Pima County 2018 Elections

“I support candidates who work to identify policies that will address the root causes of the challenges and problems we face in society, not just the symptoms.”

Felicia Chew, mother, educator, survivor of, and advocate for, ending systemic domestic violence.


We need someone looking at the root causes of the challenges and problems that our society faces.

We need someone working for policies that address the root causes, not just the symptoms.

In cases of domestic violence, we need champions for implementing policies to break the systemic cycle of domestic violence, and other crimes of abuse of power.

The Primary election day is August 28, 2018.

The General election day is November 6, 2018.

Candidates who have been working with me to end this cycle include:

  • Kirsten Engel (LD10) – Primary
  • Todd Clodfelter (LD10) – General
  • Yahya Yuksel (CD2) – Primary
  • Felicia Chew (Amphitheater Public Schools Governing Board) – General

Viva (la revolucion)!

❤ Felicia

The last day to register to vote in the Primary election is Monday, July 30.  The Primary ballots are being mailed to homes on August 1.  The last day to vote in the Primary is August 28.

If you have not registered to vote, you can register at: https://servicearizona.com/webapp/evoter/selectLanguage

If you need your rights restored, you can inquire with the Pima County Public Defender’s Office, and learn more through this article: https://tucson.com/news/local/felons-can-get-advice-on-restoring-civil-rights-at-free/

If you are not yet a registered voter, and you want to vote for in the Primaries, register as an Independent.  (If you register as an Independent, you will need to request a Primary ballot).  You can do so by calling 520.724.4330, or getting more info online at: https://www.azcleanelections.gov/how-to-vote/no-party

*Note:  You can change Party affiliation at anytime. 

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.   Without each of us our picture is incomplete.”


Restorative Practices – What They Are and Why We Need Them

In restorative practices, we meet each inidividual involved in the incident where they are.

We empower the victim with the permission to say no, regardless of class, gender, or status.  We teach the offender empathy, to understand why their action was offensive, and what they should do instead.

Without restorative practices,the cycles of systemic crimes like domestic violence, sexual assault, property crime, stalking, etc. will continue.

For some offenders, the process may take longer, because their ways and habits are rooted so deeply.

Understand that if the offender is not intrinsocally motivated to change their ways and habits, they will re-offend.

If the offender is left within their echo chamber, they will re-offend.

Restorative practices is a community task, and requires community commitment.

Those sex offender notifications that we receive in the mailbox?  Their intent is not to alarm people into hiding their children from the beasts, and ostracizing, shaming, and humiliating the offenders.

It is the community’s responsibility to intervene respectfully when their gut feels like something is wrong.  Check for safety, and approach respectfully.  A simple ask: “Doing ok?” brings the potential offender and victim back to safety.

Think of the movie “Beauty and the Beast”.  Now do you understand?

Find ways to connect with the offender.

Recognize that everyone has made poor choices.

Understand that people want to take the easy path.

Know that we are being taught to follow directions, not necessarily think.

Be aware that people are afraid — afraid of being forgotten, useless, not needed — and when afraid, crisis can set in, and when crisis sets in, the choices are fight, flight, or freeze.

Know that change is difficult.  It takes 30 days 24/7 to change a habit.  Even after that, if the ruts were deep, it is easy to fall into them.  Think of probiotics, and fill in those ruts with good things.

Restorative practices is not a money maker.  It is a peace maker.  Restorative practices are necessary because we are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.


Victim Blaming versus Victim Empowering Through Safety Planning


A friend posted this article on Facebook, with the following comment (language warning):

CW, child sexual assault, victim-blaming

“I understand it is my responsibility to maintain appropriate boundaries with peers/workers.”
Was one thing that was explained to this traumatized CHILD.

We’re not only stealing/kidnapping, traumatizing, and sexually assaulting these BABIES, we are BLAMING THEM FOR IT.

Moderates/naysayers/ people “not really into politics”, WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?

I am beyond heartbroken and outraged, please find your humanity and ORGANIZE!!!

My response to this article is below:

I don’t see this as victim blaming (keep reading). It is documenting the process of safety planning that is empowering the six year old.

D.L. is being given permission to stay away from the person who is sexually assaulting her. People use power and authority, like hierarchy, to control others.

Oftentimes, the offenders themselves don’t know what they are doing. Most likely, they were victims, who were told, come sit with me, let me help you feel better.

All offenders are not narcissistic sociopathic pedophiles.

I am reminded of the Arnold Lobel fable that tells the story of the child who left pushpins on the other students’ chairs, desks, etc. The teacher goes to the family home, and attempts to sit on a chair. Surprise! It is covered with pushpins!

