January 21, 2021 Press Releases

Arizona Democratic Party Congratulates IRC on Chair and Vice-Chair Selections

For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Contact: Charlie Fisher, cfisher@azdem.org

Arizona Democratic Party Congratulates IRC on Chair and Vice-Chair Selections
Democrat Derrick Watchman, first Native IRC Commissioner, unanimously elected Vice Chairman.

PHOENIX — Today the Arizona Democratic Party congratulates the members of the Independent Redistricting Commission on their unanimous, bipartisan selection of both Dr. Erika Schupak Neuberg as Independent Chair and Democrat Derrick Watchman as Vice-Chair.

Derrick Watchman is the first Native American Commissioner in the history of the Arizona IRC. A member of the Navajo Nation, Mr. Watchman has a long, distinguished history in public service. In his 35 year career he has held multiple high-level positions in tribal government, federal government, and economic development. Former State Senator David Bradley, who appointed Mr. Watchman to the IRC this past October, praised his “consensus building skills” and “unique and vital perspective that will be an essential contribution to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.”

Dr. Erika Schupak Neuberg is a psychologist and life coach with 25 years of experience in bi-partisan political advocacy. In her application to the commission, Dr. Schupak Neuberg cited her decades of work in psychology, philanthropy and pro-Israel advocacy, and her ability to “bring people from different backgrounds and perspectives together to find consensus for the common good.”

Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Matt Grodsky issued the following statement:

“We congratulate the IRC Commissioners on two decisions that will hopefully set the tone for the collaborative work of the commission going forward. We applaud their ability to come together in a bipartisan manner on two very consequential decisions, and for electing to leadership Derrick Watchman, whose experience, skills, and perspective will be an invaluable asset to the Commission and the redistricting process.

As they now move forward with the important work of redrawing Arizona’s maps, we strongly urge the Commissioners to make public engagement a top priority. The input given by thousands of Arizona residents in communities throughout the state was a key component in the success of the 2011 IRC. Public comment is an essential piece of the IRC process, and was a driving factor behind the IRC’s creation. The Arizona Democratic Party implores the Commissioners to commit now to a series of early public hearings, held across the state, that will be safe, frequent and accessible to all.”

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