January 21, 2017

Women’s March in Tucson—Mayor’s prepared remarks

Good morning. Thank you for coming. Thank you for inviting me to speak.

I wanted to go over some of what the city has done on immigration. We passed a resolution last month, stating that the City of Tucson will not participate in mass deportations, and reiterating some of the many steps the city has taken to protect immigrants, including supporting the DREAM Act, directing our police department not to engage in racial profiling and not to inquire about immigration status in contacts with crime victims or witnesses, and suing the state to overturn SB 1070, a matter the City of Tucson took all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, where we won on almost all points and had the vast majority of that law overturned. If the new administration seeks to impose similar legislation nationally, I have no doubt that the City of Tucson will again join with others to oppose it.

But today is not just about one issue.

My wife is here. My daughter is at the march in D.C. My sister is at the march in Denver. And my mother is here in spirit.

You might think my attendance here today was not optional. And you’d be right. But regardless, I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

When women work together, there’s nothing you can’t achieve.

The next four years are going to test that assertion. They’re going to test us all.

Here’s what we can expect from the incoming president’s budget according to The Hill, which has been covering our nation’s capital since 1994:

“Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned.

The changes they propose are dramatic.

The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

The proposed cuts hew closely to a blueprint published last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has helped staff the Trump transition.”

Here’s more from that Heritage Foundation blueprint:

  • Eliminating the Minority Business Development Agency
  • Eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
  • Eliminating Violence Against Women Grants
  • Eliminating the Legal Services Corporation, which provides funding to 134 independent non-profit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories
  • Eliminating the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • Eliminating the Office of Fossil Energy, which researches ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
  • Eliminating funding for the Paris Climate Change Agreement and for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • In the Justice Department, reducing funding for the Civil Rights Division and the Environment and Natural Resources Division

On the White House webpage, now controlled by the incoming administration, there’s no longer any mention of climate change, and whole sections on civil rights, disabilities, and LGBTQ rights are gone.

We have much work ahead of us. We’re going to need to be resilient, strategic, and strong. We’re going to need to be united, because the people pushing this budget—the people whose priorities are rolling back achievements affecting women, minorities, people living in poverty—the people whose priorities are rolling back achievements affecting the arts, education, and the environment—they’re counting on our being divided. They’re counting, frankly, on our attacking each other.

We win by standing together—because we are stronger together!

That means when the environment is threatened, artists stand with environmentalists.

That means when the arts are threatened, environmentalists stand with artists.

That means when Muslims or Jews or Sikhs or Hindus are threatened, people of all religions—or no religion—stand with them.

That means when people of color are threatened, white people stand with them.

That means when women are threatened, men stand with them.

And I am proud to stand with you today, on this women-led march.

I will say one more thing.

Programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, that have brought a measure of security to millions and millions of older and disabled Americans; programs like the Affordable Care Act, that have insured more than 20 million Americans—these and many other programs are under attack.

Yet these are the programs that helped make this country great—providing access to the courts for those who cannot afford a lawyer, keeping communities and the police who serve them safer with better policing techniques, discovering new energy technologies, inspiring us with the arts and national parks—protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.

The people who have the ability to stop this agenda are in Congress. These are the people who need to hear from us. To make sure they do hear …

We cannot just sign petitions.

We cannot just send letters.

We cannot just make phone calls.

We must also show up—here in our Congressional Districts, in Washington D.C., and in Phoenix, at our state capitol.

Life is about showing up. Democracy is about showing up. Not just on Election Day, but in the weeks and months and years before Election Day. Candidates get elected not just because of themselves. They get elected because people—people like you and me—make phone calls and knock on doors and write checks.

Issues get attention not just because they’re important. They get attention because people organize around them. They support groups that work to promote them—groups like Planned Parenthood for women’s health, like the ACLU for civil liberties, like the Sierra Club for the environment.

Just like candidates and political parties, these nonprofit groups need volunteers and donors. They need your support.

And federal and state politicians pay attention when their constituents are standing right in front of them—at town halls and other public events. I’m not talking about politicians who already agree with you. I’m talking about the ones who don’t.

So thank you for showing up—with your passion, your commitment, your researched and reasoned and fact-based positions, and your determination—today and every day. I am so proud to serve as your mayor. Thank you.