Paul's Ward 3 News and Updates
Friday, September 4, 2020
News and Updates
Pet of the Week
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
Did You Know?
Ward 3 News and Updates
I want to thank all of you who reached out to me and my staff last week wishing me a speedy recovery. I am feeling much better, even while I have more time for a full recovery. Regardless, thank you for you well wishes. They mean a lot.
In this week’s newsletter my staff shares an interview they conducted with Dr. Mary-Ellen Brown from the ASU School of Social Work. Mary Ellen shares about the broader effort along Oracle that is seeking to address the underlying issues that drive crime there. Readers know it as the Community-based Crime Reduction effort under the Thrive in the 05 initiative. I’ve also included an item on the forthcoming vote to adopt a Climate Emergency Declaration, TFD’s Leave Behind NARCAN Pilot Program, a new scholarship fund for Flowing Wells students and an update on the recent public health guidance on school reopenings in Pima County. And, I have included an invitation to serve on the new Equitable Housing and Development Commission and an invitation to register to vote.
Monday is Labor Day and the Ward 3 office will be closed. I wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday weekend. As always, please #MaskUpTucson and social distance while you are out of your home this weekend.
Voter Registration Drive-Thru
I am hosting a voter registration drive-thru event in the parking lot of the Donna Liggins Center at Mansfield Park (2160 N 6th Ave) on September 19 from 9am-11am. If you are not registered to vote or need to update your registration, October 5 is the deadline to do so in time for the November election. Don’t miss out. Drive, walk or bike to this voter registration drive.
Thrive in the 05
Many of you, who are regular readers of my Ward 3 weekly newsletter, are familiar with the Thrive in the 05 initiative. It is a collaborative effort to improve the living conditions and lives of residents in neighborhoods along the North Oracle Road and North Stone Avenue corridors. It is a project that I and my office staff are deeply involved with as part of our commitment to Ward 3.
The key collaborators are the City of Tucson’s Housing and Community Development Department, Pima Community College downtown campus and Arizona State University’s School of Social Work, located in the Menlo Park neighborhood. One of the Thrive’s two critical components is the Community-Based Crime Reduction project, known as CBCR. It has been developed by the School of Social Work utilizing community members, partners and data to focus on ways to reduce crime and drug-related offenses in the 05 area. Its goal is for all residents to live and thrive in an area that is safe with good education, housing, health and economic development opportunities.
Leading the CBCR effort is Dr. Mary-Ellen Brown, a nationally known scholar and expert on community health, positive youth development, and neighborhood planning and revitalization. Dr. Brown is an Assistant Professor at ASU’s School of Social Work and director of the Office of Community Health, Engagement and Resiliency. Her work and research is focused on the effects of poverty and violence in the Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and urban Native American communities, and in their resiliency, health and well-being.
Dr. Brown sat down with Sarah Launius, my chief of staff, and Ernesto Portillo, one of my Council Aides, in a conversation about the philosophy and practice of the CBCR. Here is a portion of their conversation edited for brevity and clarity.
Dr. Brown, what are the CBCR goals and purpose that you have been involved with here and in Louisiana?
It not only improves safety and addresses crime that is happening but really it gets more to the root cause, to drill down to what is driving crime, making the opportunity for crime to happen. We want to understand the crime that is happening, where it is happening, who’s committing it and who is being victimized by it. Why is this happening and how can we work harder to prevent it so that we can have a thriving community?
There are various constituencies that are active in the CBCR effort. There are residents, business owners, police and the individuals on the street. How do we balance these constituencies and satisfy the various groups?
It’s a hard one to answer. I don’t know if there is a single straight easy answer but there are models developed over time trying to answer exactly that. When you have different groups, including social service agencies, how do you bring them together, in what we call mutual self-interest, so that we’re working together toward a common goal? With the CBCR and what we’ve done with the Thrive in the 05’s initiative is really to work deeply and in partnership with the community, bringing together these stakeholders in conversations trying to answer those questions. We want to co-create solutions and strengthen strategies that help prevent crime, to reduce it and to get to the root causes. There is no simple answer for that. People certainly have different interests as far as the outcome but ultimately most people want a safe community. They want a safe place to live, play, work and grow. We’re able to get people together in that conversation and then work together toward positive change.
We strongly suspect that people on the street want a safe community as well. How do they play into that collaborative effort?
