Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham
The City of Tucson Mayor and Council have allocated more than $4.5 million of Federal CARES Act dollars to fund an emergency rent and utility assistance program for City of Tucson residents struggling to pay rent or utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) department has partnered with several agencies to administer this program including Primavera, Interfaith Community Services, Catholic Community Services, and International Rescue Committee.
Program details and requirements include:
While I’m aware that there are varied thoughts on what role our police department plays in the community, recently, a local news report regarding officer attrition in the Tucson Police Department left the wrong impression. The response from Chief Chris Magnus, sent to council offices earlier this week, is below. I want to reiterate that I am committed to bringing in more academy classes and expanding our community service officer program.
The City of Tucson, Pima County Health Department and Paradigm Laboratories will begin free COVID-19 tests Friday, August 7 at the Morris K. Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road.
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.
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 7:30am-12:30pm at 3003 S Country Club to help distribute food to their clients. Emergency food will be available from 8am-noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning January 7th
It’s been a rough summer for Tucson with COVID-19, the Bighorn Fire and our ongoing discussion about the role of the police. With all of that in the news, I missed the passing of a great Tucsonan and a wonderful human being, Walter Feiger.
Walter was born in Kraków, Poland in 1927 and. He lost his father shortly after the German invasion in 1939. Soon after, his family was moved to a Jewish ghetto called Chrzanów. Eventually, he was sent to a labor camp and eventually to a camp called Sakrau.
My office has been inundated with literally hundreds of emails from citizens with concerns and questions about funding levels and the future of the police department. These emails cover the full range spectrum of community feeling on public safety issues. I thought it would be helpful to give you my official statement on the current budget discussion:
Tucson Food Share was created by Food Not Bombs Tucson, a loosely organized collective of Tucsonans who come together out of empathy and respect for all of our neighbors. Tucson Food Share feels honored to share food freely with anyone who wants it, regardless of their appearance or life circumstances. Most of their food is generously donated by local grocers and farmers who support this mission.
NOTE NEW HOURS AND LOCATION! (Updated May 1st, 2021)
Note: I am sorry that I was not able to get out my weekly update on Friday due to technical issues. Also, we will soon be changing the way that the newsletter is sent to your email. You shouldn’t notice the difference, but I wanted to let you know.
This Saturday, July 18, from 7-10 a.m, the Mayor and Tucson City Council are holding the citywide Mask Up Tucson Free Mask Distribution Event. The event will be held at six locations throughout the city, one location in each Ward, and will be an opportunity for community members to obtain washable face coverings for themselves and their families.
Brent Davis, who is a friend and once served as your Ward 2 councilperson, posted on Facebook this week that he has tested positive for COVID-19. He is doing okay: asymptomatic and quarantining at home. I’m glad for that, but I know it could be a whole lot worse.
In case you needed another reminder, Coronavirus is serious and real. Limit your time out of the house. If you must be out in public, wear a mask and practice distancing. And, if you have any symptoms, stay home. As I said a couple of weeks ago, this is not only for your safety, but the safety of others.
The Pima County Recorder Offices will be open for extended hours to accommodate last-minute voter registration on Monday, July 6, 2020. July 6 is the deadline to register to vote in the August 4, 2020, Primary Election.
There are a lot of things to talk about this week, and I want to get to as much of it as possible. I am really concerned about our local hospital capacity. Please stay home as much as possible, always wear a mask & wash your hands often. Please support our neighbors whose homes are in danger of burning down in the Bighorn wildfire.
The restrictions that prevented local governments from implementing their own rules on masks were lifted this week. Mayor Regina Romero quickly used the opportunity to issue an order that Tucsonans wear masks in public when social distancing is not practical.
I support the order.
I’ve heard from a few of you who object to the order. I’d like to talk about a few of the arguments I heard and tell you why I find them less than compelling.
Unfortunately, Arizona is now among the places where COVID-19 is spreading the fastest. We were warned about this, and it is one of the reasons why I pushed so hard to use a portion of CARES Act money for a testing and plasma program.
My colleagues and I have adopted a strategic plan to use the CARES Act money. The $95 million federal allocation will be spent on things from support for small business to aid for families that are facing eviction due to economic dislocation.