March 21, 2012

Mayor’s Update – March 21, 2012


Mayor’s Update
Tucson, Arizona March 21, 2012

Solar Power 101: Mayor’s Office continues Rep. Giffords’ solar legacy this Wednesday
 #180DayPlan When:Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.Where: Murphy-Wilmot Library, 530 N. Wilmot Rd.Learn the basics of solar electricity and solar hot water this Wednesday, March 21st at Solar Power 101. The event is free and open to the public.Solar Power 101 is a series of workshops and presentations on solar power initiated by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. This Wednesday will be the 53rd Solar Power 101 – the first since Rep. Giffords’ resignation from Congress.

I am honored to continue this important work, both on behalf of Tucson – which I believe can and will become a solar capital – and on behalf of my friend, Congresswoman Giffords.

Program Schedule

  • Opening remarks – Mayor Jonathan Rothschild
  • The basics of solar electricity – George Villec, owner, GeoInnovation
  • The basics of solar hot water – Jeff Shoemaker, owner, Custom Solar and Leisure
  • The Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board and local resources for solar – Bruce Plenk, City of Tucson and Colleen Crowninshield, Pima Association of Governments

Solar Power 101 is being coordinated between the Mayor’s Office, the City of Tucson and the Pima Association of Governments. Thanks also to the Pima County Public Library for hosting the workshops.

Promoting solar power is part of the Mayor’s 180 Day Work Plan.

SARSEF – Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair
Photos from SARCEF
I was honored to speak and present some awards at the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair – SARSEFfor short – this past Friday.SARSEF is an annual science and engineering competition for grades K-12. Its sponsoring organization is local non-profit SciEnTeK-12 Foundation (Science, Engineering, Technology K-12), whose mission is to excite young people about science and engineering. In addition to SARSEF, SciEnTeK-12 sponsors the Math-Science-Technology FunFest(MSTFF).Projects at all grade levels were impressive, as was the sheer number of entries – more than 6,000, according to the Arizona Daily Star.I was pleased to see many Tucson-area employers, including Raytheon and the University of Arizona, supporting SARSEF. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, donors, parents and teachers, I’d say SciEnTeK-12 is achieving its mission. A lot of kids in Tucson are definitely excited about science, technology, engineering and math – STEM for short.

The next SARSEF will be March 18-23, 2013. Visit and read the student, teacher and parent sections for information on how to enter. You can give children you know an opportunity to get excited about STEM subjects. Let them know about SARSEF. Take them to see the entries. Who knows – maybe next year, or the year after that, they’ll be taking home a prize.

LULAC Youth Leadership Conference
Last week, I welcomed students to the 23rd annual LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) Youth Leadership Conference, “Education is the Key to Success: Striving for Wellness and Balance.”The conference was sponsored in partnership with the Southern Arizona Institute of Leadership, the Metropolitan Education Commission and Pima Community College. Part health fair, part career fair, part hip hop dance competition – I saw some amazing back flips – the event attracted students from several local school districts.Thanks to conference sponsors and participants for giving students information on healthy choices, as well as career options and the education they require.
Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center tour  
I took a tour last week of the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center(SACAC) with Executive Director Kathy Rau and President-Elect Ron Oxman.It’s a beautiful facility that meets an ugly – but critical – need. Child victims of abuse or neglect are brought to SACAC for medical evaluations, forensic interviews and crisis intervention – all in a safe, nurturing and child-centered environment.Children are fed and comforted by staff and volunteers. Those who can’t be sent home receive clothing, books, a blanket and a teddy bear to take with them to temporary foster care. SACAC is available 24/7, but no children are housed at the facility.To find out how you can help, use this form to contact SACAC, or call (520) 243-6420.
Cyclovia and Bike Fest 2012
At Cyclovia: click for higher resolution. #180DayPlan  Last week’s press conference highlighted Cyclovia and Bike Fest 2012, programs of Living Streets Alliance in partnership with the City of Tucson. Cyclovia is a car-free event that opens
selected streets for walking, bike riding, skating and running. Bike Fest 2012 is a series of events that runs through April.The weather did not cooperate for Cyclovia on Sunday. As predicted, it rained. Although weather forced the event to end early, spirits were high among organizers and participants, who ranged from damp to soggy. This young woman is laughing at the rain. Or maybe she heard me say I planned to participate this year by running … to my car.There’ll be more opportunities to get out and get active – in better weather – this month and next with Bike Fest 2012. For more information on upcoming events, including Bikes and Tykes Expo and Bike to Work Week, visit Living Streets Alliance.Supporting bicycling, walking and other human-powered transportation – especially when it’s not raining – is part of the Mayor’s 180 Day Work Plan.
NAWBO – National Association of Women Business Owners
 #180DayPlan  Joined by my Business Advocate, Maricela Solis, I spoke with another business group last week – the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).I described progress we’re making on my 180 Day Work Plan, took questions and listened to concerns.I have committed to ongoing communication with the business community – and, of course, the community at large. At every meeting and event, I learn new things. In turn, I hope others come away with a better sense of what the city is doing to improve services and address issues.Holding business roundtables is part of the Mayor’s 180 Day Work Plan.
Ward 4 Town Hall
 #180DayPlan When:Monday, March 26, 2012, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.Where: Clements Recreation Center, Multi-purpose Room, 8155 E. Poinciana Dr. 

