Karin's Note: Friday, August 28, 2015

Karin's Note: Friday, August 28, 2015
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • Community Spotlight
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?
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Dear Tucsonans,
 
Transit Strike
 
I can’t open without noting the suffering our community is experiencing due to the Sun Tran strike. I can assure you that each member of the Mayor and Council has communicated the real urgency of resolving the labor conflict so people who rely on bus transit get service again. Every day people are talking with me about the impact: they’ve lost hours at work or their jobs; steady business has declined to a trickle; employers can’t fill openings; school districts and our colleges/Universities are having to scramble as students struggle to make it on time.
 
I’ll repeat here what I and many colleagues have already stated. 1) money is limited so demands must be realistic 2) management needs to listen to the priorities of the workers and do their best to apply the money that is available. Maybe shifting the amount that is available for wages to across the operation vs only on entry positions is more responsive? Maybe relooking at the benefits package so workers have more choice in how those dollars are directed? Maybe agreeing that fuel savings will be set aside in a bonus fund so that the budget is held to but savings can be accounted for and shared with workers vs management company profits for the years under contract?
 
The City does not have a seat at the negotiating table, so it’s impossible for us to know what should be on the table. But we do know that the management company and the Teamsters ought to be coming up with options so the strike ends. As far as I am concerned, both parties should remain at the table, 24/7, with the federal mediator until an agreement is reached. Management and labor reps, like stranded riders, should demonstrate in that way that getting back to work and restoring full service is the “win” everyone wants.
 
Transit Future
 
Don’t believe any noise about how Mayor and Council “shoulda, woulda coulda". We’ve been responsible in implementing service changes this year to save significant money (NOT through the recommended Comprehensive Operational Analysis presented by PTM/staff; but rather through the recent study conducted by the Pima Association of Governments and transit planner Jarrett Walker). We’ve raised fares several times over the past five years as well. Both the PAG study and our work on the fare structure will increase ridership, raise more money and improve our bus system over the long haul. That will help our overall City budget and transit users for decades to come. Politics doesn’t reward long range thinking like this, but the better system we’re creating will be the real reward we’ll all share.
 
More on Labor
 
Almost twenty years ago, as the Executive Director of the Primavera Foundation, I helped to start Primavera Works. Primavera Works is a nonprofit labor company meant to offer employers a better option for hiring temporary workers. We opened it because profiteering labor brokers were hiring homeless people as day laborers, placing them with area businesses, and exploiting them in countless ways.
 
Businesses often think they’re insulated from responsibility if their brokers violate workers’ rights. The National Labor Relations Board decision this week proves otherwise. It essentially ruled that “third party” employers are still a part of the employment relationship. They have a responsibility under labor law just as “direct/brokering employers” do.
 
We started Primavera Works in part so that local businesses in need of laborers could hire through a “high road” broker—one that paid decent wages and helped workers to succeed. Primavera Works competes head on with unscrupulous labor brokers; the ones that deduct everything from check-cashing fees to transportation/equipment fees from workers’ wages; the ones that threaten workers who are injured on the job by letting them know any workers comp claim will mean no more work assignments, ever.
 
Primavera Works still operates under the auspices of the Primavera Foundation. If you want to help people without homes find work, and need motivated workers to get a job done, call 882-9668.
 
Progress Helping Homeless People
 
You may recall I was an outspoken opponent of the proposal to adopt an “anti-camping” ordinance in Tucson. I’m grateful my colleagues concurred because the federal Department of Justice has weighed in against such ordinances that basically make it a crime for homeless people to fulfill acts essential to life (eating, sleeping, and so on). Passing the ordinance would just put the City in court and cost us money.
Even more encouraging has been the work amongst colleagues to identify real solutions so people living outside can do so without trashing public spaces or allowing for the peaceful enjoyment of those spaces by everyone in the community.
 
I’ve been working most closely with Councilmembers Fimbres and Kozachik to help Tucson develop safe places for people without homes. Brianda on my staff has done outstanding research on cities that have enacted ordinances that empower faith-based and nonprofit groups to help, particularly in providing “low demand” services for folks who haven’t yet started on the path toward recovery.
 
