Monica Sandschafer

  • signed Be Our Valentine via 2013-02-07 13:06:12 -0700

    Dear Governor Brewer: Be Our Valentine and Let DREAMers Drive!

    1,135 valentine cards

    Add your name in support of drivers licenses for DREAMers in Arizona! Post_Card_1_for_website.jpg

    Post a short comment for Governor Brewer and we'll make sure it's included on one a valentines card, to be delivered on the 14th.


    ¡Adhiere tu nombre en apoyo para licencias de conducir para SOÑADORES en Arizona! Escribe una nota breve para la Gobernadora Brewer y nosotros nos aseguraremos que sea incluida en una de las tarjetas de San Valentín abajo, que serán presentadas el 14 de Febrero.

    Add valentine card

  • published DACA FAQ in DACA 2012-08-16 15:21:04 -0700

    Deferred Action: FAQ's


    Obama Administration’s Relief Process for Eligible Undocumented Youth

    On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain DREAM Act–eligible undocumented youth. Under a directive from the secretary of DHS, these youth will be given a type of temporary permission to

    stay in the U.S. called “deferred action.” Deferred action will be valid for two years and may be renewed at the end of the two years. Individuals who receive deferred action may apply for and may obtain employment authorization.

    The federal government began accepting deferred action requests on August 15, 2012. Learn all about it, then call the LUCHA office at (602) 388-9745 or email  to schedule an appointment TODAY!

    What is deferred action?


    Deferred action is a kind of administrative relief from deportation that has been around a long time. ("Administrative" relief is relief that may be granted by DHS, without the person necessarily having to go to immigration court.) Through it, DHS authorizes a non-U.S. citizen to temporarily

    remain in the U.S. The person may also apply for an employment authorization document (a “work permit”) for the period during which he or she has deferred action status.

    Deferred action will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Even if you meet the requirements outlined

    below, DHS will still have to decide whether to grant you deferred action.

    A grant of deferred action is temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship.

    Who is eligible for deferred action under the Obama administration’s policy announced on June 15, 2012?

    To be eligible for deferred action, you must:

    • Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
    • Have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, and up to the present time.
    • Be present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for deferred action.
    • Not have lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012. This means you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired as of June 15, 2012.
    • Be at least 15 years old, if you have never been in deportation proceedings or your proceedings were terminated. If you are currently in deportation proceedings, have a voluntary departure order, or have a deportation order, and are not in immigration detention, you may request deferred action even if you are not yet 15 years old.
    • Be 30 years old or younger as of June 15, 2012 (a person who had not yet turned 31 on that date is also eligible).
    • Be in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces. If you are enrolled in school on the date that you submit your deferred action application, that will be considered to “be in school.” See below for more information about meeting the “be in school” requirement.
    • Have not been convicted of a felony offense. A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
    • Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor offense or three or more misdemeanor offenses.  See below for more information about offenses that may disqualify you.
    • Not pose a threat to national security or public safety (DHS is still defining what these terms mean but has indicated that they include gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the U.S.).
    • Pass a background check.

    Are you or is someone you know eligible to apply? Sign up for an appointment to fill out your application.

    How do I request deferred action?

    You can submit your request for deferred action on the I-821D “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” form. You must submit this form, together with the I-765 form requesting a work permit, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Information about work permits is available on USCIS’s website at You must show an economic need for employment in order to get the work permit.

    Will USCIS conduct a background check as part of my deferred action request?

    Yes. These checks involve checking the biographic and biometric information that you provided against a variety of databases kept by the federal government.

    What are the fees associated with the deferred action application?

    You should expect to pay $465, which includes a $380 fee for the employment authorization application and an $85 fee for fingerprints. Fee waivers are not available. However, fee exemptions will be available in very limited circumstances.

    How do I prove that I qualify for deferred action?

    You can start gathering documents such as financial records (lease agreements, phone bills, credit card bills), medical records, school records (diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts), employment records, and military records. If you have ever been arrested, you should request a copy of your criminal history from your state or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    **Call LUCHA at 602-388-9745 for a complete list of documents.**

    What qualifies as “currently in school?”

    To meet the “currently in school” requirement, you must be enrolled in:

    1. a public or private elementary school, junior high or middle school, high school, or secondary school;

    2. an education, literacy, or career-training program (including vocational training) that is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment, and where you are working toward such placement; or

    3. an education program assisting students either in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under state law (including a certificate of completion, certificate of attendance, or alternate award), or in passing a GED (General Educational Development) exam or other equivalent state-authorized exam.