We learn from society and those around us. We develop weird practices and habits that are good and bad. We need to trim and weed the bad practices and policies, while balancing with the idea of not throwing the baby out with the bath water. Boundary setting is within a person’s control. Other people’s actions are beyond our control. We can try to control others, but the backlash will be infinitely worse.

Think of the movie “Backdraft”. A fire without oxygen is not visible to the naked eye; but when it is released, the backdraft is devastating.


Rape babies are not a gift of God

A friend posted this video on Facebook this morning: 


My Facebook reply is below.

No. I am so tired of this rhetoric. A person can believe in God, but then they need to believe in all the parts of God…. not just the ones that make them “feel good”.

(Please note the use of “you” in this comment is to the “you” the general reader. This message might not be for all of “you”. But if it resonates with “you”, I encourage “you” to pause, take a breath, let it out slowly, and pray about it. Be like Jesus going to Gethsemane, trusting in the God you claim to believe in, not worrying about the friends who “abandon their post”. People do the best that they can do. Forgive them. When necessary, set boundaries. Speak up. Find our moral compass).

The book of Kings describes how the people told God they wanted to live like the other people…. with Kings who people could see.

Even after God told the people that they would have to deal with everything that came with not having a God, the people said: “Yeah, bring us a King.”

So that meant a LOT of changes…. like when a sperm meets an egg, you’ve got the beginning of a baby. It is the process that was put into place for people to procreate.

I can hear the boos and catcalls already. But if you take time to THINK past the churches who seek to control you, and take your money for their own purposes while claiming to be doing work for God, take another look.

How do they treat the homeless. Are they referred to as “they/them”? Are they treated differently? Stop justifying. And really look. Really listen. #RealEyesToRealize #JesusIsACowboy


Not feeling well?


If you are not feeling well, remember that it’s hot out there. Stay extra hydrated.

If you are feeling stiff, it might be from being on your phone or computer, or doing something with repetitive motion where your body has to stay in a particular position — bananas and orange juice can help. Massage can help.

But, it could be stress/trauma. I tweeted some thoughts from a movie screening last night at the JCC that connects trauma/stress (ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences) with physical ailments.


Chat with Chew – Session 1

I found this blog in my Drafts folder from Feb 2017.  At that time, I was campaigning for City Council.  I had started a series called “Chat With Chew”, and this appears to be my reflection from that very first session I held.  It starts below the horizontal line.  

About Chat With Chew.  I held “Chat with Chew from 1 to 2” to learn more about what others thought about Tucson. I wanted to identify problems/challenges, and find ways to make things better for folks who were struggling.  I had many interesting conversations and realizations. 

If you’ve never struck up a conversation, I encourage you to do so!  Start by saying “Hi” and smile.  Pause.  Follow up with “How are you?”  Introduce yourself.  State your purpose: “I’m out here meeting new people because I think it’s important to know our neighbors.”  Pause.  They might walk away, or they might stay.  Realize that they might be in a hurry.  They might be shy. They might not trust others.  1 out of 10 people might stop and chat.  Most will say something like: “I’m not interested” before you get very far.  Respect it.  Don’t be rude.  Don’t get frustrated.  Take a break.  No means no.  Eventually, someone will want to chat with you.

Also, if you know someone between the ages of 9-18 who is in Grades 5-12, invite them to participate in the Tucson Zines #SpeakUp Writing Challenge!

I was at the Woods Memorial Library and spoke with several local library patrons.

Here is an overview of comments, concerns, and observations, with my thoughts following:

1. (Comment) “The library is awesome, because we get to play Minecraft with our friends!”

Felicia’s Thoughts:

– Games are a way to bring people together. 

– Some people might choose to act out their aggressions in a game.  Those are teachable moments. 

We can take the time to teach others that it is necessary and healthy to release our emotions, while being mindful of how our actions affect others.

2. (Concern) “It’s great having kids here, but they run back and forth and are loud.”

Felicia’s thoughts:

-The library is where I spent a lot of my childhood.  It was a very special place with an amazing librarian and new book section.

-A separate set of computers for the children’s area, with a time limit;

-A poster by the computers in kid-friendly language to remind children how to behave appropriately in the library.

3. (Concern) “City of Tucson departments are down-sizing, and employees are working two or three people’s jobs.”

Felicia’s thoughts:

-Re-create job descriptions using changed staffing numbers.  Some of the previous responsibilities may be out-dated.

-Pay increase for those who are taking on extra responsibilities

4. (Concern) Participants of La Frontera loitering, and not going to appointments.

