Romero: Tucsonans saying 'sure' to investing in ourselves

The textual content of Tucson Mayor Regina Romero’s “Report back to Tucsonans” speech, as ready for supply and launched by her workplace:

Buenas Dias! Good Morning! Welcome and Thank You for being right here this morning to have fun with us.

I need to acknowledge that we’re standing on the lands which were stewarded by the Tohono O’odham since time immemorial…and the Pascua Yaqui individuals who have lived within the Sonoran Desert for hundreds of years.

And, we’re standing on the grounds of a barrio that was a middle of commerce and neighborhood. Throughout city renewal within the Nineteen Sixties, the barrio was destroyed to create the Tucson Conference Middle campus.

It is very important me that we floor ourselves by naming and acknowledging the histories of those lands.


I’m grateful to Chairman Jose of the Tohono O’odham Nation and Chairman Yucupicio of the Pascua Yaqui tribe for posting their flags right here at present. This can be a image of the work we proceed to do collectively to acknowledge the sovereignty of our Indigenous relations AND our collaboration into the longer term.

I’m the daughter of Jose Romero Noriega and Josefina Arvizu Durazo. (PAUSE)

I need to thank my husband, Ruben Reyes, the primary Dude of Tucson, my youngsters, Emiliano and Luciana, my mom, my sisters and brother, my whole household.

As everyone knows, household serves alongside an elected official. My work, my service to our neighborhood wouldn’t be potential with out their love and help and their willingness to share me, my time and a spotlight with all of Tucson.

Thanks to my colleagues: Council Members Lane Santa Cruz, Paul Cunningham, Kevin Dahl, Nikki Lee, Richard Fimbres and Steve Kozachik.

I’m happy with the work we’ve got completed the final 4 years and look ahead to the work we’ve got but to do to verify Tucson continues to be the protected, equitable, resilient, thriving desert metropolis with alternative for all.


I would prefer to thank my workforce on the Mayor’s Workplace, the Metropolis Supervisor, Michael Ortega, and the whole Metropolis of Tucson Govt Management Crew. TOGETHER, we work to verify Tucsonans are well-served.

Lastly, thanks to the voters of Tucson. (PAUSE) Your participation in native elections, in our democracy, is so essential. Thanks for electing me once more, for entrusting this Council, to proceed to take daring steps to guide Tucson Ahead in the best route.

4 years in the past, I stood earlier than you, full of hope and gratitude, figuring out that we have been making historical past.

As I stated then, By no means in my wildest desires, had I imagined the daughter of immigrant farmworkers, could be the Mayor of the Metropolis of Tucson, the primary girl, the primary Latina.


In 2023, it’s about US. It’s about what WE can do TOGETHER.

As your Mayor, it’s my ethic, to take BOLD ACTION, grounded in evidence-based, data-driven resolution making.

Throughout my first time period as your Mayor, I’ve PROVEN that I understand how to do that work.

BUT, I don’t do that work alone. Together with my colleagues on the Council, we accomplish a lot with our private and non-private companions, with regional, state and federal governments, with our native non-profits, neighborhood organizations and people to create progressive, layered and multi-faceted options that meet our distinctive wants in Tucson.

In actual fact, I would prefer to take this chance to thank ALL of our elected officers right here at present, members of their staffs, and all the neighborhood leaders. Your help and partnership make a lot of this work potential.

We now have an Govt Management workforce on the Metropolis of Tucson that believes in our imaginative and prescient and is difficult at work on implementing it, EVERY SINGLE DAY, to fully remodel the way in which we serve our residents.


In 2019, I promised you I’d take clear motion on: ● Local weather & Defending Our Water

  • Infrastructure and Roads
  • Housing Affordability and My Working Household Agenda ● Investing in our Kids and Youth
  • And Neighborhood and Public Security

As your Mayor, I’ve delivered by altering the techniques and buildings, by figuring out gaps, and creating the packages and positions to fill these gaps with companies which have NEVER existed earlier than. (PAUSE)

Two years in the past, our neighborhood was rocked by tragedy: when a gunman shot at first responders, killing two and injuring others within the Western Hills/Las Vistas neighborhood.

This second shocked me. It made me assume deeply about how we have to layer our strategy, we have to work holistically, to remodel how we’re delivering companies and creating security for our neighborhood.

