katie hobbs
Hobbs’ “Diversity Council” Raises Legal Questions

October 28, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

A new council is renewing a political feud between Arizona’s Democrat Governor and a prominent state senator.

After Governor Katie Hobbs announced that she had established the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA) Council and the Disability Community Advisory Council, Senator Jake Hoffman released a blistering statement against her latest action.

Hobbs made her announcement, citing her “commitment to building an Arizona for everyone.” She shared that the DEIA Council, “whose membership will mirror Arizona’s diversity, will work with state agencies to promote equity within the government, as well as deliver fair, community-centered services to traditionally underserved groups.” The governor also stated that the Disability Community Advisory Council would “meet with the Office of Outreach & Engagement and (her) quarterly to exchange the Disability Community’s priorities and keep the communication lines open between us.”

The first-year governor burnished her motivations behind the Councils’ creations, saying, “Diversity is Arizona’s greatest strength, and I’m proud to honor it by assembling these two councils. I look forward to working with them to uplift everyone.”

Senator Hoffman was quick to respond to the governor’s announcement, issuing a press release to accuse Hobbs of breaking Arizona State law with her “latest stunt.” His release pointed to a new Arizona law, A.R.S. 41-1494, which “prohibits this state, or any of its agencies, from using public monies for any training that ‘presents any form of blame or judgment on the basis of race, ethnicity or sex,’ which is a foundational concept of diversity, equity and inclusion theory.”

Hoffman warned Arizonans of the dangers of the expected efforts of this fledgling Council, writing, “I championed legislation in 2021 to prevent exactly what Katie Hobbs is trying to do. Not only may the state not spend any funds on this type of training, but it cannot require state employees to be subject to this type of indoctrination. Taxpayer dollars should never be used for anything other than public good. Diversity, equity, and inclusion training is divisive and racist progressive propaganda. It will harm our good-faith efforts to serve our citizens. It will also harm the culture of a hard work ethic established within our state agencies that rewards individuals based on qualifications, experience, and merit, not skin color.”

The East Valley lawmaker added, “Instead of focusing on the real issues hurting our Arizona citizens, like soaring inflation, outrageous gas prices, a major housing shortage, water security, and a border crisis threatening the safety of our communities, Katie Hobbs is attempting to once again appeal to her radical left supporters by pushing woke garbage down the throats of our public employees through her creation of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Council. This move is an obvious cover for her racist past of not only nominating an antisemitic to lead the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, but also for her wrongful firing of a black state employee that ended up costing Arizona taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.”

The release from Senator Hoffman encouraged State of Arizona government employees to file complaints if they experienced “this propaganda being presented or enforced” in their workplaces. He gave readers the link to the Arizona Ombudsman Citizens’ Aide and his legislative email for their quick references.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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