade as well as work to repeal a law from 1901 that requires mandatory prison time for abortion providers and a 1930s law that makes advertising for birth control or abortion services a misdemeanor. A Hobbs Administration will also propose measures to expand access to reproductive health care including access to birth control and emergency contraceptives and direct the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to expeditiously move on rule-making in support of legislation passed allowing pharmacists to prescribe hormonal birth control methods.
  • Reducing Maternal Mortality During Pregnancy. For Indigenous women, the maternal mortality rate was four times that of white women. And for Black, Asian and Pacific Islander women, maternal mortality was more than double the rate of white women. A key component of Katie’s agenda will be to reduce maternal mortality, which disproportionately impacts pregnant mothers of color. A Hobbs Administration will dedicate specific funding to ADHS to implement the proposals by the Advisory Committee on Maternal Fatalities and Morbidities. The Administration will also improve AHCCCS care for pregnant and postpartum women by extending Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum.
  • Cutting Costs for Women. In more than half the country, including Arizona, feminine hygiene products are not exempt from sales taxes, even as one in five girls miss school or leave early due to a lack of period products. This is an unfair tax on women, which is why Katie will fight to pass legislation to tax-exempt these products which are critical to women’s lives.

Defending and Expanding Fundamental Rights

As Secretary of State, Katie has been at the forefront of defending Arizonans’ fundamental right to vote and expanding access to the ballot in underserved communities. As governor, Katie will expand upon this work and her elevated role to address systemic racism in the criminal justice system and codify new equal rights protections.

  • Improve Access to the Ballot for Communities of Color. Building on her work as Secretary of State, Katie will veto any new voter suppression legislation and fight to reverse the decision to ban out-of-precinct ballots from being counted. A Hobbs Administration will also continue to protect access to vote centers, early voting sites throughout the state, and access to secure ballot drop boxes in communities where mail service is not always reliable. And to ensure full tribal participation, early voting should be available and accessible in places where tribal members will be gathering, and Katie will continue to advocate for the acceptance of non-traditional addresses to make voting by mail more accessible.
  • Reducing and Eliminating Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. Arizona leads the nation with the fifth-highest incarceration rate, imprisoning women at almost twice the rate of the national average, with almost four times as many Black children in jail compared to white children, and where white people are more likely to have their case dismissed than Black or Hispanic people in Maricopa County. These are just a few of the impacts that Arizona’s justice system has on minority communities, which harms Arizonans’ fundamental rights and is financially costly to taxpayers.
    • Katie will create a Governor’s panel, composed of diverse community leaders, to inform criminal justice reform policymaking and build grassroots support for meaningful change.
    • Katie will work to reform Arizona’s antiquated sentencing laws; provide additional funding to support re-entry into society; work with local law enforcement to address systemic racism in policing; and improve the sentencing provisions to encourage more frequent use of alternative sentences.
    • Katie will prioritize appointing Black, Latino, and Indigenous people serving in judicial appointments and to other court leadership roles.
  • Fight to Strengthen Equal Rights. Katie will work to secure ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which the state legislature continues to stall session after session. A Hobbs Administration will also work to enact anti-discrimination policies that will ensure equality by explicitly banning LGBTQ+ discrimination in a variety of areas including housing, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, public accommodations, and procuring credit. Katie will also work to pass a ban on profiling by law enforcement based upon race, gender identity, or sexual orientation and establish public metrics to track profiling.

Conclusion

The policies in this plan are just the beginning. There is so much more work to be done to build an equitable, inclusive Arizona. But the work must start immediately to build a government that is inclusive, accountable, and works for all Arizonans.

Taken together, these steps will make a concrete impact on communities of color across Arizona. For too long, too many Black, Latino, and Indigenous people in our state have been unable to access opportunity; they have been systemically locked out of the American Dream. Arizona’s next governor must act immediately — independently where possible, bringing the legislature along where she must — to provide relief to Arizona’s families.

Over the coming weeks and months, Katie will be unveiling additional policy proposals, to create good jobs, to make everyday life more affordable, to improve education, and more. She has a track record of bringing Arizonans together and working across the aisle to get the job done. As our next governor, she’ll build an Arizona that is inclusive, equitable, and that works for all Arizonans.

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