PHOENIX — Tucson Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva organized an anti-Trump rally inside a Phoenix church Tuesday, speaking to about 300 people inside and another 200 who listened outside through speakers.

At the peaceful event, Grijalva told the crowd at First Church United Church of Christ it is incumbent on everyone “to return this country to a better place. To take us from this dark place we are approaching and take us back into the light.”

After his speech, Grijalva said in an interview that he wants to harness the passion of those who came to protest into helping him elect Democrats, as he hopes in the long term to turn Arizona from a red state into a blue one.

After he spoke, the protesters who attended his event walked downtown to the Phoenix Convention Center area, where President Trump held his political rally later in the evening.

Grijalva did not join them in the 102-degree heat. Citing media interview commitments, he got into a car and left.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson