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 Next Council Meeting                     Free COVID-19 Testing                      City of Tucson

Hi Tucson!
I can’t believe October is here and hopefully soon we’ll have a bit of relief from the hot summer temperatures. As we head into the last quarter of the year, let’s not forget how far we’ve come. It’s been a challenging 2020, but thanks to the collective sacrifices we have all made, we have much to look forward to. 

As we enter fall, let’s take some time to reflect, to thank the essential workers who have kept Tucson going and the many community heroes who organized to help those in need.  

I also want to thank each and everyone of you for doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Let's keep it up so we can continue to recover and come back even stronger. We are in this together.

We Are One | Somos Uno, Tucson!
-Mayor Regina Romero

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Your vote is your voice! Vote this November 3.  
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Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The world lost a fierce fighter on September 18, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A tremendous champion for gender equality and women’s issues, she was a tireless voice for justice. A voice that gave way to many opportunities for women. 

Although she was not large in stature, Justice Ginsburg was a titan on the Supreme Court, spearheading major court decisions and writing precedent-setting opinions on the issues of women’s rights, reproductive rights, among many others that extended constitutionally-protected liberties to all of us. 

Justice Ginsburg is an inspiration to young women in Tucson and throughout the country, and her life was marked by the shattering of several glass ceilings. We will greatly miss Justice Ginsburg’s voice on the Court, her now infamous exercise routines, her scathing dissents, and most importantly, her relentless passion for justice for all. 

Rest in peace, “Notorious RBG.” 

Our Fight Against COVID-19 Continues

As of October 4, Pima County has recorded a total of 25,925 cases and 627 deaths due to COVID-19.
 
Mobile Mask Distribution Events 

Need a face mask? Stop by one of the City's distribution events. The events are set up as drive-thrus for you to drive-up or bike-up and tell us how many masks you need.

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 5-7 p.m.
Donna Liggins Recreation Center, 2160 N. 6th Ave.

Saturday, Oct. 17, 8-10 a.m.
Mission Manor Park, 5900 S. 12th Ave.

Community Pop-Up Testing Centers
Walk-Up, No Appointment Needed

 
Location                                                                                             Date and Time
YWCA
 525 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson, AZ 85745
Oct. 10,
8 am - 1 pm

Rising Star Baptist Church
 2800 E. 36th St., Tucson, AZ 85713

Oct. 17,
8 am - 12 pm

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church 850 N. 11th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705

Oct. 24,
8 am - 12 pm

St. John the Evangelist Catholic - Casa San Juan
 602 W. Ajo Way, Tucson, AZ 85713
Oct. 27,
7:30 am - 12:30 pm
9/22 Mayor & Council Meeting Updates
CARES Funds Update
Mayor & Council voted to allocate an additional $7.85 million dollars in CARES funds to help residents in need. The funds will provide much needed help to small businesses, nonprofits, workers and families, as well as entertainment venues.  






COVID-19 Relief Premium Pay
At the last meeting, we also voted to provide COVID-19 Relief Premium Pay to our city’s #EssentialWorkers who had to show up to work during the height of the pandemic to provide the services Tucsonans depend on. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices.  



Transit Fares
Lastly, Mayor & Council also voted to suspend fares for public transit through the end of the year. We know that times are tough for many Tucsonans and hope this will provide some relief to those who ride our transit system to move around our city.  
We Are One | Somos Uno Resiliency Fund
Small Business Utility Assistance Grants

As part of the City of Tucson’s CARES Act funds, my colleagues and I approved $1M to be distributed to small businesses to help pay for utilities.

The Small Business Utility Assistance Grants will provide up to $4,000 to pay electric, water, gas, sewer, and trash utility bills. The grants will not cover cable and telephone bills. Grants will be awarded directly to utility companies.

Preference will be given to small businesses that have not receive assistance from other programs and to woman-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, disabled-owned, and otherwise disadvantaged groups to increase the equitable dispersion of grant funds throughout the City of Tucson.

Application opens October 5, 2020 at 1 p.m. 


APPLY!

Arts & Culture Grants

Our cultural bearers are truly suffering during these unprecedented times. To support local artists and art organizations, we have partnered with the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona to provide much needed financial assistance.

Artist Grants
One-time emergency relief funds will reimburse between $1,000 to $2,000 in arts-related lost income.







The Arts and Culture Assistance Grants
One-time emergency relief funds will reimburse between $5,000 to $10,000 in lost income.








Application Deadline: Monday, October 5, 2020 
APPLY!

Childcare Grants
For many working families, having reliable and safe childcare, particularly during a pandemic, can be the difference between going back to work or staying home. Mayor & Council allocated $500,000 to help Tucson families access quality childcare  and help alleviate some of the stress of leaving home. The funds will be administered by Catholic Community Services.

