-Conversation For Neighborhoods on Plan Tucson With City Staff
-Tucson Police Department Hosting Community Crime Fair
-3rd Saturday Art Fair
-Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Meeting
-Luncheon and Forum on Understanding Depression
-Future Neighborhood Meeting
-59th Annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show Is Here!
-Taste of China Festival
-88th Annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros
-31st Annual Tucson Peace Fair
- Did you know....?
We addressed issues of interest to many of you this week, so let me summarize the latest:
TCC Gun Shows
I have received overwhelming support for the proposal that Council Member Kozachik and I brought to Mayor and Council last week to either require background checks on all gun sales on City properties such as the TCC, or to stop providing City venues for such events altogether. Most people weighing in want to see action at the national level so that we all live by the same rules across the country. However, until national change happens, Tucsonans have been letting me know loud and clear that in our City we should do everything we can to enact reasonable measures to improve gun safety and reduce gun violence. Fixing the gun show and background check loopholes has garnered widespread public support; in fact it’s time to move beyond debating whether to take action and get into the details of how best to close the loopholes.
I urge you to learn more about the work to advance reasonable regulations at www.demandaplan.org and www.AmericansforResponsibleSolutions.org . Great leaders from Tucson, including survivors and family members of loved ones so tragically lost in the January 8, 2011 shooting here, as well as established advocacy groups like Homicide Survivors and emerging groups like the Community Committee Against Gun Violence, have been instrumental in the local and national call to action. As your local representatives, the Mayor and City Council want to do our part by representing our community’s stand on common sense safeguards. On Tuesday we unanimously directed staff to take the steps needed to ensure that gun sales on City property include background checks.
Ronstadt Transit Center
The Mayor and Council unanimously supported my motion to develop a vision and parameters for potential development in the immediate area of the Ronstadt Transit Center. We have an extraordinary opportunity to draw investment to the site that would both improve transit services and downtown commerce. This step, I believe, can move us beyond years of detrimental, polarizing, and often back-room jockeying into an open, fair and public process bid process. I appreciate the involvement of the Bus Riders Union, the Downtown Tucson Partnership, and area businesses and neighborhoods in helping to identify and build upon common ground. A draft Request for Qualifications will come back to the Mayor and Council within 60-90 days for final review and approval before being released to solicit responses from potential investors/partners.
Congratulations to Councilmember Paul Cunningham for helping lead our region toward great success in the realm of soccer. You can learn more about recent progress in this article from the Tucson Weekly: http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/kicking-success-around/Content?oid=3627920 . Be sure to go out and catch some soccer games during SoccerFest, and the upcoming Desert Diamond Cup described in this weekly article. Our support is important.
Related to that, we are excited that Ward 3 will soon be gaining a new green soccer space! Through an innovative and effective public-private collaboration, an area in the northeast section of the Doolen Middle School grounds will be developed with two lighted soccer fields, a walking path, landscaping and low-level area lighting for pedestrians. This partnership -- between the Fort Lowell Soccer Club, Tucson Unified School District,and the City Department of Parks & Recreation -- will have a great impact on the quality of life of the whole community. The soccer fields will be used for both practice and competitions, the school grounds will be more secure with better fencing and lighting, Parks & Rec will maintain the space year-round for use by the public when school's not in session, and a neighborhood that has never had a park or any other kind of recreation area nearby will celebrate. Congratulations to all.
Old Pascua Neighborhood Job and Transportation Fair
San Ignacio Yaqui Neighborhood, in Ward 3 near Grant and I-10, is a neighborhood steeped in history and culture. In fact, it has been home to the Yaqui people for generations, dating back well before the formation of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe's reservation southwest of Tucson, before Arizona statehood, and before the formation of the City of Tucson itself. Today, hundreds of Pascua Yaqui families continue to call San Ignacio, or "Old Pascua," home, and have kept many traditions and cultural assets alive through the generations.
One thing my staff and I discovered last year was that there are a number of Old Pascua residents, both Tribal members and non-Tribal members, who would take an available job at Sol Casinos, an enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, but for their lack of transportation. Many do not own a car. And Sun Tran route times necessarily limit the ability of folks to accept a job that may begin with the graveyard shift for the first three to six months of employment. In other words, there were jobs available, and people qualified and eager to fill them, but standing in the way was a lack of transportation.