    What is considered a “significant misdemeanor”?

    A misdemeanor is a crime for which the maximum term of imprisonment is one year or less but more than five days. DHS considers the following to be “significant misdemeanors”:

    • An offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; driving under the influence (these offenses are considered significant misdemeanors regardless of the length of the sentence that is imposed).
    • For offenses not listed above, a misdemeanor is one for which you were sentenced to more than 90 days in custody. This does not include a suspended sentence.

    What type of offenses count towards the “three or more misdemeanor offenses”?

    • Any misdemeanor not listed under “significant misdemeanor” for which you are sentenced to fewer than 90 days in custody counts toward the “three or more misdemeanor offenses.”
    • DHS will not count minor traffic offenses as misdemeanors.
    • DHS will not count immigration-related offenses created by state immigration laws as being misdemeanor offenses or felonies. For instance, Arizona, Alabama, and other states have passed laws that make it a crime for undocumented people to engage in many everyday actions; these crimes will not be counted as felonies or misdemeanors.
    • DHS will look at all the circumstances in a case to decide whether a person who has committed a criminal offense will be given deferred action.

    If I am granted deferred action, how long will deferred action last?

    Deferred action will be granted for two years. When the two-year period expires, the grant of deferred action can be renewed, pending a review of the individual case.

    If my period of deferred action is extended, will I need to reapply for my work permit?

    Yes. If you apply for and receive an extension of the period for which you are granted deferred action, you must also request an extension of your employment authorization.

    May I travel outside the United States?

    If you travel outside of the U.S. after August 15, 2012, you won’t be eligible for deferred action.  However, if USCIS approves your request for deferred action, you can travel outside of the U.S. if you apply for and receive advance parole from USCIS. Advance parole allows you to leave the U.S. for humanitarian, employment, and educational reasons. Check with an attorney before leaving the U.S., as receiving advance parole does not guarantee that you will be able to return to the U.S.

    If I am currently detained, how do I get deferred action?

    Right now Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reviewing the cases of people who are detained. If ICE identifies a case as meeting the eligibility requirements outlined above, ICE should offer the person deferred action for a period of two years.

    If I am not detained, how do I get deferred action?

    People who are not detained can submit a deferred action request to USCIS even if they are currently in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order. A request should include evidence that you are eligible for deferred action under the criteria outlined above.

    If I request deferred action, will the information be kept confidential?

    According to USCIS, information provided in a request for deferred action, including information about family members and guardians, will not be shared with ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the purpose of deportation proceedings unless your case involves fraud, a criminal offense, a threat to public safety or national security, or other exceptional circumstances.  However, the information in your request may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and CBP, for purposes other than deportation, including to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, for national security purposes, or for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense.

    If I am denied deferred action, will I be placed in deportation proceedings?

    If you are denied deferred action under this process, USCIS will refer your case to ICE if your case involves a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety. It is against USCIS policy to refer cases to ICE where there is no evidence of fraud, a criminal offense, or a threat to public safety or national security, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Before you request deferred action, however, it is really important that you first consult with a DREAM advocate or a reputable attorney or legal services program—especially if you have ever been arrested or convicted of any kind of crime.

    How is the new deferred action policy different from DREAM legislation that has been proposed in the past?

    The announcement came from DHS, which is one of the agencies within the federal government’s executive branch. DHS has the power to make certain decisions about the enforcement of immigration laws. The executive branch does not have the power to create a path to permanent lawful status and citizenship. Only Congress, through its legislative authority, can grant that.

    The DREAM Act is legislation that must be passed by Congress to become law. Past DREAM Act proposals have included a path to citizenship. A grant of deferred action is only temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent residency or citizenship.

    Deferred action is only a temporary fix. We still need to fight for the DREAM Act to be enacted so undocumented youth can have a permanent solution.

    Did the president issue an executive order?

    No, the president did not issue an executive order. Executive orders have the full force of law. The announcement the president made on June 15 was about a policy change. The policy change is described in a memo from DHS secretary Janet Napolitano and a memo from ICE director John Morton. These memos are not a change in law—they only give guidance on how DHS should apply this change in policy. The decision to grant certain young people deferred action can be changed or reversed in the future.

    Should I request deferred action?

    After getting as much information as you can and consulting with a DREAM advocate or a reputable attorney or legal services program, especially if you have ever been arrested or convicted of any kind of crime, you should make your own decision about whether you want to ask for deferred action.

