Paul's Note - July 31, 2020

John Lewis passed away last week. I could just call him a congressman from Georgia, but we all know he was so much more than that. He was one of our nation’s most important moral leaders of the last sixty years. He wasn’t just a talker: he spent his young life being jailed and beaten for the simple right of people to vote. A documentary about his life called “Good Trouble” is still available for streaming from the Loft Theater’s website.

He liked causing “good trouble,” but he lived his political and activist life without bitterness or calls for violence, which is why the mourning for him has been bipartisan. He put together a short New York Times piece to be run on the day of his funeral, which was Thursday. I urge you all to read it. Here is one paragraph:

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

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KUAZ reported last week that Pima County was nearly out of ICU beds. Given how long a Coronavirus patient has to stay in the hospital, one can be fairly certain that things have not improved over the last seven days.

While testing doesn’t keep you out of the ICU, it serves to let you know more about the precautions that you need to take to keep your family and friends safe. That’s why I’ve been beating the drum for testing since this crisis started.

Pima County has been offering free testing in partnership with Paradigm Laboratories at the Kino Event Center. They offer something crucial: result in 48 hours. There is also a site at the Ellie Towne Event Center in Flowing Wells (1660 W. Ruthrauff Road).

To find out more information at both sites including how to make reservations, please visit http://www.pima.gov/covid19. The Arizona Health Department maintains a complete list of testing sites, but keep in mind that not all of these tests are free and some have longer turnaround times.

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I’d like to thank all of you who donated blood in our drive at Udall Park on Monday. 21 of you came out to donate. Not that there is any competition between our offices, but Ward 4 had 19 donors.

We’ll call it a tie. What’s most important is that y’all came out to give. Thank you again and I hope we can do it again soon.

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One of my points of pride is that we started a local sports institution in my office. FC Tucson started with a conversation at my conference table. I didn’t put up any of the money or scout out any players, but I guess you can call me a proud midwife.

With most sports, particularly at the UArizona, on hold for the foreseeable future, the only game in town is FC Tucson. Unfortunately, the team FC Tucson women play in cancelled their season, but the men’s team started play last week with a match that included two red cards and a game winning goal from Desert View Jaguar and Pima Aztec A. J. Valenzuela.

It’s an international team, but the winner came from the descendant of Tucson cowboys. That right there tells the story of this team.

Of course, you can’t go to the games, but go to their website and find out how you can support them and show some local pride.

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Since March 24th, members of the Arizona National Guard have been helping pack food and to help with distribution.  Since the Guard orders are beginning to expire, the Food Bank urgently needs volunteers to assist in distribution.  Know that distribution is outdoors and they drop pallets 6 feet apart to comply with social distancing.

The Food Bank is seeking groups to sign up to volunteer from 6:30am-10:30am at Kino Sports Complex to help distribute food to their clients.  The dates available at this time are August 6, 11,13, 18, 25 and 27th.

The work is very physical and in the heat. Since they’re giving out produce and dairy boxes, they require the ability to lift 25-50lbs. Snacks and water are provided.

The rewards are great, however. The ‘thank yous’ from clients are the heartwarming highlights of the day. 

All precautions necessary to fulfill this task will be taken, including temperature checks and wearing masks. Please reach out to Volunteer Services with any questions: Volunteer@communityfoodbank.org

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Stay safe and don’t hesitate to call my office. My staff is still on duty to help.