I am also encouraged by the vision of the new Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) Cenpatico in partnership with the outgoing RBHA the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA) and all area mental health organizations. Cenpaticos vision is to create a single point of entry and referral for people with serious mental illness who need housing. Cenpatico will track units of housing available and quickly offer those vacancies to the most vulnerable people under their care. That “Coordinated Entry” will integrate well with the broader system under development (which the Mayor’s office has spearheaded) to end chronic homelessness in concert with the Tucson/Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH).
 
I worked for over a decade with the Primavera Foundation (1993-2002) and since June of last year I again work in the field, developing and managing affordable housing that contributes to the range of options available across our community. I have no doubt that we as a City are poised to do better, especially by coordinating with all sectors—nonprofits, faith-based groups, and state-funded agencies addressing mental illness and addiction—to reach people unsure of how to take that first step off the streets.
 
Mayor and Council Meeting
 
The next meeting of the Mayor and Council will be held on September 9. I’ll highlight items slated for discussion in my next note to you, and encourage you to visit the Mayor and Council website for all materials posted in advance.
 
Thank you,
Karin
 
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Ward 3 Events: 
 
All About Saguaros
Saturday, August 29th 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Woods Library (Large Meeting Room)
Pima County Naturalist Julie Strom presents the story of the Sonoran Desert's most iconic plant, the saguaro cactus. Learn about the ecology of this keystone species and discover how other desert life depends on the saguaro for survival.
 
Fabulous Found Poems
Thursday, September 10th 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Woods Library (large meeting room)
Bring out your inner poet!  Make a simple handbound book and work from four different prompts to create found poems to fill the pages.  Poet and writing instructor Marge Pellegrino will lead this exciting workshop.
 
The Drawing Studio Day of Discovery
Saturday, September 12th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Drawing Studio 2750 N Tucson Blvd
If you might like to take your first art class, if you might like to pursue a new medium, if you’ve heard a particular artist is a really good teacher, then try it! Join the teaching artists of The Drawing Studio for a day of discovery. Choose up to four mini-classes from a wide variety of offerings. $20/half day, $30/whole day.
 
Big Read - Poe Movie Screening
Saturday, September 12th 9:30 – 4:30 pm
Woods Library
In honor of the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read program, join Woods Library for an all-day screening of several classic films, most starring America's favorite creepy actor, Vincent Price!
Poe-themed features may include The Tell-Tale Heart (c2000) and The Pit and the Pendulum (1961). Snacks will be provided!
 
Community Mental Health Arts Show Public Reception
Tuesday, September 15th 5:00 – 6:30 pm
CPSA Training Center 2502 N. Dodge Blvd
Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA) will be hosting the 16th Annual Community Mental Health Arts Show, from September 16th – 19th.  All art featured is by children and adults receiving behavioral health services, or people employed in the behavioral health system. The show will be open to the public and free of charge. For more information, visit http://www.communitypartnersinc.org/transition/  
 
Parks & Recreation Master Plan Public Meeting
Thursday, September 17th 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Donna Liggins Center 2160 N. 6th Ave.
We know that parks matter to you and invite you to tell us more! The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department has been gathering information for an exciting new five-year master plan. Now the department wants to hear about the types of programs, facilities and services that matter most to you. A series of community-wide open houses, held in every ward, will allow you to communicate what you appreciate about city parks and what programs and services you would like to see added. Your input will help prioritize goals for the next five years.
We encourage everyone to participate in this important process! In case you can’t make it on the 17th, check out https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks/masterplan for the schedule of meetings taking place throughout the city as well as more information and opportunities for input. Questions? Email parksmasterplan@tucsonaz.gov.
 
