Topics in this Issue...
In Middletown, Delaware another police officer was shot in a very random, execution-style murder. The shooter was later shot to death after SWAT teams had to try to 'coax' him out of his house by blowing out windows with explosives. So far this year there have been 13 cops killed in the line of duty.
Please mark your calendar now for this year’s Wear Orange event. It’ll be held in Himmel Park. The board is deciding on which of a couple locations to stage from, but this will be an evening event on June 2nd. I’ll provide more details as they’re made available. I look forward to sharing an update on our fight with the state.
Trade with Mexico
Last week one reader took exception to what I wrote about the impact building a wall would have on trade with Mexico. He felt that we should build the wall, and anyone who we really wants to come would simply avail themselves of the port of entry. He failed to grasp the fact (demonstrated through our experience with SB1070) that if nothing else, the chilling effect of that sort of legislation would drive trade elsewhere.
In their spring edition, the Tucson Metro Chamber included articles by their CEO, the President of Vantage West, the Governor’s Southern Arizona Director, a representative of the Arizona-Mexico Trade Commission, the Mexican Consul, and the VP/GM of Univision AZ. Each centered on how critical continued good relations with Mexico are to our own economic prosperity. Here’s a quote from each of the articles:
Tourism from Mexico is also an important component of Arizona’s relationship with its southern neighbor. Every year, more than 22 million people cross the ports of entry into Arizona to study, work, shop do business or visit relatives and friends. The economic impact of Mexican tourism is approximately $7.8M per day, or $2.3B per year ($1B just in Pima County).
Nielsen projects $1.7 trillion in Hispanic consumer spending in 2019.
The Arizona Commerce Authority and Sonora’s Secretaria de Desarrollo Economico launched a mega-region marketing effort seeking to retain, attract and grow new companies in the Arizona-Sonora region.
Arizona’s collaboration and communication with Sonora will continue to lead us in the right direction as we compete for economic investment globally.
From the arts and food to traditions and sports, the Hispanic influence is significant and growing. At 55 million strong as reported by the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population is the largest minority in the country.
Trade between Arizona and Mexico reached $18B in 2015. Hispanic purchasing power in Arizona was estimated to reach $42.5B in 2016.
That’s purchasing power, economic impact, trade, tourism, and the cultural and relational ties we have. Rhetoric about a wall places all of that at risk. It doesn’t take a lot of real deep thinking to understand that.
“Sanctuary Cities” Executive Order
The Trump administration had to retreat from its “build the wall” mantra last week or face a total shut down of the government. Even members from Trump’s own party advised the president that going in such a direction was a nonstarter. They also lost another significant court case last week – another executive order deemed unconstitutional.
After the executive order that threatened to take federal funding from “sanctuary cities” was issued, both San Francisco and Santa Clara County filed a suit to stop the action. They challenged it on several grounds, not dissimilar to the suits filed against some of the earlier executive orders. In this case, they raised the issue of separation of powers, vagueness – “standardless,” to use the Court’s word – which violates due process, and the 10th Amendment’s limits on federal overreach. That’s the one our state legislature always cites, but then ignores in spirit when it comes to bills that challenge our local decision-making authority.
The opinion issued by the Court cites various constitutional challenges to the executive order. In describing the government’s response, it simply says:
The Government does not respond to the Counties’ constitutional challenges.
Instead, the administration argues the plaintiffs simply don’t have standing to sue because the government wasn’t changing any law, and nobody had been accused of being a ‘sanctuary city’ yet. The Court found that laughable, based on statements made by both Trump and his Attorney General William Sessions. Both had been running around saying the executive order was going to result in the loss of federal funds, had specifically called out the entire state of California, and had been doing some chest thumping to show this order was a new and significant step in bringing ‘recalcitrant’ cities into line. They’re saying now that it was nothing more than placing restrictions on three specifically named grants. The Court said, “that interpretation renders the Order toothless; the Government can already enforce these three grants by the terms of those grants.” The executive order was therefore meaningless under the administration’s own argument before the Court.
