NewsNet - 2017 in Review (Part 1 - City Awards)

With only about two weeks left in 2017, NewsNet this week will take a look back at some of the accomplishments and fun things that happened in the City of Tucson this year. Today, we have a special edition that focuses on some of the national recognition the City received in 2017 (with the original story date added), and that represents only a small portion of good news this year. We hope you enjoy these stories once again.

TCC Recognized as Top Renovated Venue (3/27/17)
Billboard magazine lists the Tucson Arena as one of the top 23 renovated venues vying to attract top acts. A seven-day-a-week work schedule allowed a $9 million upgrade of the Tucson Arena to reach completion by the end of 2014 without bumping any scheduled events. That was followed by an additional $3.7 million in upgrades and "back-of-house" improvements for hockey and other events. "The arena, part of the Tucson Convention Center complex, is the largest venue in its market, drawing fans from throughout southern Arizona and northern Mexico," the magazine said. The City of Tucson and Rio Nuevo worked together to renovate the arena, which is now managed by SMG, a worldwide entertainment and convention management company.

New Tucson Fire Department Insurance Rating Could Lower Insurance Rates (6/23/17)
The Tucson Fire Department (TFD) recently received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) Class 1 rating, making it one of the best fire departments in the country, which could mean lower insurance rates for city residents. The purpose of an ISO public protection survey is to gather information to determine a Public Protection Classification (PPC), which insurers use for underwriting and to calculate premiums for fire insurance. The ISO is a review of TFD's emergency dispatch and the water distribution system supplied by Tucson Water. TFD achieved the Class 1 rating through improvements in community risk reduction, training, communications, and collaborative work with Tucson Water and other City departments.

Tucson Named a Top City for Festivals and Events (9/15/17)
The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) announced that Tucson is among nine worldwide cities recognized as 2017 recipients of its IFEA World Festival & Event City award. Presented in Tucson this year, the award was created as a way for the global festivals and events industry to openly encourage, support, and recognize positive local environments for festivals and events worldwide. City entries were judged by an international panel of industry experts in the only recognition program of its kind. Each city entry was considered based upon a compilation of detailed information. Follow the link below to learn more about the award, watch a video of Tucson's submission, and see a story from Tucson 12.

Tucson Water Selected as 'Utility of the Future Today' for Second Straight Year (8/6/17)
The Water Environment Foundation is recognizing Tucson Water as a "Utility of the Future Today" in its joint recognition program of how water systems are transforming operations through innovation and technology. The program is two years old, and the City of Tucson's water utility has been honored in both years. Tucson Water’s 2020 Strategic Plan serves as a guide for the utility, and several activity areas are tracked through performance measures and quantitative or qualitative results.

Congress Street Wins National Honor (10/5/17)
Congress Street in Tucson is deemed by the American Planning Association (APA) as one of five Great Streets on the APA's Great Places in America list. “The story of Congress Street is the story of downtown Tucson. From boarded-up buildings less than 10 years ago, we’ve brought back a vibrant downtown, with arts, entertainment, office and residential space,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “People are seeing the potential and that makes for a pretty optimistic outlook.” Designees are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for the future.

Tucson City Court's Domestic Violence Court to Share Expertise (10/18/17)
Tucson City Court’s Domestic Violence Court has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) to be a Domestic Violence Mentor Court. Mentor courts are selected to serve as national models and share their expertise by hosting site visits, linking courts with peers facing similar challenges, and assisting other domestic violence courts to implement best practices to respond effectively to these difficult cases. With funding from a two-year grant, Judge Wendy Million and the Domestic Violence Court team will host site visits from jurisdictions planning domestic violence courts, travel to other jurisdictions to provide on-site technical assistance on developing domestic violence courts, and share forms, procedures, and protocols.

Tucson Earns Perfect Score in LGBT Equal Rights Survey (11/2/17)
The City of Tucson earned a score of 100 in the latest survey about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equal rights. The sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), compiled by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute, examined the laws, policies, and services of municipalities, rating them on the basis of how they affect LGBT people who live and work there. Some of the categories include non-discrimination laws, municipal employee benefits, anti-bullying policies, city involvement with the LGBT community, and local governments' relationships with the LGBT community.

City Wins Diversity Award (11/9/17)
The City of Tucson's Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP) is the recipient of the 2017 Diversity Award from the Diversity Leadership Alliance (DLA) and Arizona Society for Human Resource Management (AZSHRM). The special statewide award, recognizing the inclusion and diversity initiatives of a nonprofit or government entity, was selected among numerous nominations and was a first for the City of Tucson.

City of Tucson Named As One of Top Digital Cities (11/9/2017)
The City of Tucson ranks in the top 10 in the 2017 Digital Cities Survey. Tucson ranked ninth among cities with a population of 500,000 or more. The Center for Digital Government’s annual survey was open to all U.S. cities and is intended to recognize national leaders in open data and transparency efforts, as well as innovators in deploying mobile applications to citizens.