Meet Billy Peard
Billy Peard grew up on the lower edge of the middle class in Southern Arizona and was educated in Arizona public schools (back when we ranked 34th in the nation rather than 46th).
For many years, Billy worked as a lawyer representing DREAMers and asylum-seekers. Following the 2016 elections, Billy moved back home to Arizona to help keep the federal government accountable along the Southwest border.
Billy’s earliest memory is the sound of air compressors at the auto shops where his dad used to work. Some weeks, there would be no repair work and no income. Nevertheless, Billy’s parents bought a house before their 30th birthdays and, in time, became vested in a company pension: two things that remain out of reach for Billy and too many of his generation.
At age 15, Billy was nominated by then-Congressman Jim Kolbe to serve as a high school intern in Washington, DC. Nine days after arriving to Washington, Billy stared at the television screens from inside the U.S. Capitol as Flight 175 struck the World Trade Center. He could see the smoke rising from the Pentagon as he ran to safety.
During the ensuing months, Billy was an eyewitness to history. He worked on the House Floor as the nation ushered in the post-9/11 era. It was during this time that Billy decided to devote his life to public service.
Billy graduated from Canyon del Oro High School in 2003 and later earned his B.A. in History from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
In April 2010, Billy was living in the East Coast when his home state embarrassed itself on the international stage. The Arizona Legislature enacted SB 1070, an anti-immigrant law requiring local police to act as immigration agents. Inspired by Arizona’s example, several other states replicated SB 1070.
Inspired to work on behalf of immigrant rights, Billy learned to speak Spanish fluently. He enrolled in law school that same year.
Billy studied at Vermont Law School – one of the top-ranked environmental law schools in the country. Billy went on to work as a legal aid attorney, recovering thousands of dollars for immigrant farmworkers and helping clients navigate the immigration system.
During these years, Billy enjoyed the benefits of a union contract – instilling in him a commitment to workplace democracy.
In November 2016, Billy was living in Massachusetts. During the dawn hours as the election results became clear, Billy decided to move back home to fight for civil rights along the Southwest border. From 2017 to 2019, Billy was a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.
Today, Billy is running for the Arizona House of Representatives. He’s running because right-wing politicians have pushed our state into near-last place on almost every conceivable indicator of social wellbeing. Billy is running because it’s no longer enough to elect Democrats who merely vote against bad policies without offering anything better.
From underfunded schools to statewide drought conditions, we are facing a crisis in this state. Billy is running because he knows the answers won’t come from Washington. Billy will be a legislator pursuing bold and creative solutions tailored for the unique challenges of Arizona.
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