Civic Engagement Beyond Voting and RTS

Marybeth Bates

The federal and state elections of 2020 are behind us, and Arizona’s Democrats are overjoyed to have turned the state purple. Can we afford to let politics fall to the wayside until the next election? No!

Some time ago, a small group of women came together to form Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (CEBV) because they saw a need for state level engagement by the citizens. Decisions made by our state lawmakers directly affect our lives. CEBV states that “without your involvement in state politics, we can never have a government that represents all the people.” CEBV approaches issues from a progressive viewpoint but is nonpartisan and is not tied to or affiliated with any political party.

Here are a few of the 8 Reasons to Pay Attention to State Politics, written by Melinda Merkel Iyer for CEBV:

“State laws directly affect our daily lives. From firearm regulations to DUI, from tax code to community property, the vast majority of laws that affect our daily lives are not federal, but state laws.”

“State lawmakers are more accessible. Each of Arizona’s federal senators represents the entire state, about 7 million people. Your state senator, by contrast, represents 200,000 people—a phone call or an in-person visit is actually within the average person’s reach.”

“Local politics shape national change. Many now landmark federal policies, like women’s suffrage, minimum wage, environmental protection, and marriage equality, all started at the local level. By communicating regularly with our state lawmakers—and holding them accountable—we can help create innovative policies that directly affect us.”

Civic Engagement Beyond Voting advocates communicating regularly with our state legislators utilizing the Request to Speak (RTS) online tool. You can weigh in from the comfort of your sofa; no trips to Phoenix are required. CEBV registers Arizonans for RTS, trains them on its use, and issues weekly calls to action. Since 2017, over 6,000 people have been registered for RTS.

Our speaker at the March 20 DCQC meeting will be trainer Chrissy Harvey from the CEBV’s Request to Speak program. She will introduce us to the online RTS system that allows citizens to weigh in on bills and give feedback to our state legislators.

Join us via Zoom for our March 20, 3 p.m. meeting. Be sure to visit for info on how to join the meeting.