Karin's Note: October 21, 2011
-Vice Mayor Uhlich Co-Sponsors Paper Shredding Event & Movie in the Park
-National Take Back Initiative at Westside TPD
-Community Garden Reveal at College Place
-Hope Fest 2011 & Pack the Park
-Housing America Community Day
-Cyber Citizen Forum at UA
-Did you know...
Here are some updates on current issues, as well as details on upcoming community events.
PROMOTING BUSINESS SUCCESS AND JOB GROWTH
Small Business Advocate in the City Manager’s Office
You may recall that the Small, Minority and Women-owned Business Commission developed a proposal for a new position in the City Manager’s office specifically to assist businesses seeking to start or grow in Tucson. That proposal received the unanimous endorsement of Mayor and Council as well as the support of the Southern Arizona Chamber of Commerce Alliance (comprised of eight Chambers of Commerce in our region).
I am pleased that City Manager Miranda will soon hire that Liaison/Ombudsperson to serve as a one-stop problem-solver for small businesses in Tucson. Small and locally-owned businesses generate 80-85% of all job growth in our City. They deserve quick and clear aid. The new position will offer that single point of contact with the power to move things along under the Manager’s purview. He/she can be sure everyone benefits from all the cuts to red tape made by Mayor/Council in recent years. In addition the new hire will document issues raised so that, if and as patterns emerge, the office can guide further policy and procedural changes to promote business success.
New Loans for Business and Job Growth
On Tuesday Mayor and Council will consider the next step toward opening a HUD Section 108 Loan Program locally. It’s a step I support. The 108 Loans can be used for industrial expansion, construction of commercial and warehouse facilities, business incubators to spark startup companies, and much more. Funded activities must create new, permanent jobs for low and moderate income people. We must push this process as quickly as we can to get those jobs.
PROTECTING RIGHTS TO FREE SPEECH AND PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY
It should come as no surprise that I support the core sentiments being raised through the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Tucson movement. As summarized recently by Mari Herreras in the Tucson Weekly:
“The occupy movement is about calling attention to the growing economic disparities in this country and unjust decisions, like Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission. One year ago, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that found that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited and unreported amounts of money to influence the outcome of elections.”
Given my nine years of work with the Primavera Foundation, the more recent decade of work with the Center for Economic Integrity, and my role as plaintiff against the state’s assault on Tucson’s Clean Elections program, Tucsonans know I care deeply about economic fairness and the integrity of our democratic system.
Beyond all of that, serious questions have been raised about the City’s handling of this-- and quite frankly any--political group’s desire to use a public park in order to exercise their rights of free speech and peaceful assembly. How can local park rules trump federal and even stronger state constitutional protections? Can fee, permit and use rules be applied in these circumstances even though the state constitution stipulates: “The right of petition, and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good, shall never be abridged.”? Do Tucsonans support a change in how we handle this moving forward?
The City Code regulating parks has been in place since the 1970’s with infrequent review or revision since then. Given the implications of the questions raised, Mayor and Council will discuss how to move into the future recognizing the primacy of constitutional rights, and our duty to safeguard those rights even as we responsibly manage public assets.
I haven’t heard Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Tucson asking for special favors, just due consideration and process under the law as they and their legal teams understand it. I believe we owe it to all Tucsonans to give the City-specific questions raised serious consideration, for this and all future movements; for this and all future generations.
CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION
The state-appointed Rio Nuevo Board has accepted the Mayor and Council’s offer of mediation. That’s good news. Cooperation will serve the public best and it’s been a long time coming.
We have reason to believe mediation could yield progress. Recently the decade-long stalemate with mini-dorm developers was undone, thanks in large part to the mediated involvement of mini-dorm developer Michael Goodman and neighborhood leaders from Jefferson Park.
Let’s hope for the best.
Ward 3 Events
-Paper Shredding Event Sponsored by Vice Mayor Karin Uhlich– Saturday, October 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Jacob’s Park, 3300 N. Fairview (SE Corner on Fairview). Bring your documents to shred! The first box will be destroyed for FREE! Additional boxes will be destroyed with a suggested contribution of $5.00 per box. This “Shred-a-Thon” is in partnership with Shred-it (Document Shredding Company), Gospel Rescue Mission, and Lend-A-Hand. For more information call Bennett Bernal, Ward 3 Council Office – 808-8773 (cell).
