An Interview with Marissa Hamilton for Phoenix Mayor

An Interview with Marissa Hamilton for Phoenix Mayor
October 16, 2020 Comments Off on An Interview with Marissa Hamilton for Phoenix Mayor Local Politics, RNHA News Articles Robert Cross

 Tonight I interviewed Marissa Hamilton, a conservative candidate running for mayor in Phoenix.

Please tell us a bit about yourself? 

I have 19 years of experience in the supply chain, food service, grocery retail, and financial industries with a focus on data management. I led national committees to write data standards in food safety and impacted the public. For 10 years, I served the community by getting involved with community projects that helped the homeless, women caught in domestic violence, and girls in crisis pregnancies. 

I  also worked with our legislators to pass laws, to protect children and their families and, on election integrity. Then I also chair the Arizona legislature sub-committee on policing.

The combination of all of my background and community service, put me in the position to witness what was happening this year from COVID-19 and a lot of the tyranny that we’ve seen around the nation with mayors just completely eliminating the rights in their communities, essentially.

The outcome of what was happening with isolation related deaths. I had to look and take a serious look at this race.  I was asked by the party to run by the Republican party. At first I said, no, because I wanted to stay focused on the work that I was doing, the projects I was working on. I took a look at the data, I saw that there was a path to win and I could not let my community be left in that position where we have riots every night and a mayor lying about Covid-19 while at the same time not keeping our city safe. 

What is going on in Phoenix right now in the wake of COVID-19?

Well, on the side of the virus, Arizona is in one of the best positions in the nation. We’ve had one of the lowest RTT rates, which is very good, and promising. We’ve had that for weeks now in regards to the riots we were impacted heavily at the end of May. We had riots three nights and our mayor said that the protestors just needed to be heard and she refused to increase police protection for the city. 

Our governor stepped in and implemented a curfew for a week and the police were able to squash the violence in one night. Since then, our Mayor signed a letter with other radical Democrat mayors nationwide insisting that Trump withdraw federal forces from Portland.  

That was back in July and she called what’s happening now. So jump to today, Phoenix now once again is having protests.  Today was our first, day of the city council meetings coming back from their summer break. Outside of the city council, there were protestors there with signs that said protect protestors, defund the police. They protested and rioted for three nights. 

Are you telling us that the Governor had to intervene to end the protests?

Yes. Our Republican Governor likes to let the mayor lead and have local control. In this situation, our mayor was not doing anything. She let the riots persist, spread to neighboring cities and Scottsdale had millions of dollars of damage. That was when the governor stepped in and had the national guard come in and they stopped the riots.

Now we’re in a situation where our mayor undermines our police. She’s tried to defund the police. She has just recently endorsed a city council candidate in district seven that is extremely radical in her policies. The candidate she endorses is calling for reparations, wants to defund the police and abolish all jails and prisons. They are saying that the protestors should be protected by eliminating the Phoenix police department.

All of this while violent crime here is skyrocketing in Phoenix. Aggravated assaults have skyrocketed by 25%. Domestic violence has skyrocketed our domestic violence. Having sites have gone up 180%. Phoenix is no longer a safe city, and already possesses a much higher level of violent crime than the rest of the nation. According to FBI metrics, Phoenix’s violent crime is at an eight when the rest of the nation is at a four. 

How is the damage caused by the riots affecting minority communities?

In Phoenix in May, most of the damage was on government buildings. Our police did a fantastic job of keeping the protestors and the writers confined. There was one night that they tried to go into residential neighborhoods, but our police were able to secure the neighborhood and, protect the residents.

Typically, Phoenix has no rights. So, the fact that we had three days of riots was unheard of, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few nights. It’s been announced that there’s going to be a large protest tonight. It’s expected that thousands of people are going to show up. So, we’ll have to see it starting at 7:00 PM.

Do you know if the protesters that are causing trouble in Phoenix are Phoenix natives, or they coming in from out of state?

It’s a mix. When we had the riots there were many people that were from Phoenix, but there were some people that the arrest record showed were from out of state. Unlike other cities, we do not have repeat offenders. Prosecutors in districts where there are rioters prosecute them. Violent people have been arrested and they just get released. 

We are still at the point of being a purple state and in some cases a red state. We are at the risk of losing that county attorney position and having that flipped to blue this year. George Soros is pouring in millions of dollars to flip Arizona blue. This election really determines if as this movement progresses in violence, anarchy, and arson. 

