Friday, March 8th, 2019
Pet of the Week
Ward 3 Gem
Ward 3 Events
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Did You Know?
State of the City
Last Friday, Mayor Rothschild gave his final State of the City address. His tenure, starting in 2011, is marked by the successes of a growing economy, a reinvigorated downtown, a balanced budget and voter-approved Propositions 409, 101 and 407. The success of these propositions, which focused on the city’s core priorities of roads, parks and public safety, has shown that voters have faith in the direction we are moving. I thank the Mayor for his leadership, especially in the previous 15 months I have been on the Council.
In his speech, the Mayor also highlighted some priorities for his final year in office. In the interest of accuracy, here’s a direct quote from his speech below:
Here are some of the projects I want to pursue, with my colleagues on the council, city staff, and community partners.
Extend the Central Business District, so more projects can qualify for the GPLET incentive.
Continue to work on revitalization projects in commercial corridors: Broadway Boulevard, Grant Road, Houghton Road, the Millville Neighborhood, Oracle Road, and South 12th Avenue.
Get Parks + Connections Bond projects off to a good start.
Create city incentives that promote transit and green building practices.
Move forward with an Urban Innovation District, repurposing older properties downtown to create a hub for visionary startups in the arts, social services, and technology, starting with the Roy Place Building.
And take a multi-pronged approach to the issue of evictions.
I applaud the Mayor for entering his last year in office with vision to continue moving Tucson forward. I look forward to working closely with him on several of these issues, which have significant impacts in Ward 3. The success of the Parks + Connections Bond and developing a plan to reduce evictions in Tucson are both integral to the work happening in Ward 3.
Last week I joined Dan Ranieri, the CEO of La Frontera, for the grand opening of the West Point and Miracle Point Apartments. These are two of the newest affordable housing projects in the City of Tucson.
West Point is in Ward 6 and right downtwon at 20 East Broadway in Tucson (the photo below was taken in the community room at West Point). This development features 50 one-bedroom units for seniors who are 55 and over with a preference for veterans. The units are intended for persons earning 40% to 60% of the Area Median Income (or approximately $17,000-25,500). The La Frontera team is still working to complete the Westerner building, directly west, as part of this project. These new affordable housing units for seniors are a great addition to our downtown.
Miracle Point Apartments is in Ward 3 at 375 West Blacklidge in Tucson. This development is visible from Oracle Road and is just across from Evergreen Cemetery in Coronado Heights. It features 34 one-bedroom and 6 two-bedroom/one-bath units for chronically homeless persons with a preference for veterans. If you are a regular reader of my newsletter then you saw photos of these units while they were still under construction last year. Currently, the complex has only one vacancy. La Frontera Center provides supportive services on-site. These units are intended for persons with incomes at 30% of the area median income (approximately $12,750 for an individual in Tucson).
Council Member Durham, Susan Ong, Dan Ranieri and Director Carol Ditmore cut the ribbon at West Point Apartments
Both of these developments were financed by Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by the Arizona Department of Housing and from City of Tucson HOME funds. In the case of Miracle Point Apartments, the City of Tucson also provided Project Based Vouchers for 100% of the units—that means the City provided resources for tenants in those units to have supportive services.
These two developments are helping to move the City of Tucson toward meeting two of our majoy housing goals: 1) to protect and expand afforable housing for seniors and; 2) to end chronic homelessness. I’m very pleased to have Miracle Point in Ward 3 and look forward to an ongoing partnership with our new neighbors.
Our Family Services
In keeping with the housing theme, I met this week with Beth Morrison, CEO of Our Family Services. The organization’s name conveys their mission pretty well. Our Family Services provides a number of programs to assist families to thrive with a focus on homeless youth, low-income families, and homebound seniors. Their programs include: homeless youth and family services; elder end-of-life counseling and mediation; the Center for Community Dialogue and Training; maintenance of the southern Arizona 2-1-1 help line; and therapeutic services addressing substance abuse, human trafficking, violence and abuse, and trauma.
Our Family Services provides emergency housing for families and runs a program that aims to eliminate evictions. They are part of the coordinated entry system that the Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH) member organizations maintains. Importantly, Our Family Services’ ability to support families with emergency funds, financial literacy, life and parenting-skills can often help to stabilize a household on the brink of becoming homeless. This type of intervention is critical in Tucson. I applaud Our Family Services for doing this work and for doing it well.
