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DISTRICT 5 DIGEST: September 2021

Welcome to District 5 Digest! Our mission of this newsletter is to demystify the role of local government in our community and keep you up to date with County politics. As a life long resident of District 5 and now as Pima County Supervisor, it has always been vital to our shared community to know what's going on in our community and how everyone can get involved. Please share widely with your community and as always, please reach out to our team at district5@pima.gov with any questions or concerns. This newsletter will highlight District 5's activities for September 2021.

 

Stay safe,

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Photos & Media

Voter Registration Day! 

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Thank you to everyone who volunteered to make this year's Voter Registration Day Drive a success!🎉🗳️ District 5 worked with One Arizona non-partisan organizations to register over 100 new voters!👏🏽👏🏽 👏🏽

With Arizona Center for Empowerment, Arizona Coalition for Change, Mi Familia Vota, and Rural Arizona Engagement we coordinated an effort to register voters at Tucson, Pueblo, Cholla, Palo Verde, Amphi, Sunnyside and Desert View High Schools!

🗳️Please register to vote or check your voter registration status at Pima County Recorder's Office's website at www.recorder.pima.gov/RegisteringToVote

The People of District 5

Youth Spotlight: Abygayle Blair

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Abygayle Blair is a Junior at Tucson High Magnet School and the winner of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition. After learning about the competition, she made a piece celebrating the culture and heritage of Tucson, Arizona. With inspiration from Día de los Muertos, she decided to create an image with a man and a skeleton in a king of hearts playing card, along with the phrase “Memento Mori," made with colored pencils and pens. This piece is about the mortality of people and how we must remember the ones we’ve lost, hence why Abygayle combined the phrase “Memento Mori" and the Day of the Dead theme. Abygayle expresses interest in all type sorts of art, from the visual arts such as animation and illustration, to the performing arts like dancing and music. She wishes to pursue a career in the arts and will continue to practice her craft.

Congrats Abygayle!

 

If you know a young person in our community who you think should be highlighted, please visit www.adelitasgrijalva.com/youth-spotlight and nominate a youth!

Business Spotlight: Bookmans

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Forty-five years ago Bob Oldfather bought this store from his dad for a dollar. Bookmans is the largest used book retailer based in Arizona, according to Wikipedia. The enterprise has survived competition with chain bookstores and tech giants through versatility - they have expanded beyond books to selling CDs, DVDs, electronics, and video games. Bookmans is a special place for our community, with everything from second-hand books, to music, to trinkets that make the perfect gift. You can spend hours perusing the book titles and hanging out with friends or reading in the comfy chairs. Thank you Mr. Oldfather for all the memories and connections you have created! 

Bookmans has a few Tucson locations: 3330 E Speedway Blvd, 6230 E Speedway Blvd, and 3733 W Ina Rd.

COVID-19 Updates

There are various ways to receive your COVID-19 vaccine. For the most up to date information on how to get vaccinated, please visit pima.gov/covid19vaccine.

News from the latest Health Department press conference:

  • The numbers are in! Schools without mask mandates are 3.5 times more likely to have a COVID-19 outbreak than schools with an early masking requirement. You can read the study here.

  • The booster/third shot has been approved by the CDC at least six months after your second shot for certain situations: 

    • Those who are 65+ years old or in a long-term-care setting SHOULD get the third shot.​

    • Those who are 50 to 64 years old and have an underlying medical condition SHOULD get the third shot.

    • Those who are 18 to 49 years old and have an underlying medical condition MAY get the third shot.

    • Those who work in an occupational or institutional setting in which on easily can be exposed to COVID-19 MAY get the third shot. 

  • ICU bed capacity remains at less than 5 percent, resulting in ER delays and slow transfers here from rural areas. The problem is due not to hospital space or beds, it is a shortage of staff

TESTING CHANGES EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY FOR PIMA COUNTY SPONSORED SITES.

