In this update:

-Please Attend Vote By Mail Public Hearing April 5
-César E. Chávez Week Events
     -A Evening with Dolores Huerta
     -Arizona César E. Chávez Coalition Hosts 10th Annual César E. Chávez March and Rally
-Precious Knowledge Premiere

Information on Vote By Mail

Please attend a vote-by-mail public hearing on April 5. I would like to hear from you.

Mayor and Council will be reviewing recent trends across Arizona and the country and potentially adopting an all vote-by-mail election in 2011. We are discussing it at today’s Mayor and Council study session and will have a public hearing on April 5.

Reviews from other cities and states show vote-by-mail strengthens our democracy by dramatically increasing participation while providing considerable cost savings for taxpayers.

Tucson’s elections are run by the City Clerk’s office. Due to changes in federal requirements, they have had difficulty securing locations for election-day voting areas and have been reducing the number of voting locations, eliminating the ability for people to go to area polls.

Many voters support vote-by-mail because it gives them more time review the many candidates and issues on the ballot. Ballots are mailed one month in advance of the election.

Local jurisdictions Sahuarita and Oro Valley as well cities and towns across Arizona such as Winslow, Surprise, Prescott Valley, Pinetop-Lakeside, Peoria,  Payson, Paradise Valley, Litchfield Park and Globe, Chino Valley have gone to vote-by-mail and have seen a dramatic increase in participation.

In Tucson, as of February this year, 46% of Tucson voters have chosen to receive a permanent early ballot. These early voters comprise 60% to 90% percentage of votes cast over the past three elections whereas the 54% of  “poll” voters comprise 9% to 39% of votes cast over the same period.

For example in the 2009 primary, 91.3% of votes were cast by mail with only 8.7% of votes cast on election day. While “poll” voters are still a majority of the electorate, they are an ever increasing minority of actual voters.

City of Tucson current elections
• Due to budgetary and ADA accessibility issues, polling locations have been reduced from 180 to 65 locations

In a vote-by-mail election
• Every registered voter receives a ballot at their home
• Evidence from other states and local cities and towns shows dramatically increased participation
• There is a projects cost savings to the taxpayer

For more information please link to:

Please let me know how you feel about vote by mail! Send me your comments at ward1@tucsonaz.gov.

César E. Chávez Week Events

Arizona César E. Chávez Holiday Coalition Fundraiser Featuring An Evening with Dolores Huerta
Enjoy an evening with Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America and longtime activist.  Music, art, great company and conversation.  A $5 donation is suggested.

Who/What:  An Evening with Dolores Huerta, a Fundraiser for the Arizona César E. Chávez Holiday Coalition
Contact:  Arizona César E. Chávez Coalition at 940-7752
When:  Wednesday, March 23, 6-8 p.m.
Where:  Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery & Workshop, 218 E. 6th St.

The 11th Annual César E. Chávez March celebrates the life and work of Chávez.  This year the March is dedicated to promoting support for Public Education, as César E. Chávez believed that education was a key to change. Guest speakers, music and vendors will be on hand selling refreshments. Free and open to the public, families are encouraged to attend.

Who/What: Arizona César E. Chávez Coalition Hosts 11th Annual César E. Chavez March
Contact: Arizona César E. Chávez Coalition at 940-7752 or visit www.azcesarchavezcoalition.com for more information
When: Saturday, March 26, 2011, meet at Pueblo High School, March begins at 9am, will travel to Rudy Garcia Park (formerly Rodeo Park)
Where:  March will begin at Pueblo High School, and will walk east along W.44th St. and then south on S. 6th Ave. to Rudy Garcia Park.

Precious Knowledge Premiere, Thursday, March 24, 7:00 p.m., Fox Tucson Theatre

Dos Vatos Productions and UA's Hanson Film Institute present the FREE gala premiere of Precious Knowledge, the unforgettable story of student activism in Tucson.  Precious Knowledge is the gripping, current-headlines account of Tucson High School students and teachers forming the front line of an epic civil rights battle to save their Mexican American Studies classes. The film features a soundtrack by acclaimed musician Naim Amor.  In addition to the filmmakers and the student and teacher stars, the evening will include performances by Tucson High School Mariachi, Folklorico, and Drum Line prior to the screening.  There will also be a gallery showing of photography by Jeff Smith, who created a collection of portraits inspired by the film.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Free.

Who/What: Gala Premiere of Precious Knowledge
Contact: http://www.dosvatos.com/ or on facebook.com/preciousknowledge
When: Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m.
Where:  Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 West Congress St.