Pauls Note: Friday, October 16, 2020

Paul's Ward 3 News and Updates
 
Friday, October 16, 2020
 
News and Updates
Pet of the Week                 
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
Ward 3 Events
City Wide Events
Did You Know?
 
Ward 3 News and Updates
 
The general election is less than 3 weeks away. And already 10 percent of Pima County registered voters have cast their ballots. In this week’s newsletter we offer Ward 3 residents voting information and we encourage all registered voters to vote. You can still request an early ballot until October 23. We also detail the amount of CARES Act funds that the City of Tucson has delivered to residents, artists, businesses in forms of rental and utility payments, grants and for food assistance. We highlight the work of Pima County Constable Bennett Bernal, who previously served as a Ward 3 Council Aide and is a Ward resident. Bernal’s mission is to avoid evictions and keep people in their homes. Lastly, the Ward office is organizing a series of workshops for residents to strengthen their neighborhoods with more effective forms of communication. Have a lovely weekend!  
 
Eviction Prevention Pilot
 
The routine is nearly always the same for Pima County Constable Bennett Bernal when he walks up to a residence to deliver an eviction notice or a summons. He knocks on the door. After that knock, all bets are off.
 
There are various situations he will encounter. The residence will be empty. He’ll find someone inside but not necessarily the person whose name is on the lease. There might be a person, alone or sick or both. There will be a family, scared and in need. He might be threatened, even attacked, by a person or a growling dog.
 
He’s encountered the array of situations in his nine years as constable for Precinct 6, which covers much of Ward 3. But in those years, Bennett has not encountered the kinds of situations like he has this year, all due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bennett, to the joy of renters and to the chagrin of landlords, has spent a lot of time helping under-water tenants avoid eviction, and to get help to pay past rent and utilities. And if he has to evict a person or family with nowhere else to go, Bennett beats the bureaucratic bushes to secure housing. 
 
“You just can’t stop,” he said. “There are too many people out there.”
 
 
Bennett, along with Presiding Constable Kristen Randall in Precinct 8 and Constable Joe Ferguson in Precinct 9, are creating a new way to do their jobs. They are a combination of friend, social worker, reformer whose job is to enforce the law but with do it a big heart and deep compassion. 
 
“If you give people enough time, you don’t have to evict them,” he said. 
 
During this pandemic when scores of people lost their jobs or had their work hours cut, a greater number of cash-poor renters faced the prospect of being evicted from their residences. Some were and evictions continue but Bennett and his fellow visionaries have focused their time and energy on keeping people in their homes. The community as a whole suffers when people are evicted, Bennett said. 
 
A number of renters have avoided eviction with the help of federal stimulus checks and Gov. Ducey’s moratorium of evictions. But no new stimulus funds are coming any time soon and Ducey’s order expires Oct. 31. However, an unprecedented eviction moratorium issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control has all but put nearly a halt to all evictions. The single-page form essentially and simply states that the signee cannot pay rent due to lost wages and prevents eviction in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 
 
“We’re all using the CDC form,” he said referring to his constable colleagues. He added that the CDC moratorium is much simpler and easy for tenants than Ducey’s which required extensive documentation. 
 
The virus pandemic has hurt many Tucson families but that burden is not shared equally. Largely people of color have shouldered the burden more so. Bernal, a Tucson native who once was a rambunctious kid and evolved into a pugilist supporter of Tucson’s barrios and neighborhoods and who previously served as a Ward 3 Council Aide, fights for the families to whom he has to deliver devastating news. 
 
“We can’t survive this without another stimulus,” he said. 
 
Supporting Tucson’s tenants also has been sustained by the City of Tucson. The Department of Housing and Community Development has distributed $642,000 in rental and utility assistance to more than 400 families. The county also has dispensed funds, provided by the CARES Act. 
 
Constables are elected and their function is to deliver legal notices, summons and civil documents. They carry a badge and gun, which is not always an advantage, Bernal said. 
 
More critically, a gun and badge can’t undo the hurt and the pain when families will eventually face their overdue rental bill. The moratoriums don’t allow families long-term financial relief. When the moratorium ends, the rent will come due. 
 
Bernal said he is encouraged by a closer working relationship between the city and county to minimize the damage as much as possible. Even some landlords and property managers have come to a softer working relationship to the Bennett and other constables who have faced stiff opposition from landlords and their lawyers. 
 
