Karin's Note: Friday, June 19, 2015

Karin's Note: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • Note from Staff
  • Ward 3 Events
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?
Dear Tucsonans,
Our community lost a great friend and leader last month, Burney Starks. Here is his invitation to me for the Juneteenth Festival occurring tomorrow at the Donna Liggins Center. He would want you to know the invitation is meant for all of us:
 Dear Council Member Uhlich,
We are getting ready to celebrate a very important date in American History. 2015 will mark 150 years since the last slaves were freed in the United States. This celebration of Freedom is known as Juneteenth or Emancipation Day. As we recognize this important milestone in American History, Tucson will be celebrating its 45th Annual Festival.
We have appreciated and enjoyed the participation and partnership of our City Council through the years and we hope you will keep this date on your calendar and Join us again this year.
I have attached an historical information paper and a letter from Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords which I included because she so eloquently and poignantly expresses why it is important to acknowledge and remember Juneteenth.
Please save the date, June 20th and thanks for your continued service to the City of Tucson.
Yours in service,
Burney Starks
Tucson Juneteenth Festival Committee Board
Look forward to seeing you, Karin.
Here is the historical information that Burney provided:
Juneteenth: Historical Perspective
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, is a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas in June 1865, and more  importantly, emancipation and the day that the last slaves were granted freedom.
In American History, most of us learned about the Emancipation Proclamation which was issued on September 22, 1862 and became effective on January 1, 1863. This document and event was the beginning of the freedom of slaves in the United States of America.
Texas was not a battleground and not considered a confederate state, but by 1865 there were about 250,000 slaves in the state of Texas. News moved slowly and the end of the war and the official news of freedom didn’t come to the last of the American slaves until June 19th, 1865 – two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation when General Gordon Grainger arrived in Galveston with 2,000 federal troops and on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa read “General Order No. 3,”  announcing the total emancipation of all slaves.
Unfortunately, many people view Juneteenth as an African American celebration and historical event, but in reality, when we look at the day that the last American became free in the United States of America – the Land of the Free – we are talking about a very significant event in American History.
Recognizing and commemorating Juneteenth will never supplant or replace our celebration and reverence of the 4th of July and the birth of our nation, but it is also important to celebrate the growth of this great nation. In 1997 Congress recognized Juneteenth/June 19 as “America’s Second Day of Independence,” through Senate Joint Resolution 11 and House Joint Resolution 56.
Juneteenth Holiday was first officially celebrated in Texas in 1866. Today, 43 of 50 States and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as an official state Holiday or Holiday observance. Because of the US servicemen’s presence throughout the world, Juneteenth is recognized and celebrated in at least 16 countries.
Historically, in Tucson Juneteenth was first celebrated in June 1970 at A Mountain’s Historic, Vista del Pueblo Park.
June 2015 will mark the 45th anniversary celebration of Juneteenth in Tucson and 150 years since the last American was emancipated in the United States. This is cause for celebration and reflection for anyone who understands and relishes freedom. Tucson Juneteenth Festival will be June 20, 10:00am to 9:00pm at Donna Liggins Center and Mansfeld Park. Everyone is invited to join this safe, family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration. Tucson Juneteenth Festival Committee is a 501(c)(3) organization.
For your information, I am enclosing a letter from Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords who so eloquently encapsulated the true meaning and spirit of Juneteenth. Congresswoman Giffords could not be physically present for the 2009 celebration, but her aide, Gabe Zimmerman read the letter in her behalf.
And Congresswoman Giffords's letter:
Dear Participants of Tucson's Juneteenth Celebration,
Please accept my regrets at not being able to join you today for Tucson's Juneteenth celebration. I wish I could be with you to mark this milestone in American history. Please know that I am with you in spirit.
Since 1970, when Tucson's first Juneteenth was held at Vista Del Pueblo Park, this annual celebration has blossomed into a much-anticipated festival of family fun. At its heart, Juneteenth is a potent reminder of one of the most significant concepts in our nation's journey. In a word, Juneteenth is about freedom.
In two weeks, we will gather with family and friends to watch fireworks and celebrate the birth of American freedom. As we do, we must never forget that 89 long years passed between the momentous events of July 4, 1776 and June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Grainger read his Third General Order in Galveston, Texas announcing freedom to the last of the enslaved Americans. It was on this date 144 years ago that our nation finally and truly became "the land of the free."
Like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation is an essential cornerstone of our representative democracy. It was, to quote from the proclamation itself, "an act of justice." Delayed justice, to be sure, but justice nonetheless.
Congratulations to the Tucson Juneteenth Festival Planning Committee on organizing another spectacular festival!
Sincerely yours,
Gabrielle Giffords
Given the horrific massacre that occurred this week at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina, it seems especially important that we join together this weekend to demonstrate our appreciation of and solidarity with the African American community. I hope to see you there.
Ward 3 Events: 
Free Ward 3 Community Wide Movie Nights Fridays, June 12th  through August 7th at 7:30 pm in the courtyard of the St. James United Methodist Church, 3255 N. Campbell, just north of Fort Lowell. Join us for a movie for the whole family. Bring chairs or a blanket to sit on. Free popcorn!
Tucson Juneteenth Festival 2015 Saturday, June 20th 10:00 am - 9:00 pm at the Donna Liggins Center 2160 N 6th Avenue. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. and represents a very important milestone in American history, when our nation finally and truly became “the land of the free.”  Join in the celebration at the Donna Liggins Center for a day of fun, food, education, fellowship and entertainment. Everyone is invited! For more info, call 520-429-1724 or visit https://www.facebook.com/Tucson-Juneteenth-Celebration-521630407898433/timeline/
Coffee With A Cop Saturday, July 11th 10:00 am – noon at the Starbucks in Tucson Mall 4500 N oracle Road. Join your neighbors and police officers for coffee and conversation. No agendas or speeches, just a chance to voice your concerns and get to know the officers around your neighborhood.
