Please see update below regarding "Camp Recall Arpaio."
After the second suspension of the paid signature drive in the effort to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I complained that we were probably stuck with Arpaio until the end of his term, unless we had a loaves and fishes-type miracle.
See also: -Joe Arpaio's Doomsday: Arpaio Loses ACLU Civil Rights Lawsuit, MCSO Enjoined from Racially Profiling Latinos -Joe Arpaio Foe Rebecca Jimenez Leads in Guadalupe Mayoral Race (w/Update: Jimenez the Winner) -Joe Arpaio Recall Suspends Paid Signature Gathering Campaign for Second Time
And with just five days left before the May 30 deadline, a miracle would still be mighty helpful.
Still, who can deny that the events of this week have put one last gust of wind at the backs of volunteers still hustling to score the 335,317 signatures necessary to force a recall on Sheriff Joe?
First Joe's old nemesis Rebecca Jimenez is elected mayor of Guadalupe, for which the MCSO provides law enforcement services.
Then U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow, a conservative jurist nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush, hands Joe's opponents a major win in the civil rights lawsuit Melendres v. Arpaio.
Snow finds that the MCSO has been racially profiling Latinos, and he orders the sheriff's office to heel in a 142 page decision enjoining the MCSO from its discriminatory practices.
And yet, an appeal is promised, and Arpaio remains in power.
Our work remains undone.
Respect Arizona campaign manager Lilia Alvarez estimated the recall will need around 100,000 more signatures in the remaining five days, or 20,000 signatures a day, in order to make the May 30 deadline and a have a cushion of additional signatures.
She claimed Respect Arizona has 4,000 volunteers in the field, and will need around 5,000 more to get the job done.
"Over 600,000 people did not vote for Joe Arpaio in the last election," she stated. "We need them to get off their butts and sign."
She said apathy has been the recall's biggest enemy, with some people saying that, "It doesn't matter," or just not believing that a recall could work.
"Everybody has an excuse when they want one," Alvarez observed. "This, we hope, will really reignite people and give them a reason to sign. If they doubted the merit of our cause, I hope this will win them over.
On Friday, at a news conference at Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox's El Portal restaurant, where community leader's gathered to applaud Snow's ruling, Citizens for a Better Arizona president Randy Parraz reminded people that the recall was one way of expressing outrage over Arpaio's rule.
"This wasn't a neighbor discriminating against someone," he said. "It wasn't an employer discriminating against someone. It was the top law enforcement officer of Maricopa County who took an oath to protect and serve."
He observed that the MCSO's institutionalized racism targeted "over 31 percent of the population of this county," and that it resulted in families being torn apart and individuals detained, arrested and jailed.
"You've heard of buyer's remorse?" he asked. "There's also something called voter's remorse...And this is a way out, not just for him to resign, but to recall Arpaio."
I would go a step farther.
Arpaio's 20-plus years in office are a result of being democratically elected six times by the voters of Maricopa County.
In other words, every act of discrimination and injustice, every child torn from his or her parents, not to mention every wrongful death in Arpaio's jails, is on the heads of those who voted for this ogre, empowered him, and gave him a mandate to run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution and the human rights of all.
Collective guilt for Arpaio's misdeeds blankets all of Maricopa County. Only those who have acted in opposition to Arpaio escape it.
Nevertheless, we are all tainted by the shame of having this racist Frankenstein monster as our sheriff.
Here, then, is a way for the denizens of this county to begin to redeem themselves in the eyes of the civilized world.
That is, pull off the impossible, and once and for all remove Arpaio from power, and send him off to Fountain Hills to live out his remaining days in disgrace.
Below are some of the locations where members of Respect Arizona will be soliciting signatures.
If you don't sign, which is the very least you can do, then you own every nefarious, un-American deed Arpaio and his underlings have ever done or will do.
Need I say more?
From Respect Arizona:
IT'S THE LAST WEEKEND TO SIGN THE PETITION! Find us at the following locations:
Goodyear Home of Angela Vidales: 16086 W. Tonto St. (Friday - Monday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
Angela is a notary! For more information, contact Angela at (602) 319-4995.
Phoenix Respect Arizona Office: 5110 N. Central Ave., 330 (Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center: 2nd St. and Adams (Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
For more information about Comicon, contact Aldo at (480) 430-5166.
Tempe Tempe Farmer's Market: 805 S. Farmer Ave. (Saturday 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.)
Changing Hands Bookstore: 6428 S. McClintock Dr. (Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
For more information, contact Lauren Kuby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE MAIL US YOUR NOTARIZED PETITIONS NO LATER THAN MAY 25th Respect Arizona P.O. Box 15355 Phoenix, AZ 85060 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WE CAN NOTARIZE YOUR PETITIONS! 5110 N. Central Ave., Suite 330 Phoenix, AZ 85013
May 25th and 26th: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. May 27th, 28th, and 29th: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. May 30th: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
UPDATE May 26: The following is just in from Citizens for a Better Arizona.
COMMUNITY RALLIES TO EXPOSE SHERIFF ARPAIO'S RACIST PRACTICES AND POLICIES US DISTRICT COURT FINDS ARPAIO GUILTY AS CHARGED
5 DAY COUNTDOWN TO MAY 30TH DEADLINE FOR RECALL PETITIONS BEGINS TODAY
Phoenix, AZ - Given Judge Snow's ruling on Friday which found Sheriff Arpaio and MCSO guilty of racist policies and practices that targeted the Latino community, residents from all over Maricopa County have decided to set up camp "Recall Arpaio" to educate, encourage and mobilize thousands of citizens to come down and sign the recall Sheriff Arpaio petition. Camp Recall Arpaio wil be set-up at the County Plaza in front on the Superior Court building and just outside of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors auditorium - 205 W Jefferson Ave.
"Citizens need to understand the severity of Judge Snow's decision and what it means for Latinos and all those who reside here in Maricopa County. Sheriff Arpaio pursued racist policies and intentionally appealed to the fears and prejudices of Maricopa voters just to get elected," stated Randy Parraz, President of CBA. "And he did this by illegally harassing, intimidating, detaining and arresting Latinos - many of whom were innocent - solely because of the color of their skin. This needs to stop now. Arpaio needs to either resign or be removed from office by the voters," Parraz continued.
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WHO: Citizens - students, family members and residents - from various organizations and neighborhoods
WHAT: SIGN AND RESIGN - Camp Recall Arpaio: Supporters of the recall of Sheriff Arpaio will camp out for the next 5 days to expose ALL the reasons why Sheriff Arpaio needs to RESIGN and be RECALLED. Voters will be able to stop by and sign the recall petition 24 hours a day until the deadline on Thursday. May 30th.
WHERE: County Plaza - 205 W Jefferson Street, just outside Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Auditorium
WHEN: Today, Sunday, May 26th @ 5:00PM until Thursday, May 30th at 5:00PM