Tuesday is an important day, a day where Arizonans decide what kind of value they place on education and public safety. We’re talking about teachers, police officers and fire fighters—the everyday heroes of our society. On Tuesday, their future goes before voters across the state in the form of Proposition 100.
I’m here to tell you that you need to vote on Tuesday and you need to approve Prop 100. You need to vote yes for this three-year, 1 percent sales-tax increase. It needs to pass.
If you’re thinking, listen, dude, I pay enough taxes already and I don’t want any more, I hear you. I really do.
I’ve never been a “more tax is the solution” guy. I know public programs—police, fire, schools—could work better and more efficiently with the resources they have now.
But the solution is NOT to knowingly shortchange those public services if given the chance to help initiate positive change.
You could say I’m biased. My wife is a teacher. But you should be biased, too. I’ll venture to guess that you know a teacher, have a child being taught by a teacher, have a child who used to be taught by a teacher, or yourself were otherwise influenced by a teacher. Voting yes on Prop 100 enables the state’s educators to continue molding our future citizens. A no vote—a “I don’t want more taxes” vote—in this case is simply shortsighted. It sets up our state for decline.
Many of our schools’ activities—the kinds of things beyond the three R’s that kids need to develop into well-adjusted adults—have been slowly killed off for years. Just this year my wife’s school cut six positions. Now she’s being told that the number will double if Prop 100 doesn’t pass. That’s 18 total positions lost in one school year at one school. And that’s just the beginning if Prop 100 fails.
If hardworking teachers like my wife and her colleagues lose their jobs, what happens? The educators who are left get more students to teach, more stress from having more students to teach, and more reasons to leave the profession. Who really loses then? I shudder to think how our kids will turn out in the absence of quality, dedicated teachers.
Prop 100 isn’t just about my wife and other educators. While two-thirds of the money raised by this 1 percent sales-tax increase goes toward primary and secondary education, the rest goes to fund health and public safety.
Police and fire services will need to trim back, too, without this tax increase. Quick response from police officers and fire fighters is something that we take for granted. Fewer men and women who are looking out for your safety but with fewer resources, however, is only going to make you wait longer for the care you need. I saw a report recently that Avondale residents are reporting slower response to security alarm calls. If Prop 100 fails and police and fire resources are cut like education’s are, you can most certainly expect the slow-service trend to continue.
Please, please vote yes on Proposition 100 on Tuesday. The money raised goes to help out education and public safety. By passing this important piece of legislation, you’ll be helping yourself out.