At two apartment complexes Tuesday morning in mid-town (Bennett was assisting another constable), he talked to the property managers. He later credited the pair with their desire to avoid evictions. The managers had helped the tenants find ways to remain in their residences. 
 
“I didn’t go into this job to keep people out,” he said. “I did it to make change.” 
 
Borderlands Theater
 
Borderlands Theater, Tucson’s grass-roots community thespian company, will present two virtual events to honor long-time local playwright, Silvania Wood.
 
The first is a reading of her play, “Amor de Hija” (A Daughter’s Love) Saturday, October 17, at 7 pm. Ward 3 Council Aide, Ernesto Portillo, will participate in the reading. This play is part of Wood’s collection of works called “Barrio Dreams,” published in 2016 by UAPress. The second event is a tribute to Silviana Wood by some of her former collaborators and stage colleagues. This event will stream online Tuesday, October 20, at 6 pm.
 
Wood grew in the west-side Barrio Anita, attended Davis Elementary and John Spring Junior High schools, and forged a path as an activist, actress, director and one of the state’s foremost Chicana playwrights. She combined Tucson and Mexican-American folklore, humor, politics and social commentary to create unique works.
 
Neighborhood Series
 
The Ward 3 office is hosting a series of webinars designed to help neighborhoods and their associations to improve their communication and engagement strategies during COVID-19. We promise that these sessions will provide knowledge on practices that will continue to be helpful long after a successful vaccine but they will also help you adjust in-person practices in ways that can strengthen your neighborhood.
 
Sessions will touch on social media, e-newsletters, COVID compatible events and inclusivity.
 
The very first session, scheduled for October 29 at 5:30, will give participants the opportunity to learn broadly about the forthcoming sessions and help the Ward 3 team learn where we might adjust future sessions based on your needs. You can register for the first session here.
 
The second session is scheduled for November 12 at 5:30pm. This session will provide a tutorial and information session on hosting digital meetings. You can register for this session here.
 
Please save the dates for the rest of the series.
Session 3 – December 3 at 5:30:
How better communication can build capacity for neighborhoods – examples of success from neighborhoods
 
Session 4 – December 10 at 5:30:
Overview of different social media platforms
 
Session 5 – January 7 at 5:30:
Tutorial on how to use Instagram to attract new participants to the neighborhood association
 
Session 6 – January 21 at 5:30:
How to use e-newsletters to engage current and new participants to the neighborhood association
 
Session 7 – February 4 at 5:30:
COVID compatible events to engage your neighbors
 
Session 8 – February 18 at 5:30:
How the right event can engage neighbors, communications for events
 
Session 9 – March 4 at 5:30:
Deliberate strategies for inclusivity
 
We hope these sessions will be helpful in dealing with common challenges. We will share additional registration information for the forthcoming sessions in subsequent newsletters.
 
Your Federal Cares Act Monies at Work
 
Tucson’s Mayor and Council have prioritized community investments aimed to reduce economic harm during the pandemic. Here’s where those dollars have gone to-date.
 
 
Voting
 
As of the drafting to this note 10% percent of registered voters in Pima County have cast their ballot. The County Recorder’s office is processing thousands of mail in ballots a day. That process includes receipt of the ballot, verification of signature and the transfer to the Pima County Division of Elections. From there the Division of Elections prepares the ballots for counting and come October 20 will actually begin to count ballots. Results of the election will be release at 8pm, one hour after the polls close, on Election Day, November 3. Please return your ballot as soon as you can.
 
 
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Pet of the Week
 
 
 
Wiya is a purebred Doberman female who is currently at Arizona Desert Rotti & Pals Rescue. She is about 6 years old. She has not had her ears or tail cropped, and looks prettier because she is au natural.
She gets along well with other dogs and does walk on a leash but she pulls a little. An "easy walker harness" would take care of that!

Arizona Desert Rotti & Pals Rescue is a NO KILL rescue serving Tucson and the surrounding area.

Filling out an application is the first step in the adoption process. If you have questions, the best way to contact us is to email azdesertrottis@aol.com.

 
 
If you are interested in Wiya or any of our dogs, please fill out a pre application at: http://www.azdesertrotti.com/html/to_adopt.htm
Once you have filled out the pre-adoption application, someone will contact you about the dog to answer your questions and tell you where our Sunday adoption event is held.
 
