Seven Touches Campaign Now Under Way
          As you may recall from our most recent newsletter, AZELO is embarking on an aggressive campaign of advocacy, education and persuasion aimed squarely at influencing the 90 members of the Arizona legislature. The ultimate goal, of course, is the creation of a law granting Arizona citizens voluntary access to medical aid in dying (MAID). 
          Planning and implementation of the Seven Touches Campaign is being guided by Dwight Moore, Jay Scherotter, and Leesa Stevens. The team has divided the state into eight regions, each with a Regional Leader who is responsible for carrying out the campaign for several Legislative Districts located within their assigned region. 
           Here’s a look at the campaign organization:
     Leader                                  Region                              Legislative Districts 
Leesa Stevens             Northern Arizona                    1, 5, 6, 7
Ron Fischler                 Eastern Arizona                      8, 12, 16, 28
Tom Fitch                      E. Maricopa County               23, 25
Jay Scherotter              S. Maricopa County                17, 22, 16, 27
Mandy Weaver             Central Phoenix                      15, 18, 24
Stu Burge                     W. Maricopa County                20, 21, 29, 30
Dwight Moore               W. & S.W. Arizona                   2, 4, 13, 19
Mary Ganapol               Southern Arizona                    3, 9, 10, 11, 14

What's next?
          The campaign actually launches with today's newsletter and continues through the end of the year. It is focused on familiarizing legislators with AZELO, increasing their understanding of medical aid in dying, and providing them an opportunity to meet with our constituent/volunteers. The process, scheduled  to continue throughout the summer and fall, calls for "touching" each legislator seven times via emails, phone calls and personal visits.
          This is where you become an essential part of the campaign. And you can start today -- right now -- with Touch Number One. Here's how to get started.
STEP ONE  First you need to locate the name and email address for the Senator and two Representatives who represent the Legislative District you live in. To start, simply go to this AZ Website and enter your home address. Your Legislative District will pop up at the top of the map. (Your Congressional District will also be displayed, but ignore that for now.)

STEP TWO  Next, you need to type the number of your Legislative District on this website My State Legislators. where the House Roster and Senate Roster are shown in two different displays and provide each member's name, phone number and email address. Note that when you send your emails, each person's name has to include the extension Thus, for example, John Allen's email address would be

STEP THREE  Draft an email something like the SAMPLE below. It's fine to send the same email message to each of your three legislators. Just remember to change the recipients' names and email addresses. Remember, the SAMPLE is exactly that, so feel free to change up some of the language to suit your own personal style. 

STEP FOUR  Proofread each email to eliminate possible typos, save a copy for your files, and send your First Touch on its way. If you come up against a question about the campaign that you can't answer, please give Education Chair Dwight Moore a call at 360-223-4958.

                                   SAMPLE EMAIL

Dear (name)

These are difficult times for our state and country. As a citizen of Arizona, I wanted to thank you for your efforts regarding the COVID-19 crisis. It is because of a state-wide strategy that we will recover and move forward.

I am particularly interested in quality end-of-life care. As you may know, 70 million people in the U.S. have access to Medical Aid in Dying in 10 different states. Arizona has not passed such legislation yet, but our hope at Arizona End of Life Options is we are able to do this in the next legislative session. We have more than 250 volunteers here in Arizona and collaborate with the national offices of Death with Dignity and Compassion & Choices.

Over the next few months I will send you more information on Medical Aid in Dying (MAID).

Finally, for your convenience, I am including a link to a Fact Sheet that will answer many questions about our organization, Arizona End-of-Life Options.

Thank you,

NOTE to AZELO Volunteers: here is a link to our approved Fact Sheet.
Please attach this link to each e-mail before sending.
BACKGROUND FYI: As AZELO's Seven Touches Campaign begins rolling out, it is helpful to have a working knowledge of how a bill becomes law. This graphic (from last year) illustrates the winding road our proposed legislation for the 2021 legislative session will be required to travel to become a state law. The 2021 session is expected to convene shortly after January 1.
Mother’s Day Nightmare
by Stu Burge
          When someone you love is suffering, there are few things in life that hurt more than being unable to help them. In this particular case, not simply unable to help, but prohibited.
          Right now, in Roanoke, VA, there’s a story unfolding that is shredding the life of an Arizona woman.
          Robin Craig is AZELO’s volunteer social media coordinator. Her mother is in the South Roanoke Nursing Home where the coronavirus is out of control, indiscriminately killing patients and staff. Because of Virginia lock down orders, no visitors are permitted in the facility. Even her mom’s hospice nurse is limited to one visit every 14 days. And because her mother, soon to be 94, suffers from congestive heart failure and mild dementia, she is unable to use a cell phone without assistance.
         To compensate, Robin mails beautiful notes of support every day in hopes that a staff member will deliver them. Ten days ago she learned that her mother had tested positive for the coronavirus and had been quarantined in her room. Every day since, Robin has persisted in contacting a staff member by phone to probe for essential information about her mother’s condition. The calls usually provide Robin with little information or comfort Robin because she remains worried about previous issues in her mom’s daily care that arose well before the novel coronavirus hit the U.S. and began targeting nursing homes with laser accuracy.
         Understandably, Robin feels scared and frustrated when she reads the following on the front page of the Roanoke Times: “Seven residents of the South Roanoke Nursing Home have died since an outbreak of COVID-19 swept through the Franklin Road facility.” The newspaper adds that three residents are hospitalized and 33 others who have tested positive remain in the facility, including Robin’s mom,who so far is symptom-free. "Additionally, at least 28 staff members are infected."
          While the federal government has yet to release numbers on how the coronavirus has ravaged the elder care industry, The Associated Press maintains its own tally based on state health departments and media reports, finding 22,101 deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities nationwide. Last weekend alone New York state reported more than 1,700 previously undisclosed coronavirus deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities.
           “Many of the residents (at the South Roanoke facility) are fortunate to be able to make daily calls to keep in touch and share about their care. I am unfortunately not one of them,” Robin said. “My mother can’t use a phone or a tablet computer, so this requires assistance from the staff. With staffing shortages, this is next to impossible and puts many of us into this black hole of communication and the family suffers from the fear of the unknown, and it’s a horrible feeling to have each and every day.”
            So, there is no doubt that Robin’s thoughts will be with her mom on Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 10. And again on May 11, and again May 12…
ABOUT US: We are an all-volunteer, nonpartisan, nonsectarian grassroots coalition
dedicated to passage of a state law allowing terminally ill residents to obtain
prescription medications that eliminate undue suffering at the end of life and assure
a dignified, peaceful passing. Our purpose, goals and proposed legislation are modeled after our highly respected national partners:
Death with Dignity and Compassion & Choices.
The end-of–life practice we endorse is called medical aid in dying (MAID).
Arizona End-of-Life Options
May 8, 2020

Our mailing address is:
c/o 15786 W. Merrell St. Goodyear AZ 85395