-Luncheon and Forum on Understanding Depression

-Future Neighborhood Meetings

 -88th Annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros—Last Weekend!

-Accenture Match Play Championship

-31st Annual Tucson Peace Fair

 -Public Hearing For Plan Tucson Draft

- Did you know....?

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Dear Tucsonans,

I recently noted concern over the Parks Department’s plan to move the annual Eggstravaganza event from Mansfield Park/Donna Liggins Center. I am pleased to let you know that that decision has been reversed so the celebration will remain where it started some fifteen years ago through the diligent efforts of Northwest area residents and civic groups.

The possibility of moving the event hit a raw nerve for many people in Ward 3 for a lot of reasons:

  • Mansfield Park and the Liggins Center lie within the neighborhoods historically known as “Sugar Hill," the part of town historically populated by African Americans given that it was one of the few places in Tucson where black professionals could buy a home between World War II and the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. 
  • It was the community, not City government, that started and supported this springtime event for children—many of whom were consistently overlooked, along with the neighborhoods, when it came to City investment and appropriate protection.
  • Thanks to the hard work and help of area leaders and staff at the Liggins Center, the event now draws more than 1,000 people—young and old alike—for a day of unity and fun; that success seemed worthy of reward rather than disregard.

It’s hard to admit mistakes, let alone to change course after a mistake has been made. I thank Parks Department Director Fred Gray for his strong leadership to make this right and make sure the 2013 Eggstravaganza and all future Eggstravaganzas remain at Mansfield Park/Liggins Center. It has become a treasured gathering open to all citywide. How wonderful to expand the celebration so humble and hard-won in its beginnings…it will be an opportunity to enjoy the day’s festivities, and to express long overdue thanks for this gift from Sugar Hill to all of Tucson.

Gun Safety

I am pleased that the full Mayor and Council voted to pass my motion in support the President’s package of proposed Gun Violence Reduction measures at the federal level. As I have said before, given the input received from many Tucsonans I believe this action reflects the will of the vast majority of City residents. You can learn more and get involved directly at the national level through www.demandaplan.org or www.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org. We also unanimously passed the policy to require background checks on all sales at gun shows held in City-operated facilities. While such local action certainly matters, I urge you to weigh in at the national level, too.

TPD and SB 1070

I think we all, including Tucson Police Chief Villasenor, anticipated problems with SB1070 from a local law enforcement perspective. The Supreme Court let Section 2B stand, which compels TPD to alert federal immigration authorities if they suspect a person may be in the country illegally. Lawsuits will probably be flying soon, either accusing TPD of failing to comply with SB1070 or for profiling on the basis of race/ethnicity or national origin. TPD has released their guidelines issued for officers to follow ( http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/files/police/general-orders/2300IMMIGRATION.pdf ) as well as the related training materials issued by legal counsel.

A protest on Monday called into question TPD’s interface with federal immigration authorities. I attended to listen, and have also been in close contact with TPD. I think it’s important to reaffirm key points as we move forward:

  • Everyone, including Chief Villasenor and TPD, agrees that public safety is the department’s primary focus and priority, not immigration enforcement, however the mandates of SB1070 clearly create certain new obligations for our officers.
  • TPD wants to sustain trust across the entire community to be able to protect and serve the community. They don’t want people—any victims, any witnesses, or anyone afraid they’ll be detained even though they’re here legally—to refuse interaction with officers, an outcome that would thwart fulfillment of their public safety mission.
  • TPD and Chief Villasenor recognize that they can best assure the whole community of their handling of this “rock and a hard place” position by sharing information regularly with the public.

Public involvement as we navigate this issue must continue. And we must do our best to hold together despite the divisive dynamic triggered by SB1070. Chief Villasenor consistently reaffirms TPD’s commitment to fulfilling its public safety mission as their focus and their priority. He and the City of Tucson weighed in during the legislative and litigation processes with concerns about the potential undermining of trust and the diversion of very limited local resources and officer time into immigration enforcement as demanded under SB1070. Until the seemingly inevitable lawsuits from all sides have been filed, heard, and ruled upon by the courts we will do our best, alongside other Arizona cities, to manage this in the continued best interest of Tucson.

