Pauls Note: Friday, July 31, 2020

Paul’s Note
Friday, July 31, 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
As we close out July, 2020, I’m mindful of the growing needs of many of my constituents who remain unemployed or underemployed. In this week’s newsletter, I’ve included updates on an important workforce development offering in Ward 3, a chance for you to hear from a Ward 3-based refugee network and information to support small businesses, nonprofits, domestic violence survivors as well as efforts to mitigate food insecurity.
Pima Community College
If you drive by West Drachman Street just north of Pima Community College, you’ll see the steel skeleton of a new building rising and filling out. It will be the new Downtown Campus Center of Excellence in Applied Technology. 
This Ward 3 three-story structure will measure at more than 100,000 square feet where PCC students will study advanced manufacturing, automotive technology and construction methods. The center will feature labs for robotics, machining, CAD or computer aided design and welding. The building will also host a 12,000 square-foot training space, a business incubator space and a meeting room to fit 120 people. 
The project, which is expected to cost up to $45 million, will enhance Tucson’s ability to meet the needs of our business and industrial sectors by providing relevant, cutting-edge high-tech education to our local communities. 
Employers report a growing need of highly skilled workers who have a high school diploma but do not need a 4-year college degree. The center will go a long way in educating and training skilled workers to fill the gap. 
Rendering of the Center of Excellence for Applied Technology at PCC’s Downtown Campus. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2021. 
The Center will house Automotive Technology. Instruction will include automotive, heavy diesel and autonomous vehicles. Advanced Manufacturing, also in the new building, will include metalworking and fabrication (e.g., welding), design and prototyping, robotics/automation, machine technology, mechatronics/industrial technology and optics/photonics/electronics. That portion of the building will be completed in Spring 2022. 
And by the Fall of 2022, existing space at the Downtown Campus will be expanded and remodeled to house Infrastructure classes: building construction technology, HVAC (commercial and residential), utility technology (electricity, natural gas, solar, etc.) and mining technology. 
Looking ahead, now is a good time to remind Ward 3 residents that registration is open for PCC fall classes. The college has made accommodations for students, staff and faculty in the wake of the pandemic. Classes will be offered online, virtual instruction and, in some special cases, hands-on. 
Students will be given a safe learning experience during the COVID-19 crisis. All in-person classes will be conducted using CDC, local and state guidelines for health and safety. 
Since 2003, refugees and Iskashitaa Refugee Network volunteers have worked together to harvest over a million pounds of produce from backyards, farms and orchards in Tucson, which is then donated to food banks, schools, soup kitchens and hundreds of refugee families. The network, made up of refugees, immigrants and volunteers, is called Iskashitaa, which means “working cooperatively together” in Somali.
Barbara Eiswerth, director of Iskashitaa Refugee Network, which is located in Ward 3, will be the featured speaker at the meeting of the Greater Democrats of Tucson on Aug. 3 from 12-1 pm. This is a virtual session and you can register here.
Community Meetings: Renewal & Expansion of the Central Business District
My office is working with the City of Tucson Economic Initiatives office to host two virtual community meetings to provide information regarding the proposed renewal and expansion of the Central Business District (CBD).
The City is required to review the Central Business District (CBD) by October 1, 2020, and may either renew, modify or terminate the designation. My colleagues and I are looking to expand the boundary of the existing CBD. Doing so will allow for additional redevelopment tools to be made available within those expanded areas. In Ward 3 this would mostly impact the Flowing Wells, Miracle Manor and Amphi neighborhoods.
Please join the conversation if you are a resident or business owner in these expansion areas. If you are not able to join but have feedback for me, simply reply to the email. To attend a meeting, advance registration is required. Click the links below.
Small Business Supports
I am certainly aware of how hard the pandemic is for our local, small businesses. The City of Tucson Economic Initiatives team has been working tirelessly to get information and resource to our local businesses to support them during this time. If you are not familiar with how they can help, please visit their website.
If you own your own local retail shop, I want you to know about an additional tool that our Economic Initiatives team recently brought to Tucson. TruLocal has been in the local news lately after they selected Tucson, through a competitive application process, to be one of three cities where TruLocal will make available a shared retail platform for retailers. This allows a single stop for those of us who wish to support local first and it provides a higher likelihood that an individual shop may be found by new customers. Businesses interested in working with TruLocal should contact Keli Dantin, Director of Sales & Account Management at TruLocal, at
City of Tucson’s We Are One / Somos Uno Resiliency Fund for Small Business and Nonprofits
My colleagues and I have invested $2.5 million for small business and nonprofit grants. I know this is needed now more than ever. I want to thank the YWCA and Community Foundation of Southern Arizona for partnering with the City of Tucson to make these dollars available to vital organizations in Tucson.
