Original post on September 3, 2017
Now that the Felicia Chew For Tucson City Council campaigning is timed out, what next?
For me, I keep keeping on.
After the official ballot counts were posted on Friday (9/1/2017) night, my son and I attended one of my best friend’s* weddings on Friday night here at Tucson’s Fraternal Order of Eagles Tucson Aerie Number 180.
I was reminded that we have choices, and that we can make change — and I was reminded of why I fight — for our future and our future generations.
Tucson, it’s up to us to help continue the fight. Here are five issues (there are others) I learned about while on this wonderful adventure, along with my two cents:
1. Tucson House. Please bring back human beings for entry rights (signing everyone in and out), instead of the computerized entry system. Folks who don’t belong are finding their way into the building, and causing problems for residents. Longtime residents no longer feel safe.
2. Bicycle Patrols. Please implement programs directed toward reducing crime in Ward 3. The District has officers on bicycle; areas of Ward 3 (like my area of Campus Farm, and the Samos Neighborhood), would definitely appreciate some bicycle patrols. Pilot program, for TPD?
3. N 1st Ave and Fort Lowell (Methadone Clinic). Many general complaints. My thoughts: All of us in Ward 3 need to realize that clients of the Clinic attend for various reasons, and we should not judge our fellow Tucsonans for attending the Clinic. We should suppprt them and their decision to attempt to take back their lives, by participating in treatment.
4. Vote By Mail Program/Voter Participation. The Vote By Mail (VBM) program is not equitable (please see my previous comments on this page). But more importantly, many Ward 3 residents don’t vote — for a variety of reasons:
–(a) Cannot vote — no rights due to previous felonies or citizenship status; not registered to vote because they are part-time residents, or just moved;
–(b) Do not know it is time to vote — busy with daily life (and dealing with crises and mini-crises) and time just gets away, including the voting window;
–(c) Do not care to vote — a huge “It won’t make a difference”/”No one cares what I think”/”Why bother? The City (Government) is just going to do what it wants to do. They don’t care what we say” sentiment exists.
–(d) Don’t feel educated to vote. Despite attempts at hosting many forums, and providing newspaper coverage, many voters were not able to attend or view the forums.**
The largest turnouts were 75 or 80 audience members (many groupies).
Voter turnout for the City: 20%.
— One out of 3 (33%) women will experience Domestic Violence in her lifetime;
— One out of four (25%) men will experience Domestic Violence in his lifetime;
— One out of four Tucsonans (25%) lives in poverty (http://www.kvoa.com/story/33283962/tucson-poverty-rate-relatively-unchanged-over-three-years)
So, the 20% voter population (one out of five) does not speak to the general population (please bear in mind that Ward 3 has one of the highest numbers of reported cases of Domestic Violence).
As a Victim Advocate in the Courts, we advocate for the victim speaking, to share the true story and true problems that exist. In spite of how hard others may try to speak “for” the victim/survivor, there are gaps that frequently get overlooked, simply because it is hard work to communicate everything the victim/survivor has to say.
So please — have conversations with neighbors to develop a trust that is so sorely needed in our community!
My two cents: An olde town monthly fiesta that included Candidate and Issues Forums, food, information about what’s going on in Tucson, food trucks, music, food, speeches by candidates, food, games for all ages, food — Tucson, that could go a long way. Tucsonans like (love!) Festivals and Second Saturdays!
5. Transit, Transportation, and Walkability. I was asked at a Forum how I rated Walkability in Ward 3. I gave ratings across the board (because quite frankly, some areas in Ward 3 have more improvements than others — areas due to Resident Action and Participation).
We are improving, but we need to continue improving our transit system, fewer potholes, more bicycle lanes, and more pedestrian (and skateboard, longboard, roller skate, wheelchair, stroller, limited mobility) friendly paths.
Kalamajong***, Tucson! Viva! (La revolucion!)
Felicia 🙂 ❤
*Amber and Raymond, go make your luck!)
**Shout out to Daily Star Reporter Joe Ferguson who was at all but two that I attended; and shout out to groups who livestreamed /recorded the forums — Forums and recordings available on the Campaign site chewfortucson.wordpress.com — You can create your own free website at wordpress.com
***Make it so!