News | 2019

December 12, 2019

Eating Christmas: A long-distance cooking course saves a stranger’s holiday dinner

Jennifer Longdon, Tucson Weekly

I was awakened by a text message at about 2 a.m. following Thanksgiving of 2014: "911!! 911!! I'm not bringing the rolls for Christmas. I'VE BEEN ASSIGNED THE SWEET POTATOES! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?"

I had no idea who it was from.

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November 11, 2019​​

Arizona Rep. Longdon fighting unsolved crimes after being shot 15 years ago

By azfamily.com News Staff​

Jennifer Longdon explains bill she sponsored that would require annual inspections of group homes for developmentally disabled people.

Jen Longdon speaks with AZFamily (screenshot)
Click on image above to watch video.

October 24, 2019

How Arizona Rep. Jennifer Longdon Found Her Voice As A Disability Advocate

By Kathy Ritchie, KJZZ.org

Listen to interview here.

November 10, 2019​

Groups Rally Across U.S. To End Gun Violence

Lauren Gilger, Mark Brodie, Steve Goldstein, KJZZ

Jennifer Longdon discusses the personal and public cost of gun violence as well as her upcoming testimony before the United States House of Representatives regarding this issue,

November 10, 2019​

AZ lawmaker seeks public's help identifying shooter who paralyzed her 15 years ago​

Perry Vandell, The Republic | azcentral.com

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September 30, 2019​

Arizona lawmaker brings personal story, gun-reform plea to Washington

By Megan U Boyanton, Cronkite News (KTAR.com)

September 27, 2019​

'Do not let my death be in vain': The Arizona gun violence story you need to hear​

Laurie Roberts, The Republic | azcentral.com

September 26, 2019

Arizona lawmaker brings personal story, gun-reform plea to Washington

By Megan Boyanton, Cronkite News

Quotation Mark - Grey

WASHINGTON – State Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, didn’t need to tell congressional lawmakers Thursday about the harm firearms can do: She showed them, when she rolled her wheelchair into a House hearing on the costs of gun violence.

Longdon is paralyzed from the chest down, and her ex-fiancé lives with brain trauma and blindness, after they were struck by five bullets in a random 2004 shooting.

“I’m dying in slow motion,” Longdon told members of a House Ways and Means subcommittee. “My life will be cut short by the complications of my gunshot wound. I’ve lost count of my near misses.”

She was one of eight legislators, advocates and medical professionals who shared sobering stories at the hearing in the hopes of spurring committee members to action on gun control.

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September 26, 2019​

'I am dying in slow motion': Jennifer Longdon testifies to Congress about the cost of gun violence

Ronald J. Hansen, The Republic | azcentral.com

September 15, 2019​

Committee On Abuse Of Vulnerable Arizona Adults Meets Again; Loopholes, Funding Cited As Problems

Kathie Ritchie, KJZZ

September 9, 2019

House Dems urge Phoenix hotel to remove ‘slur’ from its name

Parker Shea, AZMirror.com

Reporting on signatories, including Jennfer Longdon, to letter asking Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix to change its offensive name.

“The indigenous community believes the continued usage of ‘squaw’ has a correlation to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” the letter said. “The resort’s current name continues to do real damage to Indigenous Nations of Arizona and the United States.”

August 23, 2019

Panel to study how reports of vulnerable adults are investigated

By Julia Shumway, Arizona Capital Times

Quotation Mark - Grey

More than a year after a patient with severe intellectual disabilities was raped at a Phoenix care facility, the task of preventing and investigating abuse of Arizona’s most vulnerable residents is still split among a patchwork of state agencies.

An ad hoc committee led by Rep. Jen Longdon, D-Phoenix, will spend the next several months reviewing how abuse of vulnerable adults is reported and investigated. During the first meeting August 20, Longdon told committee members, most of whom represent state agencies or advocacy groups, to reflect on what they have changed since the patient’s abuse was revealed when she gave birth in December, what still needs to be changed and what the Legislature has to do to help.

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August 22, 2019

Arizona Study Committee To Look At issue Of Abuse, Neglect Of Vulnerable Adults

Kathie Ritchie, KJZZ

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July 9, 2019

DNC Chairman Hosts Pro-Affordable Care Act Rally In Phoenix

Casey Kuhn and Lauren Gilger, KJZZ

KJZZ reports on event in which Jennifer Longdon discusses the importance of the Affordable Care Act for Arizona families and the devastation that could result if the ACA were eliminated.

June 24, 2019

2019: Moments of bipartisanship mixed with rough politics

By Dillon Rosenblatt, Arizona Capital Times

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The final moments of the session did involve an uplifting situation in which Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix was physically lifted, in her wheelchair, onto the speaker dais. All other 59 representatives were able to sit in the chair all year, but not Longdon who has pushed for accessibility even before she was elected.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers then pulled out a measuring tape and vowed to fix this problem for next session.

“We can do this,” he said.

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June 23, 2019

Number of lawmakers who didn’t miss a vote, day of work up from 2018

By Andrew Howard, Arizona Capital Times

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Throughout the 135 days of the 2019 legislative session, 31 lawmakers made it to every required work day and cast a vote for everything that made it to the floor, which is up from 19 lawmakers last session.

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Lawmakers with perfect attendance and voting records:  * * * 

Rep. Jennifer Longdon 

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May 27, 2019

Jennfer Longdon becomes first wheelchair user to speak from the speaker's dias at the Arizona House of Representatives

May 24, 2019

Arizona lawmaker who uses wheelchair rolls home after Legislature goes into wee hours

Rachel Leingang, The Republic | azcentral.com

A member of the Arizona House of Representatives had to roll home after a late-night session that ended after 2 a.m., after city buses stopped running.

Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, who uses a wheelchair, rolled the mile and half from the Legislature to her house, along with several of her colleagues and a House security guard, arriving around 3:30 a.m. She uses public transportation to get to and from the Capitol, but Phoenix doesn’t have a 24-hour bus system.
. . .

As they were traveling, a Phoenix police officer pulled up and asked what was going on, Longdon said. After they explained, the officer accompanied the group the rest of the way to Longdon’s home.

Longdon thanked her colleagues, the security guard and the officer on the House floor on Friday.

May 8, 2019

Rep. Longdon: Police Often 'The Wrong Tool' When Addressing Mental Health

Lauren Gilger, KJZZ

May 8, 2019

AZ lawmakers sound off on rise of school shootings

By Jamie Warren, abc15.com

Jennifer Longdon and others discuss challenges getting gun violence prevention legisation through current legislature.

February 8, 2019

Arizona Rep. Jennifer Longdon Angered, Not Surprised By Hacienda HealthCare Abuse

Lauren Gilger, KJZZ

"One of the central voices in the aftermath of the Hacienda HealthCare tragedy has been Democratic Rep. Jennifer Longdon. She was about to start her first term in office when news broke about the birth of this baby boy at Hacienda HealthCare. And it hit home...."

March 22, 2019

Arizona State Legislator Jennifer Longdon Increases Disability Representation, But Still A Long Road

By Sarah Kim, Forbes.com

Quotation Mark - Grey

“I’d like to see a point in time when they’re eight of [politicians with disabilities], 10 of us, in my legislature of 90. I’d love to see proportional representation at some point in time. It’s in the future, but it can happen, and it’s all about removing the stigma around [disability] and acknowledging one’s disability,” Longdon explains.

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February 28, 2019

Senate passes bill to protect vulnerable adults

By Katie Campbell, Arizona Capital Times

Quotation Mark - Grey

The Senate unanimously approved a bill designed to move forward from a horrific event to now better protect some of the state’s most vulnerable adults.

Sen. Heather Carter’s Senate Bill 1211 to eliminate a state law that allowed intermediate care facilities to operate without a state license since the 1990s will now move on to the House after successfully passing the final hurdle in the Senate Wednesday.

