A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (2023)

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A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (2)

April 25, 2023

City Teammates & Friends,

During our Mayor & Council meeting on April 18th, I had the opportunity to share some news about the exciting work we’ve done with the first Ward 4 tranche of American Rescue Plan funds. I want to share how we've creatively utilized American Rescue Plan dollars to address local workforce development needs, create opportunities for folks who might not have them, and support national security initiatives. City teammates, I hope you find these opportunities useful for you and/or your families!

"The demand for cybersecurity is greater than ever, due to an evolving threat landscape with attacks that are more difficult to detect and defend. But the available potential workforce isn’t keeping pace with that demand, largely because of a lack of interest from young people entering the job market." - Cybersecurity Dive

With these funds, I set out to create strong partnerships to help address this challenge utilizing my office's allocation of ARPA funding. I worked with the AZ Cyber Initiative and the City of Tucson was a top sponsor of the organization's Youth Summer Cyber Bootcamps where high school students were introduced to cybersecurity education and career pathways.

I worked with Pima Community College to fund scholarships for their IT FastTrack program where students will be job-ready in as little as 24 weeks and exit the program having earned in-demand industry certifications.

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (3)

I'm proud of our partnerships and collaboration to help address some of the biggest challenges we have locally, and nationally.

To our City of Tucson employees and anyone reading this newsletter, if you know of high school students who might be interested in participating in a Youth Summer Cyber Bootcamp, I encourage you to check out this link to learn more.

If you’re looking to add some IT skills tools to your professional toolbox or know someone who is, consider checking out the IT FastTrack program and scholarships, also at this link. These scholarships are not just for Ward 4 residents. Any City of Tucson resident can receive a scholarship, so please share widely!

Soon we’ll be discussing how we allocated the latest tranche of ARPA funds, and I’m equally excited to share the impact we’ve been able to have with those funds.

Have a great week!

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (4)

Out and About

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (5)

DM50 Picnic & The Future of DM

Davis-Monthan (DM) Air Force Base is the reason I came to Tucson 20 years ago. DM was my follow-on assignment after my short tour at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. This military installation will always be “home” to me here in Tucson.

Since my last newsletter, I attended a few events at DM, including the DM50 picnic. “The DM50 is a non-profit, volunteer service organization comprised of over 100 local civic and business leaders that works to educate the community on the vital role that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base plays within the region. DM50 advocates on behalf of the airmen of Davis-Monthan, strengthening relationships between the Base and the educational, commercial, political, and social leadership of greater Tucson.”

In the picture below, I was hoisting up an Air Force Fire Protection specialist while trying not to tip over the tripod or drop him on his head. Mission accomplished!

Amazing job to The DM50 for another successful event in support of our warfighters and their families! You can learn more about The DM50 here: https://www.dm50.org/

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (6)

I also attended a Meet & Greet with military installation leadership, and leadership from Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command. This event was to discuss the future missions at DM now that the A-10 “Warthogs” are officially retiring over the next few years.

As someone who spent time with the Army in Afghanistan and Iraq, I understand how important the A-10 is to our troops on the ground. I’m sad to see the Warthogs retire, and I’m comforted to know that there are a variety of other capabilities that will provide our warfighters with the close air support that the A-10s have provided since their introduction in the 1970s.

The good news for Tucson is that we anticipate the same number of Air Force personnel (~9,600) will be stationed at DM after the new Special Operations Wing is fully stood up. From an economic development and community standpoint, this is wonderful! Affordable housing remains a top issue for military leadership as they transition personnel from DM to other units, and transition people and resources to DM. We are standing by to quickly respond to any needs that DM leaders may have from the City of Tucson and the community as we support this major transition for the Air Force and DM.

To read more about the new Special Operations Wing click here.

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (7)

Arizona Secretary of State’s Visit

Arizona Secretary of StateAdrian Fontes visitedTucsonto meet with election officials and other key stakeholders. TheCity of Tucsonadministers its own city elections, and I was happy to support our City Clerk and her office in advocating for our needs (specifically around technology and cybersecurity from me) in order to continue having efficient and secure elections. I'm excited about Secretary Fontes' "bottom-up" approach to providingcountiesand municipalities with the support they need to be successful.

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (8)

Earth Day Clean Up

The Earth Day clean-up event held in the 29th Street Corridor was a huge success! I want to express my deepest gratitude to my colleagues, Mayor Regina Romero and Council Member Dahl, for their unwavering support and leadership in bringing investment, energy, and love to this part of our city. I also want to thank the dedicated city staff and community volunteers who came out in droves to make this event a reality.

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Together, we were able to make a tangible difference in our community by removing litter and debris, and improving the overall cleanliness of the area. Our efforts not only made the environment healthier and more beautiful, but also showed that we can come together as a community to make a positive impact.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this meaningful work. Your dedication to our community is truly inspiring!