We don't always bring all animals to our adoption events so check ahead of time to make sure the animal you are interested in is still available. Some animals listed may already be promised.
 
A home visit is usually required for the safety of our animals. We check the yard to make sure this girl cannot escape, no predator can get in, and also look for hazardous plants.
 
We do not adopt our dogs out unless you have a secured, fenced yard, it’s a requirement for the safety of the dog. At the end of the application, please include the type of fencing and the height of the fence you have around your yard.
 
We do adopt out of area under the right circumstances. If you are willing to travel to Tucson to meet us, and to personally transport your adopted pet home, we may be willing to work with you.

Our dogs are bathed, dewormed, vet checked, given their required shots, spayed or neutered, and microchipped.

Our rescues are homed with foster parents. They are fostered in homes so that we can tell you a little bit about their personalities, feeding schedule, habits, behavior, whether they get along with other dogs. We can tell you if they are crate trained, if they are leash trained and house trained. Most dogs need a refresher course on potty training when they go to a new home. They need to learn your routine, and it will be up to you to teach them.

Even the most abused animals can be wonderful pets. It takes patience, love and good food, along with fun and commitment to the animal. Fosters work with these animals. They are a part of our families, while we are lucky enough to have them.

 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
 
SAMOS
Tuesday
October 20
6:30-8 pm
Email bammillertucson@yahoo.com for zoom link
 
Limberlost
Saturday
October 24
10-11:30 am
Limberlost Family Park
Limberlost and 4th Avenue
 
Please bring a chair and mask
Social distancing will be practiced
 
Jefferson Park
Wednesday
October 28
6 pm
 
Links for the November and December meetings will be posted to the JP list serve and home page of jeffersonpark.info
 
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Ward 3 Events
 
Shred It
Saturday
October 17
8 am-10 am
Jacobs Park
3300 N Fairview Ave
 
 
Tree Workshop
Monday
October 19
5pm
Blue Moon Community Garden
 
Barrio Blue Moon Neighborhood Association and Community Gardens of Tucson are hosting a tree pruning workshop with Randall Port, arborist from Trees for Tucson. 
 
Join this free workshop and learn how to keep healthy well cared for trees in the Blue Moon Community Garden.
 
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City Wide Events
 
Bici Caravana to the Ballot Box
Saturday
October 17
9 am-12 pm
Menlo Park
325 N Grande
 
 
Bring your bici, filled out ballot, mask, friends & fam, as we ride to the ballot box then back to Menlo Park for a socially-distanced, masked celebration of exercising our right to vote en communidad!
 
 
 
Community Pop-up Covid-19 Testing Centers*
 
 Rising Star Baptist Church
 2800 E. 36th St., Tucson, AZ 85713
 Oct. 17, 2020
 8 am - 12 pm
 
 Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
 850 N. 11th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705
 Oct. 24, 2020
 8 am - 12 pm
 
 St. John the Evangelist Catholic - Casa San Juan
 602 W. Ajo Way, Tucson, AZ 85713
 Oct. 27, 2020
 7:30 am - 12:30 pm
 
*These sites are walk-up only, no appointment necessary
 
Pima County Health Department Adding New COVID-19 Testing Site in Downtown Tucson
 
Pima County Health Department and Downtown Tucson Partnership have teamed up to provide free COVID-19 testing to individuals who work, live, and play downtown.
 
The new Downtown Tucson Testing Center will be located at 88 E Broadway Blvd., on the southwest corner of Broadway Blvd. and Sixth Ave. Testing will begin Friday October 16th from 10AM to 2PM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those seeking testing can register without an appointment on-site OR by appointment at www.pima.gov/covid19testing
 
Book Launch at Mission Gardens Ft. Iskashitaa
Saturday
October 17
9am-1pm
Mission Gardens
946 W Mission Lane (at the base of A Mountain)
 
 
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
 
Seeking volunteers to sign up for a shift at this event. Plan to engage with the public about Iskashitaa Refugee Network. They will be handing out literature and selling our Justice Jams.
 
 
Click the volunteer picture, then one-time volunteer and click on this event in the calendar to pick your shift.
 
9th Annual Homescape Harvest Tour - Virtual & In-Person
Saturday
October 17
10 am-2 pm
Virtual Event
 

 
Explore beautiful, well-designed properties that harvest water, solar energy, grow food & create wildlife habitat on the 9th Annual Homescape Harvest Tour. This year the tour is offered virtually and at safe in-person site visits on Saturday, October 17 from 10 am-2 pm. Be sure to join us for our interactive panel discussion on YouTube Live Saturday, October 17 at 3:30 pm.  
 