Details on how and when to apply for the funds coming soon. 

Places We Love Tour!
In support of the reopening of downtown, last Saturday my staff and I kicked off the Places We Love Tour by providing free masks and COVID-19 testing at the Rialto. More than 50 people stopped by for testing administered by Rescue Me Wellness.  Esteban Camarena with the Census was also there encouraging residents to complete the Census as soon as possible. 

I'll be at various locations throughout the city supporting our small businesses and venues. I encourage you to stop by for free COVID-19 testing and masks. Stay tuned to see where I'll be next! 
Hispanic Heritage Month

On September 15, we kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrating the history, culture and contributions of Hispanics and Latin-Americans in the U.S. From our 23 miles of delicious Mexican food, to the gigantic colorful murals across the city that celebrate our multi-cultural roots, Tucson’s diversity is greatly influenced by Hispanic culture. 

I hope you take the time to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month and partake in some of the virtual activities.  Whether it be picking up a new book by a Hispanic author or learning more about diversity and inclusion by attending a webinar, join the celebration that goes on until October 15. 

Stay tuned for information on my Places We Love Tour where I’ll visit some of my favorite Hispanic-owned businesses during the month of October. 

Tucson Census Fiesta

On Friday, September 25, I joined the Census team at the Grant Plaza South Shopping Center where Tucsonans stopped to complete the 2020 Census and enjoy delicious “raspados.” It was great to chat with attendees and watch the kids ballet folklorico. 

The Census deadline has been extended to October 31. Don’t leave it ‘til the last minute!

Complete the Census today.

Complete the Census
Climate Change & Sustainability
Climate Emergency Declaration

On September 9, my colleagues and I declared a climate emergency for the City of Tucson. Council Member Paul Durham and I led the effort to create a pathway to make our city climate resilient.   

With support from 35 different organizations and over 1,200 constituents, the declaration sets a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 and commits the City to developing and implementing a comprehensive 10-year Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. The declaration also focuses on deploying a Just and Equitable Transition with an emphasis on people of color, immigrants, Indigenous communities, low-income individuals, people with disabilities, and the unhoused – all who are disproportionately affected by the adverse health consequences of climate change.  

I am excited to collectively work with community members, City departments and diverse stakeholders to achieve the goals set in the Declaration. 

See full declaration here

Community Tree Planting 

We are making great progress in our Tucson Million Trees initiative! Since April 2020, we have planted and/or distributed close to 6,000 trees across the city.

To kickoff tree planting season, on September 24, more than 50 volunteers joined Council Member Fimbres and I to plant 25 trees and 170 pollinators. An additional 75 trees and 580 pollinators will be planted at the same location over the next three weeks. The trees will provide much needed shade to Ward 5 residents where tree canopy is low making residents more vulnerable to extreme heatwaves.  

A huge thanks to Trees for Tucson, Tucson Clean and Beautiful, Tucson Water, the City’s Environmental Services, and our community volunteers for being part of this important initiative. 

It's Tree Planting Season!

Take advantage of tree planting season and plant a native or shade tree in your community. Help us make Tucson a greener, more climate resilient city. Join the Tucson Million Trees initiative by planting a tree and sharing it here

Let's start a trend! Tag 
#tucsonmilliontrees on social media so I can see all the beautiful trees being planted throughout Tucson.


For tips on how to plant and maintain trees, visit our partner’s website here.

Low-Cost Tree Programs 
Doing your part to increase Tucson's tree canopy does not have to break the bank. Low-cost tree programs offer native trees at low prices.

Thrive in the 05 Live Resource Café

Fatima Luna, Environmental and Sustainability Advisor, along with Genesis Cubillas, Community Engagement Advisor, from my office joined Veronica Sanchez on Thrive in the 05 to share more about the Tucson Million Trees initiative.
Watch the full episode
 here

Letters for Change

Welcome Refugees in 2021 
I joined over 500 bipartisan elected officials from all 50 states & DC to ask the Trump Administration to #WelcomeRefugees by establishing a humane refugee admissions goal for 2021. There are 26 million refugees in need of resettlement, yet less than 1% will be resettled. Tucson has a sizable refugee population that contributes to our local economy and helps make us the diverse, culturally rich city that we are. As Mayor, I will make sure that our city continues to #WelcomeRefugees and will urge the Trump Administration to do the same. 
Letter to Properties Near the University of Arizona 
As you have likely seen in the news, the University of Arizona campus and areas in its immediate surroundings have been a hotspot for new COVID-19 cases. Many of these cases are coming from off-campus high-rises where students live. The number of cases in these facilities is cause for concern, not just for the students themselves, but for the potential of community spread. That’s why I joined the University of Arizona and Chairman Ramon Valadez in sending a letter to owners of these off-campus high-rises.
Ride Along with TPD's
Mental Health and Substance Teams