The grant program will be accepting applications July 31-August 28. The YWCA’s Women’s Business Center will administer the small business continuity grants, up to $10,000.
Applications will be available in English and Spanish, and grants will be awarded within 10 business days of submission. Nonprofit continuity grants, up to $20,000, will be administered through the CFSA.
Nonprofits in the City of Tucson and the City of South Tucson are eligible to apply.
Follow the links below, beginning Friday, for more information.
Additional Cares Act Investments
Last week Mayor and Council provided additional direction for the following strategic plan priorities of Arts and Culture, Domestic Violence, and Food Delivery. As you’ll recall, the strategic plan includes over $22 million in community investment aimed at mitigating the economic and health impacts of the pandemic on Tucson residents. This was an important step in getting additional services out into the community.
Arts and Culture
Our arts organizations, especially performing arts, are really hurting because of the pandemic. It goes without saying that this is a sector of our local economy that has put Tucson on the map as a cool, vital place to live. Under Arts and Culture, Mayor and Council will partner with the Arts Foundation of Southern Arizona to provide grants for artists and arts nonprofits. My colleagues and I allocated $750,000 to support this partnership with the Arts Foundation of Southern Arizona.
Domestic Violence
We also know that domestic violence is on the rise and that impacts can be severe when families are needing to remain more homebound. As a consequence, my colleagues and I will work with multiple local organizations to provide cash assistance to survivors. Those organizations and related amounts include: $250,000 to Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, $250,000 to Emerge, $250,000 to Southern Arizona Aids Foundation (SAAF), and $250,000 to Youth on Their Own.
Food Delivery
Access to food delivery and mitigating food insecurity have been top priorities for my office throughout the pandemic. In collaboration with my colleagues we allocated $2 million to support meal preparation and food delivery programs in Tucson. Specifically, we will partner with Pima Council on Aging for grocery shopping and delivery service including cleaning and hygiene supplies to seniors ($500,000).
An additional $1 million will be administered by the Community Food Bank of Tucson and Southern Arizona in the form grants to existing organizations/programs which are providing meal delivery and neighborhood-based food distribution. An additional $500,000 will go to support the following Community Food Bank programs: $100,000 to Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), $100,000 to increase local food home delivery for vulnerable community members including seniors and individuals who are homebound and $300,000 to the Double Up SNAP for families via school partnerships to make these resources available in different geographic areas of the city.
The intention is to get these dollars out quickly so they can start improving the quality of life for many Tucsonans who are struggling because of loss of income or other vulnerabilities due to the pandemic.
As always, please take care of yourself and others. Don’t forget to wear your mask.
- Paul Durham
Pet of the Week
Cody Bear
Cody Bear is a red 2 year-old Alaskan Malamute. He is very sweet and has a great history with large and small breed dogs (no cats). He will need a mandatory dog introduction to your resident dog because of his size and vocal play style that is typical of this breed. He does well with children ages newborn-13 years old. He will need an active household with daily exercise to keep him happy. As is typical with Malamutes, training is essential to stimulate their brain and bodies. Due to his size he will need a large yard to play in. Sorry, apartment living is just not for him. He loves his toys and a appreciates a comfy bed. As mentioned, he can be vocal, especially when he gets excited. He will need housetraining which can be incorporated into his daily routine. Please allow him 3 months to adjust to his new home.
To protect staff, volunteers and visitors from COVID-19, 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
Sugar Hill
August 5
6 pm
August 6
Barrio Blue Moon
August 2
2-3 pm
Tucson House
This week there will be a cleanup at Esquer Park
Ward 3 Events
COVID-19 Testing
August 8
8 am-1 pm
Sacred Heart Church
601 E Ft Lowell Rd
Free COVID-19 testing is being offered to the public at Sacred Heart Church. Testing is by appointment only. To make an appointment call the Sacred Heart office at 520-888-1530. Free masks will be provided to participants.
City-Wide Events
Community Meetings: Renewal & Expansion of the Central Business District
The City of Tucson will host two virtual community meetings to provide information regarding the proposed renewal and expansion of the Central Business District (CBD). Advance registration is required. To register, click the links below:
Did You Know?
Food Bank Needs Volunteers
The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is recruiting volunteers to distribute food to those in need, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many of the regular volunteers are unable to help at this time. Volunteers are needed to help on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. They should be at least 16 years old, healthy, be able to work in the heat, and be able to lift and stand for several hours. There are also other opportunities in Tucson, Amado, Green Valley, Marana, and Nogales.
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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