Miguel Ortega 
Member since Mar 31, 2011

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Re: “Take the Power Back

Mr. Reality Check, you need a reality check.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Miguel Ortega on 07/25/2015 at 9:03 PM

Re: “Take the Power Back

Nice try, "Viernes".

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Miguel Ortega on 07/24/2015 at 2:15 PM

Re: “Take the Power Back

This is probably one of my angriest pieces. But when the people we love are attacked, what are you gonna do, ya know? http://www.locallyownedaz.com/?p=316

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Miguel Ortega on 07/24/2015 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Take the Power Back

And, remember: the vast majority of residents present at this meeting voted in favor of this new proposal (69 to 10). This fact is obvious form this piece. Not so obvious - in fact misleading - in the AZ Star & KGUN 9 reports. Thanks again, Maria & Tucson Weekly crew!

14 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Miguel Ortega on 07/23/2015 at 7:52 AM

Re: “Take the Power Back

This is the best reporting so far on what really went down in Barrio Hollywood. Maybe that is because this Tucson Weekly reporter actually bothered to attend the meeting and interview the people there? Well done, Maria! Kudos!

25 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Miguel Ortega on 07/23/2015 at 7:44 AM

Re: “Danehy

Wow, Tom. And I wasn't even going to bring anything up. I worked at the Ward 3 Office from 2005 - 2010. And I am proud to say that I had a direct hand in helping to fire Mr. Hein. He was the guy behind Rio Nuevo. Remember that? We had many, many good reasons to let him go. I won't go into details here but I will remind you that there was this little thing called Rio Nuevo back then. A council member lost her job over it and another came very close to experiencing the same fate. All because folks were rightfully very angry. And I won't share his less than ethical behavior. Not because it didn't impact his work. Many felt it certainly did. But, more because I am classier than you and your need to backhand folks who were just trying to protect tax payers from this guy over 5 years ago. And I won't comment on your need to list the ethnicity & gender of city managers after him. That didn't even make sense. Finally, most folks that know me know that I am hardly on that "side of the line" you mention at the start of your piece. Some bureaucrats just need to go for the sake of the citizens impacted by their less than awesome leadership. That's what we did and I am proud of our work.

17 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Miguel Ortega on 04/03/2015 at 4:31 PM

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.

Sincerely,

Miguel Ortega

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Miguel Ortega on 03/26/2015 at 12:16 PM

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