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Re: “Power Control

Here is the open letter I sent to Mayor & Council last week:

Tucson Mayor & Council Members:

I’m stunned. How did these two items even get this far? Are you not paying attention to what is going on nationwide regarding community and police relations? How can you be that politically tone-deaf?

Both of these ordinances (and/or amendments) should have been stopped as soon as staff proposed them. Why did you allow them to get this far?

Twenty years ago, I and several other organizers camped out in front of the Mexican Consulate to protest the passage of NAFTA and the Mexican government treatment of the people of Chiapas during their uprising.

We slept on the sidewalk overnight. We knew that, at the very least, our City leaders in 1994 recognized our right to do so and did not interfere with our 1st Amendment rights.

At that time, free speech organizations such as KXCI, the Tucson Weekly and Access Tucson were about 10 years old. That Mayor & City Council celebrated free speech and embraced these organizations as their own and as Tucson born guardians of local voices and local democracy.

What happened?

What happened to our leadership?

As a taxpayer, homeowner, father, husband and brother, I value the Tucson Police Department and their role in keeping my family safe. I got to know many during my time as chief of staff at the Ward 3 Council Office for 5 years. The TPD is made up of many fantastic, hard working police officers.

But, does that mean I can’t question the TPD when I disagree with them on some of their choices or tactics? Would that make me disloyal to them somehow? Aren’t they supposed to be loyal to me and my family? Does my questioning mean that I hate cops?

That is ridiculous.

Yet Council Member Steve Kozachik continues to be the only member on the council to point out areas – be they budgetary or operational – where TPD needs to make improvements.

Is Steve the only one who can advocate for us on matters regarding our local police? Is he the only one watching this nationwide conversation taking place regarding the police and our community on CNN every night? Are you absent as a new civil rights movement unfolds across our country? Really?

Just because a Tucson citizen may have some differences with the local police does not mean that this citizen is being unprofessional or unreasonable or does not support our police and their important role in our community.

By continuing to be a one-dimensional group of TPD cheerleaders without a breath of criticism for them, you are exposing yourself as the odd “man” out as communities nationwide shatter the old “with us or against us” narrative.

Please catch up to the rest of the nation!

Consider that the handling of these two items are on the heels of your secretive city manager search and after two separate judges scolded you for withholding public records asked for by community members: one regarding GCU and the other for completely misunderstanding a ruling on how to handle a downtown homeless protest.

Incredibly, the City staff response to these recent fumbles is to push for more power with less transparency. And you let them go far down this path and only slowed things down because of the immediate community outcry.

As a Tucson resident for the past 30 years and as an eye witness during my 5 years working within City Hall, I have seen our local democracy erode under your leadership. Our City government has become less transparent and more closed under your leadership.

You may be succeeding as politicians but you are failing as leaders.


Miguel Ortega

Posted by Miguel Ortega on 03/26/2015 at 12:16 PM

Re: “McSally Votes Against GOP Budget

So McSally is a committed puppet of the neolib/military/globalist complex. No surprises there.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Vendetta on 03/26/2015 at 11:29 AM

Re: “The Skinny

Just remember, it's not crAZy without AZ ....

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by SonoranWinds on 03/26/2015 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Danehy

Tom, you really blew it this time. Your 'lies' are all 'predictions'. A prediction is neither true nor false; it is just a guess. It may be wrong, but it is not a 'lie'. A lie is saying something you know is false (like, 'you can keep your doctor or your health plan', etc.). The biggest lie now prevailing in the world is 'It has been proven conclusively that humans cause climate change.' That is being said by people who know better - who know that it is a theory, not a fact; people who would sneer at anyone else who mistook association with causation.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by chuckj on 03/26/2015 at 9:40 AM

Re: “McSally Votes Against GOP Budget

PaulAZ -- You don't seem to realize she voted against the _Republican_ budget. Not anything to do with the president at all.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by blaze_mason on 03/26/2015 at 9:32 AM

Re: “It's True, Arizona Taxes Screw the Poor. Howie Fischer and WalletHub Say So

It's not just one party both are to blame. But since the democrats have been in charge the taxes have gone up. Here in Tucson and Pima county they can only blame the democrats for the problems since they are the ones in charge and have been for quite a while.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by trainmanswife on 03/26/2015 at 8:55 AM

