While partisan bickering has taken over Washington, most Americans agree that our country is facing difficult times, and we need to find pragmatic solutions. I am running for Congress in the newly formed District 9 because I believe that, together, we can once again give every individual the opportunity to make the American Dream a reality.

Washington must do more to strengthen our economy, invest in education and enact solutions to assist struggling middle-class Americans. Arizona families are not looking for a government handout, they just want opportunities to succeed and build a brighter future for their children.

For the past five years, I have proudly represented Tempe and south Scottsdale in the Arizona State Legislature - fighting for the values that are important to us in the Southeast Valley. As a champion for education, I have stood up against irresponsible cuts to our children's future. I am committed to supporting middle-class Arizonans who are struggling in these difficult economic times by advocating for local and small businesses, who are the backbone of our economy.

In 2010, I was also elected to serve the communities of Ahwatukee, Tempe and Chandler as a Tempe Union High School District Governing Board member. I took on this role because I believe that a strong education system is critical to our children's future and that by investing in education today, we can build a brighter America for tomorrow. I am proud to stand with teachers and parents as we work to give our students the best education possible.

I was born and raised in the Valley, and have proudly served my community as a teacher, a small business owner, and as an elected leader. Over the years I have knocked on tens of thousands of doors and heard from you about the issues that matter to our community and the values that we hold dear. I will take those values with me to Washington and always be your voice, even in the face of powerful opposition.

As parents of two young daughters, my wife and I understand that a 21st century competitive economy, stronger local schools, and an end to partisan bickering are more than just political talking points. They are solutions critical to our collective future, and we must act now to ensure that all children have the opportunities we envision for them.

I invite you to visit my website, DavidforAZ.com, to learn more about my campaign and my vision of opportunity for every American. I look forward to meeting with you over these next few months as we discuss our nation's future and, together, work to make our community's hopes a reality.

Sen. David Schapira is the Democratic leader in the Arizona State Senate and an instructor at Arizona State University. He is running for Congress in Arizona's new 9th Congressional District.

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