Arizona Focus: Angela Cotera, Rocket Scientist for Arizona
Arizona has the chance to elect a magnificent, brilliant progressive to the state house: Angela Cotera, scientists AND teacher. She is challenging a self-proclaimed teabagger for the 12 District. From Progressive Majority:
You could say that governing isn’t rocket science. But to get Arizona out of an economic black hole, it’s going to take a rocket scientist like Angela Cotera to reignite Arizona.
Yes, Angela is a rocket scientist. And she’s more than that: she’s a teacher and an Arizonan that knows and has seen her state’s potential.
But her opponent, incumbent Steve Montenegro, is content to let it all fall by the wayside. A self-proclaimed Tea Party Republican, Steve has slashed funding to education by $1.2 billion, stalled efforts to bring green jobs to Arizona and opposed bringing high-tech industries to diversify the state’s economy.
Thankfully, Steve’s decisions have made him very unpopular. That’s why we need Angela to take his place and help Arizona blast off into a brighter future.
From Angela's website:
Angela Cotera, a graduate of Flagstaff High School, has been an Arizonan since 1967. She earned both a B.S. in Engineering Science and a B.A. in Honors Liberal Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. She returned to Arizona after college, working for APS at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station, where she met her husband Mark Hulet, a Nuclear Engineer at Palo Verde since 1984. She subsequently returned to graduate school, earning a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University, specializing in Astrophysics.
After completing her doctorate she worked as a research associate, first at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, then at Steward Observatory, part of the University of Arizona. Dr. Cotera, officially a West Valley resident since her marriage in 1991, was finally able to reside full time in Avondale beginning in 2002 when she taught introductory Astronomy at ASU. Since 2003 she has worked on various NASA Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope research projects from her Avondale office, in collaboration with scientists from around the world. Her research grant administration is provided by the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, part of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.
In the fall of 2006, frustrated by the actions of our local, state and national political leaders, Angela felt compelled to get involved and do whatever she could to help her local community. She is currently serving on the Avondale Planning and Zoning Commission and General Plan Board, and is a graduate of both Leadership West (Class XIV) and Emerge Arizona (2007). In 2008, in her first run for any public office (the Arizona State Senate, LD 12), Angela came within 5% of beating a four-term incumbent. In fall 2009, she helped lead the Litchfield Elementary School Bond election to victory, to ensure that West Valley children have the school rooms they need to achieve their potential. In addition to her campaign, she is currently working with the Tolleson Union High School parents to help pass their override this March, which essential to continuing the great progress TUSHD has made since the last override was passed.
From Emerge America:
Dr. Angela Cotera, an astrophysicist, calls herself "literally the person who would have never run for office without Emerge." Her extensive research background includes working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope, in collaboration with scientists from around the world. She has also conducted research at the Steward Observatory, part of the University of Arizona. She is a co-founder of GCNEWS, passing that group on to the next generation of leaders at the 26th Assembly of International Astronomical Union (the meeting where Pluto got demoted).
In the fall of 2006, frustrated by the actions of our local, state and national political leaders, Angela decided to start getting involved with her local community. She joined the Planning and Zoning Commission and ran for State Senate in 2008. Angela was not successful in this first race, but actually received the third highest number of votes for any Democrat in the Senate races in Arizona. This accomplishment motivated her to throw her hat back in the race for the State House for 2010.
As she launches her second campaign for State House, Angela believes that Emerge Arizona "opened doors to incredible networks of people," many of whom she sees at other democratic committees and functions around the state. "Without Emerge, I never would have known what to do nor had the confidence to run. It has taken me from relative obscurity to a concrete campaign plan," she remarks. In fact, she even hired one of her fellow Emerge program members to help manage her first campaign.
Angela has a challenging campaign ahead of her, but has demonstrated that she has the passion and strength to accomplish great things.
Learn more about her campaign at www.cotera4az.com
Arizona should be proud to elect a candidate as spectacular as Angela Cotera to their state government. I cannot image any state in the country would choose an anti-science teabagger against a brilliant woman like Angela.