Arizona's political party for cool people: highly-educated, high-income, sophisticated people who appreciate diversity and care about our less fortunate sisters and brothers.

We've banded together to make Arizona less of a shithole by voting out the backward majority who've made the state a backwater and a bicoastal joke.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Arizona Americans Elect Party Leaders Travel to New York for Convention of State Americans Elect Parties

NEW YORK, May 31 --

The leaders of the Arizona Americans Elect Party, the state's fastest-growing ballot-qualified party, today traveled to New York City for the first Convention of State Americans Elect Parties, meeting their counterparts in the eleven other states where the Americans Elect Party will be on the ballot in 2014: California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Speakers at the gathering will include Peter Ackerman, chairman of the Americans Elect Corporation, a nonprofit corporate entity, and chairman of Rockport Capital Inc.; outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent; the best-selling authors and activists Sister Souljah and Tao Lin; and officials and directors of the D.C.-based Americans Elect Corporation, including Kahlil Byrd, Chief Executive Officer; Elliot L. Ackerman, Chief Operating Officer; Joshua S. Levine, Chief Technology Officer; and Sarah Malm, Chief Communications Officer.

Issues to be discussed are the relationships between the state Americans Elect political parties, such as the one in Arizona, which ran two candidates for Congress in 2012 and which is running candidates for other federal and state political offices in 2014, and the national Americans Elect Corporation; state and national leadership of any coalition of state Americans Elect political parties; and federal and state campaign rules and funding.

The Arizona Americans Elect Party delegation consists of party leader Trey Young; treasurer Irina Tereshkova; first vice-chairwoman Buffy Lehman Auchincloss; artistic director Richard Grayson; Maricopa County co-chair Jaden Parascandola; and Pima County co-chair Elana de Carvajal.

"We're quite excited to meet people from the national Americans Elect movement and those in other states like California and New Mexico where individuals and groups also hope to be running Americans Elect candidates for public office next year," said Dr. Tereshkova.

The Convention of State Americans Elect Parties takes place today, May 31, and this weekend, June 1 and 2, at the Hotel Gansevoort in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Arizona Americans Elect Party Supreme Leader and Council of Guardians Endorse J.L. Mealer of Mesa as Party's 2014 Candidate for Governor: "He'll Make Arizona Cool Again"

PHOENIX, May 24 -

In its semi-annual meeting at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix today, the Supreme Leader and Council of Guardians of the Arizona Americans Elect Party strongly and unanimously endorsed business leader J.L. Mealer of Mesa as the party's 2014 candidate for governor of Arizona.  

"We are grateful that Mr. Mealer has decided to run on the Americans Elect Party banner," said Trey Young, Supreme Leader of Arizona's fastest-growing political party.  "He'll make Arizona cool again."

"Although Mr. Mealer is a conservative and holds views different from the party leadership and most of the party's enrolled voters," said Dr. Irina Tereshkova, treasurer of the state party, "we are a political party that is open to everyone, and people of different views are welcome to join."

"We urge Mr. Mealer to make a strong race for governor and lead our party to victory in 2014, when we are assured of ballot access," said Buffy Lehman Auchincloss, the party's first vice-chairwoman.  "If he can get just five percent of the vote, the Arizona Americans Elect Party will achieve permanent ballot access without having to get petitions for 2016, when we can nominate our presidential candidate."

Jaden Parascandola, co-chair of the Maricopa County Americans Elect Party and speaker for the state party's Council of Guardians, said, "We are hoping other candidates of all political persuasions join J.L. Mealer in rounding out the Arizona Americans Elect Party ballot as our standard bearers for Congress, the state legislature, the corporation commission, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and state mine inspector."