The Court also said Trump and Sessions cannot impose new and nonexistent restrictions on grant money. There’s a process for that, and it doesn’t involve doing it after the fact by unilateral fiat.
The Court also called out the administration for backpedaling on how broad the threat was. All along the mantra had been a loss of all federal funding. Now in court, Trump was saying it only applied to three grants. The Court quoted the president calling the executive order a “weapon” to be used against cities that disagreed with his policies, and one to ensure “counties and other institutions that remain sanctuary cities don’t get federal government funding in compliance with the executive order.” He was simply held accountable for his own words, and by retreating from them in front of the bench, he lost the case in court.
Locally, we’ve been saying there’s no legal definition of a ‘sanctuary city.’ The Court affirmed that position by writing “Section 1101 does not define ‘sanctuary jurisdiction.’ The term is not defined anywhere in the executive order.” That’s where the vagueness comes into play. You can’t hold someone accountable for a legal standard that isn’t defined in law. Pretty basic. And if that wasn’t enough, the Court added a quote from Homeland Security Secretary Kelly; he “do[esn’t] have a clue” how to define “sanctuary city.” Harris Decl. ex. D (Dep't of Homeland Sec., Pool Notes from Secretary Kelly's Trip to San Diego, Feb. 10, 2017).
We’ve also said there has to be some nexus between the funding being threatened and the law allegedly being violated. The Court also affirmed that. Here’s the direct quote from the opinion:
Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves.
The closest the administration came in the executive order to defining a standard by which a city could be held in violation was saying a ‘sanctuary city’ is “any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers.” A detainer is when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests a local law enforcement agency to hold a prisoner long enough for them to come and pick them up. Note: it’s a request. Local police agencies are not required to honor the detainer request. We have such a policy locally. I’ll quote the entire section where the Court addressed the idea of detainers since it’s as close as Tucson gets to falling under the vague definition Trump has offered.
III. CIVIL DETAINER REQUESTS
An ICE civil detainer request asks a local law enforcement agency to continue to hold an inmate who is in local jail because of actual or suspected violations of state criminal laws for up to 48 hours after his or her scheduled release so that ICE can determine if it wants to take that individual into custody. See 8 C.F.R. § 287.7; Neusel Decl. ¶9; Marquez Decl., Ex. C at 3 (SC Dkt. No. 29-3). ICE civil detainer requests are voluntary and local governments are not required to honor them. See 8 C.F.R. § 287.7(a); Galarza v. Szalczyk, 745 F.3d 634, 643 (3d Cir. 2014) (“[S]ettled constitutional law clearly establishes that [immigration detainers] must be deemed requests” because any other interpretation would render them unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment). Several courts have held that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment for local jurisdictions to hold suspected or actual removable aliens subject to civil detainer requests because civil detainer requests are often not supported by an individualized determination of probable cause that a crime has been committed. See Morales v. Chadbourne, 793 F.3d 208, 215-217 (1st Cir. 2015); Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas Cnty., No. 3:12-cv-02317-ST, 2014 WL 1414305, at *9-11 (D. Or. Apr. 11, 2014). ICE does not reimburse local jurisdictions for the cost of detaining individuals in response to a civil detainer request and does not indemnify local jurisdictions for potential liability they could face for related Fourth Amendment violations. See 8 C.F.R. § 287.7(e); Marquez Decl. 21-15 & Exs. B-D.
The Court concluded that by seeking to compel states and cities to honor civil detainer requests, and by threatening to withhold all federal funds if we don’t, the executive order is in violation of the 10th Amendment provisions ‘against conscription.’
I’ve written plenty about the state legislature violating due process, ignoring separation of powers, and inappropriately reallocating legislatively appropriated funds in their SB1487 case against our destruction of guns. The ‘sanctuary city’ executive order just got tossed out because it’s in violation of due process and separation of powers, and attempts to reach into our pocket books in an overly broad manner that goes beyond the executive branch’s authority. Sounds vaguely similar. I’m hoping for a similar result coming out of the Arizona State Supreme Court in our gun case.
