Paul’s Note: Friday February 09, 2018

Paul’s Note

Friday, February 9th, 2018


  • Paul’s Note
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?


Neighborhood Leaders Forum
I am inviting all neighborhood leaders, neighborhood advocates and concerned residents to our first Neighborhood Leaders Forum. The forum will take place on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, at the West Division Police Station, 1310 W. Miracle Mile.
As many of you know, I ran to make Ward 3 neighborhoods safer, more attractive and united by a strong sense of community. There is no better way to achieve these goals than to work together to make it better where we live.
Now it's your turn--I'd like to hear what matters to you most.
I will be inviting key City staff to answer your questions about how you can improve the quality of life in your neighborhood.
The City of Tucson departments that will be represented at this forum are:
  • Tucson Police Department (TPD) (both the Midtown and West Divisions will be represented)
  • Environmental Services Department
  • Code Enforcement Division
If you are an advocate for your neighborhood, an officer in your neighborhood association or a resident concerned about the quality of life where you live, please join us on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, at the West Division Police Station, 1310 W. Miracle Mile.
One Water, Rainwater Harvesting and Stormwater Management
During my 2017 campaign for the Ward 3 City Council seat, I did a lot of reading and research to learn about the issues facing Tucson. One of those issues is water.
I’ll talk about three things in this note: One Water, Rainwater Harvesting and Stormwater Management. The image below pretty much says it all—the One Water concept is that all water, no matter what form it’s in, is a resource. Living in the desert and facing climate change, it is especially important that we do the best possible job of managing our water resources. To me, that means applying the One Water concept.

We can always do more, of course, and we will, but Tucson has done a pretty good job of managing, preserving and making efficient use of groundwater, surface water (CAP and Colorado River water), wastewater and recycled water. Our use of rainwater/stormwater is where we could do much better. (Most of the time, I’ll refer to it as rainwater from now on.)
In the past, Tucson’s transportation department (TDOT) saw rainwater as a nuisance to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible. And with good reason—rainwater, especially in the summer monsoon season, can do a lot of damage to roads, landscaping and buildings. But we now recognize that rainwater is a resource that, like other water resources, we must make efficient use of.
I made many of the statements above countless times during my campaign. The voters I talked to get it—rainwater is a resource that has been underutilized in the past.
First, at the Study Session on January 23rd, we discussed ways to expand our use of stormwater to provide green infrastructure that includes the plants and trees that help make Tucson cooler in the summer and mitigate climate change by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. We already have some excellent programs, including a Water Harvesting Rebate Program, Low-Income Water Harvesting Grant/Loan Program and Neighborhood-Scale Stormwater Harvesting Program, all administered through Tucson Water’s Conservation Program.
It goes without saying that living in the desert and facing climate change means we must use all of our water resources wisely. That’s why I believe Mayor & Council are likely to approve a significant expansion of our efforts to better utilize rainwater and stormwater. I’ll keep you posted.
Second, rainwater can do more than support green infrastructure. It can also recharge the aquifer. I’m working with Council Member Kozachik to explore whether drywells make sense for Tucson. A drywell is like a groundwater well, except it’s used to add stormwater to the aquifer rather than remove it. But that’s a subject for another Note when our research is further along. I’ll keep you posted on that too.
Distracted Driving
On January 23rd, I voted in a 4-1 vote (two members of the Council were absent) to make distracted driving and texting while driving a primary offense. The Council majority and I believe that distracted driving is a public safety hazard to pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers. By giving TDP officers the authority to pull over distracted drivers, drivers texting, surfing the web, checking their email or talking on the phone without a hands-free device, we can work together to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and keep our roads safer for all who use them.
Starting February 1st, TPD officers began handing out information cards describing the City of Tucson's new ordinance. This is part of a 30-day educational and warning period before officers start issuing citations for violators. Starting March 1st, if you get cited for texting and driving, you will be charged a $50 fine on your first offense. If your distracted driving leads to an accident, you will be fined $250.
So please, for your safety as well as others, put the phone down!
Love of Reading

I spent time Thursday reading to 3rd graders at La Paloma Academy to celebrate their Love of Reading week! It was a well-behaved class and they listened attentively while I read "The Gingerbread Cowboy."
- Paul D.


