Bazta Arpaio Campaign Gains Momentum in Fight to Stop America’s Toughest Sheriff

By Editor October 10, 2016 19:00

(Featured Photo: Facebook — Bazta Arpaio Campaign)

By: Cindy G. Castillo

The efforts to stop Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio hit home for Viridiana Hernandez, after her father’s workplace was raided back in 2014. Today, she proudly stands as a leader in the Bazta Arpaio Campaign, whose efforts have gained momentum not only across Arizona, but also nationally. Created in August of this year – and since then, it has earned mentions in publications such as Buzzfeed and The Atlantic.

“What has been very inspiring is [the fact that] this campaign is being led by people who’ve been affected by Arpaio the most,” Hernandez explains, “[Arpaio] has created his popularity, his headliners by attacking our families and creating fear in our community. This is our community saying, ‘we are stronger than ever, you are weaker than ever and we are going to take you down.”

Both Hernandez’s parents have also joined in, and stand next to their daughter in this campaign. And they’re not alone. The entire Bazta Arpaio Campaign is an effort made possible by several organizations that focus on social change across the state, including Puente Movement and Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA). Organizations on a national scale have also joined in, such as Mi Gente.

Bazta Arpaio Campaign organizers and volunteers have been going door to door every week since their efforts began. Hernandez says they’re targeting people who do not vote regularly, people who did not vote in 2012, and new registered voters since 2012. They’re also targeting the community’s youth and getting them to the polls in November.

“The biggest thing so far has been mobilizing [the community] to vote, not only mobilizing them to vote our way,” she said. “About 90 percent [of those who we talk to] say ‘yeah we hate Arpaio’ but the bigger question is actually getting them out to vote.”

But even though the group is campaigning against America’s toughest Sheriff, they’ve made it very clear from the beginning that they are not campaigning in favor of Arpaio’s contender in the November election, Paul Penzone. They do, however, have a strong message for him.

“It’s important that [Penzone] knows what our expectations are,” she said,” it’s important that he knows that we’re going to hold him accountable, that he has to create a different culture, and that he has to get rid of tent city. The community is stronger than ever and not only do they want to get rid of Arpaio, but they want to make sure that the next person in power is accountable.”

The campaign has built such a strong base that their work won’t stop on election day. They’re already planning to bring their organizers and volunteers back together in December to create a plan for what they want to continue to fight for in 2017. Hernandez expects to continue their efforts in a fight to improve the relationship between the community and law enforcement.

“It’s not over on November 8th. People are organizing. Trump and Arpaio is just the beginning.”

To learn more about the Bazta Arpaio Campaign, please visit



By Editor October 10, 2016 19:00

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