State Representative Charlene Fernandez currently serves Legislative District 4 -- which includes parts of Yuma, Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties -- in the Arizona legislature, and is the Democratic Caucus Leader of the House of Representatives.
Charlene is one of the legislature's strongest advocates for public education, frequently pushing for more school funding from her position on the appropriations committee.
Prior to being elected to the legislature, Charlene worked in a variety of policy and constituent service roles for Congressman Ed Pastor, Governor Janet Napolitano and Congressman Raúl Grijalva. Charlene also served for more than 12 years on the Yuma Union High School Board.
Charlene was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in elementary education.
Charlene and her husband, Sergio live in Yuma and together raised three children Brian, Carlye, and Lisa.
Now, with the boost in incarcerated women, Shinn wants to reopen it. He figures the minimum security facility has the capacity for 250 permanent beds and 90 temporary beds.
The underlying cause -- more women being locked up -- left House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez with questions. The Yuma Democrat said lawmakers have been told by corrections officials that overall prison population is leveling off.
The letter, authored by Leader Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma, and Reps. Randall Friese D-Tucson, Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, and Athena Salman, D-Tempe, states that party leaders were optimistic that a sea change would come after the retirement of former director Charles Ryan, who helmed DOC for 10 years, but stepped down in August following growing criticism and media reports that he was aware of the extent of the dysfunction in Lewis Prison. However, the letter says that optimism was “premature.”
The Yuma Art Center also celebrated Arizona State Representative Charlene Fernandez as a Legislative Arts Champion. “We have the arts in Arizona because of people who fight the good fight for them in our capitol,” Executive Director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts Joseph Benesh said.
Fernandez received the Legislative Arts Champion Award – the first of its kind to be presented at a Tribute of the Muses ceremony.
With two mass shootings fresh on people's minds the top state House Democrat wants a special session to debate -- and presumably enact -- a series of gun control measures.
Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma, is pulling out all of the proposals that the Republican-controlled Legislature refused to debate, much less consider, in the past five years. These range from universal background checks and bans on military-style assault rifles to limits on high-capacity magazines and making it a crime for adults to leave weapons where children can get them.
Residents asked state Senator Lisa Otondo and Representatives Charlene Fernandez and Dr. Gerae Peten about immigration, the Port of Entry and more funding for San Luis schools, including the need for a second high school due to overcrowding.
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