State of the State Address

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Governor Janet Napolitano this week outlined her agenda for Arizona in her State-of-the-state address. We’ll talk to representatives from the Democratic and Republican party about the speech, including proposed legislation to crack down on illegal immigration.

>>José Cárdenas:
Good evening, I'm José Cárdenas. Welcome to "Horizonte."

>>>José Cárdenas:
Governor Janet Napolitano this week outlined her agenda for Arizona in her State-of-the-state address. We'll talk to representatives from the Democratic and Republican party about the speech, including proposed legislation to crack down on illegal immigration.

>>>José Cárdenas:
And a unique partnership brings inner city fine arts students to the Herberger theater center. Coming up next on "Horizonte."

>>Announcer:
"Horizonte" is made possible by the friends of channel 8, members who provide support to your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>José Cárdenas:
All day kindergarten, water reform, and affects of illegal immigration were just some of the topics Governor Napolitano talked about on Monday in her State-of-the-state address. Joining us to talk about the speech are Democratic representative Ben Miranda and Republican representative Ray Barnes. Gentlemen, thank you for joining us on "Horizonte."

>> Ben Miranda:
Our pleasure, José Cárdenas.

>>José Cárdenas:
I'd like to begin with general impressions and then the one thing that stuck out in your mind upon hearing the speech. Representative Barnes.

>> Ray Barnes:
I knew she was going to be more to the right. I knew she had to do that because she is running for reelection and it's time to start taking fight to the voters. She has to show that she's more right than she has been. I think she is going to have to do that, especially after the last election because the conservatives won quite a few of the seats that were held by moderates, even in the Republican party.

>>José Cárdenas:
What's the one thing that really jumped out at you?

>> Ray Barnes:
After the debate about Proposition 200, when she came out and said that she -- we need to secure the borders. I thought that was a surprise. I didn't think she would mention it. I thought she would just let it go, but she kind of put the ball back into Washington D.C., challenging them to -- we need to shut things down coming across the border.

>>José Cárdenas:
Representative Miranda, did you have the sense that this was the Governor positioning herself for the next campaign?

>> Ben Miranda:
I think to a certain extent it was, but what stuck out to me more than anything else was the tone of her speech. She was more deliberate, more concise. I think the last two years ago it was more of an uplifting -- despite the fact that we were facing humongous deficit, she was uplifting last time. She was deliberate, more concise. One thing that I agree with Ray Barnes, she pointed to the federal government's role in trying to deliver for Arizona, for this delegation, this congressional delegates to deliver for us. She pointed to the different roles -- the role that the federal delegation has for us in terms of water and in terms of immigration, in terms of a number of other issues.

>>José Cárdenas:
Clearly all-day K is one of the priorities for her in education. Is she going to get the money that she wants for that?

>>Ben Miranda:
I think she will. I think that, you know, overwhelmingly, I think Arizonans support that. They consider it an investment in the future, and I think it's a proven program. It's something that delivers for the future.

>>José Cárdenas:
Representative Barnes, all day K, is it truly school choice?

>>Ray Barnes:
Boy, hit me across the head with that one. I don't know. I'm not quite as sure that this is going to happen the way Ben Miranda says it is. I think that -- I think she needs it, and I think that's one of the reasons why the Republicans don't want to give it to her, because I think she needs this for reelection, and I think this is a reelection issue.

>>José Cárdenas:
You think this is for reelection because this appeals to the vast majorities of Arizonans? What do you mean by that?

>>Ray Barnes:
Well, I don't know. I'm just saying, it was popular last year, but we've got a whole bunch of other things that we're getting hit with and where is that money coming from? We've got a lot of things that are coming up that we need to really address where the funding is coming from, and I'm not sure -- she may get it, but I don't know that she gets what she really wants.

>>José Cárdenas:
Is this the biggest political hot potato of this session?

>> Ray Barnes:
Well, it's one of them. I think the -- I perceive, anyways -- we don't hear much about it, the sunset of the defendant environmental quality. That's another one, because there are a lot of business people that are interested in putting some shackles on DEQ because of regulations and so forth and so on. So -- and there is a mine down in superior that Phillips Dodge has been trying to get permits for since about 10 years ago. I think these things are working against her, and I think she's got to try to do something to preserve the Department of Environmental Quality. So that's a big issue.

