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July 2014 Featured PCs: Phil & Linda Amorosi

Phil and Linda's PC History

I came to Arizona in 1975 to attend Arizona State University. I moved into my precinct in 1985 and never left. I always voted but it wasn’t until 1996 when I started proofing the ballots for Maricopa County that I noticed my precinct did not have a Democratic Precinct Committeeperson. This bugged me because my father was a PC in Philadelphia. I remember him taking me out to go door-to-door at election time and working the polls. I realized this is why Tempe was totally red, nobody was getting the word out. I am proof that every vote counts because when I ran for PC that year I had to do it as a write-in candidate. Even though over 20 people said they would write my name in I got exactly 10 votes.

When I attended my first District meeting I was shocked to see less than a dozen people there, it wasn’t Philadelphia. This was unacceptable to me, I rolled up my sleeves and was determined to make District 27 a viable political machine. There was also a core group that believed like I did. We could not have been successful without the Zavaleta’s, Podlich’s, Regner’s, Thorton’s, Ming’s and Wooten’s of the district.

By 1998 I was voted Chair of then District 27. My wife Linda, who’s parents were also politically active in the Chicago area, got caught up in the excitement and became a PC that year too. We were also elected State Committee persons. The district grew in numbers by setting up tables at every public event we could. We began partnering with the ASU Young Dems. Being visible was the key. It was a lot of hard work but it paid off.

With help from the state party we recruited former Tempe mayor Harry Mitchell to run as our Democratic State Senator. It was his first win in a partisan race and our first victory as a district in decades. The next cycle in 2000 we went after a house seat and single shot Meg Burton-Cahill to victory along with re-electing Harry. The district was on a roll, we tripled the number of activists and PC’s who were attending meetings. We were getting noticed by the county and state party. The area Republicans didn’t know how to handle the competition.

Neighbors were coming over and asking our advice on who to vote for and how to vote on ballot initiatives. They would stop by to see who’s signs were in our front yard. It was a good feeling to know that they trusted our opinion.

In 2002 I tried to run with Meg for the other House seat but was not successful. I relinquished my Chair position to Bruce Martin but we never stopped doing as much as we could to help every candidate get elected.

Our dream of turning Tempe blue was fulfilled in 2004 when Sen. Ed Ableser joined Meg in the House and Harry served his last term in the State Senate before becoming a U.S. Congressman.

Now, 10 years later, the reconfigured District continues to be progressive with so many good, hard working Democrats. We continue to field great candidates but don’t get complacent, remember it only takes one vote and things can change.

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