The opinion was about 45 pages long, so what I’ve given you here are really the high points. Given that they speak to that pesky little document called the Constitution, they really frame the logic that was spelled out in the remaining portions of the opinion. We’ll continue to abide by the law, and we won’t assign our local law enforcement officers federal immigration duties. In doing so, we will not lose federal funding per the unconstitutional executive order the Court just tossed out along with the others from earlier this year.
The Wall and Water
Staying with the immigration theme, the notion of the border wall keeps coming back in the federal budget conversation. Earlier you’ll recall it was Mexico who would foot the bill. Now it’s the American taxpayers. Only a fringe few support the idea of building it.
Setting aside all of the economic and cultural reasons for punting on what was some hot campaign rhetoric, there’s a significant environmental and practical impacts that haven’t gotten much press.
Last week’s CAP News included a piece from Water Deeply by Matt Weiser. It talked about water and the impacts of a border wall. I’ll share just a few of the ideas raised in that article.
First, I’ve written before about how we were close to agreeing on a drought contingency plan up until the election. Now the progress that was made has been set back due to the new cast of characters in the mix. Mexico is a party to those negotiations, and our interests may well be harmed if the ‘wall’ discourse continues.
Photo Credit: Ron Heflin, AP
That’s a photo of the Rio Grande. It divides Del Rio, Texas on the left, and Ciudad Acuna, Mexico on the right. An upstream tributary located in Mexico keeps this section of the river flowing. On the U.S. side, farmers use all of the water that comes their way for irrigation.
Recall that the international border sits right in the middle of the river. Because the tributary flows to us from Mexico, we need Mexico’s cooperation in order to supply our irrigators north of El Paso. Would we build the wall on the Texas bank and block our own access to the river? Let’s say we did. Flooding on the Rio Grande would cause debris to pile up behind the wall on our bank, and that would likely damage or outright break the wall. How about building it right in the middle of the river? From a constructability standpoint, that’s not practical. It’s equally impractical to assume Mexico would allow us to build it on their soil.
On the Colorado River, we’re obligated by treaty to provide Mexico with 1.5 million acre feet of water per year. With this in mind, it becomes obvious that the solid, unbroken wall of campaign rhetoric has to be just that – rhetoric. It would be all but impossible to build a border wall blocking the Colorado River from entering Mexico. And if we could, we would need to find some other way to deliver the nearly 478 billion gallons of treaty water that we owe them each year. Do we build a wall with a huge hole in it to allow the water to flow through? If so, how secure is that wall?
This image shows rivers that run along the Mexico-U.S. border. On the left is San Diego, and on the right is Brownsville, Texas. The Colorado River watershed is the yellow area. The Rio Grande is in blue. If the Trump wall is built, it will bisect every one of those rivers. Whose water rights will be cut off in the process?
Beyond the issues related to water rights and our water-sharing treaties with Mexico, the wall also raises environmental concerns. When you change the flow of a river, it can affect the river’s ability to cleanse itself of pollutants. Who will suffer from the intensified contamination?
The rivers also serve as wildlife corridors. All sorts of wildlife move along the rivers in migratory patterns.
Take jaguars for example. They’re endangered already. So add to the increased buildup of pollutants the impact on endangered species and you start to get a sense of a wall’s environmental impacts. Trump is already suggesting the elimination of environmental policies. A lawsuit has been filed by Representative Grijalva under the National Environmental Policy Act to force the administration to address all of the concerns I’m raising, and more.
I’ll end with this practical issue. The Tohono O’odham Nation straddles the international border. They have family living on both sides. Good luck to the Trump folks in getting them to willingly agree to us building a solid structure that separates them on their own property.
The Colorado River and all of the issues surrounding it are Ward 6 issues. Every member of the City Council and anybody who would seek one of our jobs is accountable for answering to the public, and defending the interests of Tucson and our residents. A wall along the border has far-reaching impacts that go well beyond irresponsible campaign rhetoric.