>>José Cárdenas:
But a sleeper one?

>> Ray Barnes:
No, it's not out in the open because a lot of people don't know it, until the gasoline stops coming from Tucson, and then everybody knows about it.

>>José Cárdenas:
I want to talk about some of the other specifics, but before I do that, representative Miranda, are there any other sleepers out there that you think will be a surprise to the general public that they are the focus of debate?

>> Ben Miranda:
I think perhaps not a sleeper, but some of the debate and some of the discussions and negotiations are going to have to take place. To what extent -- we've had a good year and projected income and taxes and revenues that have come in. To what extent are we going to invest currently in some of these programs, like full day kindergarten, or are we going to take care of the deficit. I think That's the biggest debate we've got. It may underline a lot of the other debates that surface in the state legislature.

>>José Cárdenas:
She did in fact address what many would consider environmental issue, perhaps one of the most important things in Arizona, which is water. Were you satisfied with her -- what she said about that subject?

>>Ben Miranda:
I think the only thing that was absent, Jose, was perhaps the city's roles in trying to conserve water. I think we could have done much more in that area, but I think she covered it sufficiently that it points us in a direction. One of the reasons we don't want to point too much in the direction of city's implementing volunteer measures in terms of conservation of water is because the panic that sets in and the implication it is could have for economic development and growth. But I think she covered it sufficiently. She indicated that our fair share of the Colorado river water is in place because of the court decisions that came out. I think she did a very good job on that.

>>José Cárdenas:
Representative Barnes is water reform the flip of all-day K in the sense that this is something that there will be great consensus between the Governor and the legislation?

>>Ray Barnes:
There will be. If we don't solve the problem of water, then the water rates are going to go up. When they start going up, you will have problems. There's the default of water control is raise the prices, people stop using the water and we don't even want to go there, but that's where it's going to end up if we don't solve the problems. And the rain, the rain is not solving the problems. Most of the rain water is going down the Salt River. We need to have some of it coming down from up in the mountains and I think we'll see that with the snow melt from up in Flagstaff.

>>Ben Miranda:
I think it also points to the need to have the congressional delegation engage in the process because as Herb Guenther has stated publicly, there is a need here to select more sites for dams to retain some of the water. It can't be done by Arizona alone. We've got to look to the congressional delegation to do that.

>>José Cárdenas:
One of the Controversial subjects she talked about, too, is gay marriage. Representative Barnes, do we need legislation there if it's already illegal?

>>Ray Barnes:
The only legislation that I think we actually need is to send a proposition to the feds trying to look for an amendment to the constitution down there. That's the only thing that I think might happen. I'm not certain about how that's going to go through. I think it's a slim chance at all, if at all that it's going to go through.

>>José Cárdenas:
What about representative Miranda the debate between the sledge as to the timing of a ballot inititive on gay marriage. That's the real fight, is it?

>> Ben Miranda:
I don't think it's necessary, José Cárdenas. I think congress is going to act on some aspects on this and the courts haven't finished dealing with the situation. As happened in Massachusetts, you know, some of those decisions are now being retracted in some fashion or other. I don't think we need it on the ballot. I think it's too divisive for this community, and I really think that it can wait for another time. I think we need to wait for Washington to deal with it and the court system to deal with it and then we can move on it as necessary.

>>José Cárdenas:
The Governor doesn't want to wait for it, though.

>>Ray Barnes:
The only exception I can see to this is the fact that there were 14 states that passed anti-gay marriage legislation, and so I mean, they put it on the ballot and it passed. The worst pass was 55 percent passing in Oregon which is one of the more liberal states. So with enough activists that want this problem taken care of that there is a good chance that it would go on the ballot, and I think it would pass.

>> Ben Miranda:
But I also think José Cárdenas the whole gay marriage issue deals with morality and values and I think it's distracting. If we really wanted to deal with these type of issues, we deal with families and deal with Child Protective Services, we deal with full-day kindergarten we do things to help families stay together and do things that are positive. In some ways I wish it wouldn't surface again. If it surfaces it will be on the ballot.

>>José Cárdenas:
Which year, though? If it's going to be there, she wants it next year as opposed to during the election.

>> Ben Miranda:
I think it should be on if it's going to be on, it should be on next year because you don't want to detract from the major issues that will surface two years from now.