 
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Did You Know?
 
North Dodge Tree Planting
 
The North Dodge Neighborhood is holding a Trees for Tucson Tree Planting event on November 7 and the cutoff date to order trees of October 25 is fast approaching.  If you yourself or you know someone in the North Dodge Neighborhood (Alvernon, Palo Verde, Glenn, Fort Lowell) that would like two free trees planted with the help of volunteers, go to their website page https://northdodgena.weebly.com/trees-for-tucson.html  for complete info or contact them at northdodgena@gmail.com.   They are also looking for help to plant the trees if you would like to volunteer for that.
 
 
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
 
Join us as we support Emerge! In spreading the word about domestic violence in October. Check out this calendar with an opportunity every day to bring more awareness to domestic violence. The highlights for the coming week include a Virtual Lunch & Learn with Emerge Executive Leadership, a focus on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and on Thursday, October 22 don’t forget to wear purple as we #PaintPimaPurple to raise awareness of domestic violence.  
 
 
Roll-Offs Available in November 2020
 
For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, Environmental and General Services Department will begin offering roll-offs for neighborhood cleanups.
 
To request roll-offs for a cleanup, click here to see service details and to access the fillable application. 
 
This is a great way to spruce up your neighborhood and get some fresh air, but please remember to observe social distancing and wear masks!
 
If you have any questions about EGSD's neighborhood cleanup service, please contact: 
 
Cristina Polsgrove
Public Information Officer
Tucson Environmental & General Services
520-837-3715
cristina.polsgrove@tucsonaz.gov
 
Ward 3 Ballot Drop Off Sites
 
Voters can drop off their ballots at various locations throughout the city and county. Here are two sites convenient for Ward 3 residents.
 
Recorder's Main Office, 240 N. Stone Ave.
Oct. 19-30, Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm 
Oct. 31,  9 am - 3 pm
Monday, Nov. 2, 8 am - 5 pm
 
Woods Library, 3455 N 1st Ave., between Prince and Ft. Lowell roads
Oct. 19-23, Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm
Oct. 26-30, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 am - 5 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am - 7 pm
Oct. 31, 9 am - 3 pm
Nov. 8 am - 5 pm
 
Drive up to outdoor tent, stay in your car, staff will get your ballot from you.
Call 520-724-4330 with questions, do not call the sites.
 
Southwest Gas Offers Payment Assistance Programs to Customers Impacted by COVID-19
 
The COVID-19 outbreak has placed unexpected financial hardships on the people in the communities we serve. Southwest Gas understands that these are trying times for many individuals and wants to help customers through it. Since March, Southwest Gas has temporarily ceased all service disconnections for nonpayment, as well as late fees.
 
Southwest Gas offers many programs, including flexible payment plans, payment assistance programs, and income qualified rate assistance, for customers in Arizona.
 
Low Income Ratepayer Assistance (LIRA)
 
Customers who have recently lost their job, or are receiving unemployment benefits, may qualify for a reduced energy rate through our LIRA Program. This program helps customers save money by providing a yearly 30% reduction in the monthly basic service charge and a “per therm” rate discount. The “per therm” discount which is applied each month from November 1 through April 30.
 
Energy Share Program
 
Southwest Gas has $1 million available to customers experiencing unexpected financial difficulties, such as the loss of a job or medical emergency related to COVID-19. The Energy Share program allows customers facing financial hardship who qualify, to receive assistance towards paying their Southwest Gas bill. Customers do not need to meet Federal Poverty Income Guidelines to qualify.
 
Deferred Payment Program
 
For customers who can demonstrate a hardship and have outstanding bills, our deferred payment plan allows them to pay their bill over an extended period of time. We also make referrals to government or local social service agencies
 
For more about these programs visit SWGas or call 1-877-860-6020.
 
Additionally, Southwest Gas may contact customers regarding their account but will never call or show up in person to demand payment with the threat of a disruption of service. If you receive a call from our representatives, they will simply verify your identity to discuss your account. Any calls that ask you to make an immediate payment should be considered a scam, so please do not provide any personal information and hang up. You can call 1-877-860-6020 to verify the legitimacy of any calls or visits that you receive.
 
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Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
 
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
 
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