  • Through partnerships with Arizona State University, Premier Medical Group (PMG) and Paradigm Labs, Pima County is offering free COVID-19 testing, with some exceptions.

  • You CAN get tested for free at a Pima County testing site without a doctor's order if:

    • You are age 5 or older and have symptoms of COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone 

  who has tested positive for COVID. Note: if you had an initial negative test you SHOULD 

  quarantine and retest in 3 to 7 days dependent upon your vaccination status if symptoms 

  persist. Tests can be done with a home test kit or at the County-supported test site.

  • You CAN NOT get tested at a Pima County testing site if:

    • Your testing is needed for occupational or work-required reasons.

    • You do not have COVID symptoms and are seeking a repeat test within 14 days of a previous 

  test.

  • Due to high demand for COVID-19 testing, we encourage University of Arizona students and employees to schedule their free test through the University’s testing program.

Stay safe everyone! Mask up, wash your hands, and get vaccinated.

For the most up to date information on COVID-19, vaccinations, and testing, please visit the Pima County Health Department's website.

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Every month is Hispanic Heritage Month, but from September 15th to October 15th we make a special effort to celebrate the history and achievements of our diverse, vibrant, and resilient community and look forward to what lies ahead. We are grateful to all those who have fought to give us the rights we enjoy today: Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and countless others. To the artists and writers, such as Rita Moreno and Sandra Cisneros, who told our stories. To the workers who spent long hours doing backbreaking work so their children would have a better future. To the Dreamers.

We are all America.

Policy Updates

September 7th Meeting

D5-Sponsored Voter Registration Day Proclamation - September 28th

  • Our office worked with the League of Women Voters and the One Arizona Coalition, which includes Mi Familia Vota and Coalition for Change, to register students to vote.

National Suicide Awareness Month

  • Suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and the suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35 percent since 1999.

  • Pima County encourages residents to stand “Together for Mental Health,” increase understanding of mental illness and access to mental-health resources to reduce the occurrence of suicide in our community.

Amicus Brief in Support of Arizona School Board Association (ASBA) Mask and Vaccine Mandates

  • The Board of Supervisors had previously voted to support local school districts implementing precautions to keep students and staff safe.

  • This Amicus Brief will explain that “issues raised in the ASBA Complaint that are germane to the duties of Pima County and the Pima County Health Department, and the health and welfare of Pima County Residents.”

  • This item passed 4-1, with Supervisor Grijalva voting in favor.

Allocation of AZ Bowl Funding to Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) Nahui Ollin Wellness Program

  • The Board of Supervisors voted to allocate $38k in funding to this CPLC program.

  • The Nahui Ollin Program offers Chantlacah O.G. (Homies, Original Gente) Chantlacah O.G. allows a space to engage in critical dialogue on healthy manhood and masculinity.

  • These are the funds that would have gone to sponsoring the Arizona Bowl, and that were withdrawn due to sexist comments made by the founder of Barstool Sports, the title sponsor of the Arizona Bowl, as well as concerns about Barstool Sports’ online content.

  • This item passed 4-1, with Supervisor Grijalva voting in favor of this reallocation.

Disincentives for Unvaccinated Employees of Pima County

  • At the previous Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board voted to incentivize employees who received their vaccine with a $300 bonus.

  • This policy was successful. As of August 16th, 2,865 employees, or 46 percent had received at least one dose of vaccine. As of September 3rd, 4,427, or 66 percent, of employees had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

  • On September 7th, the Board voted on disincentives for employees who do not get vaccinated.

  • The disincentive is a $45.51 vaccine surcharge per pay period, or $1,183.26 annually, for all unvaccinated employees on the County insurance plan.

  • Employees who have a valid medical or religious exemption would not be subject to the surcharge.

  • This item passed 4-1, with Supervisor Grijalva voting in favor.

Acceptance of $2 million in Federal Funds to Provide Shelter Services for COVID-19 Positive/Exposed Asylum Seekers

  • Providing extra hotel sheltering allows for isolation and quarantine of people referred by Casa Alitas.

