Athena Salman for House
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The Beginning

Athena was born in Arizona to a working-class family. Her father was born in Palestine and immigrated to the United States with a dream and one suitcase. Her mother was born in inner-city Chicago to two immigrant parents, one from Germany and the other, México. For almost 30 years her parents have operated a small family business in which everyone contributes.

Early on, Athena developed a deep appreciation for the potential of families to build upon a previous generation’s success if the government is supportive. Having grown up in our public schools, Athena had the great fortune of being surrounded by educators who cared deeply about their students. However, from the early 1990s into the 2000s, Athena experienced what many Arizona children now confront: a public school system that had been shortchanged for decades by corrupt politicians.

Athena later studied at Arizona State University, where she earned degrees in Economics and Political Science. Even then, at the young age of 19, Athena was fighting for families. When she wasn't hitting the books, Athena spent every waking moment working with nonprofits to lobby Congress and the Legislature on affordable tuition and healthcare for all.

 

Experience

Athena graduated in the height of the Great Recession. Like many millennials, she found herself in an economy where jobs were limited, so she got a job at a hotel in Downtown Phoenix as a bellman and in room service. Athena experienced firsthand how working class people struggled to keep up with healthcare, transportation, and housing while industry profits soared. Tired of the injustice, Athena became the union shop steward where she empowered her coworkers, whom were largely women and immigrants, to demand dignity and respect from their bosses.

Bringing services to parts of the community that have for too long gone ignored has become Athena’s core mission. Her decision to run for office is consistent with this goal, and came after her time working with First Things First and the Girl Scouts, where she was devastated to find that a child’s zip code impacted the quality of their education and overall quality of life.

She now serves you in the Arizona House of Representatives where she routinely takes powerful institutions head on in order to protect the public interest.

 

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Our Future

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Arizona is approaching a turning point. Year after year, state lawmakers have prioritized handouts to corporations over funding critical infrastructure such as our crumbling public schools. We are told that these cuts in funding will lead Arizona to prosperity, yet our neighbors and communities continue to struggle for basic needs and services. Enough is enough. Our system of government can be changed to benefit everyone, instead of just the elite few.

 

 

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