Trey Young emphasized that Mr. Mealer will run a campaign independent of the party apparatus:  "For now, we are just happy that the Arizona Americans Elect Party has found our candidate for governor in 2014." 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Arizona Americans Elect Party Leader Trey Young Joins New La Paz County Co-Chairs, Peace Activists Todd Trump & Blair Wojciechowski, to Call for an End to U.S.-Funded Wars & Occupations

QUARTZSITE, Ariz., May 22 -

Arizona Americans Elect Party leader Trey Young today joined the newly-appointed party co-chairs for La Paz County, peace activists Todd Trump and Blair Wojciechowski, to call for ending U.S.- funded wars and occupations, challenging militarism globally, and redirecting our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.  

Introducing the new party leaders, Mr. Young declared the Arizona Americans Elect Party "the state's premier antiwar, anti-violence political group."  He said he was proud of "the accomplishments and activism of our cool young leaders in the county of La Paz, whose name, of course, means 'the peace' en español."

Mr. Trump, from the town of Parker, is a graduate student and teaching assistant in American history at the University of Southern California, from which he earlier received a bachelor's degree in American Studies and Ethnicity.  The author of  such scholarly articles as "'Keep Our Black Warriors out of the Draft': The Vietnam Antiwar Movement at Southern University, 1968-1973," he worked summers in the Washington, D.C., office of ANSWER, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, and in nearby northern Virginia at the International Journal for Peace Studies at George Mason University.

Ms. Wojciechowski, a native of Quartzsite, received her B.S. degree in mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in mathematics at Claremont Graduate University's Institute of Mathematical Sciences.  She has worked for peace at CODEPINK Los Angeles, Occupy the Military Industrial Complex, and V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.  Earlier this year, she was a Los Angeles organizer for a global day of action on February 14, 2013 to strike, dance, and rise to end rape and gender violence.

The two new La Paz County leaders both joined the Arizona Americans Elect Party in 2012 and met while working for the party's antiwar candidate for Congress, Richard Grayson.  More recently, both Ms. Mason and Mr. Trump have been working in the ongoing campaign against  sexual harassment and assault in the armed services.

"I joined Americans Elect," said Ms. Wojciechowski, "because it's the one Arizona political party which will make sure that  power will no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people."

"Our party will work hard to establish the equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile, as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," said Mr. Trump.

"The Arizona Americans Elect Party is the state's fastest-growing political party," said party leader Mr. Young.  "We are on the ballot in 2014 and will field of slate of candidates committed to nonviolence activism." 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hip-Hop Producer & Venture Capitalist Flash Amarasiriwardena and Conceptual Art History Scholar & Gallery Owner Remedios Gomez Named New Cochise County Co-Chairs of Arizona Americans Elect Party; Vow to Support Radical Transformation of State's Educational Priorities

BISBEE, Ariz., May 20 -

Trey Young, leader of Arizona's fastest-growing political party, the Americans Elect Party, today came to the steps of the elegant Cochise County Courthouse for a press conference at which he introduced the party's new county co-chairs, Remedios Gomez, a scholar of conceptual art and owner of a Bisbee art gallery, and Flash Amarasiriwardena of Bisbee and Austin, Texas, a hip-hop producer and principal of the venture capital firm Sandhill 128 Associates.  

The new county leaders pledged to make their focus the Arizona Americans Elect Party's goals of reforming what Ms. Gomez called "some of the nation's shittiest and most underfunded schools" and increasing what Mr. Amarasiriwardena termed "Arizona's abysmally low educational attainment rate."

Ms. Gomez is the owner of Arthropologie, an art gallery on Main Street featuring the work of local artists and nationally-known established artists such as Helen Berggruen, Joe Zucker, Johannes Atli Hinriksson, Yuko Shimizu, and Sadie Benning.  She has a Ph.D. in Art History from Princeton University and was chair of the Art Department at Wellesley College.  Ms. Gomez is the author of well-received critical biographies of the conceptual artists Chris Burden, Vito Acconci, and Yoko Ono, and she has served as a panelist on the interdisciplinary arts panel of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Mr. Amarasiriwardena was in the early 2000s best known as Lil Flash, a driving force as a hip-hop producer in the party-oriented Atlanta style known as "crunk."  A native of Mumbai with degrees in music and business administration from Emory University, Mr. Amarasiriwardena signed such classic acts as Xscape, Dem Bonez Boyz, FYM, Shawty Boi, and Lucidly Ghetto.  In recent years, as a venture capitalist in Austin, he has funded such successful tech startups as Marketic, Bizmondo, K Cube, and  TrueMooc; he and his wife, the actress Heidi Palover, own a ranch outside their second home in Bisbee.

Arizona Americans Elect Party Leader Trey Young hailed the accomplishments of the new Cochise County party officials and stressed that they would be the point persons for the party's drive to improve Arizona's failing education system.  "To support our children's learning is the most patriotic thing we can do," he said, stripping off his shirt in the 100-degree heat as the crowd of party members at the courthouse steps applauded.  "Our party pledges its support for education."

"Unfortunately," Mr. Young continued, "the influence of the assholes at the family-hating, unpatriotic Goldwater Institute and other crackpot right-wing agenda groups has made Arizona perhaps the stupidest, most ignorant state in the U.S."

"All that will change under the Arizona Americans Elect Party," said Ms. Gomez.  "We're going to kick conservative ass and institute a truly equitably funded system that will educate all Arizonans, regardless of income, location, race or ethnicity."

"The Arizona Americans Elect Party calls for a radical restructuring of learning in this state," added Mr. Amarasiriwardena, "which until now has not been able to train people for the high-paying jobs today's skilled knowledge workers get in other places, like my other home Austin or in Silicon Valley or Research Triangle or lower Manhattan or the suburbs of Boston and D.C."

"As our party motto states, let's make Arizona less of a shithole," Mr. Young concluded.  "That starts with mandatory, government-funded pre-K education and goes all the way to making Arizona's higher education system an innovative fount of lifelong learning.  We'll work with visionary leaders like past and present ASU presidents Lattie Coor and Michael Crow to implement their ideas for transforming one of the worst-performing states into one of the best."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Arizona Americans Elect Party Leader Trey Young Introduces Yavapai County Co-Chairs Nina O'Neill von Stauffenberg & Dr. Alexander von Stauffenberg, Food Movement Activists, Who Will Fight to Reform Agriculture & the Food Industry

PRESCOTT, Ariz., May 15 -

Last evening Arizona Americans Elect Party leader Trey Young announced at a Prescott fundraiser and dinner party that food movement activists Nina O’Neill von Stauffenberg and Dr. Alexander von Stauffenberg would be the party’s new co-chairs in Yavapai County and would lead the party's vision for reforming agriculture and the food industry and providing Arizonans with safe, healthy and humanely-produced meals, locally sourced whenever possible.

The von Stauffenbergs live in Prescott, where they own Mekong Delta, a fusion Asian restaurant; Cookies and Scream, a vegan bakery; Artisan du Chocolat, an artisanal chocolate shop; and Top of the Hops, a tasting bar and culture center for craft and imported beers. 

Ms. O'Neill von Stauffenberg is also on the board of Arizona Meals on Wheels.  A native of Chicago, she graduated from Loyola University Chicago and received an associate degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America. 
Dr. von Stauffenberg is a former staff associate at the International Food Policy Research Institute, an organization in Washington that focuses on environmentally sound policies to alleviate hunger and poverty.  He received a doctorate in cultural studies at the graduate school of North American studies at the Free University of Berlin.  

Both Dr. and Ms. von Stauffenberg were major contributors last year in the effort to pass California's Prop 37, a measure that would have required most foods made with genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled.

"People by the millions have begun, as the slogan goes, to vote with their forks in favor of more sustainably and humanely produced food, and against agribusiness," said Mr. Young, leader of Arizona's fastest-growing political party, which has appeared on the ballot since 2012 with a slate of progressive candidates for state and local offices.  