Felicia’s thoughts:

– Idle hands make for poor choices.  Engage participants in an activity, by following up with ideas of what to do, where to go, by offering opportunities for participating in the community in healthy ways.

– Notify TPD, requesting increase of officers in area for Community Policing, such as Community Resource Officers to support members of our community in developing relationships with those who are loitering;

– Notify La Frontera, to engage participants who may be loitering into better choices.

“It takes a village to raise a child.” 

Politics – Time to Overcome Apathy and Aggressiveness. Time to Take Action

There are many reasons why people choose not to vote, or to not even register to vote.   Some of the reasons:

“They’re all crooked (politicians).”

“I just live my life. The big government doesn’t affect me.”

“I don’t know who to vote for.”

“It doesn’t matter; they’re not going to listen anyway.”

“I don’t have time.”

“I’m a felon.”

“Because they’re evil and evil.”

I had not been an active voter, and had not been active in politics outside of my classroom.  That changed recently.  I realized that my background as a classroom teacher — mostly middle school — and experience with alternative education and strategies like restorative practice, and my experience as a survivor of domestic violence, and as a mother who was held hostage by systemic domestic violence — needed to speak up, to be able to write policy and allocate budget, to make things better.

Last year, I ran for City Council — to help Tucson become a place for #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs.   I lost the primary, and The Tucson Sentinal recently reported that “reliable sources indicated that a whole flock of Dem heavy-hitters were ready to immediately endorse independent candidate Gary Watson in the general election if Chew had won the three-way primary.”  In private conversations, I was told that I was not “The Establishment’s choice.

Apparently, people were afraid of me in a position of leadership.  It could be because people are afraid of/don’t want to change.  It could be because people don’t want to lose power and control.

I remember when I started as a new teacher, one of the questions was: “How will I handle my recalcitrant colleagues?”  My response was something like: “I can’t force them to change, and I don’t want to force them to change.  They need to feel safe where they are.

“I will lead by example, and take feedback to make things better.”

My best friend and I ran for Treasurer in Junior High and we lost to two competitors who passed out candy to classmates.  I was disgusted by the buyout of votes.  I was disgusted by the way my City Council opponent ran ads that misled voters, and spent $90k on a City campaign, outspending my campaign 3x’s, in an area of poverty.

After the City Council race, I decided to follow up on some friends’ suggestions, to help the Party reach disenfranchised voters, and I became an appointed PC (Precinct Committeeperson).  I am a Facebooker, and set up a page “Precinct 57 – Heart of Tucson”, and invited my partner in crime to my classroom to work with my students, and help start building voter interest as youth.

After the City Council race, I had decided not to return to the classroom.  I had decided to substitute — to support teachers when they have to be absent due to training, sick children at home, etc. — and to have time to find another way to do the work I had planned to do as a Councilwoman.

I don’t want the title.  I just want to do the work.  I want to bridge the gaps.

I saw gaps in people voting (to be able to have policies that help everyone — not hurt or hinder some), and so I became a PC because I realized that my relationship with non-voters is different than most PCs since I used to be in my bubble — until I realized how the Court systems and policies affect me. That is the story that I can, and do, share.

I bring up the fact that it is not necessary to vote for every item on the ballot.

I am working on an event I am holding on October 7 from 4-7pm for Voter Information and fun for the kids.  I am planning to invite candidates who are on the ballot for the general election.

After the City Council election, I focused on the work to end systemic domestic violence.  I am hosting a series of Help End Systemic Domestic Violence events at local restaurants and businesses.

I believe shopping locally helps build sustainability and produce economic vitality.

In fact, I am trying to purchase the Golden Pin Lanes, to continue to provide quality, affordable entertainment to the community, and a community space for events, including restorative practices, and cool down space for offenders of domestic violence — offenders who were seeking control in an environment where they felt they had to act out aggressively to get it.

I have learned that for many offenders, what it boils down to is taking away the power from those seeking to control others.  It means providing offenders with opportunity to come down out of their need for control — their crisis — and able to empathize with their victims.  It means providing offenders with the understanding that mistakes are made, and people will try desperately to ostracize them through shame and blame…

Why do people shame and blame others?  Some do it because they are worried that those qualities are in them.  And if the lowest person on the totem pole is liked and accepted, they will become the new low man on the totem pole.  So, they fight to keep the lowest man in the lowest position.  Some do it as retaliation.


Unfortunately,  our legal system is on a pendulum, swinging from being super punitive to super loosy goosy and back to punitive.  The angry mob of unthinking fearful peoples who are reacting — rather than being proactive — continue the sick cycle.  Under the guise of being the protector, they stifle the victims who, like Patty Hearst, sing their captors’ praises.  And… they don’t see it.

