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Election Facts for 2014:
• Party – Democrat
• State – Arizona
• Location – Arizona 3
• First Elected – 2002
• Candidates in 2014:
Raúl Grijalva – D
Gabriela Saucedo Mercer – R
Jaime Vasquez – R
Raul M. Grijalva is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 3rd District of Arizona. He is a Co-Chair on the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and an associate member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
Raul Grijalva’s father was a migrant worker from Mexico who entered the United States in 1945 through the Bracero Program and labored on southern Arizona ranches. Grijalva was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1948 and graduated from Sunnyside Magnet High School in 1967. He attended the University of Arizona and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. At the time, he was inspired into activism by United Farmworkers leader Cesar Chavez – a man trained by the father of “community organizing,” Saul Alinsky.
Grijalva himself told the socialist journal, In These Times – “I’m a Saul Alinsky guy, you know, that’s where I learned this stuff… There’s gotta be some victories regardless of how small they are. Sometimes the victory with this group is going to be keeping the worst from happening.”
More than three decades later, in one of his first speeches as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Grijalva echoed the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) in calling for a national holiday to honor Cesar Chavez.
Grijalva was a young man at the peak of El Movimiento, the Chicano civil rights movement. He had been primed for activism by his experiences in public school. “I was actually made to feel I wanted to be an Anglo,” he told a Tucson newspaper in 1975. “I realized what I was doing and my embarrassment turned to anger.”
Grijalva wrote for the Movimiento newspaper Coraje! (the word means both “courage” and “anger”), whose logo was a clenched-fisted Chicano saying, “My race first” and the motto, “Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.” In 1969, the paper published a poem Grijalva wrote in outrage at a racist’s “clammy hand of hate.”
In 1970, Grijalva helped lead a confrontation with the Tucson City Council, demanding that a “people’s park” be carved out of a city-owned golf course in a largely Mexican-American neighborhood. After months of protests, some of which turned violent, the group prevailed and the city built a park and community center.
Grijalva became a leader in such radical groups as the Chicano Liberation Committee, which confronted the administration of the University of Arizona with demands for the establishment of a Mexican-American Studies program and the recruitment of Chicano students and faculty.
He was also active in MEChA, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, a pro-Cuban student group that called the Southwest “Aztlan,” the spiritual home of the Chicano people. The acronym, the Spanish word for “fuse,” was evocative of the group’s confrontational, nationalist ideology, which took its sharpest formulation in the group’s motto: “Por la raza todo, fuera de la raza nada” – “For the race, everything, outside the race, nothing.”
Grijalva was so militant that he alienated some members of Tucson’s Mexican-American community. After losing in his first bid for elective office, a 1972 run for a seat on the school board, he began to cultivate a less radical image. Grijalva “decided to dissociate himself from RUP” and adopted “a much more middle-of-the-road image and approach” that included outreach to non-Hispanics.
In 1974, Grijalva was elected to the Tucson Unified School District Board and served as a school board member until 1986. From 1975 to 1986, Grijalva was the Director of the El Pueblo Neighborhood Center and in 1987, he was Assistant Dean for Hispanic Student Affairs at the University of Arizona. Grijalva was a member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors from 1989 to 2002 and served as Chairman from 2000 to 2002.
While on the Board of Supervisors, Grijalva managed a $1 billion budget and “ensured that the county was at the forefront of issues such as domestic partner benefits, labor rights and transparent government. His leadership led to the creation of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, an “innovative approach to species and habitat protection in concert with land-use planning in the community.”
Grijalva serves on the Committee on Natural Resources, which includes the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations where he is a Ranking Member, the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs and the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. He also serves on the Committee on Education and The Workforce, which includes the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and the Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He is the the Vice-Chair on the House LGBT Equality Caucus. He is on several Task Forces/Coalitions including the Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coalition.
According to Raul Grijalva’s official Congressional Biography, accessed September 2011:
As Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), Raúl has championed affordable health care for every American and has pushed for job creation measures that focus on improving America’s infrastructure and economic base. He has announced his support in the 112th Congress for the Fairness in Taxation Act, which would create new tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires who currently enjoy generous loopholes that prevent them from contributing a proportionate amount to our economic recovery. He is a co-sponsor of the Fair Employment Act of 2011 to outlaw discrimination against the unemployed in hiring decisions, and wrote an op-ed in mid-March to explain his reasons.
In August 2008, the Obama Campaign announced the formation of its National Latino Advisory Council, highlighting the continued growth of support Senator Obama was receiving in the Latino community nationwide. Raul Grijalva was an important member of that Council.
In 2011, Raul Grijalva served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Progressive Leadership – a national civic training institute that “seeks to develop diverse leaders who can effectively advance progressive political and policy change.” The Center has trained over 6,000 leaders through intensive, leadership programs primarily in state offices in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Raul Grijalva has a long history with the Arizona Communist Party USA.
Anti-NAFTA Article in Communist Paper
In 1993, Raul Grijalva, identified as a member of the County Board of Supervisors for Pima County, Arizona, wrote an anti-NAFTA article entitled: “North America needs ‘fair’ trade,” for the November 13th edition of the Communist Party USA’s People’s Weekly World.