That is a critical voice that has to be part of the conversation too because people don’t end up on the street from a healthy place. They end up there for many reasons that have to do with poverty or with drug misuse or getting caught in the wrong circles. You can end up in that space and it can happen very easily. When you end up in that space, on the street, your goal is survival. You have the same goals of safety and well-being for yourself. But there are people who need help in getting services, to help them achieve their full potential. Whether that’s mental health support or drug addiction treatment or education and job training to get a livable wage job, there are all kinds of things that people need. The other voices are important but equally important are the people who are participating in behavior that we consider “problems."
In the context of what we have seen nationally regarding policing, what role can law enforcement play in helping us resolve these issues and problems?
We have to decide that. For a long time, what we have seen is that law enforcement has been asked to solve all the problems, whether you have a neighbor that has a rooster in their yard or you’re seeing a shooting. Whatever it is, everyone seems to call the police. So over time most police departments have done what they can to adapt, to be responsive to the community’s needs but their job is to enforce the law. Instead they are being asked to be problem solvers and fix everything in the community, to wear so many hats that they haven’t been trained to do. In Tucson we’re unique in many ways because the police department has a mental health support team. That’s not something you see in a lot of other communities. There is a substance abuse program. They have made an effort to really dig in and be responsive and get training to address these community needs we’re seeing. Truly they’re having to conform and adapt to fill a huge gap in providing services and getting to the root causes. That is not what law enforcement needs to be responsible for.
For the Oracle/Grant business coalition effort, which was in last week’s newsletter, one of the tactics being used is a coordinated no-trespassing effort to try to address issues related to aggressive loitering and drug-use at these sites. How does this effort fit into the broader goals and practices of CBCR?
I think it fits in with our effort in the sense that Grant and Oracle is an area where crime happens a lot. So it’s important to be able to address it in that place. But we have to do more than that. That’s where CBCR comes in and works in partnership with police and partnership with businesses, with residents and the people who are there loitering and trespassing, and to connect them with the services that they need. It’s not putting a band aid on the problem. We are concerned with each individual person that’s impacted by this kind of activity.
Tucson police Officer Ashley Covarrubias works with Nash Elementary School students. TPD and Thrive in the 05 have a program that helps students and police strengthen their relationship. Photo courtesy of the Arizona Daily Star.
In addition to the Grant/Oracle business coalition, what are other strategies that are being implemented in the CBCR effort?
We have several. On the preventative side we have several youth initiatives that we’re working to adapt in our COVID context. We have youth empowerment solutions which is engaging with youth in Old Pascua and Nash Elementary. Chicanos por la Causa has a leadership program. We’re engaging youth in character development building, leadership, advocacy. At the end they develop a community change project that they implement. How can they be a leader? How can they be a community catalyst for positive outcomes for their neighborhood, to be leaders and do something that they care about? We have the community resiliency model tailored for people who have experienced trauma and toxic, chronic stress. We teach wellness skills so that people can find a healthy space and navigate the challenges that can lead to depression. These are skills that people can use to stay in a resiliency zone, a space where we can have healthier interactions. It’s really important for all our partners.
What does success look like?
Success has a lot of different layers. There is the primary layer of how people are impacted. Have their lives improved? On the larger scale at the end of the day what’s important is that we see relationships that have been forged and that there’s trust between police and residents, business owners across the board. Then they are able to solve problems together, like behavior that is unproductive and dangerous. But it’s not just saying that the behavior is intolerable but saying how do we help that person. Because of these connections people learn know where to go for help, and where to get help for their neighbors and for other people in the community. At the end of the day that’s our team’s dream.
To view the complete interview with Dr. Brown, go to this link.
I’m pleased to share that the application for the new City of Tucson Commission on Equitable Housing and Development is now publicly available
. The application closes on September 28 so do not wait to apply if you would like to serve your community in this way.
I see this commission as functioning like a housing policy think-tank for the city. Commissioners will need to be prepared to give time beyond the time during meetings to offer policy direction to the city of Tucson regarding how best to increase affordable housing while also preventing displacement or structural disinvestment for low to mid-income neighborhoods. If you have a background in housing or a passion and time to learn, please consider serving.
It’s no surprise to any of my constituents that I continue to center climate mitigation and adaptation policies in my work at the Mayor and Council. Most recently, I have joined with Mayor Romero to present a bold proposal that Mayor and Council adopt a Climate Emergency Declaration on Wednesday, September 9.
