We have a friend. Her name is Claudia Maestas. She is a candidate for state representative in District 4, your district and ours. She has our vote, but not because she is our friend.
Claudia is a strong voice for education. She feels that substantial and competitive salaries at all levels of education will attract and keep good teachers in Arizona. She wants to bring our education rank in the nation up to No. 10 instead of the present No. 47.
She believes that senior citizens on a fixed income should not have to choose between buying food to stay alive or buying medication. Both are needed to maintain some quality of life.
Patients should receive medical treatment when they need it and when their doctor prescribes it, not when HMOs will permit it.
Many children do not receive needed health care because of lack of money or insurance. Some do not receive any health care. This year the state of Arizona returned $76 million to the federal government because legislators could not devise a plan to identify the needy.
"Why couldn't they?" Claudia asks.
Adequate health care for all is one of her goals.
Lack of mental health care causes grief, not only for families, but for communities and cities which cannot provide for the many who are mentally ill and homeless. Claudia sees these people. She does not pretend they aren't there.
The death penalty brings up a moral issue that should not be legislated.
The courts would like to save time and money ... how about lives? This is a dilemma for Claudia, too.
Economic development defines the fate of rural communities. Mining districts have dwindled, tourism is affected by high fuel prices, the glory days of ranching are gone ... but the people are still here. Where are the jobs? Claudia asks, too.
These are some of the reasons Claudia gets our vote.
William M. DeMare, Holbrook