My Two Cents

Pearce is not the only problem Arizona faces

By Manuel A. Sigüenza ’12        
THE ROUNDUP

Arizona voters made history Nov. 8 when they successfully recalled Russell Pearce, President of the Arizona Senate, from office.

He lost to Republican candidate Jerry Lewis, a Mesa resident with experience as a superintendent of the Sequoia Charter School.

As an Arizona native, I find the results of this election to be very positive and heartwarming; this will hopefully affect our state in a positive way because it is a step towards the acceptance of others and a more moderate approach to statewide issues.

As mentioned in an article on AZCentral.com, when Pearce was in office, he co-wrote the anti-immigrant bill SB1070 that brought fear to the Latino population of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Because of it, individuals have moved to states nearby or to their countries of origin, or have chosen to leave their houses less frequently because they worry about the enforcement of this legislation.

Now that Pearce is no longer in Arizona politics, I hope this fear will slowly dwindle away.

This successful recall could also potentially change the perception of Arizona as a state filled with racism, simple-mindedness and bigotry.

People from all over the country will be more open to the idea of passing through, visiting or even living in Arizona.

With all of these factors, Arizona could improve in several ways including economically and socially.

Despite all of these possibilities, Arizona still has a long way to go as community that is accepting of all people and willing to change.

The problems brought about by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Gov. Jan Brewer still exist and will potentially worsen as time passes. This includes a continuing of anti-immigrant sentiments and racism such as the signing of SB1070 and the poor treatment of inmates who are illegal immigrants in addition to corruption within the government.

According to another article on AZCentral.com, the newly chosen President of the senate, Steve Pierce of Prescott, has a similar agenda to Pearce but with less harsh approach to immigration.

In addition to all of this, growing anger towards newcomer Lewis presents problems in the near future for this addition to the Arizona Senate.

Some within the Senate have called him an agent of Democrats and have made antagonizing remarks, saying he should not have won the election.

Lewis has to step up and not let these sentiments keep him from doing what he needs to do.

As a new member of the government, he must make a name for himself so that he can be an individual within the Senate.

Though we cannot do much about the inner workings of our state, we can educate ourselves to be more open-minded to people and policies that could improve Arizona.

In order to do that, Arizona citizens should pay more attention to local politics.

Though this is a stretch for some, I think if people are willing to put in the effort to care about the state and those who live in it rather than themselves.

After all, we do live in a community, a place where people should care for their neighbors before themselves.

Hopefully, Lewis will overcome the animosity he faces in the Senate and tries to improve Arizona’s approach to immigration reform with other elected representatives.

Click here to read last year’s coverage of SB1070