Critically, this action is not merely a declaration of a current emergency; it also offers a path forward for the City of Tucson. As you can see in the graphic above, we are setting forth a number of clear, time-delimited goals that both Mayor Romero and I have been regularly advocating for. It also should be mentioned that Mayor and Council agreed to the 2030 goal to reach carbon neutrality during our retreat in January and this declaration will further support that goal.
Efforts are currently underway in developing the climate action plan. Much of this work so far has been done internally, assessing City of Tucson operations. This declaration will support and feed into that effort. To be clear with my readers, I think of the “planning” efforts as “planning while doing." We cannot allow ourselves to stop taking action, but we must also have the opportunity to think strategically about how to prioritize those actions.
This may seem obvious. The City of Tucson continues to install additional solar panels, transition our fleet to electric and we continue to implement energy conservation efforts in our facilities. These efforts will continue and we know more is necessary. This declaration and the subsequent climate action plan will get us there.
Relatedly, the City currently has nearly 20 megawatts of solar installed across City facilities. The chart below is a breakdown of total installed kW by department. The City is also in the development/construction phase of an additional 11 installations of more than 2.5 megawatts.
TFD Leave Behind NARCAN
Hopefully you have already learned that Tucson Fire Department (TFD) introduced an innovative pilot program in conjunction with TFD’s Medical Director--the "Leave Behind Narcan Pilot Program." The goal, according to Chief Ryan, is to improve the health and safety of patients who refuse transport to a hospital after receiving Narcan administered by EMS or law enforcement.
If you are not aware, NARCAN is the brand name of an opioid reversal drug also known as Naloxone. NARCAN can reverse opioids in a person in an unresponsive state within 2-3 minutes. It can come in two forms: injectable and as a nasal spray. The nasal spray version can be made more widely available and can be administered by a family member or friend if needed.
The initiative was spurred because of a 3-fold increase in the number of patients refusing medical transport to an ER after receiving NARCAN to intervene in an overdose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Chief Ryan, “We cannot force an individual to go to the hospital, but we might be able to provide those patients who refuse further care with a dose of Narcan that could be used by a family member or friend should the individual overdose again. Such programs are allowed, and indeed encouraged, by the Arizona DHS Bureau of EMS and Trauma. Similar programs in other cities have been proven to be both safe and effective in preventing opiate overdose deaths.”
We are piloting this program out of three fire stations whose personnel statistically respond to the highest number of opiate overdoses in the City:
• TFD Station 14, S Liberty
• TFD Station 10, E Ajo Way
• TFD Station 8, W King Rd
You’ll note that Station 8 is one of the busiest stations serving Ward 3.
When a patient who is revived by EMS or law enforcement refuses subsequent transport to an emergency room, the Leave Behind Narcan package will be given to the patient or a family member. Those packages include a single dose (4mg) of nasal-spray Narcan and an informational pamphlet with instructions on how to use and administer nasal Narcan and also a resource reference on how to get help with opiate addiction (see below).
TFD will conduct regular evaluations of the program using the following criteria:
Quantitative measure of the number of packages given to patients. We anticipate each of the above stations to give out 1-2 packages per week based on past history and call data.
Any negative feedback on the program from crews or patients.
Any unforeseen issues that arise from this project that would prohibit broader implementation.
COVID – 19 and Schools
You may have seen just late this week that the Arizona Department of Health Services released a statement that Pima County has met the state benchmarks for starting in-person learning through a hybrid model. While this good news, as it shows we are making progress in slowing the spread of COVID – 19, we must remain cautious.
As a part of the plan devised by the countywide back to school working group, facilitated by the County Health Department, it includes additional metrics not considered by the state. These included hospital and more generally public health capacity. According to the PCHD, those benchmarks are still as concern.
In addition, PCHD is concerned about the mounting number of cases associated with the University of Arizona. These will have a negative impact on the states metrics which will not become evident to the state for two more weeks.
As such, Dr. Garcia and PCHD are recommending that schools in Pima County DO NOT reopen for any type of in person learning. I am sure Amphi, Flowing Wells, and TUSD are reviewing this information carefully.
Flowing Wells High School Receives $4.6 Million
Congratulations to the Flowing Wells School District! The district received its largest private financial gift ever to provide current students and graduates of Flowing Wells High School full-ride scholarships to the University of Arizona.