I instructed my staff to work with the San Ignacio Yaqui Council, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Sol Casinos, Sun Tran, and PAG, to see if we could find a solution to this problem, and over the past eight months, we've been engaged in that process.
I'm pleased to report that on Saturday, February 2nd, we took part in hosting a Job and Transportation Fair at the Old Pascua Neighborhood Center, that resulted in 36 Old Pascua and nearby residents applying and interviewing for available jobs at Sol Casinos and another 10 applying for available jobs with other Pascua Yaqui enterprises. Interviews and background checks continue this week and next, and we anticipate some of these job applicants being able to start work by the end of the month!
The Fair also resulted in numerous residents signing up for PAG's carpool program, Sun RideShare, learning more about Sun Tran routes and schedules to help them take care of daily responsibilities, and connecting with others in the neighborhood interested in carpooling to jobs as well.
Our office remains engaged with all the partners who helped coordinate this successful Job and Transportation Fair to make sure that whatever steps we can take to continue to connect people to jobs, we will take. I want to thank all those who've put in so much time and energy on this project, including David in my office, Pat Richter at Sun Tran, Ruth Reiman at PAG, Janie Nunez and the entire team at Sol Casinos, and Jackie Lopez and Emilio Caiz from the San Ignacio Yaqui Council.
For more information about the Sun RideShare go to: https://www.pagnet.org/Programs/TransportationPlanning/PlansandPrograms/TravelDemandManagement/RideShare/Carpooling/tabid/670/Default.aspx
Black History Month
Black History Month, or national African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans, and a time to recognize the role of African Americans in U.S. history. The inception of the event is credited most notable to historian Carter G. Woodson. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom also devote a month to celebrating black history. I hope that you will join me in participating in some of the local events (a few listed below) taking place during February.
In closing I want to draw your attention to the note included below from Sarah Evans, Director, Neighborhood & Community Relations at the University of Arizona entitled UA4U. I want facilitate communication that strengthens understanding and collaboration in our City in every way that I can. The UofA plays an important role in Tucson so I appreciate their added efforts to stay in touch with all of us.
Have a great weekend,
Ward 3 Events:
-Conversation For Neighborhoods on Plan Tucson – Saturday, February 9 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Ward 3 Council Office Community Room, 1510 E. Grant Road. Nicole Ewing-Gavin from the City Manager's Office will give an overview and discuss the implementation of Plan Tucson. There will also be a Q & A period. The Draft Plan Tucson may be viewed online at www.tucsonaz.gov/plantucson or at any of the Ward Offices. If you would like further information, please call Rebecca Ruopp at 837-6973 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Tucson Police Department Hosting Community Crime Fair – Saturday, February 9 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Donna Liggins Neighborhood Center, 2160 N. 6th Avenue. Join in to receive information and resources on keeping your neighborhood/community safe. More info: Officers Golden or Jones (Westside Operations) at 791-4467.
-3rd Saturday Art Fair – Saturday, February 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Many Hands Courtyard, 3054 N. First Avenue. Vendors, shops, galleries have unique fine art and craft items for purchase (Shop Local!). Food from Asian Bistro (at special 3rd Saturday prices) along with hot coffee, tea, popcorn and cake. Live music and free parking. More info: www.manyhandscourtyard.com
-Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance – Wednesday, February 20 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. 1st Avenue. Topic: Public Safety—presentations by the Captains from the west-side and midtown Police Divisions. More info: Marc at 881-4582.
-Luncheon and Forum on Understanding Depression – Thursday, February 28 from noon to 2:00 p.m. St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road. “Out of the Blue: Understanding Depression” is offered by Interfaith Community Services and made possible by the David C. and Lura M. Lovell Foundation. Cost is $10 (includes lunch). To reserve: Terry Alexander at 297-2738 or email@example.com
Future Neighborhood Meetings:
AGI/TNBC – Community and Law Enforcement Task Force. Tuesday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. Emerge! 2425 N. Haskell.
CCRC – Tuesday, February 12 at 6:00 at the Student Union, University of Arizona.
