Dr. Ryan A. Starzyk: 2021 Reflections
Trying My Best, But Feel Like It’s Not Enough.
470 Days Alcohol Free & 72 Days Tobacco Free.
For a good portion of 2021, I was angry, frustrated, and struggling to find a new purpose. Earlier in the year, I had a revenge-driven desire to run for office again. After some self-reflection, input from my tiny inner circle of trusted friends and advisors, I decided not to pursue it (this time). Big shout out to my rock star team who were willing to do it with me again (Veronica, Ivan, John).
But, on the flip side, my electronic signature petition is still open if you want to sign it. At least you can choose who you want to run rather than being forced to choose the one you don’t. If I have enough electronic signatures to qualify, yes, I will file to be on the ballot.
My point in doing this is to give people an option, knowing that I will be outspent 4–1 no matter how much I try to raise. The royalty in Arizona Democratic politics have already chosen an ancient 80-year-old waste of space to be there; thus, I am just up against a power that is unlikely to be broken down unless I hit the lottery to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars against them all (you never know).
For the record, LELA ALSTON IS TOO OLD TO BE IN PUBLIC OFFICE!
At least I have the guts to try, even on the smallest level possible. Could I win? Sure, anything is possible (just look back at 4-years under Trump). Would I put every ounce of energy possible towards representing people in my district if I did by some miracle squeak a win? Damn, right, I would — every last breath, ounce of energy, and passionate fight would be invested towards supporting our communities. But let’s be realistic, I am fighting a massive machine, and the machine is snake oiled against those of us who are free thinkers and not conformists.
Democracy is about the participation of different ideas, competing in a charged environment filled with extra energy, passion, and divergent positions on handling pressing public policy issues.
OK! LOL! That’s funny.
Running for public office was a wild experience. The best part was knocking on doors, engaging with voters, and talking with people directly. Everything else can take a hike, especially establishment royalty that seems to think they control everything. In a lot of ways, they do. They control the purse strings to major donors, funders, organizations, and unless you bow down to kiss the ring, they don’t give you the time of day.
I will never bow down. And that scares them.
Let’s make 2022 a year of positive change. Together we are the ones with the power to elect leaders that represent our interests. Racial injustice, LGBTQIA+ rights, veterans issues, explosive housing costs, food insecurity, access to technology, health care, and social media turmoil are just a few areas we must address this coming year. Not to mention putting an age limit for who can serve in public office.
I hope you will join me in the fight. Over the coming months, a few different organizations/websites will be launched.
Progressive Nation will advocate creating a public internet utility accessible to everyone equally. It will also explore opportunities for increased automation to decrease the size of government, expedite permits, improve regulatory compliance while saving taxpayers money.
veteran.lgbt will initially be a resource site for LGBTQIA+ veterans to seek out specific information to help them through the complex Veterans Affairs system. The hope is for this organization to grow and become a central location for LGBTQIA+ veteran’s information, research, and support.
BlueFire Group will continue to run strong! I started this business after losing my run for State Senate in 2020.
In addition to the areas of focus above, I will keep fighting for progressive candidates, host them live for Q&A sessions, and go out there to knock on doors in support of them!
Want to know how you can get involved? Reach out. I am always here to provide guidance on how best to invest your valuable time.
Here’s to a fun, exciting, adventurous, and positive 2022!