The Decline to Sign Movement to Defend School Choice Is the Perfect Example of How to Fight Back

The Decline to Sign Movement to Defend School Choice Is the Perfect Example of How to Fight Back

Save Our Schools Arizona is clearly frustrated in its mission to stop families from having the freedom of school choice. For a few months now, the group has been gathering signatures throughout Arizona for a ballot initiative aimed at overturning universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA). You know…the law that was passed this summer to ensure every child gets the education they deserve. The one that even some Democrats and prominent black leaders like Pastor Drew Anderson fought for. The law that actually saves taxpayers money and was so popular that its launch overwhelmed the Arizona Department of Education’s website!

That’s what Save Our Schools is fighting against. And they likely thought their efforts to deceive the public about the nature of ESAs would go uncontested. But they were wrong.

Not long after Save Our Schools started its signature gathering, an organic movement of parents, teachers, and community organizers led by Christine Accurso hit the streets and social media to combat the lies peacefully. With basically no funding, the group—known as Decline to Sign Arizona—has met Save Our Schools at every turn to help every petition signer understand the truth about what they are signing. They stood on street corners in 110-degree weather. They alerted business owners when their private property was being used by Save Our Schools without permission to collect signatures. And they mobilized to have a presence anywhere Save Our Schools showed up—all in the name of protecting school choice.

While we should know by the end of this week if Save Our Schools has the 118,823 valid signatures to get on the ballot, it’s clear that the Decline to Sign movement has left them frustrated. Just look at this weekend’s Twitter meltdown from Save Our Schools director Beth Lewis. It has all the usual signs of a group in desperation:

    • Calling the peaceful protestors MAGA extremists…check.
    • Accusing Decline to Sign of “interfering with democracy…” check.
    • Avoiding persuasive facts and continuing to peddle lies by falsely labeling ESAs as vouchers…check.

If Save our Schools’ ballot initiative was worthwhile, you would think its director could avoid the name-calling and simply sell her viewpoint. But instead, she pulls from the Left’s predictable playbook to work the “Trump” name into her rant in a Hail Mary attempt to get some attention.

Maybe it will work this time. Maybe Save Our Schools will wind up with enough signatures to get on the ballot. But regardless of the outcome, the Decline to Sign movement has become the perfect illustration of how to fight back against the Left.

It doesn’t take millions of dollars spent on consultants, advertising, and politicians to do your bidding. You get on the ground, hit the streets, and fight. You make them squirm. You make passionate and reasoned arguments based on facts until they expose themselves by abandoning their talking points and resorting to name-calling.

This is how you beat the Left.

Right now, it’s for school choice, which, as Pastor Drew says, is the civil rights issue of our generation. But the battles won’t stop there. Even if conservatives control the legislature and the executive branch, the Left will keep fighting. That’s why it’s critical that the people are there to meet them at every turn. We can’t sit back on the sidelines and expect our elected leaders to do it all. It’s time for conservatives to step up. Thankfully, Decline to Sign Arizona has given us the playbook.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.

Arizona Free Enterprise Club Releases Final Endorsements for Judicial Retention and Local Races

Arizona Free Enterprise Club Releases Final Endorsements for Judicial Retention and Local Races

Phoenix, AZ – Today, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club announced their final slate of General Election endorsements for 2022, including judicial retention races.     

The endorsed individuals align with the organization’s principles and key policy goals. Club President Scot Mussi stated, “It is critical Arizona has leaders and policy makers who are able to articulate and stand up for individual liberties, free market principles, conservative values, and protect against government overreach at the state and at the local level. This slate of candidates can and will. Additionally, it is imperative we have strong members of the judiciary who understand their role in interpreting law, not writing it from the bench, and we urge voters to retain these individuals who have a solid record of doing just that.”

Legislative

LD 5 House
Jennifer Treadwell

LD 8 Senate
Roxana Hozepfel             

LD 21 House
Deborah McEwen

School Board

EVIT – District 5                                                                                               
Cien Hyatt Luke                                                

Dysart
Jennifer Drake
Dawn Densmore

Fountain Hills
Madicyn Reid 

Peoria                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Heather Rooks                                                                                                                 
Devon Updegraff-Day                   

Prescott
Linda Conn (2-year term)
Michele Hamer (4-year term)                                                    

Judicial Retention

Arizona Supreme Court
Hon. James P. Beene
Hon. William G. Montgomery                    

Court of Appeals Division I
Hon. Cynthia J. Bailey

Maricopa County Superior Court
Hon. Bradley Astrowsky
Hon. Alison S. Bachus
Hon. Robert I. Brooks
Hon. Rusty D. Crandell
Hon. Jennifer Green
Hon. Michael J. Herrod
Hon. Joseph S. Kiefer
Hon. Susanna C. Pineda
Hon. Michael Z. Rassas
Hon. Tracey Westerhausen
Hon. Cassie Woo

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.