Ward 3 Events:

Ward 3 Neighborhood Leaders and Constituents Meeting
Wednesday, February 28th
6pm – 7:30pm
Westside Police Service Center
1310 W. Miracle Mile
Join Council Member Paul Durham, Tucson Police, Environmental Services, and Code Enforcement for a discussion about neighborhood issues.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program returns to Ward 3
February 3rd – April 14th
9am – 1 pm
Ward 3 Council Office
1510 E. Grant Rd

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona provides FREE, quality tax preparation from IRS-certified preparers to individuals and families earning up to $66,000 annually. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s VITA program helps taxpayers access all tax credits for which they are eligible – including the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which has been recognized as the single most powerful tool to lift children out of poverty. Please bring a copy of last year’s tax returns and a photo ID.



Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:

Alvernon Grant Initiative Tuesday Feb. 13th 6pm, Church of the Brethren, 2200 N Dodge Blvd
Campus Community Relations Committee (CCRC) Tuesday Feb. 13th 6pm, UA Student Union, Ventana Room
Flowing Wells NA Thursday Feb. 15th 6pm, Ellie Towne Center, 1660 W Ruthrauff Rd
Mountain View NA Thursday Feb. 15th 6pm, Habitat for Humanity, 3501 N Mountain Ave
Samos NA Tuesday Feb. 20th 6:30pm, Salpointe Catholic High School, 1545 E Copper St
Grant Road Coalition Tuesday Feb. 27th 6pm, Ward 3 Council Office, 1510 E. Grant Rd



City-Wide Events:

The Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd
3:30pm to 6pm
Monday February 19th
Groups representing social, political, and environmental activism will once again bring their tables full of literature, petitions, and passions to The Historic Y for our second annual Community Volunteer Fair. The first such event was held in 2017 with over 65 community organizations participating.
The festive atmosphere will feature food and drink and music in the lobby and courtyard of the Historic Y, as seasoned activists and new volunteers socialize and mobilize for positive change.
Last year’s Fair ended with a staged reading of a political play, “The Higher Education of Khalid Amir,” and this year’s fair will also end with a staged reading of a new political play, “The Real Machiavelli,” by New York and Tucson playwright Monica Bauer. The free play reading begins at 7pm, at the Scoundrel and Scamp Theatre inside The Historic Y.
Organizations wishing to participate may contact Shawn Burke, owner of The Historic Y, by email at



Did You Know...?

Miracle Mile Historic District
In 2007 a group of neighborhood leaders became the catalyst for an effort called the Oracle Area Revitalization Project (OARP). Their initiative led to representatives of neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions working with the City to identify goals and related recommendations to revitalize the area. One goal, respect and preserve the special character of the Oracle Road/Miracle Mile Corridor, led to the recommendation to pursue the nomination of a non-residential historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. We are excited to announce that the Miracle Mile Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 11, 2017.  Achieving this listing took multiple years of state and federal review and revision, and is a laudable step forward in a vision of dedicated neighbors and businesses to enhance what they recognize as a unique place. THANK YOU!
Do You Have a Memory You Would Like to Share?
This effort has led to many people sharing their memories about historic Miracle Mile over the years. If you have a memory you would like to share, or if you would like more information about the Miracle Mile Historic District, please contact Rebecca Ruopp at or (520) 837-6973.


Volunteers Needed for Tucson Meet Your Birds

The Tucson Audubon Society and Tucson Water will host the annual Tucson Meet Your Birds event at Sweetwater Wetlands on Saturday, March 3, 7 am-noon. This free and fun Tucson tradition offers close-up looks at live birds, fish, and reptiles that inhabit the wetlands facility. Binoculars will be available for borrowing, and there will be expert guides and activities for families and children. Sweetwater Wetlands features wheelchair accessible pathways. Volunteers are needed to help with the event, and a variety of opportunities are available.
Tucson Meet Your Birds:
Tucson Meet Your Birds Facebook page:
Sweetwater Wetlands:


Food Donation Box in the Ward 3 Community Room

Food donations can be dropped in the Community Room box Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. The Community Food Bank welcomes your donations of nonperishable items, as 1 in 4 children in Arizona are at risk for hunger, and 1 in 5 adults. Please join the fight against hunger and donate nonperishable items to help feed kids, families and seniors. Nonperishable food in plastic, cardboard or cans works best for transporting (glass can easily be broken). Thank you for making a difference with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona!


Council Member Paul Durham is on social media!
Ward 3 has created new Facebook and Twitter pages for our new Council Member to keep in touch with what's happening in Tucson and around the Ward.
Please "Like" us on Facebook:
Please "Follow" us on Twitter: