Charlene started her career in public service opening Congressman Ed Pastor’s Yuma office, and later serving in Congressman Raul Grijalva and Governor Janet Napolitano’s offices. She also served for 8 years on the Yuma Union High School Board.
Since her 2014 election to the Arizona House of Representatives, Charlene’s been one of the legislature's strongest advocates for public education, frequently pushing for more teacher and classroom funding from her position on the appropriations committee. Her leadership was integral to the Drought Contingency Plan agreement in 2019, bringing states, tribal nations, farmers, and other stakeholders together to ensure a sustainable water supply for Arizona.
Charlene has also championed quality healthcare by promoting affordable drug prices and opposing junk insurance plans. She’s sponsored gun safety legislation to address the shooting crisis. Additionally, she’s prioritized protecting our environment and addressing climate change for future generations.
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Charlene led the Democratic Caucus effort for better unemployment protections and paid sick leave for workers.
Democrats were enraged, saying they did not show up Tuesday because Republicans had introduced a slew of last-minute budget amendments, and noted that it was absent Republicans who prevented a quorum.
Rep. Charlene Fernandez of Yuma called the limits “absolutely ridiculous” and said Republicans wasted 26 days of the session getting their own members on board with the budget deal.
“We’ve only had 7,400 doses sent to Yuma county. We’re not meeting the needs. We have a large elderly population, they qualify because they’re over 65, 75, 85, yet they’re not getting the vaccine that they need,” stated Charlene Fernandez, Arizona State Representative.
“Senator Otondo and I sent a letter, we just did it Friday night, to the Biden administration. We sent it to the new Health and Human Service cabinet secretary yet to be confirmed asking him to put us as a priority as soon as he’s inaugurated, and he’s confirmed.”
Rep. Fernandez says she’s going to work on protecting proposition 208.
“Now, always always always in the forefront is public education so that's a given. I will do everything I can working with my colleagues the other 28 of them to protect prop 208 to make sure that it's not dismantled in any way. The voters spoke, they want 208 to be implemented and I want to make sure that we see that through,” Rep. Fernandez explained.
“If we are truly dedicated to ensuring diversity within our police force, we must start with ensuring diversity amongst the leadership of the very entity tasked with overseeing the training of law enforcement officers,” Arizona House Democratic leader Charlene Fernandez said in the letter.
In state District 4, which includes Buckeye and Goodyear, incumbents Geraldine “Gerae” Peten and Charlene Fernandez were the only two Democrats to file for the two House of Representatives seats.
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