Karin's Note: Friday, May 9, 2014

Karin's Note: Friday, May 9, 2014

-Ward 3 Events
-Upcoming Area Neighborhood and Coalition Meeting(s)
-Citywide Events
-Did You Know?

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Dear Tucsonans,

 
On the Budget
 
Some of you may be aware of the tense and difficult budget negotiations occurring right now in Phoenix. The divisions are deep and emotions are running high. I mention that because we shouldn’t forget how we in Tucson navigated similarly challenging budgets in recent years. Unlike in Phoenix, all of our labor unions and employees did take 3% pay cuts through furloughs and by absorbing higher benefit costs for several years. Unlike in Phoenix, all of our labor unions and employees did give up merit/step increases to their pay (so their furloughs were not offset by other standard pay raises). Beyond that they’ve taken on bigger workloads as we shrank our workforce by close to 20%.
And like our employees, all segments of the community have assisted. Whether through passage of the street repaving bonds, supporting human service and arts groups losing City funding, or participating in countless community cleanup and improvement projects, Tucsonans rallied in the toughest of times with an eye toward the future. We can all be proud of the fact that we headed off much of the hardship that Phoenix now grapples with because we took action early in the economic downturn, and we took it collectively.
 
We’re close to adopting a FY2015 budget, and I am pleased that we’re doing so without forgetting the value of shared sacrifice and community spirit. Employees will absorb, again, higher health insurance costs and bigger workloads through the impending reorganization. They will also hold onto the clearly justified and very modest pay raise Mayor and Council enacted last year. The reorganization honors our commitment to the wider community by aggressively shifting remaining resources from management/administration into the direct delivery of our core services and high priority partnerships. We’ve made it clear that we expect improved park maintenance and the sustainment of quality services and programs across the organization. With restoration of state road repair funds, we’ll exceed the street improvement plan set out in the bond package approved by voters. In every area that we invest, we’ll strive to deliver improved outcomes that matter most to our community.
I hope when you next see a City employee you’ll consider recognizing and thanking them for their commitment to public service.
On Broadway
Mayor and Council voted to support the continued work of staff and the Citizens Task Force on shaping the future Broadway Corridor. Everyone recognizes the plan will have to demonstrate “functionality” (design elements that enhance and improve the mobility of people through the area). What’s not clear yet is the ideal number of lanes for autos, transit and bikes as well as pedestrians. Studies in the 1980’s overestimated the growth of auto traffic on Broadway, perhaps in part because it now also functions as one of the region’s major transit routes. Ultimately the design will need to satisfy mobility thresholds in-keeping with the voter-approved RTA Plan and County Bond authorization. We made it clear that the City can’t afford to forego or in good conscience consider forfeiting those funds now or in the future.
 
Investing in Women
Today I attended the Women in Government awards luncheon sponsored by the Tucson/Pima County Women’s Commission. Dozens of outstanding leaders were nominated and honored, and I congratulate and thank them for accomplishing so much for the betterment of our entire region. I also attended the annual Mother of the Year luncheon yesterday sponsored by Emerge!, the lead non-profit here that addresses domestic violence. It was inspiring to join so many other men and women to support the cause of ending the family violence. You can learn more about Emerge! and lend your support by visiting them at www.emergecenter.org. The local YWCA also held their annual event this morning to promote their mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Find out about their outstanding work at www.ywcatucson.org.
 
I found this 2005 address by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan that sums up the importance of investing in women and girls quite succinctly and powerfully:
Ten years ago, women gathered in Beijing and took a giant step forward.
As a result, the world recognized explicitly that gender equality is critical to the development and peace of every nation.  
 
Ten years on, women are not only more aware of their rights:  they are more able to exercise them.
 
Over this decade, we have seen tangible progress on many fronts.  Life expectancy and fertility rates have improved.  More girls are enrolled in primary education.  More women are earning an income than ever before.
 
We have also seen new challenges emerge.  Consider the trafficking of women and children -- an odious but increasingly common practice.  Or the terrifying growth of HIV/AIDS among women -- especially young women.
Yet, as we look back on the past decade, one thing stands out above all else:  we have learnt that the challenges facing women are not problems without solutions.  We have learnt what works and what doesn’t work.
 
If we are to change the historical legacy that puts women at a disadvantage in most societies, we must implement what we have learnt on a larger scale.  We must take specific, targeted action on a number of fronts.
The report of the Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality outlines seven strategic priorities for doing just that.
They represent seven specific investments and policies that can be applied readily over the coming decade, on a scale large enough to make a real difference.
First, strengthen girls’ access to secondary, as well as primary education.  Education holds the key to unlocking most of the obstacles facing girls and women -- from being forced into early marriage, to vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Second, guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights.  How can we achieve real equality when half a million women die of pregnancy-related causes every year -- causes that are entirely preventable?
Third, invest in infrastructure to reduce women’s and girls’ time burdens.  What are the prospects for girls and women who are forced to spend half of every day gathering water, fuel and other necessities for their families?
 
Fourth, guarantee women’s and girls’ property and inheritance rights. How can women climb out of poverty without access to land and housing?  And without that security, how can they protect themselves against the impact of HIV/AIDS?
 
The same goes for the fifth priority -- eliminating gender inequality in employment.  And a good job is also a woman’s best protection against falling prey to trafficking.
Sixth, increase women’s share of seats in national parliaments and local government.  Equality of opportunity in policy-making is not only a human right; it is a prerequisite for good governance.
And seventh, redouble efforts to combat violence against girls and women.  That means leadership in showing, by example, that when it comes to violence against women and girls, there are no grounds for tolerance and no tolerable excuses.
 
Friends, as you recommit yourselves to the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, I hope you will consider these seven priorities as guideposts that can help shape national programs.
 
Above all, I would urge the entire international community to remember that promoting gender equality is not only women’s responsibility -- it is the responsibility of all of us.
Sixty years have passed since the founders of the United Nations inscribed, on the first page of our Charter, the equal rights of men and women.
Since then, study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.
No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality.
No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health -- including the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation.
And I would also venture that no policy is more important in preventing conflict, or in achieving reconciliation after a conflict has ended.
But whatever the very real benefits of investing in women, the most important fact remains:  women themselves have the right to live in dignity, in freedom from want and from fear.
When the world’s leaders gather here in September to review progress in implementing the Millennium Declaration, I hope they will be able to take urgent action accordingly.
And I hope that all of you will keep up the good fight, and steer them in the right direction.
 
 
What a great aspiration to embrace this Mother’s Day weekend.
 
Have a good one,
 
Karin

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Ward 3 Events:

- Amphi Action Day - Saturday, May 10th 8:00 am - 1:30 pm at Amphi Park 510 E Navajo Rd. Help out with this great neighborhood event! Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Council Member Uhlich and Graffiti Protective Coatings (GPC) are teaming up to help us abate graffiti and clean-up refuse in the Amphi neighborhood. We are looking for 30 volunteers from the community to help. Breakfast and t-shirts will be provided as well as lunch at the wrap-up celebration in the park. Please contact Brianda or Matt at (520)791-4711 or ward3@tucsonaz.gov for more information or to sign-up to volunteer.

 
- Household Hazardous Waste Collection – Saturday, May 10th 8:00 am – noon at Mansfield Park 2000 N. 4th Ave. Do you have unused chemicals, oils or pesticides sitting in your shed or garage? The City of Tucson and Pima County have an option for you to clean out your space while keeping these hazardous materials out of the environment. Drop off of HHW is free for residents. Accepted materials include: Automotive fluids, auto and rechargeable batteries from electronics equipment, toxic cleaning products, fluorescent lamps, and more. The program only accepts materials generated in homes—no commercially-generated materials are accepted. More information is available on-line at www.tucsonaz.gov/hhw, by downloading the “my-waste” App or by calling ES Customer Service at (520) 791-3171.
 
- Mother’s Day Jazz Brunch – Sunday, May 11th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Monterey Court Studio and Galleries 505 West Miracle Mile. Celebrate Mom at Monterey Court’s Jazz Brunch! Features mimosa specials, flowers for all moms and music from the Sunset Red Jazz Sextet. Reservations recommended – call (520) 207-2429.
 
- Take Control. Live Free. Media Arts Awards Celebration – Thursday, May 15th 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center 1660 W. Ruthrauff Rd. The Amistades Substance Abuse Coalition will be hosting the 3rd Annual Media Arts Awards Celebration. Students from the Media Arts Program at Flowing Wells High School and Sunnyside High School competed in groups to create Public Service Announcements on underage drinking, marijuana, prescription drugs and synthetic drugs.  Winners from each category have been chosen to run on Cox, Comcast, and Azteca America and will be announced during the awards ceremony. All students will be receiving a prize for their film. RSVP to Melissa Gomez – melissagomez@amistadesinc.org.
 
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Upcoming Neighborhood and Coalition Meetings:
 
- Mountain/1st NA – Saturday, May 10th from 9:00 - 10:00 am at Mitchell Park 1100 E. Mitchell
 
- Limberlost NA - Saturday, May 10th from 2:00 – 4:30 pm at Don Hummel Park 399 E Limberlost Dr.
 
