Phoenix Community Team

Upcoming Meeting Info

The Phoenix Community Team usually meets the second Wednesday of the month at The Terraces, 7550 N. 16th Street Phoenix, AZ.
Email Rivko Know for more info.

Next Meeting:
October 11, 2017
9:30am - 11:30am

Upcoming Meeting Info

The Phoenix Community Team usually meets the second Wednesday of the month at The Terraces, 7550 N. 16th Street Phoenix, AZ.
Email Rivko Know for more info.


Next Meeting:
November 8, 2017
9:30am - 11:30am

Topic: Climate Change by Theodore Zislis, certified by Arizona Associations of Environmental Education and a member of the Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps by Al Gore.

Materials:
Discussing Climate Change in Our Community

News & Events

Previous Meeting Reports

Recent Reports on Phx Community Team Speakers

July 2017: Luis Avila with Stand For Children on Demand2Learn Education Research
On Wed., July 12, about 15 LWVMP members and guests listened to Luis Avila, advisor with 270 Strategies & national program director at Stand for Children, a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school education speak about the ACLU of AZ's new campaign, which is called "Demand2Learn."  This campaign focuses on ensuring educational equity in public schools to include charters by gathering and analyzing data about disparate treatment of students with disabilities and students of color, working with the AZ Charter School Board and training parents to be advocates for their students by ensuring they are aware of their rights.   
Mr. Avila started by speaking about his own experiences both as an immigrant student in the US, having to translate for his mother who didn't speak English as well as one of his early jobs.....as a teacher in a charter school, who received NO training on how to be a teacher, how to engage students, how to deal with students with disabilities or behavior problems. He recounted a story that still haunts him about one of his students who dropped out because of his behavioral issues, which Avila did not know how to address largely because he had no training and no idea the student's father had just been deported and thus the student was angry, upset and frightened.     
Avila said that his experience and research shows that so many students are pushed out of schools due to the focus on testing that results in how schools are graded!!  Many parents have no idea that their child has or should have an IEP (Individual Educational Program) if the child has a disability and thus have no capacity to even try to ensure that the school is following that IEP.  Further, when parents enroll their children in a high performing school especially a charter school, they often voluntarily withdraw the student because the child is falling behind and the school encourages the parents to withdraw the child and find someplace `more suitable.'     
Avila than provided both statistics and stories to illustrate the `school to prison pipeline' in which the schools with higher percentages of minority and poor students, who often suffer from economic insecurity and trauma, have discipline problems.  Without well trained teachers, the schools too often rely on police in the schools, whether thru a formal program or as off duty security, who too often treat both students with disabilities and disciplinary problems from a `crime' perspective.  This leads to more suspensions during which students miss instruction, which further leads to expulsions.  Without a proper education and without a school to attend + as they are suspended or have dropped out - many young people get involved in some degree of illegal activities, or get picked up by police for truancy or violating curfew, which leads to an arrest, which leads to jail and thus the `school to prison' pipeline moves along. He also pointed out that there are more police in high poverty, high minority areas, who thus are more likely to `see' truant students vs. upscale malls in which students who are skipping school are free to roam around without any police to detain them!! (a self fulfilling prophecy).    
Avila traced a lot of this approach to the `war on drugs' that started in the 1970's and is on going.  He pointed out that 68% of Black males without a high school diploma go to prison by age 34!!  Further from 1970-2010, the number of people in prison in the US increased by 430%. Other disturbing statistics that Avila reported were:  53% of people in prison have a substance abuse problem; 56% have a mental health issue; each year that someone spends in prison, results in a 1 year decrease in their life expectancy; in AZ children as young as 8 can be held in detention; that 20 years after someone is released from prison, they are more likely than others to be at the bottom of the income distribution; and their children are more likely to go to prison.   
Currently Demand2Learn is gathering data from as much public schools/districts as possible regarding suspension/expulsions by race, disability etc. The federal government only collects such every 5 years and does not report it for another 3-4 years so there is no current reliable information.  Further, although the AZ Department of Education used to collect such data until about 5 years ago, it has since stopped and even when it got it, no one ever analyzed the data!!   In October, Demand2Learn will host a policy summit, which will result in a legislative platform that will be the focus for the 2018 Legislative session.

May 2017: “If an originalist, a textualist and a pragmatist walked into a bar, what would happen to the Constitution?”

Presented by Bob McWhirter

Previous Meeting Reports

Date: Sept 13, 2017

Guest Speaker Alice Stambaugh
The current Electoral College system, grounded in state laws which allocate electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, leads presidential candidates to concentrate their resources on voters in a handful of swing states, relegating the vast majority of the country to spectator status.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would change this, guaranteeing the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular vote in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Find out what NPV is, how it will work, how likely it is to take effect in the near future and why we should not try to eliminate the Electoral College at this time despite the LWV position statement to that effect.

Previous Meeting Reports

Date: May 2017:

“If an originalist, a textualist and a pragmatist walked into a bar, what would happen to the Constitution?”

Presented by Bob McWhirter

Additional Info

Coming soon…

LWV Metropolitan Phoenix Contact Information

Phone
480-231-6426

Mailing Address
1155 S. Power Rd. Suite 114-58
Mesa, AZ 85206

Email
infoLWVMP@gmail.com