TUCSON, Ariz. — Mayor Regina Romero and Tucson City Council voted 6-1 on a package of community investments.
The package of community investment include; a city Equity Needs Assessment, the development of a Climate Action Plan, and the hiring of a “Housing First” Director as well as social workers.
The package is an extension to the “Strategic Plan” that was adopted by the Mayor and City Council May 27, which included a total of $22 million in aid including; forgivable grants for small business and non-profits, rental and utility assistance, funds for distance learning and WiFi access, domestic violence prevention, childcare, and food delivery for seniors according to a press release from the Mayor's office.
Mayor Romero said, in part, "These investments are part of a broader strategy aimed at reducing the social, economic, and racial inequities that persist in our society and that no community is immune to.From investing in housing and social services, to tackling the existential threat of climate change, we are focusing on many of the issues that disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities.”
Also in Tuesday's meeting, Mayor and Council voted to delay the final adoption of the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 annual budget to hear community input. The delay will also give the opportunity for the Mayor and Council to review revenue projections and see if Congress will pass additional funding for local governments through federal aid in response to the pandemic.
Below were the items approved by Mayor and Council:
- An Equity Needs Assessment to conduct a comprehensive equity audit of the City, the overarching goal of which is to identify and recommend policy solutions to addressing inequities within city government and the provision city services
- A Climate Action Plan that identifies strategies for the City of Tucson to reduce our carbon footprint, promote sustainability, and enhance public health, with a focus on communities that are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change and rising temperatures
- Hiring of a “Housing First Director” that implements the widely accepted “housing first model,” which prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness
- Hiring of social workers that focus on prevention strategies and delivery of social services to empower vulnerable communities