Many Tucsonans know of Our Family Services’ supportive programming for homeless youth—an effort that is decades old. I had the benefit of visiting the youth shelter, Reunion House, which Our Family Services operates for homeless youth. There Beth and I met with Cindy Diaz, the shelter manager. Cindy shared how many of the youth who come to the shelter have rocky relationships with their parents, often related to a parent’s unwillingness to have a supportive relationship, or a relationship at all, with a child who is LGBTQ. Cindy shared how Our Family Services staff functions as an advocate for youth and work to provide counseling and mediation for these families. While youth are at the shelter, they maintain their regular school commitments and receive life-skills training and supports.
Cindy Diaz, Beth Morrison and Council Member Durham stand in front of the “Mardi Gras” tree decorated by youth at Reunion House
Having this conversation with Cindy reminded me first of how hard life can be for teens, especially LGBTQ kids. This is especially true when you feel adults in your life do not support you or accept you for who you are. The other thing this helped flag for me is how, too often, we take basic life-skills for granted. Cindy shared that her staff frequently assist youth to complete job applications, including explaining the difference between a legal signature and printed name. There is so much for these young people to navigate and even more for them to learn and, hopefully, gain some sense of confidence over.
That brings me to two final comments on the programs that Our Family Services offer in Tucson, programs that I think offer some of the broad supports that youth and all of us need to be healthy and happy. First, they coordinate the Safe Place initiative in the city. You may have read about this last week in Council Member Kozachik’s newsletter. This program provides a compass for abused youth who are seeking help to find a safe place and the support they need. I’m pleased to report that the Ward 6 office has become a Safe Place for youth in crisis and am proud to say that my office started the process this week.
Of course, Our Family Services runs the Center for Community Dialogue and Training. Many of you have likely attended a public forum with facilitators trained by the center. The Center provides tools to Tucsonans of all ages to work through conflict and in dialogue with our neighbors. They provide great resources to help each of us be a little better at engaging with others. For instance, they have a “Managing Conflict Like a Boss” series that includes a number of sessions to help navigate tough interactions. I encourage you to check out these great opportunities to get closer to being those good role models that we all need.
Tobacco 21: State Legislation
After last August’s Study Session on raising the minimum sales age of tobacco and nicotine products to 21, the City embarked on a period of outreach with stakeholders and community members to discuss how to move forward. Raising the minimum sales age to 21, or T21 for short, is a proven way to reduce youth usage of tobacco and nicotine products, including e-cigarettes. The outreach around T21 has included many meetings with retailers, health advocates and our colleagues at Pima County, to name a few. That period is coming to an end and I hope to have a proposal to share in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the State Legislature’s 2019 session is underway in earnest. There are literally hundreds of bills, many complicated, technical and quickly changing. Our intergovernmental-relations team does a great job keeping us up to date on legislation impacting Tucson and the values we espouse as a city. Several bills relating to tobacco control and public health are under discussion right now and I’d like to share a few of them.
SB1363 would implement T21 statewide, as seven states have done. This is my ultimate goal with T21 in Tucson. A statewide program will increase regulatory consistency for retailers and discourage high school students from driving to a neighboring jurisdiction over to buy tobacco products. However, SB1363 did not receive a hearing, much less a vote. Therefore, Tucson must take the opportunity to lead on public health again until the legislature catches up. In a positive sign, SB1363 was introduced by Republican Senator Heather Carter. Keeping kids from smoking or being addicted to nicotine isn’t a partisan issue.
SCR1026, also introduced by Senator Carter, would have asked the voters to consider raising taxes on tobacco products, including a $1.50 increase on each pack of cigarettes sold. The money generated would be used for several purposes, but the biggest line item would fund scholarships for students going to our state universities. I think this is a worthwhile conversation to have with Arizona voters. However, this proposal also didn’t receive a hearing.
SB1009 is perhaps the most exciting tobacco related bill because it passed the Arizona Senate unanimously. Unfortunately, at the time I am writing this, the Arizona House of Representatives has not made plans to consider the legislation. I am hopeful that will change soon because SB1009 is a commonsense bill to include e-cigarettes under the umbrella of tobacco products for the purpose of regulating sales, include online sales.
If you’d like up to date information on these or other pending state legislation, you can enter a bill number at https://www.azleg.gov/. You can see the text of any of the above bills as well.
International Women’s Day
Today, March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day. Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating with Habitat for Humanity at their Women Build event in Ward 3. I hope you’ll take the time to reflect on the women in your life and the women who help make Tucson great.