Re: “Danehy

Tom you are wrong again. What a surprise. " Roaring economy" We are looking at a number under 2 per cent tomorrow Tom. Thank God for Fox News or all we would have is lefty lies from your folks.
Your huge drop in unemployment ( over 6 years ) is due to people dropping out of the job market and many working part time. More than 90 million folks totally capable of working are sitting on their asses watching Maury re-runs. I thought your minimum wage hikes would cure all that.
The results of the Fed keeping rates artificially low have not hit yet. We will see what uncontrolled money printing gives us, and it may not be pretty.
When it does hit you will obviously deny it and slant the truth like you constantly do.
Hopefully The Supreme Court will take care of Obama care shortly.
Go back to MSNBC now or play some more Tupac tunes.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by The Vince of darkness on 03/26/2015 at 8:42 AM

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

I really really think TUDS is way to big, it should be divided up.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by PaulAZ on 03/26/2015 at 8:24 AM

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

Sunny side is just as bad as TUSD.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by PaulAZ on 03/26/2015 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

Sorry but as long as TUSD fights to teach racist curriculum and it is run with such incompetence, I would never call it a public education and is the primary example why I support charter schools.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by PaulAZ on 03/26/2015 at 8:23 AM

Re: “It's True, Arizona Taxes Screw the Poor. Howie Fischer and WalletHub Say So

It seems to me that if the poor received a "windfall," they'd be rich now. Instead, Tucson is now the fifth poorest city in the U.S. And twenty five percent of Tucson's children live in poverty.

When it comes to taxes, the poor do pay more. And as a result of extreme tax cuts for the rich and the resulting budget cuts, the poor will have even less access to quality education in our local public schools, Pima Community College and the U of A.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dave Gallagher on 03/26/2015 at 8:14 AM

Re: “McSally Votes Against GOP Budget

For once I know we have some one up there taking care of us, not obamanation

1 like, 9 dislikes
Posted by PaulAZ on 03/26/2015 at 8:13 AM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

Any thing that keeps TUSD from wasting more of our tax dollars I am for it. Can I vote to?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by PaulAZ on 03/26/2015 at 8:11 AM

Re: “100 Essential Dishes

Am sitting here eating my breakfast of cold scone and diet dr. pepper and just drooling over this article. Well done, Tucson Weekly! Kudos for listing Five Points first (though personally I think that their Salmon Eggs Benedict is the brunch of choice - sex on a plate). More kudos for listing Casa Vicente, a Tucson GEM that is often overlooked on such reviews. The tapas are absolutely incredible at CV. LOVE!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by SalMinella on 03/26/2015 at 8:10 AM

Re: “McSally Votes Against GOP Budget

So she wants more deficit spending then??

0 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Latas on 03/26/2015 at 7:54 AM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

Expecting any kind of journalistic professionalism from Tucson Weekly is apparently expecting too much. They have repeatedly made it clear -- in the run up to the 2014 elections and in recent coverage of legislative issues -- that they are incapable of it.

As for TUSD -- governance by misinformation (relying, for example, on much of your constituency being uninformed about the facts, e.g. how much the installation of an auditor would actually cost and how much has been allocated recently to other positions and initiatives) is -- what can we call it? I'll say "irresponsible" and leave it at that.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Disgusted, Again on 03/26/2015 at 7:52 AM

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

Robin, I'm not sure whom you are addressing when you write "For those who believe the Special Master is does [sic] not audit how TUSD spends the deseg money, I read a list of his duties and you are wrong." No one posting in this comment stream has said that the Special Master doesn't audit how TUSD spends the deseg money. Read the post entitled "Too Many Audits?" above and you will see that the commenter understands that the Special Master oversees audits to ensure funds are being applied in compliance with the USP.

Your statement that "the only confusion on whether the deseg money is being abused is created by the very people who want to see the demise of public education" is an overgeneralization. It may make you feel good to make sweeping, incautious statements like that, but you are being unfair to some supporters of public education when you do so.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Wrong Again on 03/26/2015 at 7:14 AM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

They always say there's no money to hire an auditor. The media accepts this at face value? There are 64 million dollars to hire an auditor. But it's hard to have your own slush fund with an auditor sniffing around.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by bslap on 03/26/2015 at 7:12 AM

Re: “Danehy

"When he was in a scene, you couldn't keep your eyes off him."

Maybe you couldn't Tom, but I had no trouble keeping my eyes off him.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC on 03/26/2015 at 6:54 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor

Zana obviously wasn't reading TW when Mr. Boegle was in charge. The current TW is a mere shell of its former self.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by AZ/DC on 03/26/2015 at 6:46 AM

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