Syms: what I can bring to the table at the Arizona House of Representatives

Maria Syms

Maria Syms

“Why would a nice woman like you want to get involved in politics?”  

This is the No. 1 question I have been asked over the past six months of door knocking for my grassroots campaign for Arizona House in our Legislative District 28.

Given the negative rhetoric in our national politics, I can understand why people feel discouraged by the political process. But that is not Arizona’s story. Instead, Arizona’s story is being told in the classrooms, community centers, places of worship, shelters, senior centers, town halls, and living rooms where people gather to selflessly dedicate themselves to improving the quality of life for those around them.

These are the people I meet on the campaign trail and their actions are making a positive difference in Arizona every day. The work they do matters and is setting the stage for Arizona to be a leader to the nation in job growth, quality education and safe communities now and for future generations.

I am running for the Arizona House because I want to use my 25 years of experience in private business and public service to be a strong, impactful voice for this effort and I am optimistic about Arizona’s future.

This country has given so much to my family and I feel an obligation to give back by making a positive contribution. My father came to this country as a young man, having survived the poverty and hunger of post-War Italy. He arrived with nothing but a strong work ethic and an abiding faith in the American Dream.

Both he and my mother, who was a teacher, taught me that education is the great equalizer and the key to opportunity for future generations. As a result, I had a great education, attending Smith College, American University law school and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. I went on to have a rewarding career in both private business and public service.

Because of my experience and the relationships I have built at the federal, state and local level, I offer a comprehensive understanding of the economic, education, and public safety issues facing Arizona.

My 25-year career makes me uniquely qualified to represent you. As an Assistant United States Attorney, I fought against frivolous lawsuits and saved millions for hardworking taxpayers. As a school board member, I worked to implement positive early childhood education programs so our children could achieve future academic success. As an Assistant Attorney General, I worked hard to protect Arizona’s most vulnerable.

I had the honor of serving on the Governor’s Sexual Assault Kit Task Force working toward universal testing so victims have the opportunity for justice. I also served on the Governor’s Substance Abuse task force aimed at bringing stakeholders together to stem drug abuse in our communities and prevent the drug smuggling associated with a porous border.  Serving as your councilwoman, I have stood firm against government waste and strengthened our police force so our residents can have the peace of mind that comes with a safe neighborhood.

I have had many titles during the course of my career that have prepared me to represent you well, but I can think of no title more important than being a mom.  With children who currently attend public schools in LD28, I am passionate about, and personally vested in, better quality education so all Arizona children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

As your Representative, I will work to prioritize funding of public schools and in particular, focus on attracting and retaining quality teachers to help our children thrive in the classroom. I will continue to support early childhood development programs such as First Things First and full-day kindergarten. These programs have a proven impact on third grade literacy, which is one of the best indicators of future academic success. We should also look for ways to expand our high school vocational training programs.  I would also work toward restoring funding to our state universities and foster an environment that increases the number of college degrees and job certifications.

As your Representative, I will continue working to make the possibility of the American Dream a reality for all Arizona families through pro-job growth and high quality education policies. It has been an honor to serve you in Paradise Valley for nearly 12 years and I look forward to continuing that service and providing smart, competent leadership for the benefit of all of Arizona.

I would be honored to have your vote by early ballot or on Election Day, Nov. 8. I invite you to learn more about my plans for an even better Arizona at symsforaz.com.

Editor’s note: Ms. Syms is a member of Paradise Valley Town Council and seeking a seat at the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 28

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