Can you tell our audience a little bit about what the protesters are demanding from the government in Phoenix?

Sure, they did an online event for district seven a couple of weeks ago.

On that broadcast, their demands are to defund the police. Their ultimate goal is to abolish the police, eliminate and abolish all jails. And now the latest thing that’s come up, is that they have requested that they are essentially given a large street downtown. To have it blocked off for them to paint Black Lives Matter and put other murals up. They want to have a BLM Plaza and Phoenix, basically a road forcibly given to them.

You know, these aren’t necessarily going to be messages that the public even disagrees with, but it sets a terrible precedent for us to basically shut down portions of our city for competing for political movements. That is what’s happening. Rioting, destroying property, burning down buildings. I mean, we’ve even seen where they have tried to trap police officers in their precinct buildings and burn it to the ground.

This is terrorism. This is not protesting. President Trump has been very strong on criminal justice reform. He’s taken the lead on it and done a good job of starting to fix the corruption and bring the justice back into the system. I think he’s taken a very well-reasoned approach and has done many good things in that respect.

What are conservative solutions to deal with the rise of violence?

I’ve been a big proponent of criminal justice reform especially when it comes to the area of policing. I think that what we’re seeing right now is a lot of the frustration is with our entire criminal justice system, but our law enforcement is taking the brunt of it.

In some cases, our police have been required to enforce what many would consider unjust laws that have had outcomes that haven’t been favorable for public safety. In Arizona, we have a very high incarceration rate for non-violent victimless crimes, things like substance abuse.

We also have a very high recidivism rate and that results in high increase in homelessness. What you have is a little bit of a rinse and repeat in our criminal system, but in a way that negatively impacts public safety especially economically with homelessness.

Can you explain a little more about the recidivism rate for our audience?

Recidivism rate is basically a calculation of how many people exit the prison system. Within so many years, ended up being arrested and going back into the prison system. It’s essentially repeat offenders and in Arizona, we have about a 55% recidivate. That’s extremely high and it’s double the recidivism rate in other states. 

What is Police Deflection?

I chair the Arizona legislature subcommittee on policing. I worked with the Tucson, Tempe, and Goodyear police departments on a program that we called police deflection. Now the only people that are eligible for are those that have committed victimless non-violent crimes related to, homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse.

These are typically people that are committing crimes against them. So, it may be a substance abuse issue. It may be that they are sleeping on a sidewalk, or a public space and they get cited. Police deflection allows the police officer at their discretion. If they see that the person is someone that’s not violent, and is not intending to commit a crime, to connect them with services. Often this allows people the choice to be able to get their lives back together. If they are ready.

It’s completely voluntary. They can choose to reject to that program and go the route of going to trial, maybe taking a plea deal, maybe incarceration. In Tucson it’s very successful, the city has deflected over 1500 people. In Goodyear, they focused it just on homelessness and they’ve literally helped people that were living in bushes along the highway, get their lives back together, get jobs, and get help.

Yeah, it’s an incredible program. I think that from a conservative perspective, it has both the accountability factor. Also, it has the factor of second chances and that’s something that’s been our country, was founded upon. We want to make sure that we’re keeping violent people off the streets, but when they go through our system, they should be going through a system that rehabilitates them. So in the case that they return to the streets, they’re not violent and that they’re able to bring their, get their lives back together. The effective way to do this, is to put more resources into reforming violent people. If can’t do that, we will have 80% of our prisons filled with people that are not violent and have not committed crimes where a victim actually exists.

This is a very balanced approach fiscally as well. It’s a very fiscally responsible program. With those 1500 people, Arizona saved hundreds of millions of dollars in the cost of incarceration. Additionally, now you have people that are becoming productive citizens again and being able to help contribute to the tax base.

About The Author
Robert Cross Robert Cross is Spaniard and Cuban on his mother’s side. He started his career in public service working in local ministries that provided education assistance to k-12 students in San Bernardino County, and low-income assistance to disabled people, veterans and refugees. He has been a published in Borgen Project Magazine, Borgen Project Blog, and Collaborator. Robert earned a master’s degree in Public Policy and International Affairs from Liberty University and a bachelor’s degree in History from the California State University of San Bernardino. If you enjoyed the article and would like to see more, become a member or donate to the RNHA today! The Republican National Hispanic Assembly is a not for profit organization. We are an independent media institution funded by small donors. We depend on you to continue to produce quality content.
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