Nadia and Ernest Saco of Gilbert already had been searching for a new home before the pandemic hit in 2020, but when schools and offices closed across Arizona, their quest became more urgent.
“I was working from home all of a sudden,” said Ernest Saco, a senior product manager for a software company and a father of three. “And we have all five of us just on top of each other in this 1,500-square-foot house. I’m working out of our bedroom. And our kids are home because school’s out, but they’re also home because all the places they would normally go to for fun are closed.”
“We were pretty desperate to get out,” Nadia Saco added.
But as the Sacos’ search intensified, they found themselves competing for a shrinking pool of available homes. From April to July 2020, active listings in metro Phoenix declined by 42%, according to data from Realtor.com. So to stand out among the bidders, the Sacos turned to a tactic that’s become increasingly common – and increasingly scrutinized – in the homebuying process: the love letter.
In a letter delivered to the seller of the home they closed on in August 2020, Nadia Saco introduced their family, mentioned what her husband did for a living and detailed the “dreams” they had for the home.
“I could picture the Christmas tree, where it would go and my kids coming down the stairs Christmas morning,” she said. “I love to cook and so I pictured myself making these family dinners. And I just really visualized ourselves in this home and kind of tried to express those feelings.”
A photo of the Saco family accompanied the letter.
Arizona voters overwhelmingly support a pathway to citizenship for some immigrants who meet some conditions for eligibility, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The survey of 323 Arizona voters between Sept. 10 and 18 found broad support, even among Trump voters, for “earned citizenship” for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children (often called dreamers), farmworkers, essential workers and those with Temporary Protected Status. Earned citizenship is a term that broadly means naturalization that is granted after immigrants pay a fine, pass language tests or other meet requirements to comply with eligibility.
It comes as Democrats in Congress struggle to pass a pathway for citizenship for millions, but not all, undocumented immigrants through the budget reconciliation process.
The poll was commissioned by the American Business Immigration Coalition and FWD.us, an immigration and criminal justice reform advocacy group, and released during a press call. The survey was conducted by Democratic polling firm BSP Research and Republican firm Shaw & Company Research. Arizona was one of 11 battleground states polled.
Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., spoke at the press event. He said Arizona is home to an estimated 170,000 undocumented residents who are dreamers, farmworkers and TPS holders.
“No state stands to benefit more from immigration modernization than my home state of Arizona,” Stanton said. “It’s clear to me that Americans, regardless of political affiliation, are demanding immigration reform. It’s up to us to deliver.”
Stanton, who supported the House version of the reconciliation package that includes a pathway to citizenship for some immigrants, called on other Democrats in Congress and the White House to end the paralysis in the Senate.
El Tour de Tucson will hold the fifth Pima County El Tour Loop de Loop on Saturday, Sept. 25, and will conclude with an after-party.
The activity, which helps promote the more than 20 nonprofit partners involved in the El Tour event, is the official kickoff for the Banner – University Medicine 38th El Tour de Tucson on Nov. 20.
The Loop de Loop is for 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. and will be held on The Chuck Huckelberry Loop. The after-party will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mercado Annex on The Loop, 267 Avendida del Convento, with live music, prize drawings and more.
The band Badlands will play from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Raffle tickets will be provided at the event.
The grand raffle prize for this year’s Loop de Loop is a LeMond Prolog carbon fiber ebike, designed by Greg LeMond and retails for $4,500.
It is a free, easy, casual and fun ride open to individuals of all ages and abilities.
WASHINGTON – Nine Arizonans are among the more than 500 female athletes who signed on to a brief to the Supreme Court this week challenging Mississippi’s restrictive new abortion law.
The Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi joined seven University of Arizona swimming alumnae and hundreds of other club, collegiate and pro athletes who said overturning Roe v. Wade, which the Mississippi case could lead to, would “violate their most fundamental liberties.”
Christine “Crissy” Perham, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time national champion for the Wildcats in the 100-yard butterfly, said in the brief that she “accidentally became pregnant” while on birth control during her junior year in Tucson. She said she could “count on one hand how many people I’ve told about my abortion. Until now.”
“I’m finally speaking up and sharing my story because there shouldn’t be a stigma surrounding personal healthcare decisions,” she said in the friend-of-the-court brief.
One expert called the filing just the latest instance of growing activism by athletes.
“This is another example, like Black Lives Matter from last summer and the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s fair-pay argument, that shows national activism like the Olympics in 1968 and Colin Kaepernick are now so public and spreading,” said Steve Ross, a professor of law at Penn State University.
The athletes’ brief is one of the scores filed on both sides of the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which challenges a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The law would allow abortions after that in cases of “severe fetal abnormality” or a medical emergency for the woman, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest.
The law was overturned by lower courts, which cited the Supreme Court’s 1972 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized a woman’s right to an abortion and subsequent rulings that protected that right before a fetus was viable outside the womb.
WASHINGTON – The ban on nonessential travel on land crossings between the U.S. and Mexico will be extended another month, a “disheartening” development for border towns and businesses that have already had to cope with the travel limitation for 18 months.
“It’s very disheartening to have it extended again,” Douglas Mayor Donald C. Huish said Monday. “Our economy is suffering due to that, we estimate approximately two-thirds of our sales tax revenue comes from … our neighbors to the south. So, it’s a very big blow.”
The ban on nonessential travel was first imposed in March 2020 in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 and has been regularly since then, most recently as the delta variant of the virus led to a spike in new cases. The latest extension was set to expire at midnight Sept. 21, but the White House said Monday that it would be continued through at least Oct. 21.
That announcement came the same day that the Biden administration said it planned to ease COVID-19 related limits on international air travel beginning in early November.
Under that plan, adult foreign travelers will have to prove they have been fully vaccinated before they can come here. U.S. citizens of any age who are not vaccinated could still fly home, but would have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a day before their travel, and have to prove they have a viral test to take after they arrive.