Democrat – Legislative District 4 House
Phone: (928) 580-6431
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Charlene Fernandez
Address: 1342 W 17th St , Yuma, AZ 85364
Age: 59. (02/24/55, Yuma, AZ).
Occupation: Administrative assistant, Geotechnical Testing Services (a division of Arviso Engineering), since 2011; congressional staffer, Congressman Raul Grijalva, 2010-11; appointed staff member, AZ Dept of Environmental Quality, 2004-10; congressional staffer, Congressman Ed Pastor, 1991-2002.
Education: B.S., elementary education, NAU, 1993; A.A., general studies, Arizona Western College, 1991.
Political experience: Candidate for House, LD-4, 2012; governing board member, Yuma Union High School District #70, 2004-12.
Interests: Sewing, knitting and politics.
Two biggest issues: First-class education and the economy. In the coming decades many of the jobs that will be available probably do not even exist today and the competition for those jobs will be global. A company will only locate in our state if they believe that the workforce is educated and qualified. It is therefore our responsibility to ensure that our children receive a first-class education. The future of Arizona depends on it.
Budget priorities: Fully funding education. The priority will always be a first-class, fully funded quality education for two reasons. Education, in my estimation, is the great equalizer, giving people from different backgrounds the same opportunity to reach the American Dream. Providing our children with a world-class education with smaller classroom sizes and well-paid teachers in every classroom across Arizona prepares our children for every future opportunity and places Arizona as a national leader able to compete for first-class jobs in the next decade.
Fiscal philosophy: I would describe my fiscal policy as a pragmatic progressive. I believe in always looking forward to new ideas to increase revenue, but I also believe in reviewing existing programs and work on ways to make those programs most effective.
Common Core: Arizona should most definitely continue to implement Common Core. Our ultimate goal should be to equip every student with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in college, career and life. The Common Core curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, inquiry and problem-solving and focuses on student mastery of skills and knowledge by providing authentic learning experiences and high-bar assessments. These are the skills and tools that will prepare our students for the global job market.
Gifts to elected officials: I believe the best reform to the system is not necessarily limit gifts but to have instant notice of any gift or gratuity that a public servant receives from someone trying to have influence over our state.
A method utilizing current technology would allow citizens to know in real time what gifts and/or gratuity was extended to the elected official. The public would then have the ability to judge with confidence and knowledge.
Transparency in government: Transparency is critical to the well being of our state. Case in point, the problems that existed with Child Protective Services. The state should do their part by creating a portal that would allow our residents to see how Arizona is doing business, where their money is being spent and how they might participate to improve upon it. The responsibility lies with the citizens of Arizona to not just to vote, but to hold our officials accountable every day. All of this is predicated on the state ensuring that we invest in broadband to make sure that all of Arizona can take advantage of the information super highway, not just those in urban areas.
Pro-life / pro-choice: I am a pro-choice candidate.
Public policy advice: I always look to my community for input and advice. I listen to the stories of those on the front lines, assisting people in need, those in small business and farming, the teachers, parents and students, public servants, unions members, the grocery bag clerk at the local grocery store. My community consists of family and friends, acquaintances, fellow board members, and the people I encounter on a daily basis. The one thing that links all of these individuals together is their desire to work hard, receive a decent wage for a job well done and to see Arizona prosper.