    Remember, USCIS will not tolerate fraud, so make sure your deferred action request is accurate and complete before you submit it.

    Sign up for an appointment now!

    Where can I get more information?

    Call LUCHA the LUCHA office at (602) 388-9745 or Stephanie Maldonado, Members Organizer at (623)271-5284 or email to TODAY!

  • published Fight Back Against Wall St. Banks! 2012-06-13 19:19:52 -0700

  • Lilly Washington v. Bank of America, Fannie Mae

    lilly_arm_up.jpg“It is absolutely David versus Goliath, me versus all of Bank of America and Fannie Mae.” – Lilly Washington, Phoenix homeowner fighting back against fraudulent foreclosure.

    This blog is longer than I normally write, but this story about Lilly Washington and her fight against Bank of America and Fannie Mae is too amazing, astonishing, and inspiring to leave out any detail. It’s simply that impressive. Here’s how she tells it:

    “They took my home. Evicted me twice. Helped put me in the hospital six times. Threw everything I owned in the city dump. And when they sold my house out from under me back in 2010, I was in a military hospital in Germany, helping care for my son, who was in a coma from injuries suffered in combat in Afghanistan.

    “That’s crazy, right? But I never gave up. After Bank of America sold my home – I was already negotiating with them for a loan modification and they even told me that they would put the negotiations on hold while I cared for my son – I decided I wasn’t leaving and I reoccupied it.”

    Click here to stand with Lilly Washington as she fights Bank of America and Fannie Mae to win her title free and clear and get damages for trashing all her belongings and putting her in the hospital six times.

    Unfortunately, in a country where Wall Street banks have foreclosed on 4 million households and 12 million homeowners are underwater, stories like Lilly’s, no matter how shocking, are becoming more and more routine.

    Here’s what happened to Lilly when she came back from Afghanistan (her son, thankfully, emerged from his coma). She found a ‘for sale’ sign in the yard and a new lock on the front door. Her house had been completely emptied; the furniture acquired over years, the Purple Heart her son had earned when he was shot during an earlier tour in Iraq: all gone. Bank of America had illegally and fraudulently sold her house to Fannie Mae only days after she’d left the country. And, they’d thrown all of her belongings in the city dump.

    So like David confronting impossible odds, she stood up and fought. She moved back in, fought the eviction in court, and replaced her furniture with donations from her church. When the Sheriff’s deputies came in January 2012 to evict her, Lilly won a stay of eviction. Then in April she found a judge who finally recognized that she had been robbed by Wall Street bankers and let her legally possess her home again. 

    “My fight’s not over, though. And it’s cost me. Fighting the Sheriff’s deputies when they tried to evict me made me slip a disk in my back. The stress caused me a heart attack. I went to the hospital six times, I’m facing another surgery, and I’m on disability now.

    “What’s worse, though, is that the banks broke the law, stole my house, junked everything I owned, ruined my health and haven’t paid for their crime in any way. It’s just like what they’ve done to the economy and the entire country!

    “So I’m still fighting and I need your help. We need to make sure that the banks are held accountable for their crimes. I’ve filed a lawsuit against Bank of America and Fannie Mae to win my title free and clear and win damages for everything they’ve put me through with their illegal actions. I’m meeting with them this week.

    Join with me in this fight to make sure the big Wall Street banks pay for what they’ve done to me and millions of other families like mine. Help me demand a fair settlement and take one step towards teaching Wall Street that theft and fraud have consequences.”

    We at LUCHA want to let Bank of America and Fannie Mae know that we are watching and that they have stolen too much from our families, our communities, and our country. Criminal actions should have consequences. We are joining with Lilly Washington and 99%ers like her to fight back against Wall Street and demand accountability.

    Together, we can win this fight and many more. Sign on to show your support today.



  • published survey questions in Take Action 2012-06-10 20:07:00 -0700

  • Save Lilly Washington's Home! -- Salvemos la Casa de Lilly Washington!

    In 2010, Bank of America and Fannie Mae illegally and fraudulently foreclosed on LILLY WASHINGTON, unjustly evicted her not once, but TWICE and dragged her through the courts for two years in an attempt to win legal approval for their criminal activities, causing substantial financial loss and irreparable harm to her health. In April 2012 a judge gave Lilly the right of repossession and now she's suing for her title and for damages. 


