U.S House, District 5: Joan Greene vows to fight corruption, boost schools

Name: Joan Greene
Political party: Democrat
Position sought: U.S. House of Representatives, District 5
City of residence: Phoenix
Occupation: Entrepreneur and founder of Greene & Associates

What is the greatest issue Arizona residents face? If elected, how would you address this issue?

In today’s political climate, corruption is the most important issue Arizonans face.

Greene said education and health care are slipping by the wayside because of corruption.

“I’m (as) honest as the day is long,” she said. “You can’t find anything in my past or my future.”

What other issues are important to you and your campaign?

Funding education and protecting victims of sexual assault are Greene’s top priorities, she said.

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Greene also said that although education funding is more of a local issue, she would have conversations about the local education system if elected. She noted that the federal government funds 8.3 percent of K-12 education, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Greene said she disagrees with her opponent about the importance of the Department of Education. Rep. Andy Biggs’ website states that “the federal government has no rightful place in our education system.”

Greene said most people don’t understand what this means or how this could affect local schools. She also said the Department of Education helps to “make sure that our low-income families and our disabled children have the same equal opportunities to get an education.”

Greene said she would push for more Pell Grants for college students and increase efforts to help homeless children get to school by ensuring they have transportation.

“Education is the only way that I can see to get us out of poverty,” she said.

Protecting people from sexual assault is another of her main priorities. Too many women and children, including boys, are sexually assaulted, she said.

“Why are we not protecting them better?” she asked.

What in your past work, political or volunteer experience makes you a better choice to hold this office?

Greene earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Arizona and went into business and marketing after graduation. Her company, Greene & Associates, provides promotional marketing solutions for nonprofits and companies. She also founded Village of Hearts, a charitable organization that brings awareness to Arizona animal shelters and rescues.

Her 31 years of experience as an entrepreneur has taught her about budgeting and what it would take to expand the economy on a larger scale.

“It’s not cutting taxes, but it’s not increasing taxes,” Greene said. “It’s being fiscally responsible.”

Greene said getting rid of waste and investing in the right people are essential qualities in business that would translate to her work in Congress if elected.

“When you run, the goal is to make your community – you, me, everybody else – thrive,” Greene said. “And not just for the few, but everybody.”

Greene said she’s pleased several others from the LGBTQ community are running for state and federal offices, adding that Arizona’s congressional delegation should reflect the diversity of the state’s population.

Greene said that she would provide a voice to LGBTQ issues that arise in Congress.

“It’s important that our children, no matter whether they’re LGBTQ or not; if they feel that they’re a little different, no matter what they are, that they have somebody that they can say, ‘I can guarantee that person’s going to fight for me,’” Greene said.

What is a personal challenge you feel you need to overcome?

Greene said her biggest struggle has been receiving news coverage. Many journalists and reporters, she said, “have chosen to ignore the races that they feel don’t warrant their attention.” In her case, she said the lack of attention might be because she is running against an incumbent.

Please share a quote or advice that guides you.

Greene said former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the issue of kneeling during the national anthem to protest police mistreatment of black Americans has resonated with her.

“It’s not about kneeling for me,” Greene said. “We should be a nation that (doesn’t) condemn those who kneel. What we should be doing is fixing the problems of why they do kneel.”

What app on your phone could you not live without?

“Twitter or Facebook right now because that’s our (campaign’s) communication,” Greene said.

She also values photos of her dog.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“My intention is to lead with compassion, to listen to people, to be accessible, to be honest and to protect our families,” she said.

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