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Week in Review: Relief Is On the Way in Homeless Crisis

March 9, 2024

New York. San Francisco. Los Angeles. Portland. In once-gleaming cities from coast to coast, law and order is crumbling as progressive leaders fail to address rampant homelessness.

The buck stops in Arizona, where the Goldwater Institute is putting urgently needed relief for law-abiding citizens on the ballot this November. Goldwater’s first-in-the-nation reform, which now goes to the 2024 general election ballot after the state legislature approved it this week, ensures compensation—via a tax refund for damages—for the residents, businesses, and property owners whose livelihoods are being destroyed as municipalities refuse to enforce the law.

Goldwater has been hard at work defending the residents who have paid the price for their government’s inaction. Our investigative reports shed light on the extent of the crisis in Phoenix’s homeless “Zone,” and an Arizona judge sided with Goldwater in ordering Phoenix leaders to clean up The Zone.

But if it took a court order for Phoenix to clean up its act, it’s clear Arizonans can’t count on their government for real solutions. This ballot measure ensures that when municipalities fail to do their job, business and property owners are not left holding the bag.

Read more here.

Goldwater’s Latest Free Speech Victory

Blacklisted by the government for being a conservative?

It happened in Flagstaff, Ariz., with no end in sight—until the Goldwater Institute stepped in and vindicated a conservative reporter’s First Amendment rights.

It all started when radio host Jeff Oravits asked the Flagstaff Unified School District to add him to the district’s “media list”—a list of media outlets that the district uses to share press releases and other information with journalists. A district official then started interrogating Jeff about his politics, repeatedly asking whether his radio program was a “partisan show.” Then, he told Jeff he wouldn’t include him on the list, saying the district only allowed “non-partisan media.”

But the First Amendment doesn’t make exceptions for viewpoints the government doesn’t like. After Goldwater demanded the district stop discriminating against Jeff over his beliefs, district officials had no choice but to back down and promise to treat him the same as any other reporter.

“This is a victory not only for Jeff, but for all Arizonans, whose liberty depends on our constitutional rights being protected and on our government officials being held accountable,” Goldwater Staff Attorney John Thorpe writes.

Read more here.

Held Hostage

Imagine a city government releases its employees to go work for a supermarket chain. The supermarket gets to direct those workers’ activities, tell them what job they’re going to do (checkout clerk, greeter, etc.), and set their hours. But the workers still receive their taxpayer-funded salaries.

Sound ridiculous? It’s no different from a corrupt practice called union release time, Goldwater Vice President for Litigation Jon Riches said this week on the Federalist Society Regulatory Transparency Project’s Fourth Branch Podcast. In fact, release time is in “many ways…far more pernicious because of government labor unions’ tremendous political power.”

“Rather than perform the job which they were hired to perform and for which they receive-taxpayer-funded salaries, they’re released, in many cases full time, to work exclusively for government labor unions,” Riches added. “Government union bosses can literally hold the public hostage unless their own private interests are served…Nowhere in this discussion are taxpayers represented.”

But with the Goldwater Institute leading the charge in a pair of crucial lawsuits, the Arizona and Texas Supreme Courts have a chance to strike down release time. We’re spearheading the nationwide fight to end corrupt union practices—and we’re not even close to done.

Listen to Riches’ interview here.

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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