Karin's Note: August 10, 2012
-Hedrick Acres Public Space
-Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Meeting
- Create and Expand Your Business Forum
- ParkWise Public Hearing
- 2nd Saturdays Downtown
- Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival
-Water Harvesting Course for Homeowners
- Did you know....
The Mayor and Council meeting on Tuesday was quite long and eventful. Here are some of the highlights to help keep you up-to-date.
Reduce Gun Violence
Survivors and family members of the victims of the January 8, 2011 shooting here requested that Tucson join the nationwide campaign to reduce gun violence. I placed the Memorial on the agenda for consideration, and I am pleased that it passed on a 7-0 vote. You can learn more about this important effort at www.DemandAPlan.org .
It’s important for us to remember that the tragedies here and more recently in Colorado and Wisconsin represent a fraction of the painful truth about gun violence. Every day in our country 34 people die from gun violence. I agree whole-heartedly with Pam Simon who spoke at our meeting Tuesday. Pam noted that there are those who would say it’s too soon after such horrific events to launch political action; emotions and grief overwhelm us. But that is the very reason we must not only talk about gun violence, we must take action to prevent it. It’s not too soon; it’s too late. Please offer your voice and support to this initiative.
The Mayor and Council also voted to launch a community process that will help us sustain Tucson’s legacy as a city that welcomes immigrants. Too often the benefits of having such a diverse population get overshadowed by anti-illegal-immigration rhetoric.
Few would argue that our immigration system remains broken. And few would argue our nation has been strengthened by historic waves of hard-working immigrants. We shouldn’t let the problems with our current system tear communities and families apart or deny the meaningful contributions that immigrants offer to Tucson.
The makeup of our six-member City Council in many ways reflects the makeup of Tucson: two of us (Councilmember Romero and I) are first-generation Americans speaking English as our second language; and one (Councilmember Scott) is a naturalized citizen. If we are to compete effectively in a global economy we need to harness the talents of all of our residents and urge comprehensive immigration reform at the national level.
Main Gate District
I’ve been clear about my opposition to the process initially shepherded by Vice Mayor Kozachik to create an infill overlay for the Main Gate District by the University. I think we all agree that infill and density will be key factors assuring the success of downtown revitalization and the modern street car. That makes the integrity of our planning process all the more important.
The Main Gate process holds many lessons for how not to plan infill in the future. First and foremost Mayor and Council circumvented the Planning Commission by adopting an amended neighborhood plan without the Commission’s guidance on the transition block bounded by Speedway, Euclid, First and Tyndall (I was the lone No vote on that step). Then we unanimously voted to cap the heights in that area on May 8, only to reverse that explicit direction with a split vote (4 to 3) at the meeting on Tuesday.
Let me emphasize again that the issue here is not opposition to infill (fourteen stories on the adjacent block to the east are under construction). The issue is holding to an open process that 1) reflects integrity and respect for those contributing to the process, 2) that places density appropriately, and 3) acknowledges the enormous value of intact neighborhoods and historic assets.
I am hopeful that the full Mayor and Council will draw from the lessons learned in this planning process gone wrong, so we can get it right moving forward. In fact Vice Mayor Kozachik and I are working closely with the community on the infill overlay for the Grant Road corridor to be sure we achieve our shared goals effectively there.
Red Tag Ordinance
Provisions to strengthen the red tag (unruly gatherings) ordinance also passed on Tuesday. The change increases the fine level for first offenses and directs TPD to track offenses by individual rather than only by address. The second change may end up meaning the most, because persons hosting parties that disrupt entire neighborhoods will pay the higher fines associated with repeat offenses even if they’ve moved to another part of the City.
Thank you for offering your input to help guide the positions I take on these and other matters coming before the Mayor and City Council.
Have a great weekend,
Ward 3 Events:
-Hedrick Acres Public Space - Saturday, August 11th. Join your neighbors for the monthly cleanup of the Hedrick Acres public space. Meet at the northwest corner of Hedrick and Mountain. Come anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
- Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Meeting – Wednesday, August 15 at 6:00 p.m. Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Avenue. Topic: Safety and Security. More info: Marc at 881-4582.
-Council member Uhlich and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are hosting a Create and Expand Your Business Forum – Tuesday, August 28 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ward 3 Council Office. Please RSVP by Monday, August 27 to Ward3@tucsonaz.gov or 520-791-4711. This free workshop will focus on strategies for building and expanding businesses while also sharing a wide range of small business resources.
City Wide Events:
-ParkWise Public Hearing – Thursday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway, Room H-230 (access building from Treat Avenue). The ParkWise Commission invites the public to offer input on ParkWise’s enforcement boundaries and the City Parking Codes, particularly those related to prohibiting parking on sidewalk/pedestrian areas.
- 2nd Saturdays Downtown – Saturday, August 11 from 6:00 – 10:30 p.m. Free, monthly event has street performers, food and arts vendors, outdoor movie, and kid’s area. More info: www.2ndsaturdaysdowntown.com
- Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival – Wednesday, August 15 through Sunday, August 19 at the Riverpark Inn, 350 S. Freeway. Nature Expo involves history talks, animal exhibits, and family-friendly programs. More info: www.TucsonAudobon.org/festival.
-Water Harvesting Course for Homeowners – Classes begin on Wednesday, August 22 and end on Wednesday, December 5. This course on Residential Rainwater Harvesting will be offered at the University of Arizona with class times set to encourage participation by Tucson homeowners. All classes are held on Wednesdays with lectures from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and a studio/lab from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Enrollment is limited. For more information, contact Professor Jim Riley at the U of A. email@example.com or 520-591-4019.
Did You Know…
…that the Tucson Fire Department (TFD) recently joined the social media world? Visit the new Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tucson-Fire-Department/407730889258814), and Twitter pages (https://twitter.com/tucsonfirepio), or take a look at the “Do Something” public education campaign all of which are also available on TFD’s home page at http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/fire/. Thanks to Captain Baker and other department members who have dedicated their time so that we can stay in touch with all the important work of the Tucson Fire department.
…that the Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce generated a survey to be taken online in reference to the community’s interest in the single use plastic bag ordinance? You can take the survey by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/plasticbagsurvey.