The Arizona general election will be held on November 6, 2012, with early voting starting on October 11. After the many recent legislative challenges to reproductive health care access, both nationally and statewide, the importance of voting in November can’t be overstated. To help voters, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed candidates who have shown strong commitment to reproductive health and freedom. Along with those endorsements, we are spotlighting our endorsed candidates in a series called “Meet Our Candidates.” To vote in the general election, you must register to vote by October 9 — and can even register online. Make your voice heard in 2012!
David Bradley is a candidate for the Arizona State Senate. He seeks to represent Legislative District 10, which includes portions of central and eastern Tucson. While the legislative district numbers may have recently changed, Bradley has already dedicated several years of legislative service to those who live in the Tucson area. He was generous enough to take the time for an interview with PPAA on September 1, 2012.
“Comprehensive sex education is a must and should begin in the early elementary years.”
Tell us a little about your background.
Briefly, I am a 55-year resident of Arizona with 36 years as a Tucsonan, married with four children and six grandchildren. After I was discharged from the Navy, I began my career in behavioral health and child welfare. Most recently I was the CEO of La Paloma Family Services, Inc. for nearly 20 years and am currently working for La Frontera Arizona as its chief development officer. I served in the State House of Representatives for eight years from 2003 to 2011.
In the previous legislative session, there were a lot of bad bills that negatively affected access to birth control (HB2625), funding for family planning (HB2800), abortion (HB2036), and unbiased information about unintended pregnancies in public schools (SB1009). What kind of beneficial legislation would you like to see introduced, and why do you think it’s important to fight for it?
I would like to see legislation that improves access to health care, particularly expanding Medicaid to cover individuals and families up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.** I would also like to see preventive health care, including behavioral health care services, better funded. I support funding for family planning and for science-based sex education in schools from the primary level through high school. It is important to fight for these policies because they all directly affect the quality of life for all Arizonans.
Why do you think it is important that people make their own health care choices?
It is simply a matter of personal freedom and taking responsibility for one’s self.
Why do you support comprehensive sex education in our schools?
During my tenure as the CEO of La Paloma Family Services, I oversaw the operation of one of the two homes for teenage mothers in Tucson. During that time hundreds of teenage mothers — some as young as 12 years old — were under my care. I saw firsthand the consequences of inadequate sex education programs in our schools. Comprehensive sex education is a must and should begin in the early elementary years.
Why was it important for you to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona?
I have always been a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood and endorse its mission completely. It has done and will continue to do vital services for women throughout Arizona.
In a survey submitted to the Center for Arizona Policy, your opponent Frank Antenori indicated that he opposed adding “sexual orientation, “gender identity,” or “gender expression” as protected classes in antidiscrimination law. Particularly with respect to hate crimes and school bullying, how would you respond to that?
I am the prime sponsor of the only anti-bullying bill that was signed into law by Gov. Napolitano five or six years ago. We tried to add sexual orientation to that bill but were thwarted by the Republican legislators. I firmly believe in adding to any and all antidiscrimination laws gender issues.
Is there any additional information that you’d like your constituents and other Arizona voters to know about you?
I am very appreciative of Planned Parenthood [Advocates] of Arizona’s endorsement and look forward to defending PP’s services in the next legislature.
If you’d like more information about David Bradley’s campaign — including more detailed positions as well as other individuals and groups who’ve endorsed him — you can find his website at BradleyForArizona.com.
With all the redistricting that’s taken place this year, you might not even know what legislative district you’re in — but you can click here to find out! And, regardless of which legislative district in Arizona you live in, you can contact us if you’d like to volunteer for an endorsed candidate in your legislative district.
** According to current Health and Human Services guidelines, this would correlate to an individual with a gross income of $15,414 or a family of four with a gross income of $31,809.