Rep. Daniel Hernandez working alongside Fellows at Arizona Legislature

March 25, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

Dawn Wallace

Daniel Hernandez, Jr.
State Representative
Legislative District 2
Arizona State University Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

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1.  What suggestions would you have for Fellows interested in running for office?

I would suggest reaching out to sitting elected officials, particularly those that are Flinn-Brown Fellows. Many of us would gladly sit down and discuss what you’re looking at running for. One of my favorite hobbies is helping people explore running for office. I have far too often seen mediocre elected officials run with no competition while spectacular people stay on the sidelines because they aren’t familiar with the process and are afraid of making a mistake. Whether it is a school board, municipal, county or state office, we need as many people willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work to make an Arizona better for all of us. Never discount your own ability to create change in your community just because you don’t fit the mold of those who are in office.

2. Tell us about the bills you are sponsoring this year and how it impacts your constituents?

This session obviously COVID-19 relief is at the top of my list. I’m a co-sponsor on a bipartisan and critical piece of legislation that several Flinn-Brown Fellows have been involved in. It reforms and increases our unemployment insurance program in Arizona.

Additionally, I worked with the fabulous director of the Arizona Commission for the Arts and 2013 Flinn-Brown Fellow, Jaime Dempsey, on a bill (HB2755) for a one-time $5 million emergency appropriation for the arts. So many sectors of our economy are struggling, but by working with Jaime, I’ve learned how acutely the Arts have been impacted. This bill had passed the House with wide bipartisan support.

3. How has the Fellows Network been useful to you?

It is incredibly helpful because I’ve gotten to learn more from subject matter experts which has helped inform my decisions as a policy maker. I love meeting Fellows so if we haven’t connected send me a note and we can grab coffee or I can give you a tour of the state house. I’m honored to serve in the House with several members and am constantly working with other Fellows on legislation and community partnerships.

If you missed a Fellows’ Spotlight, you can view them on the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership website now.