Equinox Solar Potluck
Saturday, September 19th noon - sunset
Valley of the Moon 2544 E. Allen Rd
Citizens for Solar is a local, all-volunteer non-profit whose goal is to encourage the use of solar power through education and solar cooking.  Their annual Solar Potluck is the longest continuously running annual solar event in the world! The Solar Potluck is an all day, family-friendly event open to the public.  Numerous solar cooks, with a wide variety of solar cookers, hand out solar cooked food all day long.  There will also be exhibitors, guest speakers and musicians throughout the day.  The days ends with a solar potluck dinner – a solar cooked feast! Come out and cook, or bring a dish or beverage to share, and your own plate and utensils. Alcohol is not permitted. Entrance into the Equinox Solar Potluck is free. Visit www.citizensforsolar.org and for more information, contact Bruce Joseph at 520-258-8540 or chair@citizensforsolar.org
 
St. Demetrios Greek Festival
Thursday – Sunday, September 24 – 27th
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church 1145 E. Ft Lowell Rd
Take a trip to Greece with this annual celebration! Enjoy folk dancing, a market including Greek groceries, folk art, and gifts, as well delicious fresh pastries, spinach pies and gyros. The church will also be open for a tour where you can learn about the Greek Orthodox religion. Special rates for seniors, $3.00 for adults ($6.00 for a four-day pass), children and active duty military are free. Visit http://stdemtucson.org/event/2015-tucson-greek-festival/ for festival times and other details.
 
Celebrate the Season: Tucson Poverello House Annual Celebration
Sunday, October 4th 5:00 pm
Most Holy Trinity Parish 1300 N. Greasewood Rd
Join Tucson Poverello House for a warm evening of camaraderie and support in celebrating their seventh year providing daytime hospitality to homeless men in our Northwest neighborhood. The event is always planned for this time of year in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis, which is celebrated around the world on October 4th.  Enjoy music by Mariachi Milagro, Jose Serrano and Estela Garcia. You can learn more about the event and register to attend at https://tucsonpoverello.com/.  
 
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Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
 
Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Board Meeting
Thursday, September 3rd 6:30 pm
Woods Library
 
Feldman’s NA
Thursday, September 3rd 7:00 pm
St Luke's Chapel 615 E. Adams St.
 
Neighborhood Leadership Institute
Saturday, September 19th 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
Pima County Housing Center 801 W. Congress St.
Energize your neighborhood organization! Topics include Gen X, Y, and Z: Engaging Community Youth, Succession Planning: Passing Wisdom with the Gavel, Cheers and Jeers: Reports from the Trenches
Reserve your place today! Call 724-6769 or email leslie.nixon@pima.gov. No registration fee for designated representatives of neighborhood groups; $50 for other registrants. Sponsored by the Pima County Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.  
 
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Community Spotlight:
 
Volunteers Needed for Expressive Arts Program
Owl & Panther, an expressive arts program working with refugee families, is seeking positive, responsible, open-minded, and kid-friendly volunteers! Meetings are held Tuesday evenings during the school year from 6:00 - 8:00 pm and programming includes a trip into nature each semester along with a service project. OP collaborates with local organizations and artists throughout Tucson. There are four hours of training required for each volunteer. The first training session takes place on September 1st from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Learn more about this exciting organization by visiting the website at OwlAndPanther.org, their Facebook page, or check out the exhibition Museum as Sanctuary: Perspectives of Resilience show at the Tucson Museum of Art (on view now until January 3rd). If you’re interested please contact: OwlandPanther@HopiFoundation.org.
 
Help Celebrate Community Gardens of Tucson’s Big 25th!
Community Gardens of Tucson is celebrating its 25th year with a big event this October 25th and are looking for a lot of volunteers for different tasks! Volunteers who have skills in videography, photography, event planning or graphic design are needed in preparation for the event and they are also looking for general volunteers who can help at the actual event! If you are interested please follow this link to fill out this Google form.
 
