The Arizona primary election will be held on August 29, 2017. Reproductive health care access has been under attack, both nationally and statewide, but Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed candidates who have shown strong commitment to reproductive justice. In order to vote in the primary election, you must be registered to vote by July 31. Early voting begins on August 2. Make your voice heard in 2017!
[K]evin Patterson is running for a seat on the Phoenix City Council — specifically for District 6. Mr. Patterson is the director of talent management and leadership development for Banner Health, the largest employer in Phoenix. Mr. Patterson has spent his life advocating for marginalized constituencies and building consensus for common-sense solutions to some of our state’s problems. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed Mr. Patterson because of his strong support for reproductive health care.
“Health care is a human right.”
On July 3, I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Patterson about his positions on health care advocacy, as well as his support of the LGBTQ community.
What motivated you to run for Phoenix City Council?
I am running for Phoenix City Council because I want my kids to grow up in a city where they feel safe, are provided opportunities to thrive, and [are] respected for their diversity. The national rhetoric right now is so divisive and combative that it makes me nervous to think about the type of world they will grow up in if more consensus-building policies aren’t put in place. I believe that change happens at home and in our communities on the local level. For our neighborhoods, I would like to create opportunities for responsible economic growth, safe neighborhoods, efficient public resources.
Why do you think it’s important that people make their own health care decisions?
I believe it’s important for people to make their own health care decisions because laws central to a state or nation should not dictate what an individual MUST do with their body. I believe that each individual deserves the right to choose what is best for them. I think this puts individuals in the position to feel empowered and engaged to make better choices based on knowing their body.
People who are anti-abortion say that adoption is an alternative to abortion, yet many of them fail to support or fund adoption agencies. Many anti-choice advocates also oppose same-sex marriage and the right of queer couples to adopt children. Is this why you and your partner are such vocal advocates for marriage equality and LGBTQ rights?
Yes. Above all, I believe in a parent’s right to choose to have or not have kids. However, if an individual is not apt to take care of the child, I believe adoption is a great choice for same-sex families like mine to expand. In Arizona we have a horrible problem with thousands of kids in the state foster/adoption system. To alleviate this problem, we can’t create barriers that hurt kids by keeping them from being placed in a loving home. This is why I am passionate about advocating for LGBTQ rights and helping ALL families expand.
What is your vision for Phoenix?
I think Phoenix, as a city, needs to get better at creating a long-term vision in general. For example, it continues to get hotter and hotter each year, yet we keep passively talking about increasing our urban canopy and shaded areas initiatives without aggressively creating results. My vision includes a city where small businesses can thrive, students from our universities are retained and can contribute to our sustainability, top organizations across the country are attracted to move here and create green jobs, and our infrastructure grows and promotes walkability. I want to see a city where safety is valued above all, community programs support kids and families, and our public resources are efficient and high value. I want Phoenix to continue to develop its own culture and its own brand.
Why was it important for you to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona?
Planned Parenthood is a pillar of strength in the health care community, providing access and programs to those who need it most. Working for Arizona’s largest organization, Banner Health, I know the importance of having access to quality health care. I believe that health care is a human right and I have nothing but respect for the invaluable work Planned Parenthood does in our community. I also believe that every patient has the right to choose how to engage with decisions impacting their health care. For this reason, Planned Parenthood’s philosophy aligns with my beliefs, and it is an honor to be endorsed by them.
To find out what Phoenix city council district you live in, check this website. To learn more about Kevin Patterson, visit his website. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter. You can contact us if you’d like to volunteer for an endorsed candidate.