    En 2010, el Banco de America y Fannie Mae, ilegalmente y fraudulentamente ejecutaron una hipoteca a LILLY WASHINGTON. Injustamente la desalojaron, no solo una vez, sino dos veces y la arrastraron a través de los tribunales durante dos años en un intento de obtener la aprobación legal para sus actividades delictivas, causándole pérdidas económicas importantes y daños irreparables a su salud. En abril de 2012 un juez le dio a Lilly el derecho de vivir otra vez en su casa y ahora ella está demandando por su título y por daños y perjuicios.

    634 signatures

    Bank of America and Fannie Mae: We demand that you negotiate fairly with Ms. Washington. We demand that you give her the title to her home, free and clear, and pay for the harm you have caused her. Furthermore, we demand that you immediately cease all fraudulent foreclosures and evictions.


    Banco de America y Fannie Mae: Exigimos que la negociación con la Sra. Washington sea justa. Exigimos que Ustedes le den el título a su casa, libre y limpio y que paguen por el daño que le han causado. Además, exigimos que le ponga fin de inmediato todas las ejecuciones hipotecarias y desalojos fraudulentos.

    Add signature

  • Make the Big Banks Pay! -- Que Paguen Los Grandes Bancos!

    9 signatures

    Big banks have foreclosed on thousands of Phoenicians, leaving in their wake an epidemic of blighted vacant homes. These vacant homes are devastating our communities, costing our city -- and us, the taxpayers -- up to $35,000 to maintain each home and reducing our home values on average by $22,000 each. We can't afford to continue cleaning up the mess that Wall Street banks created in our neighborhoods. Big banks need to take responsibility for these properties! Therefore, we, the undersigned, demand that the Phoenix City Council pass an ordinance, requiring banks to clean up their properties or face citations and fines, just like any other negligent homeowner would.


    Los grandes bancos han ejecutado miles de embargos de casas a los residentes de Phoenix, dejando a su paso una epidemia de casas arruinadas y desocupadas. Estas viviendas desocupadas están arruinando nuestras comunidades, costándole a nuestra ciudad -- y a nosotros, los pagadores de impuestos -- hasta $35,000 para mantener una sola casa y al mismo tiempo, reduciendo el valor de nuestras casas en un promedio de $22,000. Nosotros no podemos seguir dandonos el lujo de pagar por todos sus desastres de estos bancos de Wall Street. ¡Los grandes bancos necesitan responsabilizarse de estas (sus) propiedades! Por lo tanto, nosotros, los firmantes de abajo, exigimos que el Concilio de la Ciudad de Phoenix pase una ordenanza que obliga a los bancos que cuiden a sus propiedades o sean citados y penalizados con multas, igual que cualquier otro dueño de casa negligente.

    Add signature

  • published Minimum Wage Victory in Arizona! in LUCHA Blog 2012-03-21 15:43:28 -0700

    Minimum Wage Victory in Arizona!

    We stood up to Representative Court and his 1%er pals and ... WE WON!  They say they'll be back, but so will we. We'll keep on fighting them until every Arizonan makes a living wage. Join us! Sign the pledge to defend the minimum wage here.

    Proposal to kill Arizona minimum wage pulled

    Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 6:12 pm

    PHOENIX — Arizona workers at the bottom of the pay scale are going to keep getting raises each year to match inflation, at least for the time being.

    House Majority Leader Steve Court said Tuesday he has pulled the plug on his proposal to ask voters to repeal the state’s minimum wage.

    The Mesa Republican noted that the change would require voter approval in November. And he said polling by the restaurant industry, which is heavily affected by the law, shows that the measure would be defeated.

    That, said Court, made getting the legislative votes to put the issue on the ballot a meaningless exercise.

    Steve Chucri, president of the Arizona Restaurant Association, acknowledged that is the case. He said his industry and others with minimum wage workers, like hotels and motels, are instead focusing on a 2014 ballot fight.

    But Chucri said the businesses have work to do.

    “We need to get our messaging right,’’ he said.

    The 2006 initiative set a state minimum wage of $6.75 an hour. At that time the federal minimum wage, which had governed Arizona employers, was just $5.15.

    Chucri said the big problem is that the law requires the Industrial Commission to adjust that figure annually to account for inflation. The result is a current state minimum wage of $7.65 an hour, 40 cents more than required under federal law.

    He said that’s not right.

    “People are going to get increases every single year, without merit,’’ Chucri said.

    He said polling shows that the public understands that issue. But what it also showed, Chucri said, is that they were confused over the difference between the state and federal roles.

    Chucri said he has no idea how many people now being paid the minimum wage are working full-time jobs at that rate, versus students and others who have part-time work.