"Dynamic young Arizona Americans Elect Party leaders like the von Stauffenbergs have revitalized local farming and urban communities," Mr. Young said, in introducing the couple.  "At the same time they have raised the bar on the food industry, which now must pay attention to things like sustainable farming and the humane treatment of animals."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Arizona Americans Elect Party's New Mohave County Co-Chairs Brooke Epstein and Razvan Codrescu Promise to Work for Party Goal of Protecting Women's Reproductive Rights, Supporting Planned Parenthood

KINGMAN, Ariz., May 10 -

Trey Young, leader of the Arizona Americans Elect Party, traveled to Kingman today to introduce the party's new Mohave County Co-Chairs, Brooke Epstein and Razvan Codrescu, who said they would build party membership and concentrate efforts on achieving the party's goal of working for women's reproductive rights and supporting the work of Planned Parenthood in the county and state. 

Ms. Epstein, 28, is a coordinator with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in Kingman, where she administers health insurance benefits for the organization’s staff members and for those of its affiliated congregations.  She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University and received a Master of Public Health degree in global health from Harvard University.  Ms. Epstein's mother, Claire Katz-Ngandé, a  retired obstetrician and gynecologist who specialized in obstetric fistula repair, ran a clinic in Sierra Leone where Ms. Epstein served as a volunteer.

Mr. Codrescu, 27,  is the chief executive of Andover Brand Econometrics, a consultancy in Lake Havasu City that advises pharmaceutical companies on market decisions. He was a White House Fellow in 2009 and 2010 in the office of the Secretary of Commerce.  After studying with the Rumanian School of Ballet and working as a performer with the Zurich Ballet, he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics from Vassar College.

The Mohave County Co-Chairs agreed that, given their backgrounds in public health and in order to build party membership in the county, they would concentrate on the Arizona Americans Elect Party's support of women's reproductive rights.

"Unfortunately, recent legislation signed into law in Arizona has reduced access to abortion care, a development that particularly hit low-income and rural women of the state the hardest," said Ms. Epstein.  "The Arizona Americans Elect Party's 2014 candidates will work toward repealing these draconian laws and return quality and safety-oriented reproductive care to all women in Mohave County and elsewhere."

"We must restore and increase state funding of Planned Parenthood," Mr. Codrescu said, "which is committed to providing every woman with the full range of quality, affordable reproductive health care with a strong focus on preventive care."

"Women have a friend in these dynamic new Americans Elect Party leaders," said the state party leader, Mr. Young.  "The feminists of the  Arizona Americans Elect Party, female and male, will end the war against women in this state and throw the troglodytes out of the state legislature and Congress." 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Arizona Americans Elect Party Coconino County Co-Chairs Holden Pham and Randa Hamid Commit Themselves to Party Platform Advocating Economic Justice

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., May 9 -

Arizona Americans Elect Party leader Trey Young today appeared at a press conference at Northern Arizona University to introduce the party's new Coconino County co-chairs Holden Pham and Randa Hamid and highlight the Arizona Americans Elect Party's commitment to economic justice.

Mr. Pham, 24, is a graduate student at NAU, working on his M.A. degree in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities in Flagstaff.  Ms. Hamid, 30, who received her undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University, also lives in Flagstaff, where she is a staff attorney in social policy with the Global Economic Justice Center.

"Both of these amazing young people will be an important part in our 2014 campaign not just for public offices from Governor on down in Arizona but also for our party's commitment to economic justice and to ending the scourge of income inequality and wealth disparity in our state and nation," said Mr. Young as he introduced the new county leaders.

The Arizona Americans Elect Party is the fastest-growing political party in the state.  Committed to social responsibility and economic justice, the party's first candidates, Richard Grayson and Stephen Dolgos, ran for Congress in 2012, and the party plans to run candidates in federal and state races in 2014.  Social activist J.L. Meader of Mesa has already filed to run as a candidate in the Americans Elect Party primary for Governor.

"We're going to get a lot of support in our fight for economic justice in 2014 as a continuation and adjunct to the Occupy movement," said Mr. Pham.  "With the rich getting richer, middle class wages are frozen in carbonite, and more of us are out of work or working harder and longer for less money, it's time to make a concerted effort to turn things around in Arizona."

