The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it is going toreview the Department of Justice’s challenge to Arizona’s immigration law, SB1070. The lawhas inspired similar legislation in South Carolina,Georgia, Alabama,Indiana and Utah. The most controversial provision ofthe law allows local police to determine the immigration status of anyone whothey “reasonably suspect” are in the country illegally.
So it was exciting to hear that a Navajo woman, WenonaBenally Baldenegro is running against former Democratic Congresswoman AnnKirkpatrick to represent the sometime, much aligned but deserved, state of Arizona. And ifBaldenegro wins she would be the first American Indian woman to serve inCongress. The 34-year old Harvard Law Schoolgraduate also has two master’s degrees, was raised on the Navajo IndianReservation and has spent over 10 years working on policy issues in Arizona. The winner ofthe primary would face first-term incumbent Paul Gosar a Republican who hasalso been identified as a Tea Party candidate. Baldenegro said her primaryreason for running is simple, “the proposed congressional district has 11tribes and it is time we have a voice in Congress.”
Progressive representation in a state where you might leastexpect it—never say never. Maybe Arizonacan be a shinning example after all.