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!
Kevin 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. Continue reading →
Planned Parenthood Arizona recently bid farewell to one of our most tireless leaders, Patti Caldwell, who served as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona from 2000 – 2007. Patti left PPAZ this past Spring to become the Executive Director of New Beginnings for Women and Children. We honored Patti at this year’s Roe v. Wade Luncheon for her twenty-three years of service.
I took time to speak with Patti about her tenure at Planned Parenthood Arizona. And, I also asked others to speak about Patti’s contributions to the pro-choice movement. The responses were very inspiring.
When did you start working for Planned Parenthood, and what was your motivation for working here?
I started working for Planned Parenthood in August 1987. As a social worker, I was always interested in social justice issues and community involvement. After providing direct counseling and case management services for a number of years, I was ready to focus on a more “macro” level. I had always respected and appreciated the mission of Planned Parenthood. I had the opportunity serve on a community coalition about reducing teen pregnancy with the PP CEO, Ginger Yrun. She impressed me with her brilliance and thoughtfulness, and I thought, “I’d love to work with this woman.” I started as the Director of Education and Training, since attitudes and behaviors are so key to the choices people make. I had the opportunity to serve in many roles, as well as work with amazing people from all over the country. The work was always exciting and interesting, and I learned every day.
What are some of your most memorable experiences working for Planned Parenthood?
Oh, there are so many. Here are just a few:
Standing outside of the federal courthouse downtown as part of a 24-hour vigil prior to the initial hearing on a lawsuit to stop a parental consent for abortion law from going into effect (which we won, that time!). And, so many wonderful people driving by and calling out their support. And even more amazing, Marian Lupu seeing the coverage on the 10:00 p.m. news and getting in her car and driving downtown to give us refreshments! I was so touched by her actions! Continue reading →
Friday, September 17th was PARKing Day, an annual worldwide event that encourages people to turn urban spaces into temporary parks for the common good. Planned Parenthood participated for the second year on Friday, and we had a fabulous time!
We had 14 volunteers throughout the day. Our parking space outside of Antigone’s Bookstore on 4th Avenue in Tucson was transformed into a mini park, complete with a wading pool, astroturf, voter registration materials, and delicious baked goods. We spent the day talking to people about the upcoming election, and encouraging people to register to vote.
This was my second year participating in PARKing Day. I always have interesting conversations with people when I table for Planned Parenthood, and Friday was no exception. Several U of A students stopped by the table, and we encouraged them to register to vote in Arizona. Most of them didn’t even realize that there was an election in November. We gave them a list of the PPAA-endorsed candidates, and then many people proceeded to talk to us about their frustration with Arizona politics. We urged them to turn their frustration into action by going to the polls and electing pro-choice candidates who will protect women’s health.
Another person stopped by to ask about access to emergency contraception (aka “the morning after pill,” Plan B, or EC). I explained that the morning after pill is available over the counter, but that pharmacists in the state of Arizona can refuse to dispense emergency contraception and birth control, no thanks to the Omnibus Abortion Bill (HB2564), which was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer last year. Fortunately, Plan B is available at the U of A health center, as well as all of Planned Parenthood’s clinics, and women do not need a prescription to get it. Continue reading →