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Her bill is also likely to win widespread support in the House, where several members have proposed their own ideas for how to prevent – or at least try to prevent – cases like Hacienda.

Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, has called the bill a “no-brainer” to start with, and offered several proposals of her own, including House Bills 2665 and 2666; both bills were assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee but did not receive a hearing.

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January 29, 2019

Council issues recommendations for disabled care following Hacienda sexual assault

By Angie Koehle, abc15.com

Jennifer Longdon discusses need for reform to address abuse of vulnerable patients such as the a patient attacked at Hacienda HealthCare.

January 27, 2019

Third Party To Run Phoenix Hacienda HealthCare Center Where Comatose Woman Had Baby

Lauren Gilger, KJZZ

January 29, 2019

Disabilities council offers legislative fixes to sexual abuse of vulnerable adults

By Katie Campbell, Arizona Capital Times

Quotation Mark - Grey

The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council is recommending several legislative changes to prevent sexual abuse in the disabilities community in response to an incapacitated patient at Hacienda HealthCare who was raped by a caretaker and gave birth at the facility.

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And Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, has been a particularly vocal advocate as a member of the community herself. Longdon uses a wheelchair after being struck in a random, drive-by shooting.

She has said the proposal to eliminate the licensure carveout for centers like Hacienda is a “no-brainer” to start with and has also voiced support for tougher rules on background checks and improved education for staff, individuals with disabilities and their families.

And Longdon has emphasized the importance of including the community in this conversation, invoking a saying among people with disabilities as she spoke on the House floor last week: “Nothing about us without us.”

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January 27, 2019

Council to release report aimed at strengthening protections for disabled

By Angie Koehle, abc15.com

Jennifer Longdon discusses need for reform to address abuse of vulnerable patients such as the a patient attacked at Hacienda HealthCare.

January 27, 2019

Third Party To Run Phoenix Hacienda HealthCare Center Where Comatose Woman Had Baby

Lauren Gilger, KJZZ

January 24, 2019

Lawmakers hear testimony on abuse of people with disabilities

By Katie Campbell, Arizona Capital Times

Quotation Mark - Grey

In the wake of horror at Hacienda HealthCare, there is no shortage of ideas for how to prevent abuse in the disability community. But what action can and will actually be taken at the state Legislature this year is not yet clear.

What is clear is that lawmakers are paying attention.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s Developmental Disabilities Planning Council hosteda public meeting at the historic Capitol building on Jan. 23 to explore potential solutions offered by people with disabilities and advocates. Dozens of people came simply to listen, including House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma, and representatives for Arizona’s congressional delegation.

State Reps. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, Jennifer Jermaine, D-Chandler, Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, and Athena Salman, D-Tempe, also participated.

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January 22, 2019

Rape of incapacitated woman spurs search for solutions at Capitol

By Katie Campbell, Arizona Capital Times

Quotation Mark - Grey

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Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, said the Hacienda investigation has rightfully captured everyone’s attention, and that’s a good thing in her mind. The case has made everyone slow down and focus on the issue.

But what may be new territory for some is an ongoing issue in the disability community.

“We can do better by the people who live in these facilities,” Longdon said. “We need to do more to ensure their safety, their dignity and their well-being. And whatever we do legislatively, we need to keep that in mind. These are people, not ‘those people.’”

Longdon hopes the public meeting will give people the chance to speak plainly about their experiences and existing roadblocks to effective care – including the state Legislature.

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January 15, 2019

Phoenix Hacienda HealthCare Case Reveals Under-Reported Reality Of Sex Abuse In Vulnerable Populations

Lauren Gilger, KJZZ

"People with disabilities are incorrectly perceived as being unreliable reporters of their own experience," said Arizona Rep. Jennifer Longdon. She is a wheelchair user and a disability-rights advocate. . . .
. . .
"We are often seen as being asexual or non-sexual beings. People can’t even imagine the concept that there is a sexual nature to people with disabilities," said Longdon.
And because of that, Longdon says, "there are instances where we may be seen as 'rape-proof,' and nothing could be further from the truth."

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