Pauls Note: Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Paul's Ward 3 News and Updates
 
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
 
News and Updates
Upcoming Events
Pet of the Week                 
Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
 
Ward 3 News and Updates
 
As we come to the end of the bleakest of years, let us say good riddance to 2020. We all have been affected, one way or another, by the horrific COVID-19 virus. Our lives have been upended and some changes we underwent will become permanent. Many of us likely know someone who became infected or, worse, died from the virus. As of Tuesday, 1,022 Pima County residents died of COVID-19, which has infected 67,679 county residents so far. Let us acknowledge that fact and let us acknowledge that as a community, as a city and as a country we could have done more to diminish the hurt and damage from the virus.
 
Let us, however, recognize the spirit of our city and our Ward 3 community for rising to meet the challenges we confronted in 2020. Let’s celebrate the many individuals, neighborhood groups, schools and City of Tucson departments and its employees who turned to action to support others in their time of crisis. When the pandemic began to take root in Tucson in March, Keeling neighbors Carrot Quinn and Lula Torres organized a free food distribution network in their neighborhood. Likewise the small cadre of residents in Balboa Heights, known as the Friends of the Marty Birdman Center, maintained its annual giveaway of back-to-school supplies in August and Thanksgiving meals to families at Keeling and Nash elementary schools in a COVID-safe manner. The Amphi School District gave out personal computer devices to its students who were forced to stay at home and engage in virtual learning. GAP Ministries, which operates a food bank in Ward 3, stepped up its food distribution making deliveries to the more than 400 residents at the Tucson House, the City’s largest public housing facility. As some Ward 3 residents were able to stay home and work remotely, many of our neighbors fulfilled their obligations as on-site essential workers to ensure that our private and public entities continued to function and to deliver needed services.
 
City of Tucson services quickly adjusted to public health recommendations. The City of Tucson’s Department of Transportation and Mobility quickly implemented a slow streets program to ensure neighbors could walk, bike or skate safely on neighborhood streets during the pandemic. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department quickly pivoted to provide a COVID-safe reimagined KIDCO program so that kids had a safe place to be during the day if their parents had to go to work as well as COVID-safe holiday events for families. The City of Tucson’s Housing and Community Development Department moved swiftly to provide COVID-safe lodging to people experiencing homelessness and transitioned over 200 people into permanent supportive housing. These are just a few of the amazing efforts implemented by City of Tucson employees to help Tucsonans during this pandemic.
 
Tucson’s Mayor and Council invested in community supports to help stabilize over 4,000 households behind on their rent or utility bills as well as direct cash assistance to over 5,000 low-income households. Mayor and Council gave direction to provide over $9 million in loans and grants to 800small businesses, over $3 million to artists, arts organizations and venues as well as over $2 million to community food delivery services. None of this would have been possible without city employees and non-profit partners who worked tirelessly to get these supports out in the community. Thank you!
 
So as we say goodbye to 2020 leaving it in our rear-view mirror, we mourn the deaths and damage brought on by the virus but let’s also reaffirm our resiliency and our commitment to aid those who will continue to be hurt by the residual damage. Our troubles from 2020 will bleed into 2021. Evictions will remain a pressing issue. The economy will continue to teeter. And the virus will remain. Let’s double down on resolving our communal challenges and welcome the New Year with the same focus and determination that helped us navigate the stormy waters of 2020.
 
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Upcoming Events
 
Ward 3 Neighborhood Engagement Series
 
Thank you to everyone who have participated in the Ward 3 Neighborhood Engagement Series. The four sessions are now online and you can view them here.
 
Session 1: Introduction to the Series
 
We have really enjoyed putting together this neighborhood series and we have learned a lot along the way. We also enjoyed the chance to see everyone and stay connected.  
 
 
We hope to keep the momentum going into the New Year. Registration is now active for our next three sessions. Please register via the links below.
 