City-Wide Events: 
Father’s Day March for Family Unity Saturday, June 20th 8:00 am starts at Southside Presbyterian Church 317 W. 23rd St. There continue to be about 1,000 deportations a day affecting families throughout the community and nation. Join as communities of faith and conscience come together to celebrate the strength and leadership of the fathers and their families impacted by these policies. The march will depart Southside and proceed to El Tiradito where those who have died crossing the border will be remembered, then return to Southside where there will be refreshments, music, and speeches.
Citizens Warehouse Artists Opening Reception Saturday, June 20th 7:00 – 10:00 pm at Etherton Gallery 135 S. 6th Ave. Etherton presents the Citizens Artist Collective, a group of 21 artists working from the Citizens Warehouse building in the Tucson Warehouse Historic District. Working alongside the thunder of the Southern Pacific Railroad — which originally served the 1929 Citizens Transfer and Storage Co. — these artists present work from the midst of "a cherished creative camaraderie."
Día de San Juan Fiesta Wednesday, June 24th 5:00 to 10:00 pm Mercado San Agustín 100 S. Avenida Del Convento. A traditional start of Tucson's summer, Día de San Juan celebrates the coming monsoon rain season and honors St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water. Join a ceremonial procession and the blessing of an altar and enjoy activities including a charreada (Mexican rodeo events), performances by mariachi bands and folklorico dancers, as well as games and activities for children and families. Staged at the corner of Congress Street and Avenida del Convento, west of downtown Tucson, at the Mercado San Agustin retail and restaurant plaza. https://www.facebook.com/El-Dia-de-San-Juan-Fiesta-Tucson-AZ-208228845869696/timeline/
Changemaker Day Thursday, June 25th 7:30 am – 12:00 pm at Western Institute High School 1300 S. Belvadere Ave. Are you a young person wanting to do something fun this summer and trying to improve your resume for college? Join Western Institute High School for their Changemaker Day where you will go out into the community and volunteer around town! Call 520-615-2200 to sign up or for more information. www.thewesterninstitute.org
Tucson Queer Youth Summit Saturday, June 27th 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at City High 48 E. Pennington St. FREE and open to all youth grades 6-12, the Tucson Queer Youth Summit features workshops on zine making, poetry slams, activism and more as well as a brunch buffet and local queer resources/networking! Council Member Uhlich will be the keynote speaker.  https://www.facebook.com/events/431936963635992/
BICAS Hottest Day of the Year Benefit Ride & Pool Party! Saturday, June 27 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Join BICAS for a Tucson-style benefit bike ride & pool party! Love riding your bicycle in the summer? BICAS does, too! Gather up some friends and join BICAS for their 2nd annual HOTTEST DAY of the YEAR Benefit Ride and Pool Party. This is an easy-paced group ride with fun stops to cool down. It ends at Menlo Park for lunch, suds, and a dip in the pool.  Heaps of fun for the whole family!
  •     $25 - Adult rider
  •     $50 - Family of 4 (must have one youth under 12 yrs)
  •     $15 - Youth rider (18 and under)
  •     +$10 - Day-of Procrastinator Fee (Sign up early!)
Schedule for the day:
9:00 am -- Meet up @ BICAS (44 W 6th St) for light breakfast, coffee, & sunscreen slathering
10:00 am – 1:00 pm -- Bike ride & fun stops! 
1:00 – 3:00 pm -- Picnic & Pool @ Menlo Park  (1100 W Fresno St) 
Registration fee includes a BICAS water bottle, light breakfast/coffee, lunch (veggie options available), ice-cold drinks, and pool entry. If you prefer not to ride, just register & let them know bicas@bicas.org and meet at the park to enjoy food, drinks, swimming, and merriment with the rest of your sweaty BICAS friends!
SAAF Screening of The Last One Tuesday June 30th at the Loft Cinema 3533 E. Speedway Blvd. A one-night only screening of The Last One. Doors open at 6:30pm and the film screens at 7:00pm. In the eighties and nineties, as the United States gay community was being ravaged by AIDS, families and friends of the dying fought a public battle to find treatment and understanding. The AIDS Memorial Quilt was conceived “as a weapon against not only the disease but the cruelty and bigotry that the disease exposed,” according to one of its founders, Cleve Jones. Today the Quilt is a handmade testament to both the struggle of the early days of the epidemic and its continued impact today, as panels representing lives lost to the disease continue to stream in from all over the world. The Last One is a feature-length documentary that frames the quest to sew the last panel into the Quilt, representing the end of AIDS. Tickets are $10 ($8 for Loft Members) and all proceeds will benefit the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF), Aunt Rita’s Foundation, & the Loft Cinema.
Did You Know...?
Literacy Connects is seeking volunteers for their new Reading Seed Kinder Program at Keeling Elementary School! Reading Seed is partnering with the Amphi School District to pilot a new version of the program focusing intensively on kindergarteners. Every kindergarten student enrolled at Keeling Elementary School will receive one-on-one coaching twice a week for the entire 2015-2016 school year. New volunteers are needed to help make this program a success! Reading Seed provides comprehensive training, materials, and incentives to help keep the learning process fun and relevant for both students and coaches.
If you have two hours each week during the school year to help develop the love of reading in a child, we need you! There is not a complicated curriculum to follow or any tests to administer. The job of a Reading Coach is simple— make reading fun!
Reading Seed has several summer training dates available. Join in this exciting effort to help these kindergartners develop a lifelong love of reading. Visit http://literacyconnects.org/readingseed/ for more information or to register for training. If you have questions, please contact Lisa O’Meara at 882-8006 ext. 294 or email lomeara@literacyconnects.org.