Power of 10
A while back the Mayor and Council agreed with my request to engage Rio Nuevo in the land use component of the Broadway widening project. They have some tools we don’t have, and if we’re going to make Broadway anything but simply a wider sheet of asphalt, a new set of eyes with a fresh interest in hearing what the public has been asking for might yield some positive results. Rio has now signed onto a contract with the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) to consult on the land use discussions. I’ve shared previously about PPS, but want to now share a little of the dialogue that occurred between PPS and the Rio Board at the March 28th Rio meeting.
Throughout the public process we’ve heard the desire to create nodes – walkable destinations. That notion came through very clearly in the PPS presentation to Rio. I found this statement from the PPS presentation to Rio particularly on message: "This is like a transportation project – started as a transportation project, Broadway. We’re trying to now make it into a place making project. But the transportation aspects are still really important because it’s still got to be walkable. It’s got to be bikeable. You need to be able to get there. You need to be able to cross it on foot. And it’s got to be connected to the neighborhoods.” It’s like she had been sitting in on all of the public meetings and hearing the input we’ve heard for the past four years on this project.
PPS uses what they call a Power of 10 design model. They say every city should have at least 10 great destinations. Broadway and the Sunshine Mile could become one of those. Along that segment there should be 10 destinations, and each of those should have 10 places. And each of those places should have 10 things to do. If they can achieve a part of that in their role on this project, it’d be a positive addition to the current direction.
In the Rio presentation, they named the Panda site as an example of a location they can imagine being activated with things such as festivals, music, and other family gathering activities to go along with the food trucks. While I suspect that location will be purchased and eventually become a retail use, their idea seems workable as a short-term measure.
They also touched on a more sensitive area, the bungalows located along Broadway from Cherry to Warren. These small houses are currently programmed for demolition. We have a study showing the approximate cost for moving them back out of the alignment. PPS suggested we do that, preserve them, and, to quote the speaker: “in terms of historic significance, that they could actually become a row of little restaurants or boutiques where there’s – I mean that’s a destination.”
It’d be that sort of project Rio could invest in since it’d yield back sales tax income. They can’t just build a park, but they can invest in tax generating assets. In his remarks at the meeting, Board member Edmund Marquez really caught the vision. He said this:
MR. MARQUEZ: And those were two of the most defining feelings I had was going down to Detroit, which impressed me, and then Bryant Park in New York City. And they - they were alive. And you know, honestly, City of Tucson, the citizens deserve - they deserve a two-mile stretch that's fantastic as you lead to our amazing downtown. So I'm excited to you guys. I think it will be really neat what you guys come up with.
Rio is committed to working with PPS and the public on how the vision is created. On May 22nd, they’ll host a public workshop in which members of the public will join PPS and others to walk or drive the Sunshine Mile, and think about what each section will look like. They’ll meet at the First Assembly of God Church (1749 E Broadway) head out on their road trip, then report back. All of the input will be documented.
I’d add that there’s no small irony in noting that it was at that exact church parking lot I met with hundreds of you a few years ago and proclaimed that we did not support an eight lane, 150’ wide road project. It appears that piece of the early vision is now a part of the planning process.
Congratulations to Tucson’s Sonoran Science Academy robotics team. They are this week’s Local Tucson item and a lead into a shout-out in favor of science and how Tucson embraces it more generally.
The Sonoran Science Academy youth won top honors at a world competition that was recently held in Houston. They partnered with kids from Washington and California and won the Alliance championship in Robotics. Their entry was called Creating Robots Under Severe Heat (CRUSH). This is the first time a Tucson team has won the championship.
It comes a week after the science rally held in El Presidio Park, and a week after Earth Day and this year’s emphasis on science and inquiry. That emphasis is nothing new to Tucson. Think UA Sarver Heart Center where the first artificial heart was produced. Think the OSIRIS-Rex space craft that is now headed on a mission to ‘grab’ some asteroid samples.