January 7 at 5:30 pm
 
January 21 at 5:30 pm
Session 6: E-Newsletters
 
February 4 at 5:30 pm
 
People, Community, and Homes Investment Plan (P-CHIP)
 
The City is asking for your opinions and suggestions on how best to fund programs to reduce homelessness, widen access to health care, affordable housing and education, and to improve transportation and mobility for all types of travel.
The City of Tucson’s Department of Housing and Community Development will hold two public virtual forums on its proposed P-CHIP, People, Communities, and Homes Investment Plan. This plan will be used as the blueprint for how HCD will fund programs for the next five years. Looking back at previous plans, public forums, and priorities set by the Mayor and Council, these issues emerged as the top priorities:
  • Addressing and preventing homelessness
  • Access to health care
  • Equitable access to opportunities for training, education, and housing
  • Transportation and mobility for all forms of travel
  • Access to quality affordable housing
 
The draft plan can be viewed online at p-chip.tucsonaz.gov/pages/plan.
The two public forums will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 6, from 6-7 pm, and Thursday, Jan. 7, from 11 am-noon. Please Register here if you would like to participate.
 
Central Business District Virtual Session
 
Register to attend a virtual session on the proposed expansion of the Central Business District. A portion of Ward 3, principally in the ‘05 zip code area, is currently included in the Central Business District. The sessions are intended to receive residents opinions on the expansion and the use of its tax incentive tool within this district called the Government Property Lease Excise Tax or GPLET.
 
 
The GPLET is an 8-year property tax abatement, allowed by state law, which the City of Tucson can give to businesses within the CBD district boundary. It is an incentive tool to attract investment in and near the downtown core. The goal is to bring in jobs, add retail and commercial space and affordable housing, revitalize existing buildings, and increase tax revenue for the City and other tax jurisdictions, including Tucson Unified School District. Since its inception the City has approved 23 GLPET agreements.
The first session, hosted by Ward 3, is January 7 followed by six more throughout January. Register at this site for the Jan. 7 session.
 
To register to attend any of the other virtual meetings you can click on the links below.
 
 
Let your voice be heard!
 
Medical Marijuana
 
The City of Tucson will hold two public meetings on potential changes to zoning regulations related to medical and recreational marijuana. Voters in November approved the legal use of minimal amounts of marijuana by adults. At the direction of the Mayor and Council, the City’s Planning and Development Services Department will hold the virtual sessions to explain the existing regulations for medical marijuana, and potential amendments to the Unified Development Code (UDC) related to both medical marijuana and adult use marijuana. Time will be provided for participants to share their feedback and suggestions regarding proposed changes. This feedback will help shape a proposal that will be brought to the Planning Commission and ultimately Mayor and Council for review.
 
The first sessions will be held Monday, Jan. 11 from 12-1:30 pm and the second session on Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 5:30-7 pm. Sign up to attend here. More information is available here. If you would like to share feedback but are unable to attend one of the two meetings, please contact Daniel Bursuck at daniel.bursuck@tucsonaz.gov
 
Free English Classes
 
Literacy Connects is offering free online English classes. It’s next session begins January 20 and lasts until May 14. ELAA classes are currently online because of COVID-19. Register here for the new session.
 
 
 
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Pet of the Week
 
 
 
Bosti is a graduate of Pima Animal Care Center’s decompression program for shy and fearful dogs. When he came to them he was very scared to be in the shelter, but who wouldn't be? He really blossomed during his time in the program.
 
He's curious about other dogs, but has been keeping to himself for the most part. Bosti knows how to walk nicely on a leash and loves tasty treats, like chicken (smart guy).
 
Bosti was brought to PACC as a stray after he climbed a six-foot fence to get to a lady he really wanted to meet, so he'd do best in a home with a secure fenced yard and a patient owner who is willing to give him time and space to become comfortable with his new family.
 
Bosti lived with a family briefly who said he was a little too interested in their cats, so no kitties please!

The most recent pupdate was when Bosti spent about a month in a home where they learned he was housebroken, he did great with a 7 year old child, and enjoyed sleeping in bed with his owner.

Ask Bosti's volunteer advocate, Robin, about him: rldaniels18@gmail.com

BOSTI IS ENROLLED IN THE GOOD DOG PROJECT AT PACC
- Read a message from his case manager here: www.tinyurl.com/gdpmessage
- Ask his case manager about him: rachel.jones@pima.gov

 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
 
Sugarhill Meetup @ Mansfield Park
Sunday
January 3
4-6 pm
SE Corner of Mansfield Park
2000 N 4th Ave
 
Cabrini
Tuesday
January 5
6-7 pm
Zoom
 
El Cortez
Thursday
January 7
6:15-7:45 pm
 
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Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
 
Follow us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
 
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