Join me and Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott for a Town Hall Monday, March 26th. My last Town Hall was on the Westside. With this Town Hall, I look forward to hearing from Eastside Tucsonans.I’ll give a progress report on my 180 Day Work Plan, and there will be time for Q&A.

Many thanks to Council Member Scott and her staff for hosting this event. I hope to see you there.

Holding a Town Hall in each Ward is part of the Mayor’s 180 Day Work Plan.

The Power to Prepare Tucson
When:Saturday, March 31, 2012, 3:00 to 7:15 p.m. (light dinner provided)Where: Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.The City of Tucson Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development is hosting “The Power to Prepare Tucson: A Summit to Ready Our Communities For a Changing Climate,” Saturday, March 31st at the TCC. AmericaSpeaks will moderate discussion of how climate change may impact Tucson, and how to mitigate that impact. You can RSVP/register here.After the event, the City of Tucson and the World Wildlife Fund will host a reception for Earth Hour from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Presidio Park in front of City Hall.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Photos from St. Patrick's Day Parade
One of the fun things about living in Tucson is that we freely adopt and celebrate each others’ traditions. Spanish colonial dress on St. Patrick’s Day – why not? It’s the Hugo O’Connor connection (colonel in the Spanish army and founder of Presidio San Agustin de Tucson in 1776, for newcomers). Mashed Potato Queens (that’s one in the feather boa), Can Can dancers and Shriners in Go-Karts (you’ll have to visit my Facebook page) – all were part of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.I was happy to be Irish for the day. Sláinte!
Silver Spike Festival
Not only was Saturday St. Patrick’s Day, it was also the Silver Spike Festival – celebrating the moment when the first train arrived in Tucson.At the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, standing in front of historic Locomotive No. 1673, I read the speech given by Tucson Mayor Bob Leatherwood on that fateful day, 132 years ago.If you get a chance, visit the museum. Just seeing a real steam locomotive is worth the trip.
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
When: Sunday, March 25, 2012, start times hereWhere: Reid Park, race map hereLike many, I was disappointed when the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation withdrew funding from Planned Parenthood, which used the funds to provide breast health services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women.The Komen foundation has since reversed that decision.An article in Friday’s Arizona Daily Star shows why we must put this controversy behind us – for the sake of women’s health, and the women in this community.

On Sunday, March 25th, the Southern Arizona affiliate of the Komen foundation will hold its annual Race for the Cure. 75% of net proceeds stay in Southern Arizona, funding breast cancer prevention, research and treatment. The rest funds research nationally.

Our Southern Arizona affiliate had nothing to do with the Planned Parenthood decision, but they are living with the fallout. As of last Friday, donations were less than a third of this year’s goal. If things don’t improve, it will be women in our community who pay the price – women who can’t afford breast cancer screening or treatment without Komen’s help.

The road back for the Komen foundation will be – like the race – one step at a time. I’ll be there Sunday, to help with those first steps. Please join us. You can register here.

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