Free Enterprise Club Announces Its Ballot Measure Endorsements for the November 2022 Election

Free Enterprise Club Announces Its Ballot Measure Endorsements for the November 2022 Election

This November, Arizonans will decide on 10 ballot measures. The Arizona Free Enterprise Club is endorsing four of these measures: Propositions 128, 129, 132, and 309. Each of these are necessary and critical to make common sense election integrity reforms and protect Arizonans from the influence of out-of-state special interests that exploit the initiative process to put bad policy on our ballots. We encourage Arizonans to vote YES.

On the other hand, Propositions 209, 211, 308, and 310 include tax hikes, programs for government to dox and harass private individuals for donating to causes they believe in, exacerbating the invasion at our border, and increasing inflation. These measures will harm Arizona families and businesses, and we encourage voters to vote NO.

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club endorses and asks Arizonans to vote YES on the following measures:

Prop 128 (VOTE YES) allows the legislature to amend ballot measures that the Arizona or U.S. Supreme Court determine contain unconstitutional or illegal language. Out-of-state special interests flood Arizona with millions of dollars to knowingly put unconstitutional measures on our ballots. Prop 128 ensures we aren’t stuck with their broken laws. Learn more here.

Prop 129 (VOTE YES) requires ballot initiatives to pertain to a single subject, the same requirement for bills passed in the legislature to protect our ballots against radical, sprawling initiatives imported from other states to confuse and logroll voters. Learn more here.

Prop 132 (VOTE YES) requires any new tax or tax increase on the ballot to receive at least 60% of the vote to pass. Currently, a tax increase at the legislature requires support from a 2/3 majority of members to be enacted, but only a simple majority of the electorate on the ballot. Prop 132 protects taxpayers from a small majority raising taxes on the rest, crushing our economy. Learn more here.

Prop 309 (VOTE YES) creates universal Voter ID requirements ensuring no matter when, where, or how we vote, ID is required. It requires all in-person voters to show valid, government-issued photo ID, creates ID requirements for voting by mail, and waives the fee for a government ID for those who need it for voting. Learn more here.

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club opposes and asks Arizonans to vote NO on the following measures:

Prop 308 (VOTE NO) allows individuals residing in Arizona illegally to receive taxpayer subsidized tuition at our universities. Sold as providing in-state tuition to “DREAMERs” who have been here since they were young children, the actual language of the measure is much broader and far reaching, only requiring the person to have been in Arizona illegally for two years and graduate from an Arizona high school to receive taxpayer subsidized tuition.

Prop 310 (VOTE NO) increases the statewide sales tax by 0.1%, resulting in a nearly $200 million tax hike to fund fire districts statewide. Many of these fire districts have mismanaged their budgets, and wastefully and recklessly spent tax money in the past. Prop 310 is not the solution, as it increases taxes on all Arizonans to subsidize a few and does not include reforms to ensure responsible and accountable use of taxpayer money in the future. Learn more here.

Prop 209 (VOTE NO) excuses people from having to pay their debt, which will increase inflation, make it harder to access credit, and shift the burden to taxpayers who do pay their bills. Funded entirely by California unions, it is sold as impacting only medical debt, but the language of the initiative actually shields all kinds of debt, not just medical. Learn more here.

Prop 211 (VOTE NO) requires private organizations to disclose donors to the government if they spend more than a certain amount in any given election, violating the constitutional right to privacy and association so that government can target, harass, and dox their political opponents. Unsurprisingly, the measure exempts Big Tech, the media, and labor unions from these same disclosure regulations. Learn more here.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.

It Is Critical to Drain the School Board Swamp This November

It Is Critical to Drain the School Board Swamp This November

Public schools are out of control. And it’s going to get worse if we don’t do something about it. Unfortunately, for far too long, school board elections have been some of the most ignored around our state. But whether you have kids in public school, private school, or homeschool—whether your kids are out of school or you don’t have kids at all—this year’s school board election will affect you.

How? Take a look at some of the worst abuses in public school districts in the past year.

A Financial Mess

As a taxpaying citizen, you probably care a lot about where your dollars go. But most school districts don’t share your same concerns. Mesa Public Schools (MPS) is one of them. Back in March, MPS failed to explain where over $32.3 million of their federal emergency funds slated for COVID-related expenditures went—which should’ve resulted in an audit by the State of Arizona.

But Mesa isn’t the only problem. Earlier this year, the Arizona Auditor General discovered that Buckeye Elementary School District may have grossly overpaid Superintendent Kristi Wilson. She received 100 percent more in compensation than the superintendents of Arizona’s three largest districts made on average.

Then, there’s teacher pay. Stop us if you’ve heard campaign after campaign that promises higher teacher pay. It’s been the calling card of teachers’ unions forever. So, how’s the follow through? A report from the Goldwater Institute in July revealed that despite the fact that state lawmakers provided nearly 28 percent more funding to increase the salaries of Arizona’s public school teachers between 2018 and 2021, teacher pay only went up 16.5 percent. But don’t worry. Your dollars were used somehow, as public school districts still continued their long-running pattern of increasing overall spending.

Now, you may be wondering what exactly our state’s public school districts are spending your money on. We’re glad you asked.

Radical Gender Theory Is Spreading Like Wildfire

Over the past year, many of Arizona’s public schools appear to be playing a game of “Who Can Be More Woke” in their attempt to indoctrinate children with gender identity ideology. One of the worst offenders is Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD), the same school district where the now-former Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg was connected to a secret dossier on parents and other political opposition.

SUSD allows and even encourages students to replace their “deadname”—the birth name that individuals reject upon transitioning genders—with their preferred name on their school ID. When the district was criticized for such a policy, SUSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel doubled down, calling the critics “bullies.”

But that wasn’t all for SUSD, which appears to be highly interested in the sexualization of children. One Scottsdale principal required middle school teachers to attend grooming training without facing any accountability from the school board. Another Scottsdale teacher pushed radical sex theories that were not approved by the district. And the district also went on to promote a “Drag Queen Story Hour.”

Unfortunately, this increased interest in the sexualization of minors isn’t isolated to Scottsdale. In the Peoria Unified School District (PUSD), one teacher may have coordinated with elementary students to wear trans pride colors for the International Transgender Day of Visibility. In Phoenix, a sixth grade teacher was recorded teaching her students about gender identity and not trusting their parents on the subject. And a Tucson High School held its first annual drag show in early May, weeks before one of the counselors who organized the event was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? And yet, there’s more…

The Rise of Public School Social Justice Warriors

In May, 24 K-12 schools in Arizona were recognized as “No Place For Hate” participants, which sounds nice in theory until you realize that they’re not trying to stop actual hate. They simply want to crush any sort of dissent that pushes back against the Left’s woke narrative. That’s why many of Arizona’s counselors are being trained in social-emotional learning (SEL) and other social justice topics at national conferences. And a group of Chandler teachers pushed a rebranded version of SEL late last year.

This is all an attempt to indoctrinate children with gender ideology mentioned earlier and Critical Race Theory. And school boards, as they are currently constructed, are doing it on your dime. In fact, back in February, a whole host of Arizona educators publicly pledged to teach Critical Race Theory regardless of the law or parental consent. Then, in June, anti-racism was the focus for an Arizona teacher conference. But anytime someone pushes back on this agenda, it’s met with a meltdown like that of Chandler Unified School Board member Lindsay Love. Or, in the case of Scottsdale, the district decides to intimidate anyone submitting records requests by making their names public.

Thankfully, we have a golden opportunity before us this year—and we can’t afford to let it go to waste.

Help Us Build a School Board Red Wave in Arizona

While there are many important offices up for election this November, defeating the Left isn’t just about winning statewide races. We must take our local school board elections seriously if we are going to stop their radical woke agenda.

And you can help us take our School Boards back by supporting our AZ Red Wave Program through our Freedom Club PAC!

By Supporting our Freedom Club PAC and helping us reach MEGA PAC status, we will be able to double our support for ALL of the Conservative School Board Candidates running for office. All we need is 500 freedom loving individuals to invest $10 or more in our Freedom Club PAC so that we can fight back against the big money being spent by the left. With a one-time or recurring donation, your support will go directly to electing conservatives running for the legislature, school board, or city council races throughout the state.

Help STOP teachers’ unions and the woke liberals who are currently controlling our public school districts and school boards. Donate to the AZ Red Wave Program through our Freedom Club PAC now!