Your cover picture (Oct. 15) was missing a city council candidate. Could it be that Mary DeCamp, the Green Party candidate in Ward 3, is so far ahead in her thinking there was no room to stylistically represent her position on the two-party money-laden scale you chose to show?
The Green Party is looking at global issues—planetary climate change, a crumbling federal economy, and an unraveling of our social fabric—and advancing local solutions for dealing with these challenges: retrofitting our homes for energy savings, adopting a local currency, and fully implementing community-based policing in conjunction with an audit of the police, fire and safety departments.
My Green message demonstrates vision, practicality and fiscal responsibility. The two major party candidates in Ward 3 are spending fortunes to produce and send forth slick ads that say little and ultimately end up in the landfills. My campaign expenses constitute a small fraction of Karin's and Ben's war chests, and I have stayed on the political high road by sticking with pro-active solutions instead of reactive negative sound bites.
That, it seems to me, is the real news story if we are looking for a positive change in Tucson city politics.
Tucson City County Green Party Candidate
I don't have any children, and I don't know that I ever will. Plus, I'm in the process of buying my first house. Next year, I will pay property taxes, making me responsible for any additional funding to ensure full-day kindergarten, technology upgrades, librarians, school counselors and the arts for other people's children.
So I couldn't really care less about funding our public schools. And yet, I care more than I can express.
Since I moved to Tucson five years ago, I've been an active participant in Rotary Reading Seed, spending an average of six to eight hours a week volunteering to ensure that other people's children learn to love reading. This is a tall order in a district where some schools do not have the budget to hire a single librarian.
Never mind the multiple studies pegging student performance to available library staff, or the connection between the arts and scholastic achievement. Never mind that it's been 17 years since Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities demonstrated that school funding directly impacts students' ability to learn and a community's ability to thrive, or that students without computer skills will be unable to compete at all in the 21st century. Never mind that Arizona ranked well below the national average on teacher salaries and per-capita educational spending before our budget was slashed and slashed again. People who support education already know this. The Tucson citizens who voted against last year's budget override probably don't care.
It's true that voting to support our public schools will raise your property taxes, by approximately $69.14 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home.
What about the cost of not funding our public schools? Teenagers are more likely to drop out of underfunded schools. Dropouts are more likely to require public assistance, abuse drugs and turn to crime.
Proposition 401 and 402 are not about other people's kids. They are about our quality. We need to fund full-day kindergarten, increased technology, librarians, counselors and the arts so we do not find ourselves, 10 years from now, in a crime-ridden city full of angry, hopeless, ignorant people. If we continue to fail our students and our public schools, we compromise our own prosperity.
Tucson needs to encourage the development of biotech and alternative-energy companies, but without educational funding, the children of Tucson will not be qualified for these fields. Further, intelligent, educated people do not want to move to cities where their children cannot attend adequate schools. Intelligent, educated people do not want to move to dangerous neighborhoods where their neighbors are hostile toward education.
In short: Voting against education is voting against maintaining the worth of your assets. Societies that refuse to fund public education are shooting themselves in the foot.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, please vote for the budget override. Yes on Prop 401 and Prop 402.
If our founding fathers were alive today, they'd be banging on the lids of their coffins, shouting, "Let us out of here; we have to stop the Public Safety First Initiative folks in Tucson. We wanted limited government and fiscal conservatism, and we want elected officials to live within their means."
We're in the worst economic shape since the Great Depression. The federal government is $60 trillion in debt, the state $4 billion in the red, the county about $100 million short, and the city of Tucson about $48 million short.
The proponents of Prop 200 think it's OK to take another $164 million per year from city and county taxpayers to pay for more cops, firefighters, lawyers, judges, corrections officers, support facilities, equipment and staff, etc.
Generational theft is rampant. We seem to forget that one day, we will be in nursing homes, relying on our kids and grandkids to provide for us. Instead of keeping them happy, we'll send them a bill for several hundred thousand dollars for items they received little or no benefit from. This will lead to the death panels many fear!
Let's let our founding fathers rest in peace. Vote NO on Prop 200.
We live just outside of Phoenix and made a special effort to see She Was My Brother in Tucson, and we were not disappointed ("Notes, Not Chords," Performing Arts, Oct. 1). In fact, we were completely engaged during the show and discussed it at length during our two-hour drive home. Our measure of a solid play: Does it give us something to talk about and something to think about? For us, She Was My Brother did it all.
Typically I look for a play to deliver a story with strong characters in critical conflict, which this play did not. Instead, this play very sensitively presented two people from starkly differently cultures and orientations who very slowly grew to know each other, and allowed their souls and ultimately their hearts to touch—during a century that historically lacked tolerance and understanding.
The play was so carefully and delicately drawn that I felt myself swept up in their seduction. At moments, I felt that I was witnessing very intimate moments between two quite vulnerable human beings. No, this play was not a typical play with hard edges and clear delineations. Instead, this play provided an emotional experience filled with subtle insights.
Due to incorrect information from a source, we reported in "Girls Make Their Moves" (City Week, Oct. 15) that All Queens Chess Day was Tucson's first all-female chess tournament. Other female chess tournaments have taken place here in the past. We apologize for the error.