Raul Grijalva has worked in the past with Tucson CPUSA supporter Linda Bohlke, including during a campaign against a Tucson property manager.
In 1994, the communist-influenced Southern Arizona People’s Law Center listed one of J.C. Harry’s federally subsidized apartment complexes, Fry Apartments on S. Fifth Ave., as one of two complexes “in the worst overall state of repair with dangerous structural flaws that seriously threaten the health and safety of households who reside at these properties.”
“I think there’s a real problem with J.C. Harry in the sense that ultimately they’re responsible for the fact that the apartment has run into the ground over the last 20 years,” said Linda Bohlke, a community advocate with the Law Center, a “private, nonprofit group focusing on housing and economic rights.”
At the request of Pima County Supervisor Raul Grijalva, an item to extend the $25,000 contract of J.C. Harry & Associates, Inc. until next April was pulled from the Council’s agenda.
Griljalva wanted the company sanctioned under the county’s “Bad Boy Ordinance,” which essentially states that the county will not do business with companies accused of practices that harm others.
“I personally don’t think we should be doing business with them at all, and if it was solely up to me, we wouldn’t,” Grijalva said. “I think it’s important that we not do business with a company that has rundown apartments in the minority and poor areas while the ones in other areas of town are spotless. They aren’t dealing with all properties equally.”
In August, residents of the Fry Apartments planned a ‘victory’ party.
The property manager, J.C. Harry & Associates, resigned August 1st, after weathering two years of pressure.
Resident Joann Madrid, who was coincidentally involved in the CPUSA-dominated Tucson Tenants Union, said she hoped the new manager would invest in much-needed improvements.
Madrid and other residents, aided by the Southern Arizona People’s Law Center, had been demanding J.C. Harry clean up what they called slum conditions in the 48-unit complex. Linda Bohlke, who worked for the Law Center, was one of the main campaigners. By the time of the victory party, she had moved to assisting the Tucson Tenants Union.
Supervisor Raul Grijalva was among those who wanted to prevent the landlord from doing further work for the county.
“I felt they had a public responsibility on their part to provide safe living conditions. If they weren’t doing it for Fry residents, why should we let them manage property for the county?” Grijalva said.
A letter to the Tucson Citizen, October 15, 2002, on Raul Grijalva accused him of being aided by Tucson activist Linda Bohlke:
Grijalva is supported by AFSCME, the labor union for City of Tucson and Pima County employees. The principal spokeswoman for AFSCME is Linda Bohlke. Bohlke has supported Grijalva for a long time and collected nominating signatures for Grijalva in his congressional campaign. Bohlke identifies herself on her voter registration as a Communist.
Communists Paved the Way
Arizona Communist Party Chair Lorenzo Torrez was a “pioneer in the struggle for Mexican American political representation. According to fellow Party member Steve Valencia, “I always say: before Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva, there was Lorenzo Torrez.”
Pastor and Grijalva are Arizona’s first two Mexican American members of the U.S. Congress. But Torrez ran for Congress before they ran and also boldly ran against Republican Senator Barry Goldwater.
“Lorenzo told us it is time for these majority Latino districts to be represented by a Mexican American,” said Valencia. “He wanted voters to see a Latino name on the ballot.”
When Pastor declared his candidacy, Torrez rallied the Tucson Communist Party club to join in the effort. Pastor’s victory in 1991 set the state for Grijalva’s election in 2002.”
“People Gain in Arizona Primaries”
The CPUSA paper People’s World, September 21, 2002 issue, carried an article on page 8: “People gain in Arizona primaries.” The article by local Party leader, Joe Bernick, dealt mainly with Raul Grijalva’s victory in the recent Democratic Party primary:
The tireless efforts of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dealt a blow to the corporate establishment here and their attempt to dominate Southern Arizona politics in the Sept. 10 primary election.
Long-time progressive Raul Grijalva routed seven other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for CD-7, one of Arizona’s two new Congressional seats.
Grijalva expects to become only the second Mexican American ever elected to Congress from Arizona, and the first from Southern Arizona. As a Pima County Supervisor and Tucson School Board member Grijalva consistently fought for working peoples’ interests.
The Grijalva campaign was a textbook example of how to conduct a peoples’ campaign, beginning with its name: “A whole lot of people for Grijalva.” Hundreds of people came out seven days a week, sometimes twice on Saturday, to wear out tons of shoe leather.
Starting in early summer, when temperatures routinely exceed 100 degrees, volunteers knocked on every door, conducted voter registration, signed people up to vote by mail and most importantly, they talked to people about the issues and Grijalva’s track record. Campaigners canvassed voters, often two or three times, at their homes.
Carloads of volunteers visited rural communities. Many more volunteered thousands of hours doing office time, phone work and preparing bulk mailings.
Communist Report on Grijalva Victory
At a meeting of the National Board of the CPUSA in South Chicago, on the last weekend of January 2003, an unnamed Arizona AFSCME activist stated: “Using street heat tactics, all of labor worked to back one candidate, Raul Grijalva, in Tucson… And we won!”