    Court’s measure would have set the state minimum wage permanently at the current $7.65 an hour or the federal minimum wage, whichever would be higher. That effectively would wipe out the state minimum wage the moment Congress got around to approving a higher figure.

    The most recent adjustment to the state minimum wage, which took effect in January, added 30 cents an hour.

    The law does allow a employers to claim a $3 an hour “tip credit,’’ meaning they will be able to put just $4.65 an hour into paychecks. But that requires proof that the employees are, in fact, bringing in at least $3 an hour in tips.

  • donated 2013-09-13 16:18:49 -0700

    Contribute to LUCHA -- Contribuir a LUCHA

    LUCHA depends on the contributions of its supporters to continue to fight for - and win - the change we need. Can you help us continue our efforts in increasing Citizenship and DACA applications in our for our community to grow economically? Chip in today! 

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    LUCHA depende de las contribuciones de personas como tu para ponerse en pie y exigir - y ganar - el cambio que necesitamos. ¿Puedes ayudarnos a poder continuar con nuestros esfuerzos de ayudar miembros de la communidad con sus aplicaciones de Ciudadania y DACA para que crezca nuestra economia? ¡Coopera hoy!



  • Breaking News: Sheriff Arpaio gets smack down from DoJ AND DHS!

    Lealo en espanol abajo

    After years of working to bring Sheriff Joe Arpaio to justice, we here at LUCHA couldn't be more delighted with today's historic developments.  

    Department of Justice confirms pattern of discrimination against Latino community

    The Department of Justice completed their 3-1/2 year investigation into civil rights abuses by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.  Based on hundreds of interviews and the review of thousands of documents, the findings confirm, objectively and quantitatively, the pattern of discrimination and retaliation that Maricopa County's Latino residents and Arpaio critics have encountered here for years.  Arpaio has until January 4th to determine his compliance the DoJ recommendations to fix his department.  If he doesn't, a DoJ lawsuit will force him to fall in line with federal law.

    Among the alleged Civil Rights violations documented by the DoJ are the following:

    • Hispanics were routinely targeted for traffic stops without reasonable cause, and subsequently charged with immigration-related crimes. Legal residents were sometimes treated as if they were illegal immigrants and even jailed.
    • Latino inmates with poor or no English proficiency were frequently punished for not understanding English, were required to fill out forms in a language they did not understand or were denied critical services available to English-speaking inmates.
    • Community activists and critics who spoke out against the Sheriff's Office's treatment of Hispanics were themselves targeted for retaliation.
    • The Justice Department also found that the Sheriff's Office did not adequately train or supervise its personnel to avoid civil rights violations and, in fact, permitted the specialized units to engage in unconstitutional behavior.
    • Also, the department found three additional areas of concern that require further review. Investigators allege some sheriff's deputies use excessive force against Latinos; the agency's immigration enforcement programs have caused distrust within the Latino community; and that certain types of criminal cases have been improperly investigated.
    To the last point, DoJ officials were clear that they're referring to the 432 sex abuse crimes that the MCSO Special Victims Unit failed to investigate. As the victims were largely Latino, the DoJ is concerned about the apparent MCSO racial bias having provoked the lack of investigation. Shameful. 
    The full 22-paged report can be found here: DoJ report.

    Department of Homeland Security:  Terminating MCSO's 287(g) Agreement

    A short 2 hours after the DoJ press conference, another stunning announcement was made. Condemning the MCSO's pervasive practices of racial discrimination, Secretary Janet Napolitano (and former Arizona governor) announced the immediate termination of the 287(g) jail-based agreement with Arpaio, which for the last several years, has allowed Sheriff Joe to train his own officers to screen each and every inmate in his jails regarding their immigration status and communicate directly with ICE, a practice which has become the cornerstone of his policing and public relations campaign as 'America's Toughest Sheriff.' As quoted in the Arizona Republic, Napolitano said the Department of Homeland Security would continue to enforce immigration laws in Arizona and focus resources on "criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor." 

    Read more about this victory for the community here.


    Read more

  • published The 99% in the News! in LUCHA Blog 2011-12-06 20:07:00 -0700

    The 99% in the News! -- El 99% en las Noticias!

    Take Back the Capitol protests at lawmakers' offices

    By the CNN Wire Staff
    updated 9:53 PM EST, Tue December 6, 2011

    Washington (CNN) -- Dozens of protesters staged sit-ins in front of lawmakers' offices Tuesday and several hundred more camped out on the National Mall as part of a new movement calling itself Take Back the Capitol.