- Paul D.
The United Way’s Vita program serves some of our community's residents who are most in need financially, with the average earned income of clients right at $20,000. Any person or household making $66,000 or less is eligible to use this service, so please spread the word between now and April 15.
The Ward 3 office at 1510 E Grant Rd hosts VITA every Saturday from 9 am-1 pm and it is first come first served.
For other locations and information call (520) 903-9000.
Pet of the Week
Say hello to Bob, a 5-month-old brown tabby American Bobtail kitten. Bobtail cats look like you would expect except where the tail would otherwise be it’s, well, bobbed. More specifically it is short, expressive, and flexible and may be straight, slightly curved, slightly kinked, or have bumps along its length. No one length is preferred, and no two tails are the same. The natural bobtail is clearly visible above the back when the cat is alert, and it should not extend beyond the hind hock.
Aside from having a one-of-a-kind tail, Bob will, like most bobtails, probably be a kitten for a long time as it takes a bobtail cat 2-3 years to fully develop. He will likely be playful, social and tend to bond to everyone in the family.
The adoption process begins with a visit to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona facility at 635 W Roger Rd. There are adoption counselors available to answer all of your questions and give you background information on Bob.
All members of the household (including other current household dogs, if possible) should be present to ensure Bob is compatible with everyone.
Ward 3 Gem
Franklin Auto Museum
The H.H. Franklin Manufacturing Company built America's most successful air-cooled automobile in 1902 until 1934. Of the 150,000 Franklins built, it's estimated that only about 3,700 have survived.
For more than 40 years, the home of the late collector Tom Hubbard has been the center of Franklin automobile history and is the caretaker of the museum. Featuring more than 20 antique and classic Franklin automobiles, as well as a collection of prehistoric artifacts collected by archaeologist Alice Carpenter, the Franklin Auto museum is located in the Richland Heights West neighborhood in central Tucson.
This is a small museum, but it is worth a stop. The cars are well maintained and unique. It isn't a typical museum as volunteers give tours and guide visitors into various buildings on the property.
Located at 1405 E Kleindale Rd, the museum is open publicly from mid-October through Memorial Day weekend, Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment. For hours of operation and admission fees you can visit their website at Franklin Auto Museum
Ward 3 Events
Jack and the Beanstalk: A Storyteller's Adventure
Saturdays & Sundays
Valley of the Moon
2544 E Allen Rd
Valley of the Moon is hosting a spring show titled “Jack and the Beanstalk: A Storyteller’s Adventure.”
Adventure tours begin on the half hour from 5-8pm on Saturdays and Sundays beginning March 9th.
Tickets for adults are $10, students are $5 and children under 8 years and members FREE!
Tickets are available online at valley-of-the-moon.yapsody.com or at the box office during show times.
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
Alvernon Grant Initiative
1825 N Alvernon Way
Campus Community Relations Committee
UA Student Union
Good News Community Church
701 W Glenn St
Richland Heights East
3301 N Wilson
Hedrick Acres Annual Meeting
2943 N Campbell Ave
City Launches Survey on “A” Mountain
The City of Tucson has launched a survey to better understand how and when our community uses Sentinel Peak Park (also known as “A” Mountain). The popular lookout point is enjoyed by pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists from throughout the region. Gates for the park road are currently open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm, and Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm. The City is looking to gauge the public’s interest in creating car-free times or days where access to the narrow road, which loops around and through the park, would be restricted to pedestrian and bike traffic.
The survey can be found online in English https://bit.ly/2ScZNN1 or Spanish https://bit.ly/2SxXfoX through April 30th 2019. Later this month, volunteers will be conducting in-person surveys at the base of “A” Mountain. Additionally, City Staff will host two open house meetings. The dates, times, and locations of the meetings are listed below:
Ward 1 Council Office
940 W Alameda
Ward 6 Council Office
3202 E 1st St
I’ll be co-hosting this open house with Council Member Kozachik.
Learn more about safety improvements in Sentinel Peak Park at https://bit.ly/2RWOS65
54 E Pennington St
Iskashitaa Refugee Network and Café 54 are coming together to provide an authentic Nepali dining experience.
Join Iskashitaa to expand both your mind and palette through Nepalese cuisine prepared by refugee Beda Gautam. At this event, you will gain a greater appreciation for the rich culture of Nepal through food, history, and community.