Residents dwelling on this space skilled years of historic disinvestment that contributed to excessive poverty, excessive crime, and crumbling infrastructure.

One of many methods I’m working to create security and prosperity in our neighborhood is strategically layering $21 million {dollars} in Western Hills/Las Vistas to make transformative investments from fixing streets to bringing protected water infrastructure, to creating park enhancements and connecting residents to companies.

This kind of funding in our neighborhoods creates hope and lets residents know that their Mayor cares about their high quality of life.

On the similar time, we’re investing in neighborhood and public security at unprecedented ranges.

We’re investing within the first metropolis supported youngster care heart particularly for first responders and a program devoted to supporting the psychological and emotional well being of our cops: Wrestle Effectively. We have fully reworked the 911 Communications Middle with name takers in thoughts.

We’re persevering with to innovate by hiring skilled workers investigators to reinforce the detective workers and increase investigative capability in the identical manner that Neighborhood Service

Officers help and increase the flexibility of Tucson Police Division to reply to requires service.

We’re working along with Chief Kasmar to retain commissioned cops, and develop our skilled workers.

We now have stemmed the stream of attrition and are seeing will increase in our personnel for the primary time in years.

For TOO lengthy, we’ve got positioned TOO huge a burden on the shoulders of our cops AND we’ve got not had the suitable packages in place to handle the wants of Tucsonans. (PAUSE)

Tucson is one in all six jurisdictions implementing the Place Community Investigation program nationally. PNI targets avenue gun violence by disrupting the infrastructure that helps it – utilizing an strategy that requires cooperation from all metropolis departments, neighbors and surrounding companies.

We have seen greater than a 75% discount in gun violence in these three areas of our metropolis. A 75% discount! This elevated collaboration and funding is having a tangible, optimistic impression on the standard of life for our neighborhood. (PAUSE)

TODAY, I’m comfortable to announce that the Metropolis of Tucson’s 311 system is OPEN and IN SERVICE for our residents.

Now, Tucsonans can name 911 for true, pressing emergencies that want the eye of cops or hearth fighters OR they’ll name 311 to get help for non pressing social wants, to report a water leak, or to get assist from the 311 workforce to determine the best assets.

As a part of making transformational change in Tucson, with MY advocacy, the Council and I funded 311 AND I devoted $300,000 {dollars} of American Rescue Plan Funds in my allocation, to face up this program.

NOW, residents have one, 3-digit quantity to make use of as some extent of connection to Metropolis data and companies. Earlier than, the Metropolis had over 280 cellphone numbers for residents to name to entry metropolis companies

Now, a single quantity, 311, is on the market 24 hours a day, seven days every week, that connects residents with the best data or service.

Simply in November, 311 workers took greater than 9000 calls, unclogging the 911 line. 70% of these calls have been resolved instantly, with one other 30% referred to a division for follow-up. That could be a VALUABLE service for Tucsonans.

One other instance of how the holistic, data-driven, layered strategy that’s the hallmark of my administration works, is the $50 million greenback Alternative Neighborhoods Implementation grant we competed for efficiently from our federal companions – HUD.

This extremely aggressive grant accelerates our efforts to create or rehabilitate greater than 550 housing models, set up an in depth help system for residents of the Tucson Home, strengthen public investments within the Thrive within the ’05 space AND leverages federal funds for an extra $300 million {dollars}.

This grant is a important funding that may assist us perform the plans that have been developed alongside residents and stakeholders. Mike Edmonds, a resident of the Tucson Home stated “this reveals the Metropolis really cares about Tucson Home residents, and that they have not been forgotten. We’re excited to see our house reworked into a contemporary metropolis inside a metropolis.”

Our key companions embrace Metropolis departments, Pima County, the United Manner, the Neighborhood Meals Financial institution, Pima Council on Getting old, ASU Faculty of Social Work, the Beacon Group, Solar Tran, Pima Neighborhood School and the Pascua Yaqui tribe. Working collectively – we CAN do nice issues.

Within the final two years, my colleagues on the council joined me in voting to develop one other Thrive Zone within the twenty ninth Road Hall.

