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Week in Review: A Parent’s Plea

March 15, 2024

Kendra Riley’s young daughter, Keira, has a rare and usually fatal brain disease. So why did her family have to move from Arizona to Italy to save baby Keira’s life?

Kendra shares the heartbreaking story in a pair of articles for USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, as she pleads with lawmakers to pass Goldwater’s Right to Try for Individualized Treatments. This innovative reform—now law in several states with more states on the way—expands the original Right to Try by allowing patients with rare and genetic diseases to try cutting-edge treatments not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Soon after Keira’s diagnosis, her parents heard about an innovative treatment—personalized gene therapy—that could help. But outdated government regulations meant the treatment wasn’t available in the U.S. “We had to race against time—time we didn’t have—to relocate our family to Italy, where Keira could get the care she needed,” Kendra writes.

Today, Keira is a thriving four-year-old. “It brings tears to my eyes to think of all the other special-needs families who have held on to hope for a chance like this,” Kendra adds. “This law would give those families—just like mine—a chance at hope.”

Read more in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. 

The Sky Is Falling on DEI

The University of Florida’s “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) bureaucracy is no more. This comes after the school followed the Goldwater Institute’s blueprint for dismantling the entire campus apparatus dedicated to fomenting race- and gender-based discrimination.

But that’s not the real story. The real story is just how unremarkable this news is. “Unremarkable, that is, in how little disruption the university faces in executing its core instructional mission as a result of those DEI staffers’ absence,” Goldwater Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes. “Unremarkable in how smoothly the operations of a college campus can continue absent the drag of DEI. Unremarkable in how easily other states can—and now must—follow suit.”

When the Goldwater Institute released its blueprint to “abolish the DEI bureaucracy” in January 2023, no state had dared to truly do so. Now, in the span of about a year, two of the three largest states in the nation—Texas and Florida—have taken on, and defeated, the DEI regime. In fact, in Texas, Goldwater enacted the nation’s most powerful reform to completely defeat DEI in public higher education.

As Beienburg explains, “The trail blazed by Florida and Texas has made clear that submission to the discriminatory tenets of DEI is a choice, not a fate.”

Read more here.

If It Can Happen in Gilbert…

With a population of just under 300,000, a conservative mayor, and a reputation as one of the safest cities in the nation, Gilbert, Ariz., looks very much like your average, center-right-leaning American suburb.

“But operating in the shadows, unelected progressive bureaucrats have taken over the quiet town,” Goldwater Institute Municipal Affairs Liaison Austin VanDerHeyden writes for Townhall. According to a new Goldwater/AZ Free News investigative report, Gilbert’s Office of Digital Government, which costs taxpayers more than $1 million a year just in salaries alone, is weaponizing the power of the government to spy on the online speech of town employees and elected officials and then turn in employees who express nonconforming views.

“Local government is supposed to be the safest and most easily accessible form of government,” VanDerHeyden adds. “However, that also means local government has a larger impact on a community’s day-to-day operations, and when unelected bureaucrats wield their power to push a progressive narrative, no matter the cost, these are the consequences.”

And if this can happen in Gilbert, it can happen anywhere.

Read the rest at Townhall.

RSVP Today! Conservative Woman’s Guide to College

Navigating college as a conservative can be tough.

Join the Goldwater Institute and the Network of enlightened Women (NeW) on Tuesday, March 19, at 12 pm Mountain Time for an exciting live webinar about NeW founder Karin Lips’ book You’re Not Alone: The Conservative Woman’s Guide to College. We’ll also be joined by Goldwater Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur and Goldwater Ronald Reagan Fellow Cameron Teel, a current college student, as we discuss Karin’s new book and share tips on how to launch a career in the liberty movement.

Register for the free webinar here.



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