Vote Felicia Chew! … Not This Election Cycle. Systemic inequity prevails.
In accordance with the common interpretation of ARS 16-321(B), the Judge has ruled in favor of the plaintiff (and our opponent) Matt Kopec, and our name will not be appearing on the Amphitheater Public Schools Governing Board ballot. In fact, there is no voice, no choice for any of us regarding the 2018 Amphitheater School Board Members. The issue will NOT appear on the ballot since there are now only two “qualified” candidates.
We argued that the statute could be interpreted differently, based on the omission, (or addition) of a comma. Voters should be registered, and live in the District boundary. The Recorder’s Office admitted that Voters might move from District to District; however they would not be on the voter rolls as registered in the District — so, the Voters could be registered and living in the District (not the common interpretation of the Statute).
We argued that the system is inequitable and confusing.
We speculated that the plaintiff was malicious in signing all three petitions, knowing that we intended to only submit 10% above the required number of signatures, in an effort to ensure that others who sought candidacy could have the opportunity.
We argued that everyone should have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Our Judge asked the Recorder for the common interpretation of the Statute. In retrospect, if we had been in possession of case law that showed different interpretation of statutes (which probably exists), we might have had better chances at prevailing. Our Judge stated that our arguments were compelling, not just in “this” forum.
Our Judge was compassionate, but unwavering from the common interpretation of the law. This trait is found frequently in law enforcement officers, as well. Hindsight being 20/20, we could have asked the judge to set aside “common interpretation”.
We talk about the school to prison pipeline. We talk about how things need to change. And yet, our policies, statutes, and systems provide constant barriers to effecting those changes.
This means there will be no election for the Amphitheater School Board, no voice and no choice for voters.
If you are unhappy with this decision, there are a few choices:
(1) File an appeal (this is potentially a long, expensive process). This is the process to challenge the common interpretation of ARS 16-321(B).
(2) Complete the recall process (also potentially a long, expensive process). This is the process to remove a Board member from a seat. This process cannot be started until six (6) months after the new member of the Board is seated.
(3) Clarify the statute (also potentially a long, expensive process). This can be done by contacting our State Legislators.
(4) Civil disobedience. Demonstrate dissatisfaction of Matt Kopec on the School Board by appealing to the Chair of the School Board,writing letters, attending Board meetings, etc.
Personal Note from Felicia:
Unfortunately, I will not have the opportunity to have your voice and your choice for me being a Member of the Amphitheater Public Schools Governing Board. Remember that it is your right to attend Call to the Audience and Speak up for the policies and practices that you would like to see in the District.
I want to say “THANK YOU!!” to everyone who signed a nomination petition (or the change.org petition), carried a nomination petition (or shared the change.org petition) and supported the Campaign. I am sorry that my Hope in the World as being a Good place overshadowed my Understanding that People will use whatever means necessary to satisfy their Egos and have Power and Control over others.
I will continue to do the work to help end systemic abuse of Power and Control. If you are able to stand with me, and commit to helping end systemic domestic abuse, and changing our inequitable practices of Power, join me at an upcoming event. Let us continue to speak up about the inequities we see, and continue the work for opportunities for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness for Each of Us and All of Us.
For more information about Felicia and her work with the community, use the links below:
- Felicia’s personal Facebook page
- Felicia’s Facebook campaign page
- Felicia’s Facebook small business page
- Felicia’s campaign website
- Felicia’s small business website
- Felicia’s Twitter feed
- Felicia’s blog
- Felicia’s Projects
- Felicia’s donations page
“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life. Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”