-Movies in the Park, presented by Cox Communication, in partnership with Vice Mayor Uhlich and Council Member Kozachik – Saturday, October 22nd at Jacob’s Park, 3300 N. Fairview. Starting at 4:00 p.m., there will be fun family activities, food and games. The movie Toy Story 3, will start at 7:15 p.m. Bring your family and friends and come out for a FREE movie night!
-National Take Back Initiative – Saturday, October 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Westside Police Service Station, 1310 W. Miracle Mile. Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal. No sharps, aerosols or liquids please.
-Community Garden Reveal – Wednesday, November 2, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Delta Room at College Place, 1601 N. Oracle Road. City of Tucson Housing & Community Development Department invited you to the unveiling of the design for a public Community Garden at the Tucson House, a catalyst project of the Oracle Area Revitalization Project (OARP). 5:30 sign in and refreshments, 6:00 presentations. More info: 837-6946 or email@example.com
Events City Wide
-Hope Fest and “Pack the Park” – Friday, October 21 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. drop off donations of canned goods, diapers and clothing for Pack the Park at Kino Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Donations will be used on Saturday, October 22 at Hope Fest beginning at 9:00 a.m. Local businesses and organizations will provide free services to people and families in need. Doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses will give flu shots, check vital signs (blood pressure and glucose levels). Eye and hearing, HIV and pregnancy tests, dental cleaning available. Event is part of the Make a Difference Day. More info: 751-4673 or hopefest.com
-Launch the Loop – Saturday, October 22. Celebrate the connection of the Rillito and Santa Cruz pedestrian and bike paths. New 23-mile path is the longest continuous segment of The Loop. Ride/run/walk/skate to the 10 am dedication on West Sunset Road, west of Interstate 10. More info: www.pima.gov.
-Housing America Community Day – Saturday, October 22, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pima County Housing Center Open House, 801 W. Congress. Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias invites you and your family to attend workshops, plant trees and learn more about affordable rental and homeowner opportunities. Kids events, free to the public. Brought to you by Pima County Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation, Tucson Department of Housing, US Department of HUD, Menlo Park Neighborhood Association. More info: 624-2947
-Cyber Citizen Forum – Thursday, October 27 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. University of Arizona Centennial Hall. “Do you know who’s behind your screen?” The Forum is hosted as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop. Think. Connect Campaign, designed to share information on identity theft, fraud, social networking security and cyber predators. Free event open to the public. Door prizes include iPads, gift cards, iPod, printers, digital camera and more. Info: 621-8476 or CIO-ISO@email.arizona.edu
Did You Know…
The Citizen’s Water Advisory Council (CWAC) Technical Planning subcommittee will be holding a meeting to allow the public the opportunity to address subcommittee with comments about the City’s historic Water Service Area Policy. As this historic Water Policy has been in place for nearly a year, the City’s advisory group is seeking community input on how to continue to strengthen its water stewardship processes. The date for this public meeting is:
Monday, October 24 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Randolph Park, Mesquite Room.
During the month of October, Environmental Services kicked off "Know Where to Throw", a new waste diversion program that will help Tucsonans in need while saving precious space in our landfills. Environmental Services is holding this community drive from October 3 through October 28 to collect recyclable and reusable "stuff" that we often overlook: items that can't be put in the blue barrel but can be dropped off at locations in our community. The items that will be collected are crayons, eyeglasses, bras, and athletic shoes. Crayons will be donated to the City's Parks and Recreation Department for use in classes and programs. Eyeglasses will be delivered to the Lions Clubs International, which distributes the glasses collected worldwide. Bras will be collected and delivered to the Bra Recyclers, a company that has partnered with new Beginnings, Primavera Foundation, and the Gospel Rescue Mission to help women in need. Athletic shoes will be shipped to Nike, where they are broken down and shredded and then used for athletic court surfaces and in new shoes. The Community Room at the Ward 3 Council Office has barrels for your contributions…stop by at 1510 E. Grant, Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm with your donations.
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is sponsoring an “Economic Security Initiative-Connections to Benefits” on Wednesday, October 26. Armory Park Center, 220 S. 5th Avenue. Free workshops enable you to meet with an Economic Resource Specialist team about what benefits you may be eligible to receive. More info and registration: 791-4865 or sign up at Armory Park.