Mother Jones

Nation Building

Thirteen thousand people. Four thousand square miles. Meet the activists fighting to organize one Arizona reservation.

GABRIELLA CAZARES-KELLY is obsessed with voting. A Democratic Party precinct committee member for her Tucson, Arizona, neighborhood, she keeps a block-walking app on her phone and the Pima County Recorder’s Office on speed dial. When she turned 36 this spring, Cazares-Kelly passed around a petition for a statewide ballot initiative for education funding and told friends and family not to show up to her party if they weren’t registered to vote. She was joking. Sort of.

“Anyone who’s friends with Gabby is already registered to vote,” her friend Rebecca Cohen says.

So not long after the 2016 election, when the executive office of the Tohono O’odham Nation, where Cazares-Kelly is a high school teacher, stopped funding the voter education program she’d been part of, she, Cohen, and a small group of allies filled the void. They formed Indivisible Tohono, inspired by the national

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