PHOENIX, AZ – On the federal Juneteenth holiday, 2022, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Marco Lopez released an updated plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination. The plan was initially released in December 2021 and has been updated to reflect the feedback of the Maricopa County Democratic Party Black Engagement Committee as well as incorporate the most recent campaign developments.
“The Maricopa County Democratic Party Black Engagement Committee praised our initial release, but felt that we could go into more detail with how we would deliver on some of these commitments, so that’s exactly what we did,” said Marco Lopez, Democratic candidate for Governor. “As governor, this is the kind of administration I will lead: one that listens, learns and acts.”
The outline below illustrates Marco’s commitment toward building a more representative, accountable and inclusive government that works for all Arizonans.
**Updated 20th June 2022
An Inclusive Administration that Reflects Arizona: Nearly half of Arizonans identify as Latino, Black, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander and by working together we can build a brighter future for the state we love. From political appointments to staff hires, the Lopez Administration will reflect Arizona’s tremendous diversity which is an enormous strength for our state.
**Updated GOEO Annual Report: The current Governor’s Office of Equal Opportunity has failed to publish annual reports to its website since 2017. The Lopez administration will immediately revise and publish the annual reports to foster transparency, efficiency and responsibility. The newly prepared report will include the State Hiring Summary, Workforce Analysis, EEO-4 Report, Employee EEO-4 Complaints and the Community Engagement Summary.
Equal Pay for Equal Work: Equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, religious beliefs or ethnicity is long overdue. No one in Arizona should be paid unfairly in the workplace and we must lead by example.
**Statewide Employee Review. Within the first 180 days of his administration, Governor Lopez will order a review of salary scales, job classifications and pay practices throughout state government and for companies that provide services to the government. The Lopez Administration will publicly release this review to identify and promptly remedy inequities while strengthening the competition of Arizona’s diverse economy.
Zero-Tolerance for Discrimination: Discrimination and retaliation in the workplace are totally unacceptable. Stronger, more comprehensive protections and penalties are needed in state and local government and in the private sector. The Lopez Administration will have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and will develop and propose legislation and employment policies essential to implementing systematic protections and improvements in the workplace. Arizona must be a state where everyone is welcome.
**Improved EEO Complaint Process: The Lopez Administration will ensure that the intake process for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints is straightforward, confidential and rectified in a fair and prompt manner. All employee intakes will be protected from retaliation and discrimination.
Commitment To Social and Economic Equity: Anyone in Arizona working 40-hours-a-week deserves a living wage that allows them to put food on the table and pay their bills. Moreover, homeownership must be as accessible today as it was for our parents’ generation. Regular wage increases with a $15/hour minimum, and a broad-based commitment to affordable housing will be cornerstones of the Lopez Administration. Everyone in Arizona deserves the opportunity to get ahead and live up to Arizona’s promise that hard work pays off.
A Better Justice System: All too often, people of color are categorized and routed through an arrest, prosecution and detention system that has wildly different outcomes for white people who commit similar offenses. There is no single or easy solution and current shortages of police confound the problems. The Lopez Administration will commit to accountability in all sectors of the justice system, focusing first on equitable legal representation and sentencing, alternatives to prison for non-violent offenses and approaches to policing that send prepared officers into the field and bring behavioral expertise to de-escalation.
**Increase Minority Representation in the Judicial Branch: Governor Lopez will appoint more minorities and women to serve on the Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments and on the Coconino, Maricopa, Pima and Pinal County Commissions on Trial Court Appointments. Diverse commissions foster more diverse applicant pools to consider when it comes time to recommend individuals to the governor for appointment to the bench.
Leveling the Playing Field: Building a more equitable and inclusive society also means leveling the playing field, starting at an early age. Every child in Arizona from Paradise Valley to South Tucson, Yuma County to Navajo County, deserves access to a high-quality education that isn’t determined by their zip code.
**Increase State Investment in Education by At Least $2.5 billion: In his Education First proposal, Marco Lopez expressed his support for maintaining the current 4.5 percent top marginal income tax rate and using the resulting annual budget surplus to fund education. By properly funding Arizona’s public education system and growing Arizona’s skilled workforce to compete for quality jobs, the state can bolster smart economic growth while supporting its students and working families.
**Protection of Voting Rights: Black, white or brown, the right to have your voice heard and your vote counted at the ballot box is a fundamental part of our democracy. As governor, Marco will stand up against extremists in our state who refuse to accept the reality of the last election and are trying to stop us from voting in the next election. Marco supports legislation on both the state and federal level to protect everyone’s right to vote.
**Accessible and Secure Voting: The participation and protection of all Arizona voters remains crucial to a secure and fair electoral process. Governor Lopez will veto any voter suppression legislation that comes to his desk, and the Lopez Administration will champion electoral integrity by fighting for access to statewide voting sites and ballot drop boxes, a national election day holiday, same-day voter registration and work with tribal nations to make voting on tribal lands easy and accessible. Increased accessibility to voting will advance and safeguard Arizona’s democracy.
Honesty, Integrity and Accountability: Arizonans deserve a leader that they can trust. Marco is not a career politician, who says one thing and does another – in business, he learned that sticking to his word meant everything to his clients and his business partners. As governor Marco will be truthful when it’s tough, principled when it matters and always open about the work he’s doing to build a better Arizona for everyone.
Marco Lopez was the first Democratic gubernatorial candidate to release a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Plan. In November 2021, a second jury found that the Arizona State Senate under the leadership of Katie Hobbs, Marco’s Democratic challenger, was guilty of race and sex discrimination and retaliation against Talonya Adams, the only African American State Senate staffer at the time. The second jury unanimously awarded Ms. Adams $2.75 million. Hobbs remains in the race despite polling showing that her nomination sinks Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.
Marco Lopez is running for governor because he believes in the Promise of Arizona – the promise that if you work hard, play by the rules, and treat people with respect then you can make it here in our state. It’s this idea that led Marco’s parents to immigrate to Arizona from Mexico nearly 50 years ago. They didn’t start out with much, but they dreamed that Marco and his sisters could do better than they did. That’s just what happened—Marco and his sisters were the first generation in their family to go to college. Once Marco graduated from the University of Arizona, he knew he had to give back. At just 21-years-old he ran for mayor of his hometown of Nogales and won, becoming one of the youngest mayors in the country. After winning two mayoral elections, Governor Napolitano asked Marco to serve at the state level as Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce where he oversaw critical trade relationships in the state. Next, President Obama asked Marco to serve at the national level, where he oversaw a $13 billion budget and 60,000 people. In 2011, Marco left the administration to start his own small business here in Arizona just like his parents had done 40 years before. Over the past ten years Connect2Compete has brought high speed internet to one million low income families nationally, and in Mesa, AZ, SkyBridge Arizona is on track to create 15,000 quality Arizona jobs. Marco is running for governor because he believes the Promise of Arizona is still possible, but for too many people in our state today it’s out of reach. Marco has the leadership experience in the private and public sector to make that promise of opportunity that brought his parents to Arizona a reality for everyone. For more information, please visit www.marcolopez.com.