Hi, I’m Katie Hobbs, Secretary of State and candidate for governor.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve heard from many of you about my response to the discrimination that Talonya Adams faced as an employee in the legislature. I understand that my response fell short of taking real accountability.
Please allow me to say this clearly and unequivocally. I apologize to Ms. Adams.
I’m truly sorry for the real harm that I caused Ms. Adams and her family.
My response to the jury verdict was short sighted, unnecessarily defensive, and failed to meet the moment.
I know that the disappointment felt by many Arizonans didn’t start with the verdict in this case. What Ms. Adams experienced is yet another example of the systemic inequities and racism that have long permeated every aspect of our lives, too often in ways that are invisible to people like me.
I recognize that my experience and understanding of racism has sometimes been too narrow. I’ve missed personal and leadership opportunities to fight harder for racial equity. I am committed to growing, learning and holding myself accountable.
My Catholic faith taught me to fight for justice and inspired me to serve- first as a social worker and now as a public servant.
But for too long, I’ve allowed myself to only show up where it’s comfortable. I know that the only way to earn your trust is to not only continue to reflect upon my past actions, but to put in the work.
I need to be more than an ally, I need to be your advocate.
So I’d like to lay out some steps I’m taking because Arizonans deserve a government that reflects Arizona.
First, my campaign will continue to recruit, hire and elevate women and people of color to leadership positions.
Second, as governor, I will create a chief equity officer to implement measures to build a more diverse government including revamping the Office of Equal Opportunity to ensure clear and direct human resources protocols within every government workplace.
Third, I’ll create a position within each agency dedicated to collaborating with communities of color and marginalized communities.
You’ll also be hearing from me about our plans to tackle the issues that are important to all Arizonans, but often disproportionately impact communities of color. I know there’s more work to be done.
Legislation and appointments are just one step along the way to ending structural racism. I know that we can build a campaign and a government that is inclusive, accountable and works for all Arizonans. I’m humbled by your support.
I’m proud to stand with you as a leader and an Arizonan and I’m ready to get to work.