>>José Cárdenas:
What do you think about that representative Barnes?

>>Ray Barnes:
The people that are pushing it are generally the conservatives rather than the liberals. They'll have this in a year where they can bring out conservative votes which will be '06.

>>José Cárdenas:
Is there a split on Republican legislators on this issue, the timing?

>> Ray Barnes:
I don't know. We're volleying. We're not playing tennis yet. We're volleying back and forth. We don't even know what bills have been dropped. I know some of the sets I've signed and I can get an idea from that, but I don't know yet, Jose what's going to happen. I think perhaps two weeks from now, we're in a much better position to say here's what exists. I think there were 550 different bills that were dropped yesterday, so that was the last day before they start to count the bills against you. From now on each legislator has seven bills, so you can drop as many as you wanted yesterday before 5:00, and 500 bills were dropped.

>>José Cárdenas:
You touched on this a little bit in your opening comments about the Governor's speech, that's the budget. Are you satisfied with what she had to say about that?

>> Ray Barnes:
Well, I don't know that she said enough. I would have like to see her say more. I think -- here we go back to the disaster fund. Do you remember we used to have a disaster fund.

>>José Cárdenas:
The rainy day fund?

>> Ray Barnes:
The rainy day fund.

>>José Cárdenas:
We've had a lot of rain recently, literally and financially.

>>Ray Barnes:
There will be people that say we need to establish that thing if we need if we have any extra money. We don't need to pick up all of the extra things, we need to establish the disaster fund, we may have another disaster. Inevitably we will. That's what we used the disaster fund for.

>>Ben Miranda:
That points to the debate, Jose, about which side we are going to lien on and whether we are going to use these extra revenues to look at some worthwhile programs, again, kindergarten and CPS, or whether we're going to take care of the deficit and establish what Ray Barnes says is a rainy day fund.

>>José Cárdenas:
Were you surprised by her proposal to cut some taxes and provide tax incentives for businesses?

>>Ben Miranda:
I wasn't surprised because I think this Governor wants to look at government to be much, much more efficient, and I think there is areas where Democrats and Republicans agree that there have to be some closure of loopholes. I really think -- I wasn't surprised at all. I think she is going to be a fiscally conservative Government. She wants to look for that, she wants an efficient government, and I think if both sides come together, we'll see that.

>>José Cárdenas:
What about you, representative Barnes? Your reaction to her proposals on taxes?

>>Ray Barnes:
Oh, I believe any problems that we have with the budget are going to be solved by the economy and the best way to get the economy moving is to decrease taxes. I don't care where they are. But business taxes right now they are twice as much as personal taxes, and so they need to really come down.

>>José Cárdenas:
So you applaud her proposals in that area?

>>Ray Barnes:
Oh, yeah.

>>José Cárdenas:
Were you surprised?

>> Ray Barnes:
Yes, but then, again, I knew she had to go further right, so I didn't know what she would be doing for the right. The border issue there, securing the border surprised me more than the business tax.

>>José Cárdenas:
Let's talk about that, because illegal immigration was something she talked about. There was a suggestion that there be a lot of legislation coming through this session of the legislature on that.

>> Ray Barnes:
Haven't seen it yet. I haven't seen it. I haven't signed anything to do with anything that involves immigration.

>>José Cárdenas:
Representative Miranda are you planning to dot driver's license?

>>Ben Miranda:
I am going to take an innovative approach, if I can, in discussions with other members of the caucus. We're looking at legislation that would allow any individual that can show permanent residency in the State of Arizona, either through utility bills, through some form of identification for three years to be allowed to take a driver's license out.

>>José Cárdenas:
We're about out of time. I'll ask each of you to give the Governor a grade on her speech. Representative Barnes.

>>Ray Barnes
I was ready to run up there with a form to have her reregister as a Republican. I thought it was great.

>>José Cárdenas:
You would give her an A?

>>Ray Barnes:
I will say a B plus.

>>José Cárdenas:
Representative Miranda?

>>Ben Miranda:
I would think she deserves an A because she deliberate, concise and in many ways she is looking for more efficient government.

>>José Cárdenas:
Thank you gentlemen both for being with us on "Horizonte."

>>Ben Miranda:
Thank you.

>> Ray Barnes:
My pleasure.