The $4.6 million Sandra, Pamela and Polly Aley Scholarship will provide students with a yearly stipend to cover tuition, plus room and board and other necessities. The inaugural scholars are Randall P. Irby Jr., Samantha Guerrero, Alejandra Acedo, Elias Avenente and Asia Raymor.
Read more about it here
in the Arizona Daily Star.
Thanks for reading. Please take care of yourself and others.
Pet of the Week
Here’s what Pima Animal Care Center staff have to say about Michael Phelps:
Michael Phelps wishes he was as famous as the Olympic swimmer, because then for sure he would have a home by now! But he's not giving up, even after finding himself back at PACC after being adopted a little while back. He's strutting his stuff all around PACC, showing everyone that he's got major personality and loves to explore. This little old man is such a character and has so much to say! He's super playful and fun for an older guy and he sure enjoys his snacks! Michael would love to be your one and only, or would need to meet any resident dogs before heading home.
"I walk him every day I am there because his individuality has a way of brightening one's day." - PACC Volunteer
Phelpsy has been in foster care previously- here's what they had to say about him:
He is housetrained but sometimes needs a little help by taking him out at strategic times. Michael would benefit from some leash training as he's interested in trying to chase critters. He did fine in a crate. He knows how to sit nicely for treats and meals. Michael isn't much of a cuddler except when he first wakes up and around bedtime. Otherwise, he is just happy to do his own thing. He likes to play with the tug toy, he'll wrestle you for it and chase it when thrown. He also likes to just lay on the dog bed and chew on a furry, squeaky toy - the squirrel was his favorite. Outside, when you throw a toy he will leap in the air to intercept it and then bring it back to you. He makes you work a little to get it back to throw again! His activity level is about medium. He's active for a few hours in the morning and then is happy to nap a while. After supper, when the sun goes down, he is curled up in the dog bed ready to be out for the night. The best way to describe Michael Phelps is: He’s pretty darn cute with a friendly attitude and lots of love to give. He doesn’t bark much and when he looks at you with his head cocked and ears perked he looks like he is expecting wonderful things so you better deliver!
To protect staff, volunteers and visitors from COVID-19, hours and operations of PACC are limited and require an appointment. To adopt, please submit an adoption survey
and schedule an appointment using the link found in the survey confirmation email. Please email email@example.com
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Barrio Blue Moon
Meeting ID: 870 2686 4870
One tap mobile
Traffic calming and funding for Helen and Mabel
Updates from Ward 3
Other project proposals/neighborhood needs
Ward 3 Events
Voter Registration Drive Thru
Donna Liggins Center at Mansfield Park
2160 N 6th Ave
Mask Donation Collection Site
Ward 3 Council Office
1510 E Grant Rd
Virtual/Park Pose: An Online/Outdoor Yoga Benefit for the LGBT Foundation
$5 minimum donation
Strike a pose at home--or in Himmel Park--with us and help raise funds for the Tucson LGBT Chamber Foundation
—funding scholarships for LGBT University of Arizona students.
Southern Arizona Community Food Bank Virtual Hunger Walk
Wherever you are
On Saturday, September 12th, go for a 1-mile walk around your neighborhood, a park, or anywhere else you desire. Along the way, share photos online and know that hundreds of your neighbors are also walking in support of hunger relief at the same time!
Did You Know?
Wednesday, September 9: City Council Meeting. The meeting will start at 12 PM. go here
and click on "Mayor & Council Meeting Live" to watch.
Labor Day 2020 Transit Schedule
Transit service will be as follows on Monday, September 7, for Labor Day:
Sun Tran Routes 1 through 99 will run on a Sunday schedule.
Sun Link streetcar will run on a Sunday schedule.
Sun Express Routes 101X-204X will not be in operation.
Sun Shuttle fixed-route service and the Sahuarita/Green Valley Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride will not be in operation.
Workers & Families Grant Program Runs Through September 9
Workers and families negatively affected by COVID-19 can apply for financial assistance grants through the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona until September 9. Go to the City of Tucson website
for more information about how you may qualify for up to $700 per individual and $1,200 per family from Tucson CARES Act funding.
Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
Ward 3 has Facebook and Twitter pages so you can keep up with the Council Member and stay in touch with what's happening in Tucson and around the Ward.
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham