The last week of July, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild traveled to Washington, DC for three days of meetings with federal officials on transportation, trade, Davis-Monthan, the Cherrybell post office and other local and federal matters.
Summarizing the trip with reporters this morning, Mayor Rothschild noted that, in addition to advocating on behalf of Tucson, another reason for the trip was to learn more about available federal resources, such as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Look South Initiative to help businesses expand sales to Free Trade countries in Central and South America.
On trade, the mayor reported that Customs and Border Protection is having difficulty filling job openings for customs agents. Noting that trade flows across border ports “where they can get through quickest,” Mayor Rothschild said that he’d agreed to coordinate with local officials on a job fair to help fill openings at the Mariposa Border Port of Entry.
At a number of meetings, the mayor emphasized the need for Congress to pass a transportation bill and for expansion of SR 189/I-19/I-10—Tucson’s trade corridor.
Arguably one of the most important meetings was with Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “She made it very clear to me that Air Force decisions about future missions are going to be based in large part on community support,” Mayor Rothschild said. When the mayor provided her with examples of Tucson’s support for its Airmen, she said that was “music to her ears.” Mayor Rothschild also expressed the community’s openness to hosting new missions and the Secretary indicated that there were many possibilities out there.
A list of the mayor’s meetings and topics discussed is below.
|U.S. Dept. of Commerce, SelectUSA, International Trade Administration
||Tucson’s trade relations with Mexico, SR 189/I-19/I-10 expansion, SelectUSA, ITA and Commerce programs, Mariposa BPOE staffing, Look South Initiative|
|Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald
||Housing homeless veterans—additional technical support and caseworkers for final push|
|Members of Arizona’s congressional delegation
||Tucson’s support for its military installations, transportation bill, SR 189/I-19/I-10 expansion, Mariposa BPOE staffing, Cherrybell post office—survey of Southern Arizona postal customers|
|U.S. Customs and Border Protection
||Mariposa BPOE staffing—regional job fair to hire Mariposa customs agents, SR 189/I-19/I-10 expansion|
||SAFER grant, Assistance to Firefighters grant|
|Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James
||Tucson’s support for its military installations, housing homeless veterans|
|Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jerry Abramson
||Second Chance initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, housing homeless veterans, housing the chronically homeless|
|Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez||Tucson’s modern streetcar success, transportation bill, SR 189/I-19/I-10 expansion|
|HUD Secretary Julián Castro
||Housing homeless veterans, housing the chronically homeless|
|Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman
||Cherrybell post office—survey of Southern Arizona postal customers|