Our Thrive Strategy is layered and facilities residents, neighborhood leaders, and native stakeholders together with companies, non-profits and academic establishments who, TOGETHER, determine wants, objectives and methods to direct future investments. (PAUSE)

Once I grew to become Mayor in 2019, there was no organized plan to make use of our assets to handle the necessity for extra inexpensive housing and the rising and parallel disaster throughout our nation: unsheltered homelessness and the fentanyl and opioid epidemics.

Previously 4 years, underneath my management, the Council and I, working with Metropolis and County workers and non-profit companions, created our Housing First program which was designed to fill a niche AND complement all the different companies and packages which are obtainable in our neighborhood.

Since January of 2023, these packages that have been instituted throughout my first time period are making a big distinction for Tucson’s most susceptible residents.

Neighborhood Security, Well being and Wellness Care Coordinators have labored with 1300 Tucsonans to advance security of their communities. They’ve facilitated violence prevention and de-escalation workshops in PNI places and Thrive Zones. They’ve assisted 75 Tucsonans to find inexpensive housing

or stopping eviction, AND related 1200 residents to community-based helps associated to poverty or psychological sickness.


Our Housing First Navigators and Outreach Coordinators have served almost 1000 residents and moved over 650 folks into everlasting housing. Our Venture Gateway Cell Bathe program has served over 650 Tucsonans.

The Metropolis now owns and companions to function six accommodations for each Housing First and Pima County Eviction Prevention.

Once more, our concentrate on working TOGETHER, to PUT THE RIGHT WORK IN THE RIGHT HANDS, is reworking how the Metropolis of Tucson delivers companies to our residents. (PAUSE)

In 2023, we launched the Homeless Protocol Instrument and Tiered System – to thoughtfully and strategically prioritize the place we use our assets.

We now have lowered police officer calls to homeless encampments by over 60%. Which means these officers can be found to reply to the calls of residents and enterprise house owners throughout Tucson.

In actual fact, the outreach for Tier 2 monitored encampments is finished by Neighborhood Security, Well being and Wellness Navigators and the Housing First workforce. (PAUSE)

Housing Central Command, working with HUD, selected Tucson as a pilot metropolis. For the following 120 days, they’ll assist us audit our techniques and enhance our processes for encampment navigation by housing people inside our Continuum of Care together with Tucson/Pima Collaboration to Finish Homelessness. This can be a HUGE WIN for our neighborhood and one other superb instance of the partnerships we’re leveraging federally and inside our personal area.

In 2024, we’re launching our Multi-Disciplinary Outreach workforce which is made up of a nurse from El Rio Clinic, a avenue outreach workforce member from Outdated Pueblo Neighborhood Companies and a Housing First Case Supervisor from the Metropolis. We may even be including two grant funded Emergency Housing Navigators to assist residents with Emergency Housing Vouchers to keep up their housing.

We’re working to finalize a congregate low barrier shelter that’s wanted in Tucson and can assist ALL of US present help to our unsheltered neighbors.

We’re working, TOGETHER, to enhance the standard of life for our most susceptible residents. (PAUSE)

In 2023, the Mayor and Council adopted Tucson Resilient Collectively, our fairness centered Local weather Motion and Adaptation Plan AND a plan for its implementation.

Appearing BOLDLY to battle the results of Local weather Change is and has all the time been a high precedence for me. Because the daughter of immigrant farmworkers who has labored within the fields myself, I do know firsthand how warmth and drought impacts staff.

As a mother elevating the seventh era of Sonoran desert dwellers, I’ve a deep understanding of the challenges and of the commitments essential to ensure that Tucson and our residents have a local weather resilient metropolis that thrives one other seven generations into the longer term.

The Metropolis of Tucson employed its first Chief Resiliency Officer who will lead the Local weather Motion Crew that’s comprised of 16 members from throughout metropolis departments. They’re accountable for working with our neighborhood and stakeholders to implement our Tucson Resilient Collectively plan.

The Metropolis of Tucson had NEVER taken motion to handle local weather change earlier than I grew to become Mayor. Due to our dedication to behave on mitigating the results of local weather change, we moved quick and furiously to get this carried out in simply three years.