Think the Caris Mirror Casting lab on the UA campus. They’ve got telescopes all over the world taking ‘snapshots’ of history millions of years old. And Steward Observatory where this shot of the Whirlpool Galaxy was taken recently:
The rallies held all across the country last week were sending a message to the Trump administration and to Congress that science matters. It deserves continued funding support from D.C. The kids at the Sonoran Science Academy would likely agree.
Marshall Home for Men
Last week I wrote about the needs at the newly opened Sister Jose women’s shelter. This week, the flip side of that coin – the Marshall Home for Men – is the focus.
The Marshall Home is a local nonprofit that serves the needs of low income veterans. It started back in 1931, expanded in the ‘50s and again in the ‘70s. The needs have yet again outpaced the ability to adequately address them all.
Marshall is a state-licensed, personal care assisted living facility located at 3314 S. 16th. It provides medical assistance, food, shelter and a home environment for needy vets.
The current client base is just over 50 men. Without Marshall, they’d likely be homeless. The Marshall Home Board is in fund raising mode so they can continue keeping up with the demands of the facility. If you can donate, please consider this Go Fund Me opportunity. Many of the residents at Marshall are Silver and Bronze Star recipients. Some have also earned the Purple Heart. They’re now counting on yours for support.
Ride of Silence
In a display of empty bravado, the state legislature passed a ban on the use of cell phones by drivers during their first six months at the wheel. The penalty: $75. Oh, and extending the ban on not being able to drive after midnight for another 30 days.
The message we’re sending is that after having had a driver’s license for six months, it then becomes okay to put others at risk by picking up the phone or other electronic device and using them while behind the wheel.
Our own ban on the use of handheld devices while driving begins this week. Starting today, it’s against the law in Tucson to drive and be otherwise occupied on the phone, your computer, or another electronic device. But it’s okay unless you swerve around or get in an accident. Then we’ll cite you. It’s a secondary offence. If you follow these newsletters, you’ll know that I believe it’s inherently unsafe (yes, so is eating a pizza or doing your makeup in the mirror while driving, but let’s not diminish the integrity of the issue by throwing in a silly analogy) and should be a primary offense. I hope to see it revisited later this year.
Join us on May 17th for the Tucson version of the international Ride of Silence. In 2016, there were 445 such events held covering all 50 states, 48 different countries and seven continents. This photo is at the start of the Berlin Ride last year.
Puppies and PACC
Recently, the Marana Town Council voted to break ties with Pima Animal Care Center for the shelter and animal control services they had contracted for. Marana felt it was in their budgetary best interest to establish a new animal control relationship with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA). I’m a big fan of the HSSA and know they have the best interests of the animals at heart.
But they’re a different model than PACC. I took the position at the time that the Marana move might end up causing more stress on other local shelters and rescue groups since HSSA won’t have the handling capacity that PACC does – certainly not the capacity PACC will have once its new facility is completed.
Now the Town of Sahuarita is also cutting ties with PACC. For Sahuarita, it’s also a budgetary consideration. It’s only about 3% of what PACC sees annually, but that 3% will be added to what HSSA will be seeing at its own doorstep. That’s 3% in addition to the impact from Marana’s move and from stressed local shelters and rescues.
It appears that stress on the local shelters is beginning to be felt. Bridge Rescue for Dogs is closing up shop. This local, nonprofit totally volunteer driven group has been taking dogs from PACC that may have otherwise been euthanized. Their model is to foster the animals until they can find a permanent home. As they wind down their operation, they have 17 dogs still in that pipeline. Each is at risk of being killed if they have to send them back to PACC.
In order to help pay for outstanding veterinary care bills, Bridge is holding a fund raiser on May 11th out at Gusto Osteria at 7153 E. Tanque Verde. From 11 am until 9 pm if you mention Bridge to your server, a portion of the proceeds will be returned to Bridge. And if you can help with a forever home for one of the dogs, that’d be great. To view them, either check out their Facebook page or website at bridgerescue.org.
Thanks to the generosity of the Kimas Foundation, I now have a limited supply of these Embrace Tucson posters to give away here at the Ward 6 office. Once they’re gone, your option is to buy them at one of the local vendors (see last week’s newsletter for those locations). Stop by and ask for one – on the condition that you hang it somewhere people will see it, and not hidden in your bedroom or garage.
Because of the Kimas gift, mine are for free to you. But each also comes with the suggestion that you consider a donation to the January 8th Memorial fund. You can access that site at www.Tucsonsmemorial.org/givenow.
Council Member, Ward 6
Events and Entertainment
Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Program Presentation
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 | 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Conference Rooms
310 N Commerce Park Loop (off Bonita between St. Mary’s and Congress)
Through the Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Program, Tucson Water staff will be checking service lines in Wards 1, 5 and 6 for lead. Tucson Water invites you to a presentation on the LSLR, and on our efforts for maintaining safe drinking water. Please join our staff to learn details about the work conducted in your neighborhood and to discuss any concerns. If you have any questions or comments regarding this project, please contact the Public Information Office at 520-791-4331.
Cinema La Placita
Starting Thursday, May 4, 2017 | 7:30 pm
Tucson Museum of Art, 191 E Toole
Cinema La Placita, the downtown outdoor movie series that has become a summertime tradition, is partnering with the Tucson Museum of Art to bring its summertime events to the plaza of TMA. Every Thursday, starting May 4, Cinema La Placita will screen a different film at the museum for $3. Beer, wine, and food from Café a la CArt will be available for purchase. Movie Schedule:
• May 4 - What Happened to Baby Jane?
• May 11 - Thelma and Louise
• May 18 - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
• May 25 - Some Like it Hot
Tucson Folk Festival
Saturday, May 6 – Sunday May 7, 2017
El Presidio Park, 160 W Alameda St
One of the oldest admission-free folk music festivals in the United States, established in 1986, with more than 200 musicians from Arizona and the Southwest performing over 20 hours of family-friendly acoustic music along with other entertainment and food vendors in El Presidio Park, downtown Tucson. http://www.tucsonfolkfest.org/folk-festival/
Arizona Theater Company, 330 S Scott Ave | www.arizonatheatre.org
“Holmes and Watson,” April 17, 2017 – May 6, 2017
The Rogue Theatre, The Historic Y, 300 E University Blvd | www.theroguetheatre.org
“Macbeth,” April 27, 2017 – May 14, 2017
Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N Main Ave | www.TucsonMusuemofArt.org
“Body Language: Figuration in Modern and Contemporary Art,” February 25, 2017 – July 9, 2017
Tucson Convention Center, 260 S Church St | tucsonconventioncenter.com
Meet Me at Maynards, 311 E Congress St | www.MeetMeatMaynards.com
A social walk/run through the Downtown area. Every Monday, rain or shine, holidays too! Check-in begins at 5:15pm.
Mission Garden, 929 W Mission Ln | www.tucsonbirthplace.org
A living agricultural museum and ethnobotanical garden at the site of Tucson's Birthplace (the foot of "A-Mountain"). For guided tours call 520-777-9270.
Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S 6th Ave | www.childernsmuseumtucson.org
Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N Alvernon Way | www.tucsonbotanical.org
“Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life” Exhibit, October 10, 2016 – May 31, 2017
Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N Toole Ave | www.tucsonhistoricdepot.org
UA Mineral Museum, 1601 E University Blvd | www.uamineralmuseum.org
Jewish History Museum, 564 S Stone Ave | www.jewishhistorymuseum.org
Fox Theatre, 17 W Congress St | www.FoxTucsonTheatre.org
Hotel Congress, 311 E Congress St | hotelcongress.com
Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd | www.loftcinema.com
Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress St | www.rialtotheatre.com
Arizona State Museum, 1013 E University Blvd | www.statemuseum.arizona.edu
"Snaketown: Hohokam Defined" Exhibit, through July 1, 2017