The City of Phoenix Vaccine Mandate Is Dangerous and Outrageous

The City of Phoenix Vaccine Mandate Is Dangerous and Outrageous

Vaccines should always be voluntary and never be forced. But apparently, the City of Phoenix doesn’t care about freedom.

Last month, the city announced that its employees will have until January 18, 2022 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. And it doesn’t even matter if they work from home. The new policy lacks any sort of exemption for that because, of course, these mandates aren’t based on commonsense.

But don’t worry. Employees will receive $75 as a “thanks” for their compliance. And with rampant inflation and rising oil prices, that should cover at least one tank of gas. Maybe.

The city claims that its simply following President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors. But this just further shows how comfortable Phoenix is with such a blatant abuse of power.

And it ignores another significant issue. Both Phoenix police and fire are pushing back against the mandate. The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and the United Phoenix Firefighters Association Local 493 have even joined Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s lawsuit against it.

With the City of Phoenix already dealing with a dwindling police force, they can’t afford to lose any more officers. Violent crime has been surging ahead, especially in recent years. Now, the city could further risk public safety if the number of police officers and firefighters goes into an even deeper decline due to this overreaching vaccine mandate.

But this is just one part of a bigger issue.

The reality is that President Biden and his administration are trying to maneuver their way around the U.S. Constitution with these outrageous vaccine mandates. Thankfully, last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit temporarily stopped OSHA from taking any further steps to enforce the vaccine mandate on employers with 100 or more employees, calling it a “one-size fits all sledgehammer.” And OSHA has announced it will not implement the mandate.

Unfortunately, the 5th Circuit’s ruling does not impact the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. Perhaps that’s why the City of Phoenix feels so emboldened. But that could soon change.

Earlier this week, a federal judge put a temporary stop to Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. And this comes just one day after the White House directed federal agencies to halt suspending or firing federal employees for not getting vaccinated.

That’s why we can’t give up fighting back against this unprecedented government overreach. With multiple lawsuits and other decisions still to be made regarding the mandate around the country, we must continue speaking up. And now you have an opportunity to do so.

On Tuesday, December 7th, EZAZ is holding an Arizona Heroes and Workers Freedom March down at the Capitol during the Phoenix City Council Meeting, and you can RSVP right here. There’s a lot at stake. A vote on the mandate is expected to be completed that day, and this is a great way to make your voice heard. Because no free people should ever be compelled by force of government into certain medical decisions they disagree with. Now, you can do your part to make sure the City of Phoenix is listening.

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These Critical Court Battles Could Have Huge Implications for Your Freedoms

These Critical Court Battles Could Have Huge Implications for Your Freedoms

The fight against the left to protect our freedoms isn’t just happening at the legislature and ballot box. Our courtrooms are currently filled with cases working their way through the process, each involving critical issues that will impact the future of our state and country.

Given the plethora of lawsuits, it is difficult even for the most die-hard activist or informed citizen to keep track of what is going on. For many it seems as if new lawsuits are being announced every day, with injunctions and decisions raining down from all over the country.

To help make sense of some of these court battles, the Club has compiled a litigation update on several lawsuits, including cases involving mask and vaccine mandates, Critical Race Theory, Proposition 208, referendums over the recently enacted tax cuts, and the Biden vaccine mandate.

Proposition 208

Perhaps one of the best court outcomes from the past few months is that Proposition 208 is on its deathbed. Earlier this year, the Arizona Supreme Court decided that Prop 208 is unconstitutional. The drafters of the initiative, despite being warned by Legislative Council, attempted to statutorily exempt their tax hike from a constitutional expenditure limitation. That doesn’t work. The decision has effectively killed 208, but it isn’t six feet under quite yet – the Supreme Court has sent the case back to the trial court for a facts and findings hearing with the directive that if it is found that monies from the 208 tax hike would cause the state to exceed the expenditure limitation (it will) it must be struck down entirely. The hearing is scheduled for the beginning of January, the same time the legislature begins its new session.

Tax Cut Referendum

With a record budget surplus and the threat of Prop 208 in mind, Republicans passed a historic tax cut package that would benefit all Arizonans. But once it was passed, democrats immediately began collecting signatures to refer them to the ballot – which would halt implementation and risk voter protecting our tax code.

In response, the Club immediately filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of referring tax policy to the ballot at all. Though voters have reserved the power to refer legislation to the ballot, there are exceptions to this power – one being that anything that relates to the support and maintenance of the state cannot be referred. Our lawsuit argues that changes in the tax code do directly relate to the support and maintenance of the state.

At this point, the campaign has failed to get a sufficient number of signatures for two of the three aspects of the tax cut package, but they did submit more than enough signatures for the portion that would phase down the income tax to a single, flat rate of 2.5%. The Club immediately began a challenge to these signatures and filed an additional lawsuit in early October. Both of these cases are still ongoing and likely will not be fully decided for months, lingering into the legislative session.

Budget Bill Litigation

The Arizona constitution limits the legislature to passing bills pertaining to only one subject and where the provisions of the bill are reflected in the title. It has been a long practice for the legislature to use Budget Reconciliation Bills (BRBs) to include some policy changes. This session, that’s where many of the conservative wins were enshrined. This includes a ban on mask and vaccine mandates, a ban on CRT in schools, and a host of election integrity provisions.

Unfortunately, the court unanimously ruled that some of the provisions challenged were not reflected in the title, and that the budget bill containing the election integrity provisions did not pertain to only one subject. Therefore, all of these provisions were struck down – not because of the constitutionality of any of the specific provisions, but because of the process in which they were enacted.

Vaccine Mandates – 5th circuit ruling: A win

Perhaps one of the best rulings for conservatives came out just a week ago, temporarily stopping the implementation of Biden’s vaccine mandate. On the mandate, the 5th Circuit wrote, “its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority” and that it passing constitutional muster would be a “dubious assumption.” Further, on the details of the mandate, the court wrote, “rather than a delicately handled scalpel, the Mandate is a one-size fits-all sledgehammer.” The court issued a stay barring OSHA from taking any further steps to enforce the mandate. There are many other lawsuits around the country on the mandate, and new decisions could come out, but in the meantime, OSHA has announced it will not implement its mandate.

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!

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Arizona’s Establishment Media Proves to Be a Failure in Its Coverage of the Scottsdale School District Scandal

Arizona’s Establishment Media Proves to Be a Failure in Its Coverage of the Scottsdale School District Scandal

Another school district scandal went viral last week. This time, it was in Scottsdale. But there’s a good chance that you didn’t hear about it from Arizona’s establishment media. Because once again, they were late to the party.

In case you missed it, last week, a group of mothers discovered Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg had access to a secret dossier of parents and other political opposition. But this wasn’t just a collection of social media posts.

The dossier included records of nursing licenses, divorces, mortgages, family trees, bankruptcies, civil and criminal charges, and a slew of other personal information. Allegedly compiled by Jann-Michael’s father, Mark, it also included pictures and videos of the children of his perceived political opposition. And a file on acclaimed radio host James T. Harris also appeared in the dossier.

But there’s even more to the story.

Body camera footage was discovered that shows how Mark Greenburg allegedly filmed parents incognito. And in another video, Mark is shown taking secret bodycam footage of parents on school property while discussing how he hired a private investigator to write down their license plates.

This should’ve been the top news story on every local media outlet in the entire state! The Governing Board President from a major school district in Arizona had access to in-depth background checks on moms—all while his father disguises himself to spy on them regularly.

On Monday, Jann-Michael was removed from his position as board president. (And frankly, he needs to resign immediately.) But it took alternative media to break this scandal wide open.

The Daily Independent, the Arizona Daily Independent, and AZ Free News were all over the story from the beginning. But most of the Arizona establishment media didn’t cover it until days later. A quick search on AZ Central shows that it finally ran a story about the secret dossier on November 13, a couple days after alternative media reported on it.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the corporate media tried to ignore a major scandal in a local school district. Back in July, they stayed mostly silent when Higley Unified School District’s former superintendent Dr. Denise Birdwell was indicted on 18 felony counts related to procurement fraud, misuse of public monies, fraudulent schemes and practices, and more.

What happened in Higley dwarfed pretty much every other K-12 fraud case in the last five years.

But the corporate media couldn’t be bothered to cover it.

You would think that maybe they would’ve learned their lesson. But the establishment media is much more concerned with protecting their own interests than doing real journalism at this point.

Too often, they’d rather twist facts to suit a chosen narrative, and when they can’t do that, they do everything they can to avoid a story completely.

And that’s exactly what’s going on here.

Corporate media wants to protect their narrative that public schools and public school districts are bastions of accountability. And they don’t want to undermine their assault on issues like school choice.

But now, fewer people are trusting the mainstream media. And that’s a good thing. Thankfully, we have some alternative media here in Arizona doing some real journalism.

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.

Maricopa County’s Bond and Override Election Results Should be a Wake-Up Call to Teachers’ Unions

Maricopa County’s Bond and Override Election Results Should be a Wake-Up Call to Teachers’ Unions

People are fed up. And parents, in particular, are frustrated with school boards across the state. Now, they are starting to speak up. But it’s not just with their voices at local school board meetings. Last week, they spoke up at the ballot box.

Across Maricopa County, multiple bond and override elections were held affecting various school districts. And in a year that didn’t include a midterm or presidential election, you would expect a low-turnout election like this one to benefit the funding proponents.

But the results were very telling.

Most of the bonds and overrides affecting school districts in suburban areas failed. And in many cases, they weren’t even close.

Override continuations were voted down in the Buckeye, Agua Fria, Liberty, and Litchfield school districts while bonds went unapproved in the Higley, Cave Creek, and Queen Creek school districts. A budget increase for the school district in Fountain Hills also failed.

The only suburban areas that were exceptions were Kyrene and Chandler. This must have the left in a tizzy.

For years, teachers’ unions and corporate media, like AZ Central, have pushed the narrative that voters share their belief that schools are underfunded. But this is not true. The Arizona Supreme Court even blew the “underfunded” narrative to pieces in a ruling against Prop 208 back in August. Now, voters appear to be on to their game.

After all, it’s hard to get voters to buy in to more funding when a former superintendent is indicted on 18 counts related to procurement fraud, misuse of public monies, fraudulent schemes and practices, and more. That all happened in Higley—and it went largely ignored by the media. Interestingly enough, Higley had one of the largest gaps in this election, voting down the bond 55% to 45%.

But make no mistake. This election wasn’t just about funding. Parents have gotten sick and tired of school closures, masks on kids, and the way school districts turned their backs on them and their children during the pandemic.

They’re frustrated with school districts that are hiding curriculum while remaining committed to Critical Race Theory and all the rest of the woke culture that has taken over many public schools. And they’re outraged about being labeled “domestic terrorists” just because they pushback on concerns they have with their children’s schools.

While the bond and override elections often get ignored, they should serve as a wake-up call for Red for Ed and the teachers’ unions. But given the echo chamber they operate in—along with the endless cheerleading they get from the media—don’t expect them to make any changes to their radical strategy.

In fact, if the response here is anything like the response to the election in Virginia, they’ll probably just double down on labeling anyone who doesn’t vote the way they want them to as a racist. But that hasn’t proven to be a winning strategy. And if the left doesn’t want to wake up to that reality, maybe more voters will.

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.

Independent Redistricting Entering Final Phase of Drawing Maps

Independent Redistricting Entering Final Phase of Drawing Maps

Every 10 years, following the US Census, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is tasked with drawing new maps that will determine which district you will be in for the next decade. This process has been playing out for months and last week the Commission approved draft maps for both congressional and legislative districts. These maps can still be changed as commissioners are now accepting public comment which they will use to make final adjustments later this year before approving final maps.

In rural Arizona, the Commission did a fairly good job of keeping communities of interest together, especially given the constraints of the Voting Rights Act and the requirement of equal population. The district lines largely represent the majority of public input that occurred during the first round of community hearings over the summer.

Maricopa County, on the other hand, is a bit of a mess. Take Gilbert, for example, which is split into 5 different Tetris shaped legislative districts and separated into two congressional districts. Areas in Northern Phoenix and Scottsdale seem to be randomly divided, splitting up areas that have shared the same district for decades. In the West Valley, Sun City and Sun City West are split on the Congressional map even though most public comments were from citizens asking to keep those communities together.

For one Democrat commissioner, she saw “a lot of partisan balance” under a previous draft map and has made it clear that competitiveness should be the top issue considered by the IRC. Most of her requested changes to date have been to ignore geographic compactness, communities of interest and most public input and work to draw maps that make it easier for Democrats to compete.

Thankfully, the independent chair responded that partisan balance is not one of the 6 constitutional criteria, and that she wants to maximize representation for communities of interest.

As a reminder, the 6 criteria the Commission must follow in the Arizona Constitution, are:

  1. Compliance with the US Constitution and United States voting rights act
  2. Equal population
  3. Compactness
  4. Communities of Interest
  5. To the extent practicable, use visible geographic features and borders
  6. To the extent practicable, competitive districts should be favored where to do so would create no significant detriment to the other goals.

This is critical. In 2010, competitiveness was favored over all other goals, and that is represented in the maps we have been under for the past 10 years. But the clear directive of the Constitution is to favor competitiveness only if it would create no significant detriment to other goals. Breaking up the Sun City area and splitting Gilbert into 5 different legislative districts is a significant detriment to the constitutional goal of keeping communities of interest intact.

The bottom line is that the current maps still need some work. The good news is that the draft maps ARE NOT the final maps, and there is still time for citizens throughout Arizona to let the commission know what they need to fix (and what they have gotten right). The next round of public hearings are beginning this week, and will continue through December 3rd.

We need your help to fix these maps!

Be a part of our Redistricting Strategic Teams and email Rhonda at rhonda@azfree.org. Being on the RST teams will get you all the information you need to help you formulate your comments and hone in your talking points. Let’s FIX these maps!

Public comments can be made to the IRC by emailing: IRCADMIN@AZDOA.GOV 

The IRC has published the listening tour/public/virtual hearings for the state. CLICK HERE FOR THE IRC SCHEDULE