- Keeling NA – Monday, May 12th from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Cornerstone Fellowship 2902 N Geronimo

-Alvernon/Grant Initiative (AGI/TNBC) – Tuesday, May 13th 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Emerge! 2425 N. Haskell
 

-Campus Community Relations Committee (CCRC) – Tuesday, May 13th from 6:00 pm at U of A Student Union
 
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Citywide Events:
 
- 11th Annual Pie Party – Saturday, May 10th 3:00 – 6:00 pm at Mercado San Agustin 100 S. Avenida Convento. This year’s Pie Party is the 11th Annual and is being organized by Food Conspiracy Co-op. There will be sweet pies, savory pies, vegan pies, fruit pies and even artichoke pies. For $3 a slice (or $5 for two slices) patrons are invited to sample their fill. Each slice purchased means a vote for one of five nonprofits. Proceeds from the event go to the two organizations with the most votes at the end of the night. Nonprofits in the running this year include the Tucson Village Farm, Ironwood Tree Experience, The Happy Organization, the Farm Education Resource Network and El Grupo Youth Cycling. For more info, visit http://www.foodconspiracy.coop/event/pie-party/

- Commemorative Tree Dedication – Friday, May 16th 10:00 -11:00 am at River-Garden of the Families, 2500 S. Pantano Pkwy. Tucson Clean & Beautiful, in cooperation with the City of Tucson and Pima County, announce the dedication of 27 commemorative trees along the Pantano River Park. Each tree to be dedicated has been purchased by Tucson area residents, honoring friends and family. The dedication ceremony will include a reading of the names for which trees have been dedicated, and names inscribed at the nearby Children’s Memorial Garden. At the conclusion of the ceremony attendees are invited for a brief walking tour of the newly dedicated trees. Contact BJ Cordova at Bj.cordova@tucsonaz.gov or (520) 837-6832 for more information.

 
- AIDS Candlelight Memorial – Sunday, May 18th 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Himmel Park 1000 N. Tucson Blvd. The 32nd International AIDS Candlelight Memorial will be commemorated worldwide on this day. This year's local event will include a multi-faith blessing, performances, a moment of silence, reading of the names of those lost to HIV/AIDS, and a symbolic candle lighting. Free and open to the public. More information at http://www.candlelightmemorial.org/ and http://saaf.org/
 
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Did You Know...?
 
…that Iskashitaa Refugee Network is the 2014 recipient of the Meyer and Libby Marmis Humanitarian Award from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona? Iskashitaa, a grass roots organization located in our ward, helps rebuild refugee lives through partnerships with volunteers and local organizations.  Programs emphasize community connections, sharing, and English language practice to build community of refugees and volunteers.  Congratulations to this wonderful organization and thank you for all of your work throughout Tucson! To find out more about Iskashitaa or get involved, visit http://www.iskashitaa.org/
 
…that Tucson Water is hosting town halls in May to present information about water rates, service fees, and operating costs? Residents are encouraged to attend to learn more and ask questions about the financial costs to deliver water to customers, maintain the infrastructure, and invest in technology, efficiency, and future water sources. Tucson Water will propose modifying its rates and fees at a Mayor and Council public hearing on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Meetings will be held on May 13th at El Rio Neighborhood Center, May 14th at the Tucson Parks and Recreation Administration Office, and on May 15th at the Quincie Douglas Library.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Introductions and presentations will begin at 5:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be available. For more information and details on the different locations, go to http://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/water/docs/May_Water_Rates_Sessions.pdf or call Tucson Water’s Public Information and Conservation Office at (520) 791-4331.
 
…that you can be the frontline defense for our public rain gardens by joining the Monsoon Squad? Through gardening and observation, Monsoon Squad members play a pivotal role in making Watershed Management’s rain gardens look great and function properly. Members help care for WMG's community rain gardens including four City Council Offices and WMG's Living Lab and Learning Center. By joining the Monsoon Squad you will join a force of people that gather for exclusive trainings, special outings, and make water harvesting a shining public example. Now's your chance to join. On Wednesday, May 21st from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, there will a squad outing and orientation.  Visit http://watershedmg.org/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=12358&qid=493100 for
details and to join the squad.
…about the Road Recovery Sealcoating Program? Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co, under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will be sealcoating several Tucson roadways over the next two months as part of the voter-approved $100 million, five-year street bond program - Road Recovery.  The dates, work hours and locations for the next set of roadway improvements are listed below. The schedule of work in Ward 3 is as follows (and subject to change due to inclement weather):
 
Monday, May 12 – 7:00 am to 5:00 pm
Roger Road - Oracle Road to First Avenue
 
Tuesday, May 13 through Friday, May 16 – 7:00 am to 5:00 pm
Roger Road - Oracle Road to First Avenue
Glenn Street - Oracle Road to Alvernon Way
Glenn Street - Swan Road to Craycroft Road
Glenn Street and Tucson Boulevard Intersection
 
During this work, travel lane restrictions will be in place, however at least one lane of travel will be maintained in both directions. Business and residential access will be maintained at all times during the project.  The traveling public can expect delays when driving in these work areas.  Please obey all traffic control signs and watch for construction personnel and equipment in the work area. For more information on the Road Recovery Program can be found at www.tucsonaz.gov/streetbonds or by calling (520) 837-6686.