Home>State Assembly>Dem Lawmakers Caught in Homeless Scandal

State Representatives Nancy Gutierrez and Stacey Travers speaking at the swearing in ceremony of State Representative Betty Villegas on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, July 31, 2023. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Dem Lawmakers Caught in Homeless Scandal

Used ‘heat death’ of homeless man to push progressive policies, except that he died from an OD

By Steve Kirwan, November 30, 2023 6:59 pm

In October 2023, two Democrat State House Representatives, Nancy Gutierrez (D-18) and Analise Ortiz (D-24), blamed a homeless man’s death on Republican policies.

Roosevelt White III, a 36-year-old homeless man and frequent resident of Phoenix’s notorious “The Zone,” passed away last September from a cerebral ischemic stroke. Prominent Democrats were quick to blame his death on heat, accusing Republicans of denying climate change and supporting school choice as the actual cause of Roosevelt’s death.

Gutierrez tweeted, “It’s heartbreaking to hear of another heat-related death. The party in charge denies that we have a climate crisis, a housing crisis & they are giving our tax dollars to the rich for private schools. We must do better for the people of AZ. Your vote matters. Rest in peace Roosevelt…”


Ortiz tweeted, “We have lost another community member to the heat and the lack of adequate shelter space and affordable housing in Phoenix. The state is failing to meet the most basic needs of our friends and neighbors,” also reposting the original post from AZ Resist, a left-leaning political action group.

The narrative that Mr. White died in his tent due to heat originated from Feed Phoenix’s Megan Kepler, a homeless advocate and Democrat operative. She is also an activist for Black Lives Matter, Radical Women Phoenix, Progress Arizona, Arizona For Abortion Access, and many other radical political action organizations.

However, the story is patently false. According to the official autopsy, Mr. White passed away in the hospital. He was admitted on September 9, 2023, and died on September 12, three days later, from complications of a “left middle cerebral artery ischemic stroke.” The report also cited contributory causes of death, including hypertensive cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and methamphetamine intoxication.

The final determination was that White’s fatal injury resulted from the consumption of methamphetamine and its impact on his underlying disease processes.

The autopsy report stated, “In consideration of the known circumstances surrounding this death, the available medical history, and the examination of the remains, it is my opinion that the cause of death is complications of a left middle cerebral artery ischemic stroke with hypertensive cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and methamphetamine intoxication as significant contributing conditions.”

The Arizona Globe reached out to Reps. Gutierrez and Ortiz, but has yet to receive a response.

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