A champion for Arizona women and families
Kyrsten Sinema grew up in a family that struggled to get by and experienced homelessness as a child when her father lost his job and her family lived for a time in an abandoned gas station without electricity or running water. Kyrsten worked hard to overcome the obstacles in her way, and after graduating from high school as valedictorian at age 16, she earned a full academic scholarship to college and graduated early with honors. She has dedicated her career to giving others an opportunity to succeed and began her career as a social worker in a low-income Phoenix community. Kyrsten soon realized that solving the problems facing the families she served — poverty, homelessness, job loss, abuse — meant thinking bigger than one family at a time. She went back to school, earning a law degree and Ph.D. from Arizona State University, and began working at the grassroots level to fight for Arizona women and families whose voices weren’t being heard in the government that was meant to serve them. Kyrsten ran a successful grassroots campaign for the state House, where she served for six years before she was elected to serve a term in the state Senate. In 2012, she was elected to the United States House of Representatives from the Ninth District of Arizona, making history as the first openly bisexual member of Congress. Kyrsten is a strong advocate for increasing economic opportunity for all Arizonans, strengthening and growing the middle class, giving women and families a fair shot, and protecting Social Security and Medicare from reckless plans to cut them. She will continue to work tirelessly to break through gridlock and move Arizona forward.
A tireless fighter for social justice
Kyrsten understands that too many Arizonans are struggling to get by and do right by their families in a tough economy, and she is working tirelessly to help small businesses grow and create jobs and opportunity. She joined the “Problem Solvers Coalition” to tackle waste and inefficiency in government while fighting like mad to save thousands of Arizona technology and defense jobs threatened by budget cuts. Kyrsten is a champion for women, and she led the House freshmen in supporting the Violence Against Women Act and voted to ensure military sexual assault survivors receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Kyrsten is a strong advocate for Arizona’s public schools and knows from personal experience that educational opportunities can transform a vulnerable child’s life. She fights to protect essential programs like free school lunches. “I was one of the kids who benefited from that program because we were very poor,” Kyrsten has said, and she is a champion for the Arizonans whose voices aren’t heard in the halls of power. She continues to teach graduate-level courses in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University and is deeply committed to social justice.
An experienced leader and advocate for Arizona
Kyrsten has an outstanding record of effective leadership. When she was a state legislator in 2006, she spearheaded a successful effort to defeat a same-sex state-level marriage ban — the first time such a proposal was defeated at the state level. Kyrsten fought back against the Tea Party agenda in Arizona, and during her time serving in Congress she has fought back against the extreme Republican agenda that would roll back women’s rights. She is unrelenting in her work to break through gridlock and create opportunity for Arizonans, and the EMILY’s List community is proud to continue standing with this strong champion for women and families.