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Happy Friday, Tucson!

It was a busy week here at the Mayor’s Office. Please see below for your weekly updates, including a message on Black History Month, exciting new national partnerships, #SaveOurStages, a new community survey for our climate action plan, and much more. 

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out me at Mayor.Romero@tucsonaz.gov if my office can be of assistance. Have a great weekend! 

Celebrating Black History Month
During the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month. It is important that we acknowledge the plights and trauma that Black Americans have endured both in the past and the present – starting with the racist institution of slavery, and continuing with the systemic racism that still exists today. We must also recognize that the progress that has been accomplished is the result of hundreds of years of tireless efforts and struggle by Black Americans to build a more inclusive nation.

Every facet of this country, from the Labor Movement and American politics, to arts & culture and entertainment, would be fundamentally incomplete without the contributions of Black Americans. Our collective society has been influenced in so many profound ways by the contributions of Black Americans, just recently with Amanda Gorman becoming the first Poet Laureate at the Presidential Inauguration, to Rosa Parks, who’s famous bus boycott helped inspire the Civil Rights Movement.  

Black History is not only the contributions that Black Americans have achieved for our country, but it is the creation and development of Black American culture. Black culture is not only Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech. It is the speech, every person who fought along Dr.King for their rights, and every person who continues the fight – “good trouble.” 
Save Our Stages/REVS Roundtable

This morning, I hosted a roundtable discussion with local independent venues, arts & culture organizations, and representatives of industry workers. Speakers included representatives from the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, as well as the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and the Music Policy Forum - two national organizations who helped craft the language for the Save Our Stages Act, which was included in the latest COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress in December. 

Topics included details of the $15 billion included for “Shuttered Venue Operators” in the latest COVID-19 relief package, as well as a conversation about best practices for re-opening local venues once safe, and how local government can support. I also announced that the City of Tucson will be joining the Re-open Every Venue Safely (REVS) initiative, a national cohort of pilot cities sharing strategies and resources to best position their community for the reopening of live music.

My office will be working in conjunction with the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona on this new initiative. With the new REVS initiative, Tucson will be working alongside other cities and local stakeholders to share best practices and position ourselves to successfully re-open our local venues – who have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic – as soon as it is safe. 

View the full discussion on our Youtube Page
1t.org Announcment

I have joined the 1t.org US Chapter Stakeholder Council, a 24-member Council of forward-thinking leaders from across government, the corporate sector, nonprofits and civil society organizations that inform the strategic direction of the 1t.org US Chapter

It is an honor to be the first Mayor to serve on the Stakeholder Council and join such a distinguished group of leaders who support nature-based solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. I am inspired by the multisector commitment in the 1t.org US Stakeholder Council and I am ready to do my part to advance the restoration and conservation of green spaces here in Tucson, through the #TucsonMillionTrees initiative, and throughout our nation as part of this Council. 

Arizona Environmental Day

Early this week, I joined hundreds of volunteers in the virtual Arizona Environmental Day to advocate for environmental and climate justice. Black, Indigenous, people of color and low-income communities continue to bear the burden on climate pollution.

I applaud the youth, volunteers, activists and stakeholders who participated in the event and met with our state representatives to ask for the clean air, clean water, and the protection of our precious public lands, as well as for our democratic process.

Climate Action Community Survey

Today we released our Climate Action Community Survey. The survey kicked start the community engagement process for developing Tucson’s Climate Action Plan. The input will help create a roadmap to reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and respond to and prepare for the increasing impacts of climate change. The goal is to improve the city’s environmental and sustainability practices while increasing Tucsonans' quality of life for decades. 

Take the survey today and help us steer the city towards a healthy, equitable, and resilient future!I want to give a shout out to Pragnya Karlapudi and Scott Hancock, former fellows at the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), for revising our community survey and making sure it reflects youth voices.

"I feel incredibly humbled to have played a role in setting the foundation for what will be Tucson's first climate action plan. The entire process was an eye-opening experience in community-driven and climate justice-centered policy. I hope this survey will provide a footing for the City of Tucson to become a leader in climate solutions around the world."
--Pragnya Karlapudi
"This survey is designed to gather community input to inform Tucson's future climate priorities, keeping equity in mind while using a bottom-up approach. It was an honor and a joy to be able to support this important project that aligns so closely with my own personal goals. I can't wait to see the impacts this has on Tucson's bright, green future."
-- Scott Hancock 
Take the survey
American Rescue Plan

President Biden's American Rescue Plan proposal is proportionate to the level of need in our communities - we simply cannot afford to go small. Decisive action is needed to support struggling businesses, and help families keep food on the table, pay their utilities, and stay in their homes, regardless of immigration status. 

Local governments, including the City of Tucson, are spending millions to support testing and vaccination efforts, which is why it is critical that the next federal package includes direct aid to local government. I applaud Senator Sinema and Senator Kelly for taking swift action to advance the next federal relief package just earlier today.  

Ward 3

Earlier this week, Councilmember Paul Durham announced that he would be resigning from the Ward 3 seat effective March 1st. I want to thank Council Member Durham for his service to the City of Tucson. Paul has been a dedicated advocate for the residents of Ward 3 and has truly exemplified what it means to be a public servant.

I am grateful for his leadership on issues ranging from climate action to affordable housing and will miss his voice on the Council. I know this must have been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and I ask our community to join me in thanking him for his service to Tucsonans.

Watch Live
In Case You Missed It...
Mayor Romero op-ed: City-state partnership important to addressing environmental inequities
City will double current funding for residential street repair in next fiscal year
Estas son las medidas económicas del gobierno de Biden para enviar un nuevo cheque de ayuda
Romero becomes the first mayor to join 1t.org’s US Chapter Stakeholder Council
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