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Week in Review: Homeless Crisis Spirals - But Hope Is on the Horizon

April 1, 2023

From coast to coast, homelessness is spiraling out of control, turning once-beautiful cities from New York to Chicago to San Francisco into Third-World ruins—all while leftist city governments refuse to enforce the law. But in Phoenix’s homeless “Zone,” a den of iniquity where crime is commonplace and lives are being ruined, the tide may be turning—and the Goldwater Institute’s crucial role is garnering the national media spotlight.


As Goldwater Vice President for Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur writes at Fox News, a Maricopa County court sided with local business owners and the Goldwater Institute this week when it gave the city until July 10 to eliminate the “public nuisance” caused by The Zone, where officials have allowed more than 1,000 homeless people to set up camp. The court placed particular emphasis on the “biohazard” created by environmental pollution in The Zone—the subject of a brief filed by Goldwater Institute in support of businesses and property owners who sued the city for failing to protect their rights. In fact, a new investigative report commissioned by Goldwater uncovers the extent to which the environmental hazard poses a public health risk that demands immediate action.

Fortunately, thanks in part to the Goldwater Institute, that action should be coming to downtown Phoenix soon—and possibly set an example for the rest of the nation to follow.

Read more about the ruling here and read our investigative report here.

Florida Enacts Universal School Choice

Arizona. West Virginia. Utah. Iowa. Arkansas. And now, Florida.

They’ve all followed the Goldwater Institute’s blueprint for offering school choice to every family that wants it—and this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis made Florida the largest state to enact a universal education savings account (ESA) program. ESAs, which the Goldwater Institute first created in Arizona more than a decade ago, offer families the opportunity to use their child’s public education dollars to customize that student’s schooling around his or her unique needs. Goldwater has passed ESAs in more than a dozen states, and now we’re successfully implementing universal school choice programs around the country—including in Arizona, where Goldwater established the gold standard for school choice last year.

“With Florida’s new legislation going into effect, six states will have enacted universal school choice and broken the left’s education monopoly within their borders,” Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes at In Defense of Liberty. “It is essential that others look to such leadership and take up the fight for their kids as well.”

Read more here.

‘These are Race Hustlers’

Former California teacher Kali Fontanilla watched the racist lies of Critical Race Theory seep into her public high school—lies that encouraged students and teachers alike to treat each other differently due to skin color. After speaking out in an exclusive Goldwater Institute video, the 2022 Goldwater Freedom Award recipient is sounding the alarm again as progressive activists use a web of publicly funded, politically radical diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices to take over higher education.


“These are race hustlers,” Kali said this week on Fox News, criticizing universities for pushing DEI rhetoric in the classroom and in admissions and hiring. “It’s a way to discriminate,” she added, pointing to a new Goldwater Institute report showing that up to 80 percent of faculty job openings in Arizona’s public university system require applicants to provide mandatory “diversity” statements.

That’s why Goldwater is working to stop taxpayer-funded racial discrimination in public education institutions, creating reforms to abolish DEI offices, prohibit mandatory diversity training and diversity statements, and end racial and other identity-based preferences in admissions and hiring. As Kali said, “Instead of peddling all this race-focused nonsense, we should be making sure that our young people are literate and ready to contribute to society.”

Watch Kali’s full interview here



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