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City-Wide Events: 
 
Words on the Avenue
Sunday, August 30th 6:30 pm
Café Passe 415 N. 4th Ave.
Words on the Avenue returns for a new season of poetry! The open mic is open to all community writes to share just about everything they've put in their heads or on a piece of paper. Tucson Youth Poetry Slam's Jose Martinez is the featured poet for the evening. His poem "The Ten Commandments of Being Mexican" has become well known in the community and is a great example of using poetry as a primary weapon to battle injustice. Roch Mirabeau will be there on the ones and twos, Teré Fowler-Chapman hosts. Suggested donation $5. Open to all. https://www.facebook.com/events/155044601495081/
 
Confluencenter's Show & Tell - Occupying Our Space
Wednesday, September 2nd 6:00 pm
Playground Bar & Lounge 278 E Congress St
Cristina Devereaux Ramírez, assistant professor in the Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English (RCTE) graduate program, examines revolutionary Mexican women journalists and activists and how they negotiated emerging national politics and changing feminine identities surrounding the Mexican Revolution. Allowing their work to speak for them, Ramírez deftly reframes the conversation surrounding the rhetorical and intellectual role women played in the shifting political and national identity. This event is in collaboration with UA Press and a book release for Ramírez’s “Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875-1942.” Show & Tell is a FREE ongoing multimedia learning experience series that happens at Playground monthly during the academic year.
 
HOCO Fest 2015
September 4th, 5th and 6th 6:00 pm
Hotel Congress
Hotel Congress hosts HoCo Fest this Labor Day Weekend! For Club Congress’ 30th anniversary, there will be three days of both local and national acts bringing their sound to Tucson, from HoCo mainstay Roger Clyne to classic Tucson band Camper Van Beethoven to Pollo Elastico, culminating on Sunday with a gigantic Latin night featuring the internationally renown Mexrissey. This is Tucson’s oldest indoor/outdoor solar-powered multi media festival, with great food, fabulous company and the best drinks in town. 30 Confirmed Acts! 10 Tucson reunion shows, Music from four decades, Acts from London to Mexico City, Tucson Rock N Roll Museum, Three Stages, Taco and BBQ Parties each Day. http://hotelcongress.com/events/september/
 
StartUp Weekend
September 12th – 14th
CoLab Workspace 17 E Pennington
STARTUP WEEKEND is a global challenge that takes place in cities all over the world - like here in Tucson! Entrepreneurs will come together and turn an idea into reality over one weekend. http://www.up.co/communities/usa/tucson/startup-weekend/4232
 
DES Job Fairs
Plus 50 Job & Career Resource Fair
September 25th from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Pima Community College West Campus 2202 W. Anklam, Tucson
Tucson Career Expo
September 30th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
River Park Inn: 777 W. Cushing St., Tucson
Whether you're looking for that perfect job, that perfect employee or information on an industry or workforce, several job fairs are planned throughout Arizona during the month of September. Employers and job seekers are invited to attend. Job seekers are reminded to dress for success and bring several copies of your resume. Employers and job seekers, be sure to also check out the free tools and services on AZ Job Connection and let Arizona work for you.
 
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Did You Know...?
 
Sun Tran to Provide Limited Saturday Bus Service
Beginning this weekend, Sun Tran will provide limited Saturday bus service from approximately 7:00 am to 6:00 pm on Routes 8, 16, and 18. Limited service maps and schedules are available at transit centers, Sun Tran's website (link below), or by calling Customer Service at (520) 792-9222. Passengers are strongly encouraged to check schedules. Riders are advised to plan accordingly, as buses may be delayed due to overcrowding. As more resources become available, Sun Tran will continue add additional service. Sun Tran: http://www.suntran.com/
 
UA Bike and Pedestrian Outreach
Beginning Monday, August 31st, and throughout the month of September, the UA Police Department will conduct a period of heightened education and enforcement directed at bicycle/pedestrian violations. The Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety and Education Campaign is designed to educate community members on University regulations and enforce Arizona State laws related to bicycle and pedestrian traffic while also providing important tips for safeguarding bicycles against theft, and how to share the road with the Sun Link streetcar. If you have any questions or would like more information on safety tips, please contact the UAPD at 520-621-4219, or select from the links below:
http://www.azleg.gov/arsDetail/?title=28
http://www.azgohs.gov/highway-safety-programs/default.asp?ID=16
http://www.sunlinkstreetcar.com/street-smart-tips
 
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