Thorpe on Grijalva Campaign
Tucson Communist Party supporter, Susan Thorpe, wrote an article covering the 2002 Grijalva campaign for the People’s World, November 8, 2003, page 5, entitled: “Arizona: Grassroots can beat big bucks.”
Nevertheless, here in Tucson, we are gearing up for local elections in 2003 and the presidential election ahead in 2004 by using the same tactics we did in 2002 to get Raul Grijalva elected to Congress…. Congressman Raul Grijalva is proving to be a wonderful voice for the people of Arizona. And our movement and those important connections made during his campaign are still alive in Tucson.
Arizona made history on November 7, 2006, when its voters became the first in the nation to reject a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage – Proposition 107. Wrote Arizona Communist Party leader and Arizona Together activist, Joe Bernick:
Why Arizona? How come voters in more liberal states have voted for similar hateful laws while conservative Arizona voted no?
So how did we do it? The answer is: educating, organizing and mobilizing… Congressman Raul Grijalva appeared on radio ads calling Prop. 107 an attack on working families. The Grijalva campaign worked closely with Arizona Together, using its literature in their extensive door-to-door canvassing.
Grijalva’s Daughter Mixes with Communists
On Wednesday, September 15th, 2010, a reception in support of Sunnyside Unified School District School Board member and Communist Party affiliate, Eva Carrillo Dong, was held at Rigo’s Mexican Restaurant in Tucson.
Key attendees included Sunnyside board member Magdalena Barajas, the Hon. Dan Eckstrom, County Supervisor Richard Elias, Tucson City Council Member Richard Fimbres, TUSD board member and daughter of Raul Grijalva, Adelita Grijalva, Tucson City Council member Regina Romero, Joe Bernick, Janet L. Valencia and Steve Valencia. Bernick and both Valencias were all affiliated with the Arizona District Communist Party USA.
21st Century Democrats Support
Grijalva was endorsed by 21st Century Democrats in the 2002 election cycle – the PAC founded by Institute for Policy Studies and Democratic Socialists of America affiliates and run by DSA member Jim Scheibel for many years.
Take Back America Conferences
Raul Grijalva was on the list of 129 speakers at the 2003, Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies and Democratic Socialists of America-dominated Campaign for America’s Future.
Grijalva was back in 2004 and addressed the newly named America’s Future Now! Conference in 2009.
IPS Awards Ceremony
Every year, the Institute for Policy Studies gives two awards – one domestic and one international – to what are described as “heroes of the progressive movement.”
In 2011, the International Award was presented by Raul Grijalva to Bethlehem, The Migrant’s Shelter (Mexico). The award ceremony was presented at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on October 12th, 2011.
Progressive Democrats of America
In 2009, Raul Grijalva served on the Advisory Board of the Democratic Socialists of America/Institute for Policy Studies-dominated Progressive Democrats of America.
Progressive Democrats of America Endorsement
In 2012, Raul Grijalva (AZ-3) was one of fourteen leftist Congressional and Senate candidates endorsed and supported by Progressive Democrats of America.
The Peoples’ Inauguration
Progressive Central: The People’s Inauguration was held Saturday, January 19, 2013, at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law in Washington, D.C.
The event was sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America, The Nation, National Nurses United, Democrats.com and Busboys and Poets. The event was advertised and promoted by the IPS.
The 1:00 pm – 2:10 pm session: “Organizing the Progressive Movement Inside and Outside the Democratic Party,” was moderated by socialist, John Nichols and featured Rep. Raul Grijalva; Rep. Mark Pocan; Thom Hartmann, PDA National Board/Radio/TV Host and Author; and Lori Wallach, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
Rep. Raul Grijalva, “Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” told the socialist journal, In These Times, at the event that he was worried his Party leadership might agree to a future budget deal that could include cuts to Social Security.
“I’m concerned. I’m concerned,” Grijalva said. “But none of that’s going to pass without Democrats, so I think for the Progressive Caucus and our 70-odd members, holding the line can be huge leverage in this discussion. I’m optimistic about the role we can play. This is where the outside-inside [strategy] is so critical, because the pressure from the outside, not just on progressive members of Congress, but on all members of Congress, is going to be critical to holding the line.”
Foreign Policy/National Security
Staffers’ 2010 Trip to Latin America
Rep. Grijalva sent Daniel Brito to Honduras and El Salvador for three days in May/June 2010. The trip was courtesy of a $4,107.39 grant from the Institute for Policy Studies-connected Center for Democracy in the Americas, to “assess the situation in Honduras and El Salvador and current U.S. policy implications in the countries.”
Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, the anti-military, pro-disarmament PAC, founded by reported Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, supported Grijalva in his 2010 Congressional election campaign.
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This research is part of KeyWiki.org’s ongoing efforts to expose Progressives throughout our political system. Funding for KeyWiki furthers our efforts to bring true transparency to American politics and hold our leaders responsible for their past actions. Donations can be made at Trevor Loudon’s site: New Zeal – http://www.trevorloudon.com/. More information on the Enemies Within can be found in Trevor Loudon’s latest book, “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.” Trevor’s books can be purchased at http://www.pacificfreedomfoundation.com.
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