to restore enrollment in KidsCare, expanding eligibility for health insurance to 30,000 Arizona children. I have also been the legislature’s leading advocate to ensuring DREAMERs have access to the in-state college tuition rates they rightly deserve, a fight that continues to this day.
This year, I have personally felt the brutal impact of COVID-19 on my business and employees. The weight of ensuring my employees can keep good jobs, support their families, and stay healthy during this pandemic has taken its toll – I sold my house earlier this year so that our payroll would not be interrupted. Everyone has been asked to sacrifice during this difficult time, but I am still grateful every day for being able to live out my American dream as a small business owner. I want to help lead our Democratic Caucus and the House of Representatives in order to create the opportunity that I’ve had for the next generation of Arizona leaders.
The role of the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives occupies a unique position within our State Government. The Speaker is not only the Presiding Officer of the Arizona House of Representatives, but also the de facto leader – in partnership with the Majority Leader and Majority Whip – of the Democratic Caucus. From setting norms of procedure and driving the message and goals of the caucus, to liaising with other state officials, the role of Speaker is complex and multifaceted. The role of Speaker also carries with it a unique weight and responsibility owed not only to our caucus, but to all Arizonans. The Speaker must always understand that the needs of the State of Arizona are paramount and must transcend any ideological or political agenda. The Speaker of the House must always be ready to work toward building a better Arizona for all and must do so while upholding the core values of honesty and transparency.
United in purpose, the House Democratic Caucus can achieve progress for our state that few thought possible even just a few years ago. I will use my experience as a small business owner and public servant to advance unity within our Caucus and advance the House Democratic legislative agenda.
I humbly submit my name to be your next Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives.
Speaker of the House - Mr. Diego Espinoza
My roots are firmly planted in my community. I am a local small business owner, having run my family’s restaurant for the past fifteen years in Tolleson – the city I’ve called home my entire life. In fact, this restaurant has been owned by my family for four generations. I have served in elected office at the state and municipal levels for twenty-two years, including a term as Vice Mayor of Tolleson, gaining an intimate understanding of our state and local government operations.
I have also served in several State and National legislative leadership roles, including co-chair of the Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus and on Boards of Directors at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, and The Arizona State University Morrison Institute for Public Policy.
I have led the fight on numerous legislative issues throughout my tenure at the Capitol. As co-chair of the Latino Caucus, I worked with community groups to lead the boycott of Motel 6 after reports that several of their locations provided guest lists to immigration enforcement in a blatant act of discrimination against my constituents. Our efforts led to serious oversight from the Attorney General’s Office to ensure consumer protections and privacy. Additionally, I led negotiations with legislative Republicans in 2016