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August 2014 Featured PC: Marielyn White

Sometime after the 2000 general election, and the damage done, the idea dawned on me that voting is not enough. I was frustrated with much of the political leadership at all government levels and was looking for how to be a more active voter.

I didn't start out as precinct committeeperson (PC). It branched off from earlier community involvement, from fundraising and Chair for Mesa Civic Ballet in the 70s, volunteer for Mesa Human Resources Advisory Board, Southwest Neighbor Committee liaison to preserve and develop affordable housing, Committee on Education, Latino Town Meeting, and from being a teacher in Mesa Public Schools.

I had always voted as a Democrat and helped campaign for candidates at the city, state and national level, but I felt a void when it came to express my political voice in Mesa. In the summer of 2004, I volunteered to campaign for John Kerry and John Edwards (phone banking, canvassing) and received some training in GOTV.

Monthly LD18 meetings offered opportunities to develop political views, and effectiveness in GOTV, which led to more networking. By 2010, more LD18 Mesa Democrats were attending monthly meetings, and the number of PCs roughly doubled when compared to 2008. I was one of the PCs elected to the state committee which gave me a broader view of state politics. One of the standout candidates LD18 supported was Andrew Sherwood. Also LD18 exerted a uniting influence by collecting signatures from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to recall Russell Pierce.

In 2012, the Redistricting Commission (AIRC) created LD26, which includes West Mesa, Tempe, and the Salt River Indian Community. Last summer our new district joined the effort to stop HB 2035 voter repression bill. We went door-to-door to have voters sign the petition. Today, LD26 is represented by Ed Ableser, Juan Mendez, and Andrew Sherwood.

Voting wasn't enough. Today I am the PC for Guerrero precinct with over 700 registered Democrats and a member of the Arizona Democratic Party state committee.

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