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Q&A: Harayaksha Gregor Knauer on state House

Harayaksha Gregor Knauer is a Green Party candidate.

Haryaksha Gregor Knauer
Haryaksha Gregor Knauer is running for District 26. (Photo courtesy of Knauer)

Name: Harayaksha Gregor Knauer:

Party: Green

Running for: State House, Legislative District 26

Previous Experience: Ran in 2010

State Press: Why did you decide to run for the State House?

Harayaksha Gregor Knauer: It was for the same reason I ran in 2010. We’ve got to have better representation, for the people, not just the congressmen and their cronies. Have you ever been down there? It’s all clubbish, and I don’t see the representation of the people. I’m encouraging everybody to run and get engaged by running. We all go through a narrative, and I’m glad that I’ve gotten into this narrative. I feel more engaged, I’m meeting other candidates, and the other candidates are all receptive to ideas now. After the election, they might not be saying things like that. The constitution isn’t fully done. We need more amendments – we have 27, why not make that 28? Corporate personhood should not be a thing. Money is not speech.

SP: We’ve seen a few bills regarding guns on a college campus. What’s your stance on those?

HGK: Get serious! We don’t need guns on a campus. I mean, that is the most ridiculous thing. It’s just a few legislators who keep introducing it, and it hasn’t even made it to the floor most of the time. It’s a way of wasting time, harassing everybody, and one of these legislators has said he wants to be able to carry a gun in his glovebox when he takes his kids to school in the morning. It’s just ridiculous.

SP: And what do you think the legislature could be doing to make college more affordable?

HGK: The Arizona constitution says universities should be as nearly free as possible. Our beloved president, Michael Crow, when asked has this long explanation about how students can get full scholarships and the people who pay the full tuition are paying for the rest, but that’s just smoke and mirrors. Free as possible doesn’t mean you have to jump through all these hurdles. It means free as possible. Even community colleges are skyrocketing. It’s a racket. College should be close to free, but K-12 should also be bolstered.

SP: What do you think the legislature can do to help the economy?

HGK: One thing we definitely need to do is support green energy. We need to get rid of the aid for big oil and nuclear energy and instead subsidize the alternative energy. Public transportation is another. We’ve got to stop subsidizing cars. They’re not good for people. I rely on buses, I ride the light rail. They get support, but still, it’s not enough. They need a better frequency of operation and greater hours of operation. Public transportation, alternative energy and conservation corps. It’s a direct way to put people to work and get them outside doing good honest labor. There are so many ways we can directly put people to work, and then back to education. We need to stop starving our public schools, though that’s more of a long-term thing. There are just so many direct ways we can bring jobs, jobs, jobs.

SP: We’ve seen a lot of bills having to do with reproductive issues this past session. How would you vote if those came up again?

HGK: Again, get serious! These people are just trouble-makers. First of all, ObamaCare, RomneyCare are only a half-measure. I, and any other Green Party candidate, are supporting universal, single-player health care. We don’t want insurance companies dictating who gets contraception, who gets Viagra – they subsidize Viagra and they don’t pay for abortion? This is such a personal matter between a woman, specifically, her midwife, her doctor, her partner, and her family. It’s a personal thing. We don’t want legislators, insurance companies telling us, and if we had universal health care we wouldn’t have that issue. This insurance industrial complex has got to go. It’s not going to happen overnight. We want a revolution, but it’s not going to happen in a day. The insurance is a racket; it’s a gamble. People are betting if they’re going to get sick, and that’s not okay.

SP: What are some of the biggest challenges facing you?

HGK: The biggest challenge I’ll have in the legislature is the same one I face every day: maintaining my equanimity. A friend told me is was like junior high, and I’m beginning to get a glimpse of how big of a challenge it will be. We’ll be at totally different ends of the ideological spectrum, and the biggest challenge will be retaining civility and comity and discourse.

In the campaign before I get elected, the challenge is getting people aware that I’m on the ballot. A big difficulty is just letting people know that there is a thing called the Green Party. There are a lot of difficulties, lots of challenges, and running for office and supporting candidates is a way to meet those challenges. I strongly encourage everybody to consider running for office, and voting green.

Reach the reporter at or follow @JMShumway on Twitter.

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