Neighborhood Partnerships

Bravo to all the hardy neighborhood leaders who braved the snow Wednesday evening to attend the quarterly Public Safety Update at the Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance Meeting.  Capt. Barrett Baker, the public information officer from Tucson Fire, provided some timely guidance for weather-related safety measures, particularly for pedestrians. (Never forget: the cars always outweigh you.)

Lt. Sharon Callan from TPD's Operations Division West and Captain Jim McShea from Midtown, the two divisions that cover Ward 3,  partnered to talk participants through a PowerPoint presentation of information  requested at the last quarterly update. In addition to shifts in crime statistics and the effects of shoplifting on small local businesses,  discussion centered on quality of life issues in neighborhoods, such as graffiti and  landlord accountability.

Please contact Judith Anderson in my office if you are interested in seeing the TPD Powerpoint Presentation at 837-4232 or judith.anderson@tucsonaz.gov.

Here are useful links to additional information: 

The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program helps tenants, owners, and the managers of rental property work together to keep drugs and other illegal activity off their property.  For more information, go to http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/police/crime-free-multi-housing. An information-packed one-day free training is coming up on April 11.  To request an application or find out more, contact TPD Officer Becky Noel (837-7428 / Rebecca.Noel@tucsonaz.gov) with TPD Midtown Division or TPD Officer Kara Curtis (791-4467 / Kara.Curtis@tucsonaz.gov) at  TPD West Division.

The next meeting of the Graffiti Action Forum will take place from 10 am to noon on Saturday March 30 at the Martha Cooper Branch Library, 1377 N Catalina Av. at Fairmount.  Forum participants include representatives from Graffiti Protective Coatings, the TPD Tag Unit, juvenile and adult prosecutors, arts programs that might provide diversion activities, and neighborhood leaders.  Background: https://www.facebook.com/GraffitiActionForumTucson.

Enjoy all that Tucson has to offer this weekend,

Karin

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Ward 3 Events:

-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 talexander@icstucson.org

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Future Neighborhood Meetings:

Limberlost NA - Wednesday, February 27 at 6:30 p.m. Las Candelas, 401 E. Limberlost.

Jefferson Park NA – Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m. Ward 3 Council Office, 1510 E. Grant Road.

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City Wide Events:

 -88th Annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros-Tucson Rodeo-through February 24th.  For info and schedule of events: http://www.tucsonrodeo.com/home.html

-Accenture Match Play Championship – daily matches beginning at 8:30 a.m. Championship round on Sunday, February 24. The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, 13900 N. Dove Mountain Boulevard in Marana. The 64 best golfers in the world vie for a spot in Sunday’s finale. Bonus: if you had tickets for Wednesday (“snow day”) you may use them for free on Sunday for the semifinals and finals. Tickets available at Basha’s or www.worldgolfchampionships.com

-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: mdecamp@q.com or 250-9832.

 -Public Hearing for Plan Tucson Draft – Wednesday, February 27 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and Council Chambers of City Hall, 255 W. Alameda Street. Interested persons will have an opportunity to express their opinions of the Plan Tucson Draft before the City’s Planning Commission.

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 -Did you know….

...that Kore Press, a Tucson-based press that has been publishing women’s writing for 20 years, is working on “The Listening Project” a cross-generational, cross-cultural, civil discourse project that connects female teens with female veterans to collect stories, document narratives and promote understanding to create works for an on-line audio archive and radio production. Kore Press is seeking female veterans and service members in Arizona to be interviewed at City High School (48 E. Pennington, downtown Tucson) on the following days: February 21, 22, 23 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon OR 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. February 25 and 27 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Interviews may take up to two hours. For more information or to sign up: kore@korepress.org

that the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southern Arizona presents Pet Fix, a free spay/neuter clinic? Residents within the area bounded by I-10, Prince Road to the north, Columbus Boulevard to the east and Speedway to the south qualify for a FREE surgery for up to two pets at a participating clinic. Participating clinics include the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 881-0321 and Arizona Spay/Neuter Clinic at 624-5005. Call to make an appointment and for more information. Pet Fix is sponsored by donations, Pima County Health Department and Arizona Pet Friendly Spray/Neuter License Plate.

that Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s LGBT Community Center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members is celebrating their 25th Anniversary? Founded in 1988, Wingspan offers a number of Programs in the Tucson Community, i.e. Anti-Violence, Youth, and Senior Pride to name a few. More info at www.wingspan.org

…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