Candidate Name:
JoAnna Mendoza

Website:
www.mendoza4arizona.com

Position Sought:
State Senate

Legislative District:
11

Survey Responses:

Question 1:

Public tax dollars should not be used to fund private religious education, either directly through tax credit scholarships (STOs) or indirectly through vouchers (Empowerment Scholarship Accounts).

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Public tax dollars should be reserved for public education and social service programs, not diverted to fund private schools, charter schools, and private religious schools. Every child deserves to have a quality education and be set up for success – regardless of zip code, the color of their skin, socioeconomic status, or any other factor. Fully funding our public education system is how we can achieve that goal and support the future success of all children.”

Question 2:

When it comes to government policy, health care decisions must be made in a religiously-neutral way based on science and evidence. When it comes to a woman’s health care decisions, the only beliefs that matter are hers. Lawmakers should not use their personal religious beliefs to dictate a woman’s access to reproductive health care.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Government policy about health care decisions should always be based on science and evidence, not personal religious beliefs. I fully support a woman’s right to choose and that every person should have access to reproductive health services. These are conversations and decisions that should be had by an individual and their healthcare provider. The personal religious beliefs of politicians should have no say in this area.”

Question 3:

A terminally ill, mentally capable person with a prognosis of six months or less to live should not have the option to request from their doctor a prescription for medication which they can choose to self-ingest to die peacefully.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Death with dignity legislation allows qualified terminally-ill adults to voluntarily request and receive a prescription medication to hasten their death. In the 2020 legislative session, a number of death with dignity bills were introduced (HB 2582 / SB 1384, the Arizona Medical Aid in Dying Act, SB 1497, the Arizona Death with Dignity Act), but none were allowed to pass out of committee. Individuals seeking to end their own life to avoid further suffering from a terminal illness either have to commit suicide alone, risk criminal prosecution of those aiding in the death, or travel to another state to access euthanasia. There are roughly 10 states throughout the nation that have passed death with dignity laws. Legalization allows family and friends to speak openly about this process and provide support  to their loved one. Reports have shown that relatives and loved ones believe that the assisted death contributed positively to the overall end of life experience by ending the suffering of their loved one and allowing them to say goodbye.”

Question 4:

Public schools should not teach “creationism” or “intelligent design” as viable alternatives to scientific theories on the origin of life.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Curriculum in public schools should consist exclusively of evidence-based scientific theories. Subjects such as creationism and intelligent design are not alternative scientific theories, they are religious-based concepts. They should not be taught in public schools as this gives the impression that they carry the same weight as evolution and other evidence-based scientific theories.”

Question 5:

Religious institutions should not be exempt from the requirements and restrictions of tax policy that is imposed on all non-profit and charitable organizations.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Churches, religious organizations and ministers were granted special tax exemptions by Congress in recognition of their unique status in American society, but times have changed. Our government loses millions of dollars every year as a result of the tax-exempt status of religious institutions. Many religious institutions are making a substantial profit, while individual taxpayers bear the burden. The other troubling issue about tax exemptions for religious institutions is that they are not required to disclose where the money comes from, which is a breeding ground for corruption. Tax exemptions are a privilege and not a right, and the time has come for us to rethink this privilege for religious institutions.”

Question 6:

If a government meeting is opened with a prayer, it should be open and inclusive for representatives of all religious beliefs, including unpopular minority religions and people with no official beliefs or creed.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“As is written in our US Constitution, there should be a clear separation of church and state. Everyone has a right to their own religious beliefs. That should not influence public policy and government affairs.”

Question 7:

A statewide non-discrimination law is need to protect all Arizonans from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“No one should live in fear of discrimination in any aspect of their life because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The recent Supreme Court ruling that LGBTQ+ individuals cannot be discriminated against in the workplace is a monumental step forward for our country. However, there is still much work to be done in Arizona to ensure that we protect LGBTQ+ individuals. A statewide non-discrimination law is still necessary to implement protections for areas such as housing, healthcare, businesses, and other public accommodations.”

Question 8:

A patient has a right to know if their health provider will refuse certain services, treatments, prescriptions, or withhold scientific information and options based on the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“This is absolutely something that should be provided upfront to a patient. Healthcare should be based on data and science, not religious beliefs. A patient should never be denied the healthcare services that they need because of their provider’s own religious beliefs. If a healthcare provider refuses to provide any services, potential patients have a right to know that information in order to make fully informed decisions about their healthcare options.”

Question 9:

Comprehensive, medically accurate and age-appropriate sex education is a matter of public health and safety, and should be offered in public schools with parents having the right to opt out.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Young people deserve and need to have access to comprehensive, medically-accurate, and age-appropriate sex education in schools in order to help ensure their health and well-being. This is absolutely a matter of public health and safety. We are failing to provide them with the information that they need to live healthy lives – physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Programs that offer comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education have also been shown to improve academic success. This should be the standard in our public schools, giving parents the right to opt-out rather than having an opt-in system.”

Question 10:

Public employees deserve a workplace free from religious proselytizing and pressure by the Governor, agency heads, municipal or county leaders, or other persons in authority in public spheres.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Public employees should never be subject to pressure about religious preferences from any person in authority. Religion should have no place in the public work sector.”

Question 11:

So-called “conversion therapy” is a pseudo-scientific practice attempting to “convert” LGBT individuals to become heterosexual. Practicing this on LGBT youth should be banned in Arizona.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Absolutely. Conversion therapy is a traumatic and harmful practice that should never be used, particularly for youth. It has been disavowed by reputable medical professionals. I fully support a ban on these practices in Arizona.”

Question 12:

Religion is never an excuse to harm a child or allow harm to a child. Religious loopholes for medical neglect, physical abuse, and reporting requirements must be repealed.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“There is no excuse for harming a child, period. So-called religious beliefs are no exception. Any loopholes for neglect, abuse, or reporting requirements should definitely be repealed.”

Question 13:

As a diverse and secular state, it is improper and unconstitutional for the government to direct taxpayer money to programs and institutions that discriminate on the basis of religion.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Discrimination on the basis of religion is unacceptable. Everyone has the right to their own religious beliefs. Taxpayer dollars should never go to organizations or programs that condone such discrimination.”

Question 14:

Solutions to the world’s greatest challenges must be guided by science and evidence. Lawmakers have a responsibility to recognize and act upon scientific consensus behind climate change.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Climate change is real and is happening now. We need to do everything possible to mitigate the effects that we are already seeing and prevent things from getting worse. We all have the responsibility to act upon the scientific evidence and help combat climate change to preserve our natural resources and environment for future generations. As elected leaders, lawmakers have an even higher responsibility to implement the necessary public policy and further emphasize the importance of acting on this issue to the general public.”

Question 15:

When a citizen convicted of a drug crime is sentenced to mandatory rehabilitation, the government must provide access to options that are evidence-based and free from religion.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“Rehabilitation programs should always be evidence-based. Depending on the individual, religion may be a helpful part of rehabilitation, but it should not be the only option provided and should always be combined with evidence-based programs.”

Question 16:

Studying the Old and New Testaments of the Bible under the guise of literature and world history has no place in public school curriculum. The Bible can be discussed as part of a discussion on religions of the world and other religions are given equal time in the classroom.

Level of support:

10/10 (Strongly Agree)

Comments:

“The Bible is undoubtedly an important text for many people. However, it should not be taught in public schools as world history. All religious texts should be given equal time and consideration when discussing religion in the classroom.”