    U.S. Capitol Police said one person was arrested for unlawful entry at the office of Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri.

    Borrowing language from the Occupy movement and drawing demonstrators "from Occupy sites from coast to coast," the movement says its goal is to affect congressional legislation.

    "For far too long, Congress has been catering to the 1% instead of representing the 99%," the movement says on its website, Protesters will push Congress to renew unemployment insurance and will focus on "other important budget and tax measures," the website says.

    "Now more than ever, Congress needs to see us and hear us."

    The group is calling its setup The People's Camp.

    Organizers said a protest Wednesday on K Street will broadcast the message, "it's time for the 1% to stop interfering with our democracy."

    Groups from different states went to lawmakers' offices Tuesday.

    About a dozen people were conducting what they called a sit-in outside the office of House Speaker John Boehner. One of them, John Reat from Ohio -- the state Boehner represents -- told CNN, "I've been unemployed for 24 months, and that's why I'm here. And we're not leaving until we talk to the speaker, or they close the building, whichever comes first."

    About 25 people visited the office of Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland. He spoke to the group outside his office and told them he sympathizes with the unemployed.

    That group also went to a conference room outside the office of another Maryland Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer, and spoke to his aides.

    "I hear you loud and clear," a staffer for Hoyer told the group, assuring them, "We'll take that back to the congressman."

    One group of protesters said they planned to conduct a sit-in at the office of Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican whip.

    About 20 people went to Kyl's office saying they wanted a forum to be heard. "All of Arizona is in the dark. We don't know what he's thinking," one said. "We'll stay until he hears us."

    Donna Stebbins of Phoenix told CNN the group had not been able to make an appointment to meet with Kyl about President Barack Obama's jobs bill.

    Stebbins said she and her husband lost their jobs about 18 months ago.

    "Our world has fallen apart," she said. "We lost everything we saved. All of our dreams, the American dream, are gone."

    Denee Rodriguez, a former teacher, said her husband is in a union and is fighting to keep bargaining and other rights.

    "You take those rights away from us, then we're not a worker anymore," said Rodriguez. "We're an indentured servant."

    The Surprise, Arizona, resident said her children were forced to drop out of college because they could not afford the tuition.

    Axel Bello, a veteran from Phoenix, said soldiers are making sacrifices to benefit America's thirst for oil and corporations.

    Many of the protesters gathering Tuesday in Washington were older than the largely young crowds at many Occupy events.

    The protesters include union members.

    Take Back the Capitol is, in part, an outgrowth of the movement to protect collective bargaining that started in Wisconsin and Ohio.

    The American Dream Movement organized the event, with funding from many sources, including and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

    The movement says thousands of people signed up to join the protest, being organized "by a wide variety of community, labor, Occupy, and other groups around the country."

    The official website links to, which says SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.

    "We're making congressional office visits all this week to make Congress listen to #the99%," SEIU tweeted Tuesday.

    The group tweeted about demonstrators going to offices of Sens. Joe Lieberman, Scott Brown, Marco Rubio and other lawmakers.

    The event continues through Friday.

    CNN's Josh Levs, Eric Fiegel, Laurie Ure and Stacey Samuel contributed to this report.


    Thursday, November 17th. Actions from Maine to California, Seattle to Miami, people around the country, celebrating, mobilizing, acting, envisioning an economic and political system that works for all of us, not just the 1%.  Over 60,000 of us inspired by those who sat down on Wall Street two months ago.

    Here's some coverage of our Phoenix rally, in which 250 folks came together!

  • published Stand with the 99%! in Take Action 2011-11-09 08:05:52 -0700

    I Stand in Solidarity with the 99%! -- Yo Estoy en Solidaridad con el 99%!

    379 signatures


    Arizona needs good jobs now. We’re ready to work, but where are the jobs? While we face foreclosure and unemployment, the 1% rakes in billions in bonuses and tax breaks. While we face cuts to our health care and our children’s schools, the 1% tells Congress to kill job creation bills. 

    We, the 99%, call on you, Senator Jon Kyl, to support us and bring good jobs back to hardworking Arizonans NOW. As a gesture of this support, we call on you to meet IMMEDIATELY with us, your constituents, to discuss ways you can support a job creation agenda.



    Arizona necesita buenos trabajos ahora. Estamos listos para trabajar, pero ¿dónde están los empleos? Mientras nosotros perdemos nuestras casas y el desempleo, el 1% alcanza miles de millones en ganancias en las bonificaciones y exenciones fiscales. Mientras nosotros nos enfrentamos a recortes a nuestra salud y a las escuelas de nuestros hijos, el 1% le dice al Congreso que elimine la proposicion de creación de empleos.