Utilizing the Implementation Plan in Tucson Resilient Collectively, we’ve got competed efficiently for state and federal grants together with:

  • $21.4 million {dollars} to buy 39 new compressed pure fuel buses, which can part our our remaining diesel bus fleet
  • A $4.1 million greenback Resilient and Environment friendly Codes Grant to develop a southwest-adapted mannequin constructing code for local weather resilience
  • A $5 million greenback grant for the Metropolis’s City Forestry Program to create greenspaces and help workforce improvement, particularly for youth
  • A $1 million greenback Brownfields Revolving Mortgage Fund Grant to help neighborhood engagement within the neighborhoods of La Doce, Thrive within the 05, Barrio Centro/Julia Eager and our Downtown and Historic Barrios.

We now have additionally secured $44 million {dollars} from the federal Board of Reclamation to guard Lake Mead by returning C.A.P water.

Our adoption of the ONE Water 2100 plan emphasizes what everyone knows: “each drop of water: floor water, floor water, recycled water and storm water, has worth.”

The Metropolis is receiving $24.9 million {dollars} in funding from the State of Arizona – THANK YOU, Governor Hobbs, so as to add pre-treatment applied sciences to our Tucson Airport Remediation Venture (TARP) to cope with excessive ranges of PFAS from the airport space impacting the south nicely subject.

We’re utilizing a $33 million greenback mortgage to assemble a sophisticated remedy plant to handle PFAS in our northwest wells.

We should proceed to increase our conservation ethic. We have taken essential steps together with the eventual elimination of non-functional turf and making our Storm to Shade program everlasting.

We’re utilizing the identical quantity of water at present as we did in 1985 although our inhabitants has doubled. (PAUSE)

In December 2022, I introduced the Rework Tucson Initiative which is a strategic partnership with the Metropolis of Tucson Industrial Improvement Authority that represents groundbreaking fiscal innovation.

This collaboration, which is targeted on addressing our local weather disaster, leveraging new federal assets, and increasing entry to Tucson’s underserved entrepreneurs, is creating sustainable

financial development by means of native actual property possession and inexpensive housing.

We’re proud to report that this initiative has resulted in over $86 million {dollars} of deployable capital attraction.

  • It has accredited over $1M in small enterprise loans for underrepresented small companies by means of the AVANZA Empowerment Fund since launching in June of 2023
  • It launched Arizona’s solely Inexperienced Financial institution which can administer $250M for low-income residential photo voltaic for Arizona residents

And in 2024, we’re launching a $75 million greenback housing program known as Lighthouse, a mortgage income bond program, that gives an inexpensive path t0 homeownership by means of decrease rates of interest and down cost help.

With this progressive fund and all of our companions, we’re setting a nationwide normal for excellence in driving public-private funding into innovation, enterprise and job creation; in addition to investments in fairness and sustainability.

Throughout the Metropolis, we’re working along with our personal Financial Initiatives division and all of our companions together with Solar Hall, Pima Neighborhood School, the College of Arizona, the Arizona Commerce Authority and JTED, to draw enterprise to Tucson and create the workforce that helps our future.

There was $179 million {dollars} in capital expenditure attracted and 708 jobs created.

Our Small Enterprise Navigators have assisted native companies in accessing $1.2 million {dollars} in capital, spent 1400 hours coaching hours and supplied 720 companies with technical help. (PAUSE)

I’m proud to share that Governor Hobbs has appointed me to her Workforce Arizona Council which is accountable for implementing her strategic imaginative and prescient for growing a strong and efficient workforce system in Arizona.

I’ll be a part of leaders throughout our state in business, enterprise, labor, neighborhood organizations, in addition to municipal and legislative electeds, to help creating the roles of at present and tomorrow.

In 2024, we are going to concentrate on our work on

  • Constructing Protected and Vibrant Neighborhoods
  • Preventing Local weather Change
  • Creating Reasonably priced Housing for Everybody
  • Enhancing Our High quality of Stay by means of Our Parks, Roads and Infrastructure
  • Securing Protected, Clear water
  • Attracting Good Jobs With Good Pay For All

Tucsonans are saying YES.

YES to the route that we’re taking Tucsonans YES to investing in ourselves

YES to the values that Tucsonans maintain pricey

And Sure, I settle for the problem.

Muchisimas Gracias! Thank You!