  • This is the best way to keep asylum seekers, and the community at large, healthy and safe.

  • This item passed 4-1, with Supervisor Grijalva voting in favor.

 

September 21st Meeting

D5-Sponsored “Falls Free Pima Falls Prevention Awareness Month” Proclamation

  • September is Falls Free Pima Fall Prevention Awareness Month.

  • From the proclamation: “slips and falls impact people of all ages in Arizona, resulting in personal and financial tolls for older adults in Pima County and the health-care system.”

  • This was presented to Pima Council on Aging.

D5-Sponsored "Domestic Violence Awareness Month" Proclamation

  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

  • The pandemic has exacerbated social and livelihood stresses and circumstances that lead to partner violence.

  • October 21st, 2021 is Wear Purple Day to raise awareness of domestic abuse, so remember to include something purple in your outfit that day.

  • This proclamation was presented to Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse. 

Update on Emergency Eviction Legal Services Program and the Rental Assistance Program

  • Supervisor Grijalva requested an update on these programs at the board meeting.

  • Over $27 million in rent and utility assistance paid out and/or obligated to 4,325 eligible households across this County. 

  • According to Arizona Public Media, "Pima County in particular leads nationwide in getting these federal funds to renters in need. The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that Pima County has approved or paid nearly 80% of its share of the funds."

  • The County will roll out an outreach program to landlords who may not be aware of the program.

  • Eviction filings are down from pre-pandemic levels, from 250 evictions per week to 142 evictions per week.

  • Through September 3, 2021, 198 tenants have been referred to counsel (in the legal services program) and 137 rent assistance applications were initiated and assigned to a caseworker for processing. 

The Election Precinct Consolidation

  • This would have reduced the number of election precincts from 249 to 207.

  • The BOS voted unanimously against this item. Supervisor Grijalva is committed to making voting as accessible as possible.

Justice Court and Constable Reprecincting

  • Supervisor Grijalva voted in favor of Option 1, which passed with a 4-1 vote.

  • This option protects the rights that are guaranteed by the Voting Rights Act.

Sun Corridor Inc., Contract for $650,000

  • Supervisor Grijalva voted against this contract.

  • The item passed 3-2.

  • The County provides a fourth of the funding for Sun Corridor, and Supervisor Grijalva would like a ten-year longevity study to see how many companies attracted by Sun Corridor have stayed in Pima County, how many companies hire local employees, and how much of the revenue from these companies stays in Pima County.

Certificate of Participation to Fund $50 Million in Road Repair Projects

  • Supervisor Grijalva voted against this item in April because so little of the funding would be dedicated to District 5.

  • Only 2.5 percent of road repair projects would be in District 5.

  • This item passed 4-1, with Supervisor Grijalva voting against it.

5% Pay Increase for Employees of Pima County

  • This item passed unanimously.

  • While Supervisor Grijalva supports an increase in compensation, since two years ago was the last time employees received a pay increase, she believes that general percentage increases do not address issues of compression. 

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Women's Spotlight: Josefina Ahumada
A section to celebrate important women in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona State, United States.

  • Graduated from UCLA's graduate School of Social Work in 1975. 

  • She pioneered and managed unique community based crisis and case management programs at Kino Community Hospital, ADAP, the Arizona Center for Clinical Management, and Southern Arizona Mental Health Corporation. 

  • She served on the boards of the Tucson Rape Crisis Center, Planned Parenthood, the YWCA, the Tucson Women's Commission, the The Clarion women's newspaper.

  • The state chapter of the National Association of Social Workers honored Josefina for her local, state, and national work in 1987 when she was named Social Worker of the Year, and in 2005 when she was awarded the organization's Lifetime Achievement award. 

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Photo and text courtesy of Women's Plaza of Honor Josefina Ahumada | Women's Plaza of Honor (arizona.edu)

Don't forget to donate!

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Thank you to everyone who hosted a donation box and to the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona for their work in the community!