    Nosotros, el 99%, le hacemos el llamado a usted, senador Jon Kyl, para que nos apoye y traiga buenos trabajos para los arizonenses que trabajan duro. AHORA. Como un gesto de este apoyo, le hacemos un llamamiento para que se reuna IMEDIATAMNETE con nostros, sus electores, para discutir maneras en que puede apoyar un programa de creación de empleo.

    Add signature

  • signed Sign to End Arpaio's Abuses! 2011-05-19 12:56:08 -0700

    Sign the Petition to End Arpaio's Abuses! -- Firme la Peticion para Acabar con los Abusos de Arpaio!

    1,247 signatures

    $100 Million 'Misspent' and 400 Uninvestigated Sex Crimes  ... End the Corruption and Abuses Now! 

    Corruption and abuses at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office have spiraled out of control.  $100 MILLION OF PUBLIC FUNDS - taxpayer dollars - were misappropriated, with the full knowledge of Sheriff Arpaio himself.  Repeatedly warned by former Chief Financial Officer, Loretta Barkell, of the illegal and unethical nature of this diversion of funds, Arpaio chose to ignore these concerns. Instead he authorized, year after year, the expenditure of these funds to conduct raids on our communities and workplaces, harass and jail anyone – elected official, judge or citizen – who questioned his actions or budget.  Now, we, the taxpayers of Maricopa County, will be forced to repay this theft of funds.
    On Sheriff Joe’s watch, 400 sex crimes against CHILDREN went uninvestigated.  Victims – children from 2 to 16 years old – were not helped and sexual predators were left unchecked, free to abuse more children.  Sheriff Arpaio received a letter from the El Mirage Police Department in 2008, alerting him to the problems within his Special Victims Unit, but Arpaio did nothing, creating a ‘sanctuary county’ for sexual predators and putting the safety of every Maricopa child at great risk. 
    We can no longer afford the corruption of the Sheriff’s Department!  We want our children to be safe and sex crimes to be prosecuted!
    Therefore, we, the undersigned, insist you take the following actions immediately:
    1. Sheriff Joe Arpaio:  Resign now, as you have overseen the greatest misappropriation of taxpayer dollars in the history of the county and an unspeakable lack of investigation into sex crimes against children.  You can no longer be trusted to head up the Sheriff’s Office.
    2. Maricopa County Board of Supervisors:  Urge the federal government to take control of the Sheriff’s Department, through receivership. 
    3. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and U.S. District Attorney Dennis Burke:  File criminal charges immediately on behalf of the children and taxpayers in your jurisdiction! 

    100 Millones de Dolares y 400 Abusos Sexuales de Niños no Investigados … Ya Basta! 

     Acaben con la Corrupcion y los Abusos Ahora!

    La corrupcion y los abusos en la Oficina del Sheriff del Condado Maricopa estan fuera de control.  CIEN MILLONES DE DOLARES – de nuestros impuestos – fueron malgastados, con el conocimiento total del mismo Sheriff.  Loretta Barkell, la ex-Contadora Principal del Departamento le avisaba una y otra vez de que esta malversacion de fondos era ilegal e antietica, pero Arpaio no le hacia caso.  En cambio, Arpaio autorizaba, año tras año, utilizar estos fondos para financiar las redadas en nuestras comunidades y lugares de trabajos, para hostigar y hasta encarcelar a los que le cuestionaban sus acciones, aun otros oficiales electos, jueces y ciudadanos activistas.  Ahora, nosotros los que pagamos impuestos aqui en el Condado Maricopa, estamos obligados repagar este robo de dinero.
    Bajo el control de Sheriff Joe, 400 casos de abusos sexuales de NINOS no fueron investigados.  Los victimas eran ninos, desde los 2 hasta los 16 anos, nunca recibieron la ayuda de la oficina del Sheriff y los abusadores siguen libres para abusar a todavia mas ninos.  Sheriff Arpaio recibio una carta del Departamento de la Policia de El Mirage en 2008, avisandole de los problemas con su Unidad para los Victimas Especiales, pero Arpaio no hizo nada.  Su falta de actuar ha creado un ‘condado santuario’ para los predadores sexuales y perjudicado la seguridad de todos los ninos del condado. 
    Ya no podemos soportar la corruption del Departamento del Sheriff!  Queremos que nuestros ninos esten seguros y que los abusos de ninos sean investigados.
    Por lo tanto, nosotros, aqui firmados, exigimos que Ustedes tomen las siguientes acciones inmediatamente: 
    1. Sheriff Joe Arpaio:  Renuncie ahora mismo, porque bajo el liderazgo de Usted, se ocurrio la malversacion de fondos publicos mas grande en la historia del Condado y una falta horrorifica de investigar los casos de abuso sexual de los ninos.  Ya no podemos confiar en Usted para liderear a la Oficina.  
    2. Mesa de Supervisores del Condado Maricopa:  Exige que el gobierno federal tome control del Departamento del Sheriff, atraves del proceso de 'receivership.'
    3. Procurador del Condado Maricopa Bill Montgomery, Procurador General del Estado Tom Horne y Procurador Distrito Nacional Dennis Burke:  Presenten cargos criminales inmediatamente por lo bien de los ciudadanos y pagadores de impuestos en su jurisdiccion!
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  • published mothers day in LUCHA Blog 2011-05-04 13:50:01 -0700