>>José Cárdenas:
Arts in education is an important part of the curriculum at the Herrera school for Fine Arts in Phoenix. Last year, the magnet school entered into a partnership with the Herberger Theater Center and Actors Theater. The first production of the partnership was "Romeo and Juliet." Students from the program performed at the Herberger Theater Center last fall. Here's a look at some of that production.

>>José Cárdenas:
Here tonight to talk more about the partnership is Richard Trujillo, drama teacher with Herrera school for Fine Arts. Also here is Mark Mettes, vice president of operations for the Herberger Theater Center. Gentlemen, thank you for joining us on tonight's show.

>> Richard Trujillo:
Thank you very much.

>>José Cárdenas:
Richard tell us about your position and your involvement.

>> Richard Trujillo:
I'm the drama teacher at the Herrera school for fine arts. I've held out as far as being a liaison for the fine arts staff. I was hired three years ago by principle Mark EASLES and when I was hired, he asked me to raise the level. His magnet fine arts program, specifically his drama program, and over the last three years, we have put the focus on classical work, so the work that we've been focusing on is Shakespeare's work.

>>José Cárdenas:
I want to talk a little bit about that. Before we get to that, tell bus the neighborhood, the area where the school is located.

>> Richard Trujillo:
We're located in Barrio Unidos. We serve a 96% demographic Hispanic students. It's very strong Hispanic community. 61% of our student body is English language learners, so Spanish is their native language. So K through 6 is a neighborhood school, really serving the students of Barrio Unidos, and at the junior high level we're a magnet program. We're open to any student that lives within the district boundaries and outside the boundaries as well.

>>José Cárdenas:
Still largely Hispanic population?

>> Richard Trujillo:
Definitely.

>>José Cárdenas:
Tell bus the partnership itself.

>> Richard Trujillo:
The partnership is brand new. It was something that Matthew Weiner had sat down and discussed. We were looking for a venue to promote our program. The work we had been doing at Herrera needed more exposure. It was Matthew who suggested why don't we write a letter to the Herberger Theater center to see if they are willing to part enter with us.

>>José Cárdenas:
Is that a letter you received?

>> Mark Mettes:
Yes, we received that. We were very excited about the possibility. Arts in education is something that we're very much in favor of and want to support in the community. So it came this year is our 15th anniversary. This came at a perfect time for us.

>>José Cárdenas:
When did you get the letter? When did the partnership begin?

>> Mark Mettes:
It was about July, I believe, when we first heard about it and luckily we just had the dates available and could make it happen this year.

>>José Cárdenas:
And specifically, what is the Herberger theater's role in this partnership? You provide the facility. What else?

>> Mark Mettes:
Well, certainly we provide the facility. We provide some of the overhead that it costs to put the program together, including some of the initial labor to set it up and to make it happen.

>>José Cárdenas:
Richard, what is Actors Theater's role in the partnership?

>> Richard Trujillo:
Well, this past year, their role was specifically to look at production value, so from a technical standpoint, they brought in all of that support. So our kids were exposed to professional lighting designer in Paul black and a professional stage manager in Erica black, and having those resources available to us really provided the overall professional experience for our students.

>>José Cárdenas:
You mentioned that the focus has been on Shakespeare. Why is that?

>> Richard Trujillo:
I just feel that students need to be challenged. I believe that students will rise to the level of expectation that is set before them, and in our community where literacy is a major problem, and having students read at grade level, continues to be an issue that we have to take a look at. I just felt like I wanted to raise the bar, and give our kids an opportunity to do something that I knew they could do, but probably not anyone else thought they could do. At the same time, I'm not reinventing the wheel. It's been proven in cities like Chicago and New York and Los Angeles where educators have gone in at the elementary level and have begun teaching shakespeare and it's worked.

>>José Cárdenas:
It's worked in what way? How do you measure the success?

>> Richard Trujillo:
You have to measure it in multiple ways. They are exposed to a language and words that they wouldn't normally hear. And having to figure out how they make sense. You actually have to sit down with them and go through the language, and the more they get exposed to that kind of language and the diversity within that language, I think the more that it can broaden their base for other things that they are reading.

>>José Cárdenas:
Mark, what do you see as a connection between the arts and education?

>> Mark Mettes:
Well, I believe studies -- there are more and more studies that are showing that children who are exposed to the arts are staying in school longer, are doing better in math, are doing better in reading and they feel better about themselves.