Ms. Hamid agreed.  "We are living in difficult times, "she said. "As the same time we’re told that we can no longer afford the programs that have kept so many of us from falling into abject poverty, massive tax breaks are being given to millionaires and their corporations.  The Arizona Americans Elect Party understands that our country isn’t broke, the money is just in the wrong pockets."  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Americans Elect Party Pinal County Co-Chairs Erica Núñez and Hoyt Schermerhorn IV Pledge to Fight Global Warming to Protect Arizona's Future


Trey Young, leader of Arizona's fastest growing political party, the Americans Elect Party, which will be on the state's ballots again in 2014 after a successful debut in the 2012 election, traveled to Apache Junction today to introduce the party's new co-chairs in Pinal County, Erica Núñez and Hoyt Schermerhorn IV, both climate change activists, who pledged to build the growing party's base in Pinal County.

Dr. Núñez, who lives with her boyfriend and daughter in Apache Junction, is a graduate of Columbia University, from which she earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering  and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and plasma physics.  She said her decision to become a climate scientist was “a marriage of convenience and deep conviction.”  As a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the United Nations in 1988, Dr. Núñez helped write papers that were influential in framing the climate-change discussion.  She joined the Arizona Americans Elect Party in 2012 to work for its candidate Richard Grayson, also of Apache Junction, who received 1% of the vote in the race for Arizona's Fourth Congressional District seat.

Rev. Schermerhorn, ordained as a pastor in the Metropolitan Community Church, lives in Gold Canyon with his husband and son.  He studied at Duke University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in geology and a Master of Environmental Management (M.E.M.) degree, and he also holds the Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.  Also an active member of the Arizona Americans Elect Party from Grayson's 2012 congressional campaign, Rev. Schermerhorn is on the board of directors of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, which has urged state legislatures and Congress to enact legislation to combat global warming.

Both of the Pinal County Americans Elect Party leaders vowed to elect candidates in 2014 who will protect the environment.  "As most Arizona voters know, climate change is very real," said Dr. Núñez, "and we have a limited time to produce legislation and regulation to protect our environment from the dangers of global warming."
"Although the Arizona Americans Elect Party is active on many fronts," Rev. Schermerhorn said, "climate change may be the defining issue of our generation, and we need to make public support for environmental protections as widespread as support for gay marriage and immigration reform.  Of course, there are a lot of backward-thinking, ignorant people in Pinal County and the state, and we need to show them the error of their ways -- or destroy them before they destroy the beauty of Arizona."

"We are proud to have these accomplished young leaders representing the Americans Elect Party in Pinal County, a crucial area, as we move into next year's Arizona state and federal elections," said Mr. Young, the party's leader. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

J.L. Mealer of Mesa is the First Arizona Americans Elect Party Candidate to File for Governor, Party Leader Trey Young Announces


Arizona Americans Elect Party leader Trey Young today called a press conference to announce that the party's first gubernatorial candidate has filed.  

J.L. Mealer, a Mesa business leader and sportsman, is one of three candidates to have filed formal declarations of candidacy for Governor in 2014 with the Arizona Secretary of State's office, along with former Arizona Board of Regents Chairman Fred DuVal, a Democrat, and ex-Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman, a Republican.

"We in the Americans Elect Party are proud to have one of the first candidates for Governor of any party to be in our 2014 primary," said Mr. Young, flanked by other party leaders, including First Vice-Chairwoman Buffy Lehman Auchincloss, his aunt, and party Treasurer Dr. Irina Tereshkova, his girlfriend.  "We are expecting Mr. Mealer to run a dynamic, progressive race and we're looking forward to hearing the ways he will protect the rights and fortunes of Arizona's silent majority who've been ignored by our current right-wing Republican governor and legislature."