Tickets can be purchased by following this link.
Not only can you purchase tickets for yourself, you can also choose to sponsor a refugee to attend the dinner. Tickets are limited to 50. Follow the same link to purchase sponsorships, and Iskashitaa will bring refugees to enjoy food and culture, and learn more about the diverse Tucson community!
El Rio Health and Safety Fair
Feria de Salud Gratuito en el Centro de Communidad El Rio
El Colegio de farmacia de la Universidad de Arizona y el Departamento de Parques y Recreación de Tucson han organizado su feria anual de salud en El Centro de Comunidad El Rio. Esta feria de salud se enfocara en la prestación de servicios de salud gratuitos y la información de salud a los miembros de la comunidad de Tucson ofreciendo exámenes de osteoporosis, diabetes, presión arterial, colesterol, respiración, visión y medicación. Durante el evento estarán rifando precios y regalos para todos los participantes. Actividades incluirán pintura de la cara y una actividad para mezclar tu propio desinfectante de manos. Este evento es gratuito y abierto al público. Traductores de español estarán disponibles durante el evento.
Qué: Feria de salud y seguridad.
Cuándo: sábado, 3 de marzo, 10 de la mañana a la 1 de la tarde.
Dónde: El Centro de Comunidad de El Rio, 1390 W. Speedway Blvd.
Patrocinadores: El Colegio de farmacia de la Universidad de Arizona y el Departamento de Parques y Recreación de Tucson.
Página web: www.facebook.com/elriohealthfair/
Contacto: Paul Ponce, Coordinador de Recreación del Departamento de Parques y Recreación de Tucson, Paul.Ponce@Tucsonaz.gov or 520-791-4683
Code Enforcement Update Forum
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Ward 6 Community Room
3202 E 1st St
Sponsored by Tucson Residents for Responsive Government (TRRG), the event will feature the Honorable Judge Thaddeus Semon, who presides over Tucson City Court Code Enforcement Hearings, and Director Carlos De La Torre who leads the City of Tucson Environmental and General Services Department which now includes the Code Enforcement Division.
Sustainable Tucson Monthly Meeting
Topic: Tucson’s Complete Streets Policy
6 pm (doors open 5:30 pm)
Ward 6 Council Office
3202 E 1st St
On February 5th, the Tucson City Council passed Ordinance 11621 - The City of Tucson Complete Streets Policy. If you are interested in what the Complete Streets policy is, how it was created, what it means and how it will affect the future of Tucson. Sustainable Tucson will be discussing these topics at their next meeting.
Refugee 101 Info Night
Did You Know...?
Thrive in the 05
Eagles Wings of Grace, Int’l
Eagles Wings of Grace has been clothing women in Tucson for over 11 years. Their purpose is to help women who are in need of professional clothing to wear for a job interview or to wear to work. They rely on referrals from case managers in the community to continue to help women in Tucson that are in need of assistance.
Eagles Wings of Grace is having two upcoming fundraisers and invite you to attend so that they can continue to provide this service to women in need.
If you cannot attend a fundraiser, consider donating items that would be helpful to women who are entering the workforce. Some ideas are listed below.
“Purse-sonals” idea list
Stuff a purse with these items:
Hats & Scarf’s
Other suggestions for donations that EWOG can use are listed below. Anything women use is greatly appreciated.
Clothing – gently used and clean & current styles
Underwear-new Small to 4X
Bras all sizes most are between 36-44
Makeup items – (new) mascara, eyeliners, lipsticks, Hair color, Nail Polish
Jewelry – broken or not
Shoes – all sizes professional & black slip proof soles
Office Supplies, Printer Ink & Paper, Paper Towels, Kleenex, Toilet Paper
EWOG is also in need of financial support and volunteers.
If you have any questions please give EWOG a call at 520-906-9915.
Donations may be dropped off at Eagles Wings of Grace Ministries at 3219 N 1st Ave.
Call For Volunteers: Amphi Neighborhood Survey
Habitat for Humanity Tucson would like to survey the Amphi Neighborhood residents about their quality of life and Habitat needs your help. These surveys include a 20 minute interview and will include 350+ households.
They are looking for a team of volunteers to knock on doors, interview and listen to the residents.
The interviews will take place between March 16th-June 2nd on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am-2 pm.
Register here to become a volunteer.
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.
Please "Like" us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMPaulDurham/
Please "Follow" us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham