RELEASE: Arizona Democrats Condemn Rep. Syms’ Racial Slurs, Stand Behind Rep. Bolding and Rep. Peten

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PHOENIX – The Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the Arizona Democratic Party, and the Arizona Democratic African-American Caucus released the following joint statement in support of Democratic representatives Dr. Geraldine Peten of Legislative District 4 and Reginald Bolding of Legislative District 27.

“We applaud Representative Dr. Geraldine Peten and Reginald Bolding and all house Democrats for speaking boldly and unequivocally about the use of racial slurs and divisive language on the House floor today. Reps. Bolding and Peten are the sole members of the Legislative African-American Caucus and should have been granted the space to respond to the hurtful narrative crafted about the African-American community by Representative Maria Syms in her opinion article against the #RedforEd movement. The theatrical themes used by Representative Syms in the article impugned the #RedforEd movement and the African-American community. On the heels of a statewide teacher walkout, the Republican-run legislature has shifted the narrative away from the needs of Arizona students and teachers to focus on opinion and ideology, rather than facts.

From 2008 – 2018, an entire generation of Arizona students have been underserved – going to class in crumbling facilities, without full-time teachers and using decades-old textbooks. Instead of working to ensure that Arizona students have the resources they need to thrive and graduate from Arizona’s public schools, the majority party has attacked members of the public and has turned the concerns of community members into a vicious partisan issue. Voters in Rep. Syms’ district, Legislative District 28, will not stand for this rhetoric from elected officials and we will work tirelessly to make sure this term is her last. Democrats are ready to deliver solutions and policies that move our education system forward.”

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MEDIA COVERAGE:
“The only two black members of the Arizona Legislature were formally chastised for speaking out against a Republican lawmaker’s published column, which included a racial slur and they say derided black activists” – U.S News and Report
“Racial slur at center of lengthy House floor debate” Arizona Capitol Times
“Debate over N-word erupts in Arizona House as teacher walkout tension increases” – The Arizona Republic