Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham
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.
Protecting the traveling public on City streets during Tucson’s summer thunderstorm season is the objective of the Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility’s (DTM) Operation Splash campaign. As weather patterns shift to bring moisture into Tucson, crews from DTM’s Streets Maintenance Division have delivered barricades to hundreds of dip crossings throughout the City.
I’ve read up on George Floyd. He’s about my age and sounds like a person I would have liked to have known growing up. He was from Houston and was a standout football player in high school. He played in Texas’s state high school championship in 1992. Remember how big of a deal high school football is in Texas. That championship was played at the Astrodome.
He was 6’ 6” and called a “gentle giant” and had the nickname “Big Floyd.” His high school friend Donnell Cooper said “He had a quiet personality but a beautiful spirit.”
As far as recreation goes, one of the most important things our city can offer is pools over the summer. Most families don’t have pools at home, and they don’t have access to pools at gyms or private clubs either. That’s why one of my priorities has been to make our city pools available for as many people as possible. Swimming is one of the few opportunities for outdoor recreation when it’s 102 outside. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it’s a necessity.
We haven’t done nearly enough COVID-19 testing in Pima County. According to the Daily Star, 588 were tested the first weekend at the beginning of the month, with 735 and 1500 in subsequent weeks. They are hoping to test 3,000 this weekend. Even with the increases, we are a long way from having enough people tested to ensure that the public is safe.
If you'd like COVID-19 testing, it will be available on Saturday, May 30th. Please apply by the Thursday before testing.
I got calls at my office from people concerned that Fire Station 21 on Tanque Verde Road and the police department’s air support unit had been or were going to be shut down. Neither is the case right now.
Chiefs Magnus sent us a response on the air support unit:
We have a whole range of offices that we need to make choices on this year from constable to president. With the primary coming up on August 4th, there are all kinds of questions about how we will safely conduct our election.
For years here in Arizona, you have had the option to vote from home. Starting this week, Pima County voters can sign up online to vote by mail for the 2020 Primary Election.
This week, the governor announced that our state’s “stay at home” orders will be extended for another two weeks. We want to do all we can to give our city’s small businesses an opportunity to reopen.