In 1987 the Pima County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring May 5 as “Free Baja Arizona Day”. 24 years later the Start our State (SOS) campaign kicked off officially today at The Shanty, 401 E. 9th Street, on “Free Baja Arizona Day”. Signatures on the petition to formally form a new state in Southern Arizona are now being collected. More than 48,000 signatures of Pima County residents need to be collected before July 15, 2012 to get this initiative on the November 2012 ballot. These petitions with valid signatures will be submitted to the Pima County Division of Elections.
Co-Chairs Paul Eckerstrom and Peter Hormel, as well as Treasurer David Euchner (all Tucson attorneys) are spear heading this effort. I wrote about this movement before (click here), but Tucsoncitizen.com blogger attorney Hugh Holub (“View from Baja Arizona”) is the expert on this issue. For an in-depth article on this movement read Hugh’s article “Baja Arizona – American’s 51st State?” (click here).
About 75 people listened to Paul speak tonight about the reasons to leave the State of Arizona and what the Arizona legislature has done over the years to reduce public education funding, cut the University of Arizona funding, as well as targeting Pima County and the Hispanic population down here. He said it wasn’t a “mission impossible”, as recent polls in the AZ Daily Star and KOLD TV said that there were 58% and 63% in support for this movement, respectively. Voters in Santa Cruz and Coconino Counties have also expressed interest in joining on, but would need to start up their own initiative drives.
In attendance tonight were LD 29 State Rep. Daniel Patterson, Ward 3 Councilmember Karin Uhlich, former LD 28 House candidates Ted Prezelski and Tim Sultan, attorney Bill Risner (election integrity), Adam Kinsey (Executive Director of Pima County Democratic Party).
The SOS committee meets every Thursday, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Shanty to collect petition signatures and donations (also can be made online via Pay Pal). They are selling Free Baja Arizona t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons. Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Mailing address for checks is Start our State, P.O. Box 308, Tucson, AZ 85702.
Free Baja Arizona!