"We're confident he'll help the Americans Elect Party fight the Tea Party scum who've turned Arizona into a shithole," Dr. Tereshkova added.  "Mr. Mealer will appeal to those Arizonans who own catheters, colostomy bags, authentic replicas of Obama’s original Kenyan birth certificate, adult diapers, bomb shelters, survivalist manuals, Ayn Rand coloring books and souvenir Krugerrands -- and in this state, that's a majority of the voters."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dr. Frank Fukuda and Dr. Spring Waterston, Noted Sex Therapists, Named City of Sedona Americans Elect Party Co-Chairs by Arizona Party Leader Trey Young

SEDONA, Ariz., May 2 -

Arizona Americans Elect Party leader Trey Young traveled to Sedona today to name the noted sex therapists Frank Fukuda and Spring Waterston as the City of Sedona Co-Chairs of the Arizona Americans Elect Party.

"I'm excited that wonderful Sedona is the first city to have an active group of Americans Elect Party members," said Mr. Young at a press conference at the Tantric Foundation in West Sedona.  "And our party is privileged indeed to have such distinguished residents as Dr. Fukuda and Dr. Waterston as our representative in the community."
"We hope to bring a more spiritual side to the political party," said Dr. Waterston, who is in private practice in Sedona, where she volunteers as a children's story reader at the Sedona Public Library.  She received her Ph.D. from Maimonides University and is an ABS certified sex therapist who specializes in sexual dysfunctions, gender identity, and geriatric issues.

"Spring and I will work hard but have fun in our attempt to gain new Americans Elect Party members in Sedona," Dr. Fukuda said.  He received his Ed.D. from Florida State University and is an ABS certified sex counselor as well as a longtime volunteer at the Nicodemus Wilderness Project.

The Arizona Americans Elect Party is the state's fastest-growing political party; its first candidates for Congress first appeared on the 2012 ballot and the party is already qualified for the ballot in 2014, when it hopes to run candidates for most federal and state offices.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rabbi Elana de Carvajal and Dr. Noor Rizvi Named Pima County Americans Elect Party Co-Chairs; Vow to Fight Anti-Immigrant 'Haters', Join May 1 March & Rally for Immigrant & Worker Rights

TUCSON, May 1 -

Continuing the revitalization of the Arizona Americans Elect Party, party leader Trey Young came to Tucson today to install Elana de Carvajal and Noor Rizvi as the party's new Pima County co-chairs.

Rabbi de Carvajal, 27, is a native of Mexico City who received her bachelor's degree from Barnard College and did her graduate work at Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was ordained as a Conservative rabbi.  Married to a University of Arizona sociology professor, Mark Rubin, she is the mother of twins and spiritual leader of Congregation Shaare Zion in Tucson, where she lives. 

Dr. Rizvi, 33, is a native of Lahore, Pakistan, and received undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles and its David Geffen School of Medicine.  He lives in Oro Valley with his wife, Dr. Tina Singh, and is in a private practice in plastic surgery in Tucson and  Oro Valley.

"We're proud of our new Pima County Americans Elect Party leaders, who are accomplished and talented individuals in the community," said Mr. Young, who became party leader last week.  "We're sure they'll attract new members in Tucson and elsewhere."

Both Rabbi de Carvajal and Dr. Rizvi, both immigrants, have been active in support of the Arizona Dreamers and the Coalición de Derechos Humanos.

Following their press conference, Mr. Young and the new Pima County party leaders joined the May 1 Coalition march and rally in support of International Workers Day for Justice and Dignity.

"It's time to fight the haters in Arizona," said Rabbi de Carvajal.  "The Americans Elect Party will stand up for our immigrant community. Both Noor and I have pledged to continue our efforts as party leaders on their behalf."

Dr. Rizvi agreed: "We call for immigration reform for 11 million, ending the militarization of our borders and communities, ending the criminalization of migrants, and resisting and repealing the hateful SB 1070."

"The Americans Elect Party respects the rights of all workers," added Mr. Young, "and we will be looking for candidates in 2014 who will represent that view.  Fuck all the haters in Arizona."