    Make Your Favorite Mom(s) a Star this Mother's Day!

    Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and with all the incredible things mothers do, I'm sure you know a mom or two (or three!) who deserve to be celebrated. Well, this year we're making it possible for you to thank all the moms you know with a customizable video announcing them as the star of an upcoming movie. 

    This short video is a faux movie trailer for "World's Greatest Mom," starring, you guessed it, your favorite mom(s)!

    You have to see it to believe it.  Watch it here: World's Greatest Mom.   

    Send this video to all your favorite mothers so that they can become the star of their own movie. It’s inspiring, it honors mothers, plus it educates folks about economic issues facing mothers, which is something all mothers will likely appreciate.
    Watch it here: World's Greatest Mom

  • published LUCHA Members in Who We Are 2011-04-08 16:19:33 -0700

    LUCHA Members

    LUCHA members are the experts on the problems facing their communities!  A democratic and grassroots organization, LUCHA is made up of 2,000 member families who come from the communities we organize in.  Our members identify the justice issues we confront and join with our organizers to work for change, out in the streets, at meetings with elected officials and corporate executives, through electoral campaigns and in the media. 

    **Member Spotlight**     citz_fair_4.JPG

    A founding member of LUCHA, Alicia Russell works diligently to ensure that the voices of all Arizona's working families are heard.  The 10th child of migrant farmworkers, she grew up with a first-hand knowledge of the impact of racial and economic oppression on the Latino and immigrant communities in Arizona. 

    In 2006, Alicia served as the Treasurer and Spokesperson for the Arizona Minimum Wage Coalition, which successfully established a minimum wage, with automatic annual indexing to the cost of living through ballot initiative.  Alicia has led her community in a campaign for accountability and reform at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and assisted thousands of legal permanent residents apply for citizenship through her work at citizenship fairs. 

    In addition to her hard work, Alicia's cheerful spirit brings joy to all who know her!  Thank you, Alicia, for all you do! Join Alicia and LUCHA to work for change!


    Become a LUCHA Member

    Being a LUCHA member means that you are a part of the movement for the change in your community. For only $10.00 a month you will become a LUCHAdor en la LUCHA! Not only are you able to benefit from the services that we offer, you become an asset in helping your community while you are helping yourself. We want you to invest in the change we promote by becoming a member! While you give back to your community you are helping yourself become empowered through our services. The services we offer are:

    Help/guidance throughout the first time DACA and renewal process

    Path to Citizenship, helping with your application

    Green Card Renewal

    Citizenship Classes

    English Classes


    Passport Style Photos

    Leadership Development workshops

    Informational resources

    A change maker in your community

    We want to offer empowering services so you can become the best you can for yourself, your family, and your community. Help us continue offering these services to our community, and become a LUCHA member today!!!!

  • Quality, Affordable Health Care for ALL, with the Affordable Care Act

    Supporters commemorate health care law’s one-year anniversary


    By Yvonne Gonzalez, ASU State Press, March 23, 2011      

    COMMEMORATING REFORM: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema spoke to supporters of the health care law during a press conference Wednesday commemorating the one-year anniversary of the bill's signing.

    Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s signing of the controversial health care bill.

    To commemorate the anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, supporters of the law spoke out Wednesday during a press conference at the Arizona Capitol. Lawmakers, retirees, an emergency room doctor and an ASU student led the event by saying the health care law gave much-needed medical aid to Americans.

    Read the full article here.

Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) is a community organization of families, working together to bring about a more socially and economically just AZ.