Pauls Note: Friday, July 24, 2020

Paul’s Note
Friday, July 24, 2020
Paul’s Note
Pet of the Week                 
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
City-Wide Events
Did You Know?
Paul’s Note
It’s been a relief to finally have rains in Tucson, although I realize that challenges the rains can cause for many with less secure housing. City employees—especially in our Department of Transportation and Mobility, Tucson Fire Department and Tucson Police Department –are responding to mitigate the impacts or diminish the likelihood of flooding and ensure residents are safe from floods.
Yesterday morning one of the TPD officers that my office works most closely with, Officer Preston Hould, was watching the water flow in the Bronx Wash in Ward 3. This is a wash that has been known to have significant flows and people, many who are experiencing homelessness, can get swept up in the water flow. Thankfully, Officer Hould knows this because of his many years working with residents in the 85705 and his work attempting to connect people along the washes to services. Officers Hould and Molina were there at the right time to help a woman climb out of the water flow.
Thank you, Preston and Carlos.
As you read on you will find an update on a public WiFi project that the city of Tucson is funding as well as an update on our community safety pilot program. Of course, I also have an update on public health infrastructure, highlights from my recent mask giveaway and updates on the Community-based Crime Reduction effort in the 85705.
Last Saturday I was very pleased to participate in the #MaskUpTucson Free Mask Distribution Event with Mayor Romero. We had staff members from my office, the Mayor’s office, Parks & Rec, Environmental and General Services and TFD on hand to help at the Donna Liggins Center.
The event started at 7 am and we had people begin to arrive at 6:15 am. I was happy to see that our efforts can have such a positive impact on our constituents. Countless people mentioned to me that they were thrilled to receive free masks. I would like to say thank you to the Mayor for spending the morning with us in Ward 3. I was glad so many folks were happy to say hello to her.
The City of Tucson, all told, gave away about 33,000 free masks throughout the city, with one location in each ward. Wearing a face covering is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, along with proper handwashing and practicing social/physical distancing.
Council Member Durham, Mayor Romero and members of the Tucson House Resident’s Council flash their masks for distribution inside Tucson House.
After handing out masks at the Donna Liggins Center, we headed to over to Tucson House to distribute masks there. We were able to chat with the Residents Council. Also, this week our office was able to provide Old Pascua another batch of masks to give out at their COVID-19 testing site.
Pascua Yaqui Councilman Francisco Valencia and Ward 3 Chief of Staff Sarah Launius provide masks at a testing site in Old Pascua.
Here is a video of the entire City-wide effort.
Thrive in the 05
I received good news this week. The federal Department of Justice approved a $1 million grant and a crime prevention plan in Ward 3, proposed by Thrive in the ‘05, a collaborative effort between the City of Tucson, Pima Community College and ASU School of Social Work.
Since its inception nearly two years ago, the Ward 3 office has been a major partner in the Thrive in the ‘05, an initiative to improve the lives of residents in key neighborhoods along and nearby the North Oracle corridor. The initiative has two prongs: one is the Community-Based Crime Reduction plan, which was approved, and the second is the Choice Neighborhoods program, a plan that is under development which will focus on enhancing the neighborhoods through investments. Both cover most of the same area: roughly from Speedway north to Miracle Mile and from Stone west to the railroad tracks. The Choice area also includes Flowing Wells which the Community-Based Crime Reduction plan does not.
The next step for the Community-Based Crime Reduction, which is being developed by ASU’s School of Social Work Tucson campus, is to put it to work. The researchers have identified several “hot spots” in the ‘05, which is the zip code for the area. These hot spots are areas where crime and drug dealing, and other associated issues have created problems for the neighborhoods. Using data and working with the Tucson Police Department’s Operations Division West, and involving ‘05 residents, non-profit groups and businesses, the researchers have created seven strategies aimed at reducing crime and making neighborhoods safer.
Nadia Roubicek, the Community-Based Crime Reduction plan’s project manager, told the ‘05 Steering Committee that the next stage involves organizing youngsters, young adults, residents, schools, community groups to kick into gear. One strategy, for example, is the program You Can, Too! In this one Tucson police officers will work directly with young people in their neighborhoods. A second youth-oriented effort is Y Lead, a leadership training program for older teens and young adults.
The goals are to reduce crime and the problems it creates. The plan will use data and research to reduce crime and create effective methods to reduce crime and illegal street drug dealing. It will engage community residents, and train youths and adults as neighborhood leaders. And neighborhood leaders will be given the tools and training, and to connect them with community groups to focus on reducing juvenile crime and resolving its roots.
An excited Nadia told me, “I’m really excited to finally get going on implementation and it feels like so much of this work couldn’t be timelier. I know our Thrive community, team and partners like TPD and the City of Tucson are all looking forward to working on the strategies we will be rolling out soon.”
Public WiFi and the Cares Act
This week, Mayor and Council took action to invest in infrastructure to bring public WiFi on-board to support households who are increasingly needed to learn and work at home. With a $4.4 million investment using the Cares Act dollars, we will be able to make WiFi available to historically underserved neighborhoods who are suffering because of the digital divide. In total, we anticipate that 54,000 households will be positively impacted.
The map below shows the area in red as those areas that would receive public WiFi in November (the numbers refer to the city wards).
Bringing on public WiFi will be a significant economic development tool for our city that will also help to address long-standing inequities in our city. We will work as quickly as possible in the hopes that it will ease strains on households needing to educate or work from home.
City of Tucson’s We are One / Somos Uno Resiliency Fund
I am very pleased to see some new supports for residents and small businesses coming online very soon. My colleagues and I created the We Are One / Somos Uno Resiliency Fund that will provide grants to non-profits, grants to households and grants to small businesses who are suffering because of the pandemic. We are partnering with the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona and the YWCA, respectively, to administer these funds.
You can learn more about these programs on Monday’s COVID-19 for Small Businesses webinar hosted by the City of Tucson’s Economic Initiatives team. That event is from 3-4 pm and you can register here.
If you cannot join or are interested in finding the previous 16 COVID-19 for Small Businesses weekly webinars those can be found here.
I’ll provide further information on how to access assistance in future newsletters. Stay tuned.
Community Safety Pilot Program
As regular readers know, Mayor and Council have implemented a community safety pilot program which includes both the creation of a community safety division as well as an overhaul of some of the existing community oversight of TPD bodies.
On Tuesday at the Mayor and Council meeting we were reviewing the budget so far for this new division. You can see all the elements and related investments below.
The Tentative Budget includes funding for programs in alignment with the Community Safety Pilot Program:
• Tucson Collaborative Community Care (TC3)
• New Social Worker Positions
• Housing First Coordinator
• Housing and Community Development Outreach Program
• Parks Community Safety Program
• Contracts to Partnering Agencies
FY 20/21 total = $4,564,876
In addition, we have a number of contracts with behavioral health organizations and these activities will support the Community Safety Pilot Program.
Community Safety Pilot Program: Behavioral Health Agency Contracts

