This week, Senate Bills 1484, 1485, 1486, and 1487 passed through the Senate Government Reform Committee of the Arizona State Legislature. They will likely be debated next week by lawmakers. The collective passage of these bills will amount to the complete and total elimination of public sector unions throughout the state.
I support the right of employees to form unions and organize in the workplace. These outlandish measures put forth by the state dwarf the reforms proposed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker last year.
Among the proposals is a measure that would prohibit local jurisdictions, such as the City of Tucson, from negotiating with labor groups representing City employees. Not only does this undermine the fundamental freedom of workers to associate and bargain collectively, but these actions once again demonstrate the state’s willingness to undercut the sovereignty of local municipalities across the state.
The bills would eliminate union dues deduction from paychecks, prohibit political subdivisions of the state from negotiating with workers, prevent officers from conducting union business, and gut the authorization process for dues collection.
I will be approaching my colleagues on the Tucson City Council next Tuesday to request that, as a City, we take a collective stand against the state legislature’s attack on public employees and on our rights as a sovereign municipality. This is a complete and total attack on working families across the state, and an effort to which I am fundamentally opposed.
Workers laboring under a union contract make nearly 30% more in wages than their non-union counterparts, and are far more likely to enjoy health care and retirement benefits. My Father was a longtime migrant farmworker and member of the United Farm Workers Union. I have seen the positive changes that take place when workers come together for the betterment of their communities. This is clearly a politically motivated attack by the legislature, one that we should all stand together to denounce.
On another note, I am happy to host our Ward 1 “meet and greet” reception to introduce Mayor Jonathan Rothschild this Monday, February 6, 5:30 p.m. at the Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress. Join us, everyone is welcome! It’s a great opportunity for our residents, small business owners and neighborhood leaders to meet our new Mayor. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so we know how many to expect.
Who/What: Ward I Meet & Greet with Mayor Jonathan Rothschild
Contact: RSVP to email@example.com or (520)791-4040
When: Monday, February 6, 5:30 pm
Where: Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress
Since we are talking about the Pima County Housing Center, I invite you to come and visit the Pima County Housing Center and see the great programs they have to help families find safe, affordable housing. Did you know that programs like the Pima County Community Land Trust can help you buy a home?
-For only $1,500 out of pocket.
-Even if you earn as little as half the area median income.
-With financial assistance that reduces your mortgage to 80 percent of the home’s appraised value.
-And contain your monthly housing costs, including utilities, to 35 percent or less of your monthly gross income.
Last weekend the Pima County Land Trust featured a successful open house of available homes. The homes are completely remodeled and energy-efficient. For Pima County Land Trust homes visit www.pimacountycommunitylandtrust.org and for more information on housing programs contact Maggie Tellez at (520) 837-5340 or at Maggie.Tellez@tucsonaz.gov .
Do you want to win $1 million?
Golf enthusiasts and Tucson park supporters have the opportunity to win $1 million and/or excellent prizes in the 4th annual Desert Diamond Casinos $1 Million Hole in One Contest and Raffle to benefit Tucson’s parks. Each $10 ticket gives you 10 shots to qualify for the semi-final round, earns one entry in a raffle to win resort stays, a flat screen HDTV and restaurant gift certificates, and provides one Americano coffee at Tooley’s café. Proceeds from this event go to shade structures at Tucson parks - this year’s recipient is Highland Vista Park.
Where: City of Tucson Randolph Golf Course, 600 S. Alvernon Way
When: February 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for qualifying rounds. Finals and raffle drawing are Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.
What: 4th Annual $1 Million Hole In One event and raffle - all proceeds go to build shade structures at City of Tucson parks.
How: Purchase $10 raffle tickets (good for 10 shots) and discounted ticket books ($100 for 150 shots) online at www.tucsonparks.org
The U.S. Air Force has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed F-35A Training Center for locations including Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station. I have included below an excerpt from a media release provided by the USAF. I encourage everyone to learn more about this issue. Read the EIS, attend a meeting, send your comments and offer your opinions.
For more information visit:
U.S. AIR FORCE RELEASES DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR PROPOSED F-35A TRAINING AT TUCSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AIR GUARD STATION; AIR FORCE INVITES PUBLIC COMMENT
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the U.S. Air Force has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed establishment of a Pilot Training Center and associated basing of F-35A training aircraft at one or more existing Air Force or Air National Guard installations within the continental United States. Potential locations include the Boise Air Terminal Airport Air Guard Station, also known as Gowen Field, Idaho; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.; and Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station, Ariz.
The Air Force’s Preferred Alternative is to base the Pilot Training Center with 72 F-35A training aircraft at Luke Air Force Base. However, no decisions regarding the proposal will be made until after the environmental impact analysis process is complete.
The purpose of the proposal is to train pilots and personnel to safely and effectively operate F-35A aircraft. The F-35A is absolutely essential to the nation's security strategy. It is the newest and most advanced fifth-generation fighter and needed to deter and defeat 21st century threats. The basing of the F-35A Pilot Training Center and training aircraft is needed to support formal training requirements associated with the F-35A, which would replace or supplement the existing F-16 aircraft at Tucson International Airport. Training would include the use of existing training airspace and ranges, which permit flare countermeasures, supersonic flight and the use of munitions.
Potential environmental impacts were analyzed in the Draft EIS, including impacts associated with changes in personnel, construction and renovation of facilities, and training activities in existing military airspace, auxiliary airfields and ranges to support the proposed basing of the Pilot Training Center and training aircraft.
Document Access and Commenting Information: To download a copy of the Draft EIS, please visit www.F-35ATrainingEIS.com. A paper copy of the document is also available at the following public libraries:
Copper Queen Library
6 Main St.
Bisbee, AZ 85603
808 S. 7th Ave.
Safford, AZ 85546
San Carlos Public Library
89 San Carlos Ave.
San Carlos, AZ 85550
Sierra Vista Public Library
2600 E. Tacoma St.
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Valencia Branch Library
202 W. Valencia Road
Tucson, AZ 85706
All comments on the Draft EIS must be postmarked or received by March 14, 2012, for consideration in the Final EIS. Written comments on the Draft EIS may be submitted to:
David Martin, Air Force Contractor, and Kim Fornof HQ AETC/A7CPP
266 F Street West, Bldg. 901
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4319
Public Hearings: Three public hearings near Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station will be held to inform the public and receive public comments on the Draft EIS. All hearings include an open house information session from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.; followed by a presentation and formal public comment session from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Representatives from the Air Force will be available during the open house session to provide information and to answer questions related to the Draft EIS. Written and oral comments may also be submitted in person at the public hearings. A stenographer will be available for those wanting to submit an oral comment.
Open House Information Session: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Presentation/Formal Comment Session: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Date: Feb. 21, 2012
Location: Windemere Hotel & Conference Center Grand Ballroom
2047 S. Highway 92
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Date: Feb. 22, 2012
Location: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Tucson Airport North Ballroom
4550 S. Palo Verde Road
Tucson, AZ 85714
Date: Feb. 23, 2012
Location: Tucson Jewish Community Center Auditorium
3800 E. River Road
Tucson, AZ 85718
Have a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to attend Monday's Meet & Greet with Mayor Rothschild!