I just came out of a screening of resiliencemovie.com.  If you haven’t seen it, you should.  It talks about trauma in the way that I write about crisis responses of fight, flight, and freeze.  It is a movement of dealing with root causes, and being mindful, complex thinkers.

I believe we need individuals who work to identify the solutions to root causes, not symptoms.  Individuals who are human, who make mistakes, and who are resilient.

For that reason, I run for office, — to ensure policies support the people they serve, and to allocate budgets appropriately — to make things better for #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs.   We have been watching the pendulum swinging between permissiveness (lack of responsibility) and punishment (lack of control) — now it needs to get out of its rut.

We can teach personal responsibility and self-control through restorative practices, in schools, and in “the real world”. In fact, there should not be a gap between the school and the real world.  We must bridge the gaps.

Elections are coming.  #YourVoice #YourChoice #PersonalResponsibility

It is time to overcome apathy and aggression.  It is time to take action and vote.

Let’s look at issues and candidates:

Restorative Justice and Ending Systemic Domestic Violence:

Student Advocates

Community Well-Being

We can bring our diverse people together, when we have diverse representation at the table.

“We are each a piece of the puzzle.  Without each of us our picture is incomplete. “



Banned From The Mall

In response to a Facebook post stating:

Loser Trump supported someone for the U.S. Senate who had been banned from a Mall!

I wrote:
There are many reasons a person can be banned from a mall — people make the best decisions they can at the time — and people should not be judged for past choices. It takes thirty days of constant mindfulness to change a behavior — with supportive people surrounding them.

We keep “criminals” in their place through our lack of being mindful in our words, which unintentionally place guilt or shame upon people who then stay in their rut.

❤ Felicia
“chew on ideas, chew on food, chew’s wisdom because our children are watching”

#CourageousConversations #ApologiesIfOffensive #NoDisrespectIntended

A Message for Families and Friends of Victims and Survivors

You find out that your friend or loved one is a victim or survivor of domestic violence.   What should you do?

This blog will take you through some basic steps and concepts to be aware of while helping your friend or loved one.  This is only one resource, and the strategies will likely need to be supplemented with other resources.  Remember, you are not alone in your desire to help end systemic domestic violence.  An excellent resource is Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, which is located in Tucson, Arizona.  They may be reached at 1.888.428.0101.

In beginning this process and journey to help your friend or loved one,  you must recognize that your friend is in a state of crisis, and you may be, or are likely to be, entering a state of crisis.  When in crisis, we enter survival mode – fight, flight, or freeze. If your friend or loved one is sharing with you, they are most likely in the fight stage.  You will most likely also be in the fight stage, ready to defend your friend or loved one.

The goal is to help your friend or loved one out of crisis (survival mode), and into a place where they can think.

Be sure to take time while with your friend or loved one to do a self-check on your frame of mind.  When you find yourself becoming upset about the situation, say so.  You can be transparent about your emotions, and then turn the focus back onto your friend or loved one (remember, this is not about you, but also remember that emotions are what make us human).  For example:

“You are my and this situation makes me so angry!  I am sorry you had to go through this.  I am here to help you.  What did is not okay.  And it is not your fault.”

As a crisis responder, you will learn that it is a good idea to use the bathroom anytime you see one,  because crises can occur at any moment, and leaving a friend in need may cause greater trauma.

There are several processes you can use to help your friend or loved one.  Remember throughout this process that it is not your fault for not knowing about your friend’s or loved one’s situation.  Victims are adept at hiding the violence, and often at making excuses or blaming themselves for the violence.

If you begin blaming yourself, or feeling guilty, you will be entering a state of crisis, and useless to your friend or loved one.  If you have been trained in as a first aid/CPR responder, you understand that if a person is drowning, and you jump into the pool, they are likely to grab onto you, and drag you into the waters.  Situations where people who are in crisis are no different.  The crisis responder can be dragged into the crisis.


STEP ONEGet your friend or loved one to a safe place.  Ask your friend or loved one if they feel safe, while you check for safety.   Look for more than one exit, weapons (or items that can be used as weapons).  If your friend says that they feel safe, but you notice dangers, or potential dangers, tell your friend about them, and suggest an alternative place; example:

“I am happy you feel safe, but we are .  Could we move over to the <_______>?”

Ask permission, and empower your friend or loved one with the ability to respond.  It is likely that your friend or loved one may feel safe, simply because you are present.  While this may be an ego booster, remember – this is not about you.  Your friend or loved one needs to be empowered.  Becoming dependent on you simply changes the point of control externally; your friend or loved one needs to exit the crisis helpless stage, and enter the empowered personal control and responsibility stage.

