By Daniel Stefanski |
Last week, the Arizona Women of Action presented Christine Accurso with the 2024 Fearless and Free Award. The award honored Accurso for her “outstanding courage to stand for American freedoms.”
In a post on “X,” Accurso thanked the state organization for the award.
Arizona Women of Action responded, “Arizona and AZWOA are blessed to have you, Christine Accurso! Your work to protect ESAs and in the pro-life community, including Decline to Sign AZ Abortion, has been monumental.”
The East Valley conservative activist has been one of the state’s leading voices for conservative values for many years, but she has risen above greater challenges in recent months. After Arizona passed its historic universal expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) in 2022, special interest groups attempted to refer the program to the ballot in order to delay or stop the benefits for Arizona families who were seeking enhanced choices and opportunities for their children’s education. Accurso organized hundreds of men and women around the state to educate potential signers of the petition about the consequences of their decisions.
Because of Accurso’s counterefforts, the special interest group failed to acquire the minimum number of signatures needed to refer the initiative to the ballot. Shortly after her success in keeping universal ESAs intact, Accurso wrote a piece for FoxNews.com, detailing how her army of parents had done what many thought was unthinkable. Accurso shared that she often went online to track the group responsible for trying to refer ESAs to the ballot, then deployed herself and other parents to the locations where signature gatherers were posted to offer an opposing viewpoint to Arizona voters. She wrote, “I quickly found that voters would look through the legislation, which was attached to the petitions, after hearing my arguments to find out for themselves what was inside this legislation.”
After these efforts, Accurso found herself drafted into the new Republican administration at the Arizona Department of Education, when Tom Horne won his election contest in November 2022. Horne named Accurso as the Director of the ESA Department and tasked her with bringing the program under compliance with state law and eliminating the significant backlog of requests left by the previous Superintendent of Public Instruction – a Democrat. Thanks to the continued existence of universal ESAs, tens of thousands of students have joined the program since the expanded portion went into effect.
Accurso resigned her position in July 2023, expressing her grateful heart “to have had the opportunity to get the ESA program back on track and functioning well.” She added, “I achieved much of what I set out to accomplish, but it is time for me to move on and pursue opportunities to engage citizens, especially parents, to fight for school choice and the other issues they believe in, for the future of our state and of our nation.”
While Accurso recently has been focused on mostly educational efforts with the ESA program, most of her activities over her grassroots career of activism and advocacy have centered around pro-life causes, helping to enlarge Arizona’s standing as one of the top states in the country for life and family values. With the threat of a pro-abortion constitutional amendment on the horizon, Accurso is now attempting to motivate conservative moms and dads to oppose this emerging campaign and safeguard the state’s pro-life protections for the future.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.