FreedomWorks’ grassroots director Merissa Hamilton told The Arizona Sun Times the free-market-focused organization will launch a new program leading up to the general election that will “give the grassroots access to the tools that big organizations normally have and they would only get access to if they were a staff member of that big organization.”
“This is going to empower the grassroots in ways we’ve never had access to before, and anyone that wants to be able to be empowered within their local neighborhood, this is the time to join FreedomWorks and take action.”
Word of the new program, called “Freedom Teams,” comes as the group is set to host a U.S. Senate Candidate Forum Thursday night. Five Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls are scheduled to attend the event, which will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.
“This forum will be the ideal scenario for voters to be educated and really get to know the candidate. The format is in such a way that it’s an extended answer period for each candidate, so this will give them the ability to really have the candidates give a concrete answer, rather than just puff lines,” Hamilton said when asked what the best way people can learn about Arizona Senate candidates is.
The extended-answer format will also allow candidates to differentiate themselves. Hamilton said that viewers should pay attention to how candidates answer questions, which may help them decide who to take seriously. People should also expect their candidates to be accessible. Asking them to local grassroots events provides a good opportunity to ask tougher questions.
Hamilton noted that of all the important raced in the 2022 cycle, the battle for the majority in the U.S. Senate is of particular importance.
“I think what we’ve seen over the last couple years [is] how quickly this nation can fall and put us in a personal crisis situation. Whether it’s inflation issues with gas prices and grocery prices, supply chain disruptions like the empty shelves we’re seeing across the country, [or] the baby formula issues that have been created by our government,” said Hamilton. “It’s been made abundantly clear to our voters that their vote matters, elections matter, and it has a huge impact on our quality of life and the American dream.”
She added that for Arizonans, the long time struggle to secure the southern border is an issue that effects their everyday lives, and is not an abstract argument of no consequence.
“We have a public safety crisis at the border. We have the highest number of border crossings in our nation’s history. It’s almost now a daily headline that our Border Patrol [agents] are catching known dangerous individuals and people that are on the terrorist watch list,” said Hamilton. “Then, within our own local communities, violent crime has skyrocketed. Domestic violence has skyrocketed, and we’re losing police at a faster rate than we’ve ever experienced, especially here in the city of Phoenix.”
Hamilton also cited other areas of concern for Arizona voters, including inflation and supply chain issues, election security, parental rights, protecting children from groomer leftist agendas in school, a loss of focus on academics, an unstable stock market, and concerns over a potential recession.
“We have a lot of issues, there’s no shortage of crisis at the moment, and most of them are all thanks to the government leadership that we see today,” Hamilton said.
Locally, the grassroots organizer heads ezaz.org, which is under the formal name Strong Communities Action. Hamilton has been politically active for well over a decade.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Merissa Hamilton” by Merissa Hamilton. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by David Maiolo. CC BY-SA 3.0.