Q & A with candidate Coral Evans running for State Representative in District 6
Editors note: Republicans Brenda Barton and Walt Blackman, Independent Art Babbott and Democrat Coral Evans are running for two State Representative seats for District 6. Here, candidates respond to questions about top issues facing Native populations, education and the economy. Candidates were asked to give a 100-word response to the same questions. Candidate Brenda Barton did not respond in time to meet the deadline for the Q & A.
Hello! I’m Coral Evans. I’m the mayor of Flagstaff, which is also the town I grew up in. In fact, I live in the house my grandfather built in the 1940s. I’m running for the state house because I want to see our values represented at the legislature. I want to see a state that says it values education and lives up to that. I know local community members support our small businesses and I think the legislature should as well. And I know that water is life and rural Arizona needs an advocate they can rely on to advocate for it.
What are your top three issues and how will they impact Native Americans in District 6.
My top three issues are support for small businesses, education funding, and local control.
These will help Native Americans in LD6 because the small businesses are the foundation of our economy and supporting them means people keep their jobs and are able to support their families. Fully funding education would help Native Americans because Native American children overwhelmingly attend public schools in LD6. Furthermore, restoring local control to cities and towns will give us more flexibility to address local issues. This helps local governments address things like housing affordability and water issues that impact Native American families.
If you are elected, what will you do for the Native Americans in the district?
I will continue to reach out to Native American communities much as I have done as mayor of Flagstaff, we have done outreach to tribes around the state creating relationships that can move shared issues forward. Furthermore, I will continue to advocate for responsible water policy and an end to uranium mining at the Grand Canyon.
How do you feel about Invest in Ed on the ballot? What would you do for public schools and Native American students in the district?
I support Invest in Ed and will fight for fully funded public schools where every child, regardless of zip code receives a quality education.
District 6 is a swing district which may result in Republicans or Democrats controlling the legislature. Why is this important and how would it impact you and Native Americans?
For years we have had a state government that is controlled by one party and makes decisions behind closed doors. If one chamber flipped, it would mean that the concerns of Native Americans would be heard on the floor more often, it would also mean the state budget, and education funding, would be discussed publicly and not decided by a single party in a back room.
If elected, how can you help those in the district who are suffering financially due to the pandemic?
First, we need to address the unemployment system. It is not enough money for families to make it through this crisis. Secondly, we need to protect education funding and provide opportunities for retraining, especially in rural Arizona. Third, we need to make sure that rural areas are receiving the same amount of aid as Phoenix and Tucson.
Thank you for this space and the opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself. I have been saying that this isn’t the election of our lives, this is the election of our children’s lives. This election will determine so much as we go forward, what redistricting looks like, what environmental policy looks like, how we recover from the pandemic stronger. It would be great if you would vote for me, but regardless please, please vote.