Anti-Trans Policy Fails in Peoria
Plus: call your legislators to support affordable housing policy
Tuesday: during floor debate for SB 1001, a bill that restricts trans students’ pronouns and chosen names at school, Representative Lorena Austin countered Representative Beverly Pingerelli’s unscientific claim that transness is a social contagion — “if you’re scared of social contagion, I guess that’s me. And guess what? I’m an individual. I’m someone’s child. I’m an educator. I’m committed to my community.” The bill now awaits a final floor vote before it can be sent to the Governor.
Wednesday: for April’s installment of Ask Smart People Smart Questions, we convened a panel of experts to talk about school governance and the current trend of anti-LGBTQ+ extremism targeting school boards across the state. Subscribe to the podcast feed today to get the recording as soon as it’s released!
Thursday: regardless of whether a school board has formally added a policy for trans students to their agenda, intense discussions about trans inclusion have been spreading from district to district. Most recently, Heather Rooks, a Peoria Unified School District board member affiliated with the anti-trans organization Arizona Women of Action, proposed a trans-exclusive bathroom ban mirroring the legislature’s SB 1040. The measure failed by a 3-2 vote on Thursday night.
Friday: the Peoria board meeting was a major news story the next day, with voices from Equality Arizona’s staff and volunteers represented on KJZZ, Arizona’s Family, and in the Arizona Republic.
Equality Arizona is working to make local government more accessible to the LGBTQ+ community. To support our efforts, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
Last week, we covered three important housing bills advancing research-based solutions to a crisis of access and affordability that disproportionately harms the LGBTQ+ community. SB 1161, SB 1163, and HB 2536 use zoning reforms to speed up development of affordable housing, to increase urban density and livability, and to expand access to unique housing options like accessory dwelling units, duplexes, and dorm-style senior housing.
These policies have bipartisan support, but face strong opposition from NIMBY groups who benefit from housing supply shortages that artificially inflate property value. That means that legislators in every district need to hear from their constituents about why they should support the solutions in these bills. You can find contact information for your legislators with the lookup tool on our website. Take 10 minutes and call your legislators today!
With no replacement set to fill ousted Representative Liz Harris’s seat, business at the legislature has slowed to a halt. They plan to return on Wednesday, May 3, but until the schedule becomes more predictable, we’ll be cancelling our joint Lobby Day with NARAL. We’re now looking to Pride Month and the anniversary of the Dobbs decision in June as a moment to rally the community around the cause of bodily autonomy. Stay tuned!
Media & Events
Queer People Fit: Nature Walk
10:00 am - 11:30 am May 6, 2023 | register
With 100° days upon us, we’re pausing our Queer People Fit nature walks after our upcoming event in May. The Riparian Preserve in Gilbert is a beautiful respite from the desert heat, and a great space to share with queer community! Join us there on May 6 for a nature walk. The Queer People Fit series exists for LGBTQ+ people to come together to build community and to find a sense of belonging. Move with us to build the movement for equality!
The Arizona Equals Conversation
Our queer storytelling podcast is back from a short hiatus with our first interview from Tucson! Catch up on the latest episode below. We’ll have more each week!