>>José Cárdenas:
Yet one of the first things to go in budget cuts are arts programs in schools. Is that a mistake?

>> Mark Mettes:
I believe it's a huge mistake. We're shorting our future generation both as individuals and as a culture, because we're taking away tomorrow's patrons. We're taking away tomorrow's theater goers and music lovers of symphonies, et cetera. So it's really twofold. It's the people and how they will grow into our community, and the strength of the future of arts.

>>José Cárdenas:
What's been the reaction that you've gotten from your board or other constituencies to a program like this?

>> Mark Mettes:
Well, they are very excited, I think. We've been trying to put some programs together and we -- some of our programs are definitely working and -- but this was something that hit right into a part of our community that we have not been able to get into and involved and so this has been a perfect timing and a great collaboration.

>>José Cárdenas:
Richard, you made the point earlier that your students are both literally and figuratively speaking another language when they are doing Shakespeare. What about their parents? What was their reaction?

>> Richard Trujillo:
It was mixed. The very first show was a mid-summer night's dream. We didn't see the turnout that we had hoped to see, but over of the last few years, we've started to reingratiate the community into what they are seeing. I think they are seeing story telling that sometimes they may not understand as far as the words, but the visual pictures and the images and watching their kids up there, I think is a source of pride for our community. This past year, we were hoping for a total of maybe 150 people at our public performance. The community turned out amazingly well. We had 400 people attend Romeo and Juliet.

>>José Cárdenas:
And there is a connection between all of this and the project called barrio literacy?

>> Richard Trujillo: Well, that I'm not real familiar with.

>>José Cárdenas: But the literacy projects that the school has, I understand are connected?

>> Richard Trujillo:
We have a balance literacy program. And that really focuses on the reading component and writing component and how those components, how we can improve those components to raise the literacy level of our students.

>>José Cárdenas:
Programs like this help?

>> Richard Trujillo:
I think absolutely. Just the feedback from the home room teachers at Herrera, because they've been able to tackle something so difficult, now they turn back around to the stuff that we're reading in class seems to somehow -- they are gaining a confidence, you know.

>>José Cárdenas:
Let me ask you this, because you wrote a provocative peace for Latino magazine. Can you give us an overview of what you were talking about?

>> Richard Trujillo:
Well, when it comes to ethnicity and Hispanics in the arts, I mean, we're talking about a whole other subject here. When I first started in the arts, I found that -- I started in the Hispanic arts with a group called David Anthony though Del via. I was an undergraduate student. What I began to discover very quickly was that I was being limited by that connection to some other things, like Shakespeare, like doing classical work. And --

>>José Cárdenas:
Limited by who?

>> Richard Trujillo:
I think limited by those that were in charge of casting. It's interesting, you know, a lot of power lies in the hands of producers and so when you get in front of them, if they want to put you in a category, then that's your -- that's who you are. So I felt that what I needed to do was go back to school and really focus on classical training, because you know, I wanted to compete across the board as an actor. In the process of doing that, I also started to come to grips with my own cultural identity, because I saw some of this new work that was coming out by some amazing writers, like Latinos anonymous, like culture clash, like John LEGRIZAUMO. And those new stories provided some inspiration for me as an actor. I also began to realize that the classical training is wonderful, but we need exposure all the way around, and so I think that's important for our students, too, you know.

>>José Cárdenas:
One last question for you, mark. A few years ago I know that Herberger had a very famous Repertory Espanol come in. Are we going to see any Spanish language any time soon at the Herberger?

>> Mark Mettes:
We have not had any calls or people contact us that would want to do a performance like that.

>>José Cárdenas:
Do you think there is a market out there for that?

>> Mark Mettes:
I think there is a market. I think there are definitely people there, we just have to -- the marketing arms have to be able to reach into those community and make sure that they know that they are welcome at the Herberger.

>>José Cárdenas:
Thank you both for joining us tonight on "Horizonte."

>>>José Cárdenas:
If you want to see a transcript of tonight's show or see what's coming up on "Horizonte," visit our web site at www.azpbs.org and click on "Horizonte." Thank you again for joining us tonight on "Horizonte." I'm José Cárdenas. Have a good evening.

Ben Miranda: State Representative, Democrat;

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