Friends or loved ones who have not been faced with the process of helping to end systemic domestic violence may also be entering crisis.  Your responsibility is to facilitate the process of helping your friend or loved one exit the crisis state, and enter the process of ending domestic abuse.


STEP TWOListen to your friend.  Now that you and your friend or loved one are safe, listen to your friend.  [Remember, you may be one of the first persons your friend or loved one is sharing with, and your reactions may help, or hinder, your friend or loved one in their journey on ending their   cycle of systemic domestic violence. (No pressure!!)  **On the lighter side, appropriate humor helps break tension.  On the serious side, it is important to remember that there are no “expert answers” on how to help your friend or loved one, and yourself, through this process.]

It is necessary for you and your friend or loved one to recognize and remember two very important truisms:  (1) People typically do the best that they can; (2) People don’t know what they don’t know.  These truisms apply to you, your friend or loved one, and their offender.

Crisis shows itself in the form of fight, flight, or freeze.

Use active listening skills. (Click here for more information on active listening skills).  Remember, your friend or loved one needs time to be silent to think.  Here is the tricky part: Recognizing if your friend or loved one is starting to self-blame, and regress into crisis mode.  A good way to check in with your friend or loved one is to simply ask: “Doing ok?”  Then wait.

Also, remember that your friend or loved one may be in fight mode, and may say unkind things to you, or blame you.  While these will be difficult to accept, remember – your friend or loved one is doing the best that they can.  Don’t get defensive.  There is nothing to defend.  You were all doing the best that you could.

Remember these truisms:  (1) People do the best that they can. (2) People don’t know what they don’t know.

Now that you have this additional information, you can move to Step Three.

STEP THREE: Create an Action Plan.

The action plan will look different, due to your friend or loved one’s unique situation.   Each situation has different challenges, so keep in mind the desired outcome – ending the cycle of systemic domestic violence — taking your friend or loved one, and their offender, out of crisis, and to a place of personal responsibility.

The action plan may change as you and your loved or friend learn more.  Let it change.  Your friend or loved one was in a situation caused by their offender’s need to control someone or something.  Your friend or loved one became the victim of their offender’s crisis.  They don’t need you to try to control them, or the action plan.

Your friend or loved one may have developed layers of defensive mechanisms, and they may have solidified unhealthy habits as coping mechanisms.  Realize and recognize that it takes 30 days, with constant attention and re-direction to change a habit.  You are most likely unable to be with your friend or loved one 24/7, so give yourselves time to heal.

Consider the following flowchart, which demonstrates the neverending cycle of systemic domestic violence:


Now, consider a possible action plan:20180724_082829

As a friend or family member of a victim or survivor, you have the power to suggest ways that break the cycle of systemic domestic violence.  Understand that restorative practices must also be coupled with acceptance of personal responsibility, and forgiveness (which is not the same as forgetting).


Recognize that you, your friend or loved one, and their offender may re-enter the state of crisis during the healing journey.


Understand that there may be fear and resistance.  It is important to stop the shaming, and stop the blaming, because our children are watching.


If cycles of systemic domestic violence are not broken, our communities will continue to experience varying levels of domestic violence, which may impact others at a deeper and greater level.


Thank you for embarking on this journey with your friend or loved one to help them end their cycle of systemic domestic violence.

Healthy relationships include personal responsibility, courageous conversations, and boundaries.  The opposite of love is control.

If you found this information helpful, would like to add to the conversation, or would like to support our work, please share this blog, post a comment below, click here to be connected with more information about how you can support our work, or click here to contact us.

Most importantly, recognize that the situation and interaction is not about you, and it is not because of you.  Let go of the things that you cannot control.  Your friend, or loved one, is one of those things.  Be there.  Just be there to support your friend, or loved one.  Silence is okay, as your friend, or loved one, is processing.  They are finding a power and a voice within themselves that they did not know they possessed.  Give them permission to possess it.

Viva! (la revolucion),

❤ Felicia

For more information about ending systemic domestic violence, visit www.feliciachew.com/enddv

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”


Policies: Language (Native)

Photo Courtesy of Facebook MJ LaPointe

As a member of Amphi Governing Board, I will advocate for and implement Native Language courses. (In a diverse community like Amphi, that means a LOT of them!)

Research shows that individuals with a second language have several advantages in society.

Humanness shows that we should not be ashamed of who we are.

Shakespeare shows us that we can create words to better express ourselves.

If you agree, vote Felicia Chew for Amphi School Board on November 6.



#Family #Traditions #Roots #StopTheShame #EachOfUs #AllOfUs #VoteFeliciaChew