City Wide Events:
-59th Annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show – through Sunday, February 17. There are 40 venues throughout the City of Tucson. The “Main Show” at the Tucson Convention Center will be held February 14 – 17.More info: http://www.tucsonshowguide.com/ In addition, the City of Tucson’s ParkWise is offering “GemRide” shuttles to connect to downtown venues. Three passenger vans will run continuously on a route from 7:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. February 2 to 17th. For parking and riding info: http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/parkwise/gemshowparking
-Taste of China Festival – Saturday, February 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Road. Admission is $2, children 12 and under free. Cooking demonstrations, Tai Chi performances, and games for the family and food for purchase. More info: www.tucsonchinese.org
-88th Annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros-Tucson Rodeo-February 16 – 24th. Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly will be the Grand Marshalls for the Rodeo Parade on Thursday, February 21. For info and schedule of events: http://www.tucsonrodeo.com/home.html
-31st Annual Tucson Peace Fair & Music Festival – Saturday, February 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Reid Park Band shell at Country Club and 22nd. The Tucson Peace Center invites you to Arizona’s largest gathering of peace, social justice and environmental groups. Music, food, children’s activities. Free for the entire family. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-9832.
-UA4U - Welcome to UA4U, an occasional communication from the UA Office of Community Relations. Its purpose is to share information of interest with core-campus neighbors and neighborhoods. We’ll share information about students who want to do community service work in neighborhoods, information about studies, grants and more from which neighborhoods can benefit, provide quick updates about meetings of interest and throw in a few fun factoids about the UA and neighborhoods every now and then.
Community Service opportunity: Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity is a group of professional pharmacy students at the UA College of Pharmacy looking to help seniors living in nearby neighborhoods in need of basic weeding and/or yard work. If you know of an elderly neighbor in need of an extra hand, please let us know through e-mail to Sarah at email@example.com.
CCRC: The next Campus Community Relations Committee (CCRC) meeting will be held Tuesday, February 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Memorial Student Union Ventana Room. For more information contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org. What is CCRC you ask? More than a neighborhood meeting, CCRC’s membership is a unique union of representatives from core-campus neighborhoods, City representatives from Wards 3 and 6, University of Arizona Medical Center (UAMC) and the University of Arizona (UA). CCRC has been meeting for more than 20 years with a stated purpose of “bringing together the University of Arizona, the City of Tucson, UAHN, and the neighborhoods in the university area to discuss issues, resolve conflicts, find and implement mutually satisfactory solutions to problems and work for the betterment of the community in an atmosphere of respect.” Guests are always welcome.
By: Sarah T. Evans - Sevans1@email.arizona.edu
-Did you know….?
…that February is Black History Month? The U of A office of African American Student Affairs invites all faculty, staff, students and community members to a series of events. For more information on upcoming events contact Maria Moore at email@example.com. In addition, the Donna Liggins Center (at 2160 N. 6th) will host two events as part of Black History Month. One event is tonight (February 13 at 5:00 p.m.) called “National HIV Awareness” and the other (on February 12th at 6:00 p.m.) will be “What You Need to Know About Health Reform.” Both events are free and open to the public.
…that the Tucson Arts Brigade is holding workshops at Woods Library starting February 28? The “Amphi Neighborhood Action Mural Workshops” will include youth ages 11-18 who want to design and paint a mural on the side of the Woods Memorial Library. The workshops will be held every Thursday from February 28 to June 27. Start time is 5:30 p.m. and will run for two hours. Workshop is free and open to the first 15 youth that sign up, but commitment to the entire project is needed. More info and to register: 623-2199 or Michael@TucsonArtsBrigade.org
…that Lend A Hand, a volunteer organization that provides free services to seniors in 13 neighborhoods, hosts fund-raising dinners each month? The first one is next week, February 16. Attendance is limited and cost is $50/person. More info: 323-2142.
..that Iskashitaa Refuge Network is in need of your unwanted fruit? Not all citrus was destroyed in the latest cold snap, and volunteers will pick up, harvest and distribute your fruit. Good opportunity to feed families in need in the community. Contact Barbara at 440-0100 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. More info available at www.HarvestTucson.org