Homeless Outreach and Substance Abuse Teams
My staff  joined Tucson Police Department’s Mental Health and Substance Team, the Substance Use Response  Team, and the Homeless Outreach Team  to learn more about their work in the community.  The team had the opportunity to ride along with the response teams while they conducted outreach to residents experiencing homelessness. Response team members offered services ranging from housing, food, and medical care. By collaborating with a variety of community organizations, the teams provide different resources depending on individual needs.

My thanks to TPD for allowing my staff to ride along and get a glimpse of the important work they do on a daily basis.  

Tucson Slow Streets

The Tucson Slow Streets program temporarily closes certain neighborhood streets to all but local traffic, giving Tucsonans more space to safely walk, bike, and run. In June 2020, my colleagues and I approved COVID Relief Funds for the continuation of the Slow Streets program, building off the success of the pilot launched in May 2020. The funding covers the use of temporary equipment to close and slow traffic, and pays for low-cost traffic calming improvements – such as speed humps and traffic circles – that will remain in place when the barricades are gone. 

We are currently in Phase 2 of the program which will run through the end of the calendar year. For this phase, the focus is on vulnerable communities that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. The Slow Streets are active for one month at each location, followed by the construction of low-cost traffic calming improvements. Three locations are currently under construction. A total of 15 locations will be completed in various rounds by December 31, 2020, as part of Phase 2. Ten of the 15 locations are located in the five zip codes hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Arts & Culture

Halloween Will be a Bit Different This Year

As the mother of two kids who love trick-or-treating, I know how disappointing it will be for many families to limit Halloween activities this year. I encourage everyone to follow Pima County guidelines. Let's focus on protecting our families as we continue to fight COVID-19.

Too Scary! (CAUTION - AVOID) 

  • Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members – remember, the fewer people you interact with the better you control exposure. 

  • Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted-houses – even outdoors. These events require close contact with others and frequent contact for staff working those events.  Any events should should adhere to Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-43 restricting public gatherings to fewer than 50 people and requiring the maintenance of physical distancing. 

  • Door-to-door trick or treating - It is difficult to maintain proper physical distancing on porches and front doors, not to mention sharing candy. Avoid reaching into a shared candy bowl or receiving candy by hand from people outside your household. 

  • “Trunk-or-Treat” Events - children going from car-to-car instead of door-to-door to receive treats is still risky. Although it is outside, it is difficult to avoid crowds and contamination in candy bowls. 

 Just Right! (PROCEED WITH CAUTION)

  • Online parties and contests, such as costume or pumpkin carving. 

  • Car parades that comply with public health guidance for vehicle-based parades.  

  • Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters that comply with public health drive-in movie theater guidance. 

  • Halloween-themed meals at outdoor restaurants that comply with safety protocols. 

  • Decorating homes and yards with awesome, scary decorations. 

In the News!
KGUN 9
Tucson City Council Passes Over $9M in Funds for Coronavirus Relief 


Tucson Daily Star
How Tucson Will Help Families Pay For Childcare Amid COVID-19


KOLD 
Tucson Mayor, Council Approve $500K to Help Families with Childcare


Arizona Republic
From Hero to Zero: Arizona was a leader in climate policy 15 years ago. What happened? 

University of Arizona News
White House Coronavirus Task Force Leader Deborah Birx Visits UArizona Labs

Arizona Public Media
Council Weighs Abolishing Fares on Buses, Streetcars


KGUN 9 
Mayor Romero Urges Community Members to Fill Out the Census 


Arizona Bilingual 
Mensaje Importante de la Alcaldesa de Tucson

Tucson Daily Star
Tucson May Tighten Water-For-Annexation Rules 


Arizona Public Media
Tucson to Stick with Development Tax Incentive, but Changes Coming

Telemundo Arizona 
Movilización para que Inmigrantes llenen el Censo

KGUN9
City of Tucson, El Rio Health Offer Free COVID-19 Testing at El Pueblo Center

Tucson Weekly
City of Tucson Climate Emergency Declaration: The Importance of Acting Now 


Arizona Public Media
Tucson City Council Vote on Climate Emergency Declaration


KOLD13
Tucson Leaders to consider 'Climate Emergency' Declaration

 
Support the Resiliency Fund!
The We Are One | Somos Uno Resiliency Fund was established to provide immediate and long-term support to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund allows donors to support nonprofit and for-profit organizations impacted by the crisis.

DONATE
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