On Tuesday, Mayor and Council also provided additional direction to the City Manager to keep this moving forward in dialogue with me and the other elected officials as well as community members. Staff was directed to return to the August 11 study session for a discussion on how we plan to roll out an ongoing public engagement campaign with the community. That discussion will include:

  • A phased approach to implement the Community Safety Pilot Program.
  • Function and considerations of the Community Police Advisory Review Board and related opportunities.
  • Function and considerations of the Independent Police Auditor and related opportunities.
  • Overview of the Sentinel Review Board
  • Update on Consultant to assist with leading and managing an inclusive community engagement.
  • Organizational structure of the new community safety division.
I am looking forward to this discussion. It is worth mentioning that this will be one of many to come. The goal, as I understand it, is to ensure that this move forward with a lot of opportunities for public feedback.
I know there are some examples from other cities out there. I’ve heard good things especially about CAHOOTS in Eugene, Oregon. (You can learn more about them here.) We’ll be looking to other jurisdictions for good ideas, but I also suspect that Tucson will need to do unique adaptions to meet the needs of Tucsonans. That will take some time and some flexibility. Stay tuned and don’t hesitate to contact me with your suggestions.
Public Health Infrastructure and COVID-19
This week the City of Tucson started the process to bring online an additional large, free testing site within the city limits. This is being done in tandem with the Pima County Health Department. As you know PCHD open the testing site at the Kino Event Center. That center is able to test, by appointment hundreds of residents a day with testing result being return in approximately 48 hours.
Pima County is looking to do something similar in Flowing Wells (in unincorporated Pima County) at the Ellie Towne Center. This will be a great service to many Ward 3 residents and other in the northwest unincorporated areas. The City of Tucson is looking to have it’s additional site be accessible to households further east. In total, these will provide good coverage and easy to access testing for our residents. I will provide more details as I have them.
As always, take good care of yourself and others and don’t forget to #MaskUpTucson.
- Paul Durham
Pet of the Week
Hank Williams
Transferred from another facility, Hank Williams is outgoing and very friendly to strangers. He has a gentle and sweet demeanor and he likes attention and affection. He will come right up to your legs for a good snout-petting. Though still quite active, he has matured into a very solid and calm dog. There have been no defensive or aggressive behaviors noted and he has no issues with handling. Because he came from another facility his history with dogs and kids are unknown, so it is recommended to bring the family (pets included) down for introductions before leaving the shelter.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hours and operations of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona have been modified. Adoptions can be made by appointment by calling 520-327-6088.
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ft Lowell Country Club Safety
July 27
6-7 pm
Join Zoom Meeting
City-Wide Events
Webinar: Navigating the Impacts ofCOVID-19 for Small Businesses Part XVII
Join the City of Tucson Office of Economic Initiatives for this free webinar on Monday, July 27 from 3-4 pm. Three local non-profit leaders share their experiences navigating the impacts of this pandemic.
Did You Know?
How To Use a Mask
Here is a guide to wearing a mask. If you need a mask, please contact the Ward 3 office at 520-791-4711 or
Watershed Management Group Installs Tippy Taps
As community centers, schools, and other public spaces begin to reopen during COVID-19, easy access to sanitation is vital in ensuring the safety of Tucson's community members. Watershed Management Group has assisted with the installation of Tippy Taps - affordable, low-tech, contact-free hand washing stations - to organizations that serve Tucson’s homeless population. With their simple design—they can be constructed with common materials around the house or easily purchased at a hardware store—tippy taps are low-tech hand washing stations that improve sanitation by creating a contact-free way to wash your hands as well as offer water savings! To find out how you can make one, go to Watershed Management Group's website.
Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
Ward 3 has Facebook and Twitter pages so you can keep up with our Council Member and stay in touch with what's happening in Tucson and around the Ward.
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
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