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (10)

Employee Softball Tournament

I often talk about our employees and our culture with my fellow Mayor and Council colleagues and with the City Manager. Many companies struggle with culture and our organization is no different. The City of Tucson has an internal motto, One City, One Team. In order to live up to this phrase we must start working on putting true meaning to “One Team.” Sports has always been a way to bring people of different cultures, ideas, races, genders, etc. together to root for one goal, one team. What is not so upfront is that after that goal is complete what is left is comradery and a bigger understanding of each other and even a better relationship.

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We are no different to any other organization out there trying to hire people, keep these individuals and make a great successful company. We have over 5,000 employees working hard every day for our community. It can be a tough job working day in and day out with not so much as a thank you from our internal staff. So, this event was not just a thank you, but it was about building relationships across departments, it was about bringing our home families to meet our work families. This was about building a greater relationship internally to help our own morals and our own inner culture, because whether we believe it or not, we need it. Like a waterfall, all this good energy gets put right back into the community. Our employees are not just working for the City of Tucson, they are the City of Tucson. We hope that every employee who came out to either play or cheer had an amazing time and they learned something new from their opponents and their teammates. In the final championship, it was Tucson Water’s team, Agua Caliente vs. our own Fire Department, Tucson Bomberos. Water couldn’t put out fire this time, but we are all looking forward to next year’s event, hopefully in cooler weather.

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As in anything great that is accomplished, there is a team. We would like to thank the internal team that helped put this together. Martha Cantrell from my office, has been asking to hold a city softball tournament for years, she put an amazing team of women together to help her vision become a reality. Lane Mandle and Andrea Flores from the City Manager’s team, Sierra Boyer from Parks and Recreation and Kecia Packard and Stacy Iveson from the Sports Unit. This team of females added the extra task to their daily duties to bring it all together. We thank you for adding meaning to One City, One Team.

April 18th,2023Mayor and Council Highlights

Mayor and Council Direction Regarding Executive Session – Potential Sale, Transfer or Other Disposition of City-Owned Real Property Located South of West Cushing Street, East of South Melwood Avenue and West of Diamond Street Loop: Through Mayor Romero and Council Member Santa Cruz’s leadership, Mayor and Council unanimously voted totransfer the historical and ancestral land located on the Westside of Tucson back to the Tohono O’Odham Nation for its continued preservation and reverence. The transfer recognizes the sovereignty of the Tohono O’Odham Nation and restores the Nation’s stewardship over its ancestral lands. The transaction also memorialized the relationship and partnership between the Nation and the City of Tucson. The City Attorney and staff are directed to prepare a Resolution for Mayor and Council consideration and approval at their meeting.

Mayor and Council Discussion and Direction Regarding Implementation of “Tucson Resilient Together,” the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan:Mayor and Council unanimously voted to take the actions necessary to join the C-40 Green and Healthy Streets declaration, support the $2.85 million allocation of the ARPA funds as recommended by the city manager and identify the funding for two staff positions in the upcoming FY24 budget process to reach the community’s goals in implementing the Tucson Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. The ARPA fund recommendation may be found here.

Tools for Redevelopment of Underutilized Sites: Mayor and Council discussed the possibility of updating development codes to facilitate redevelopment of underutilized sites, including sites with large parking lots such as malls, shopping centers and churches, which aligns with the City’s goals of affordable housing, climate action, and transit-oriented development. Staff will evaluate options for code and plan updates that would expand options for creating more affordable and workforce housing units and report back to the Mayor and Council in September/October with recommended next steps.

Important Dates:

  • Friday, April 28th at 9am:Councilwoman Lee invites you to her 3rdAnnual Ward 4 Arbor Day Community Tree Planting. All are welcome to come and plant 67 trees on the east side of Purple Heart Park (9800 E Rita Road).
  • Tuesday,May 2nd: City Council Meeting. Click here and go to "Mayor & Council Meeting Live" to watch! (To watch past meetings, visit the City of Tucson YouTube page. This is also where future meetings will be live streamed).
  • Tuesday,May 9th: City Council Meeting. Click here and go to "Mayor & Council Meeting Live" to watch! (To watch past meetings, visit the City of Tucson YouTube page. This is also where future meetings will be live streamed).
  • Wednesday, May 26th 10am-1pm: Councilwoman Nikki Lee invites you to celebrate the beginning of summer vacation with the Grand Opening of Freedom Park Pool’s New Waterslide! (5000 E. 29th St.) Join us for pizza, swimming, DJ, games, and Jumping Castles.
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Answering the Call

Great news for Tucson residents! The Tucson Public Safety Communications Department's largest center, located on S. Park Avenue near E. Ajo Way, has made significant progress in its staffing levels over the past two years. After facing a concerning shortage of team members in 2021, leadership has worked tirelessly to shift culture, recruit new staff members, retain existing staff members, and even bring some folks back who left prior to the current leadership.

Thanks to these intentional efforts, the center now boasts a staffing level of approximately 154 individuals, the highest it has ever been. This increase in team members has greatly improved the center's ability to handle emergency calls efficiently and effectively.

The center is still looking to add 30 more full-time team members to reach its ideal staffing level. The PSCD Director Sharon McDonough emphasizes that the center is committed to hiring dedicated and passionate individuals who are driven to make a difference in their community.

At the heart of the center's culture is a team of 911 call takers like Cindy Stein, who provide the best possible service to Tucson residents during their time of need. The center's commitment to hiring individuals who share this dedication has helped to foster a culture of excellence and compassion that sets it apart from other call centers.

I’m incredibly proud of the leadership from TPD Chief Chad Kasmar, during his time as Interim PSCD Director, and Sharon McDonough. Culture transformation take strong people-centric leadership, time, and perseverance. These two leaders truly are unicorns. 🦄

If you're looking for a meaningful career where you can make a real difference in your community, consider joining the Tucson Public Safety Communications Department team. With its commitment to hiring dedicated and passionate individuals, you'll be joining a team of professionals who truly care about the safety and well-being of Tucson residents, and each other. Read more about this team’s heroic efforts in the KGUN 9 article here!

Open PSCD job descriptions and applications:
Public Safety Communications Specialist I
Public Safety Communications Specialist ll

We are Hiring in the “Fun” Department!

The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department is seeking an energetic, bright, andcharismatic individual to join our Recreation Team. The idealRecreation Assistantis a highly motivated individual who is committed to providing outstanding customer service and assisting in recreational activities, programs, and services to the patrons of the Parks and Recreation facilities. A Recreation Assistant assists with the development, implementation, and evaluation of recreation programs for children, youth, and adults. They assist with the operation of facilities and provide service to the public. For more information and to access the application, click here.

Reporting Potholes

Help the City identify street, lighting, drainage, signage, and other transportation related issues such as:

    • Maintenance: filling potholes and cracks, sweeping, trimming vegetation
    • Traffic Control: signing, lane striping, crossing signal repair
    • Reconstruction: asphalt paving, utilities, curbs, ramps and sidewalks

You can report these issues to theTucson Department of Transportation(TDOT), (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location toTDOTConcerns@tucsonaz.gov. You also can use theSeeClickFix websiteand app. Get the SeeClickFix app for Android.

KIDCO Summer Camps & ClassRegistration Begins May 6th

Tucson Parks and Recreation is offering a full array of indoor leisure classes and KIDCO camps this summer. Classes range from arts and crafts, Little Movers and Shakers, dance, gymnastics, jewelry making, music, sports, and more for youth and adults. Get active in a health and fitness class, learn digital photography skills, or create beautiful pottery and ceramics pieces. There truly is something for everyone.

KIDCO camps provide a safe, fun place for children ages 5-11 (must have completed kindergarten) to enjoy sports, games, activities, and social interaction throughout the summer. Camp hours are 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Cost is $125/city-resident or $157/non-city resident for a 4-week session (June and July). In-Betweener's Club is available for youth 12-14 years old for $70/city-resident or $88/non-city resident, and Junior Staff in Training for 14-17 years old for $25/city-resident or $30/non-city resident.

Summer camps and classes are viewable online now. Registration will open on Saturday, May 6, at EZEEreg.com. View the registration information below for times. Timely registration is recommended since offerings fill up quickly. Swim lesson information will be released at a later date.

The Discount Program is available to those who qualify. Make an appointment at Registration Services prior to registration. For questions or more information on registration, programs, or to set up an account, contact Registration Services at (520) 791-4877.

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (14)

A Pet Friendly Tucson

Great news for pet owners in Tucson! Forbes Advisor has ranked our city as the top spot on its list of the "10 Most Pet-Friendly Cities in America for Dog and Cat Lovers." The ranking was determined by comparing 91 cities across 13 metrics in four key categories: dog veterinary cost, cat veterinary cost, veterinary access, and pet-friendly spaces. Tucson came out on top, thanks to its affordability and accessibility of veterinary care, as well as the abundance of pet-friendly spaces throughout the city. It's no wonder why Tucson is the perfect place to call home for you and your furry friends!

Top Dog Friendly Spots:

  1. Brandi Fenton Memorial Park - This park has a large, off-leash dog park with separate areas for small and large dogs. It also features a shaded area, benches, and water fountains for both dogs and humans.
  2. Rillito River Park - This is a popular spot for walking, running, and biking with your furry friend. The park is dog-friendly and has a paved trail that runs alongside the river
  3. Purple Heart Park: Ivan’s Spot - Named after Ivan, a TPD police dog lost in the line of duty, this one-acre facility features two separate areas for large and small dogs. The site is fenced with a concrete inner walking path, dog-friendly drinking fountains, benches, trees and shrubs, landscape irrigation, decomposed granite surface, boulders, and solar lights.
  4. Agua Caliente Park - This park offers scenic walking trails and a peaceful lake that you can enjoy with your dog. Dogs are allowed on the trails but must be kept on a leash.
  5. Morris K. Udall Regional Park - This park has a designated off-leash dog park that includes agility equipment, water fountains, and shaded areas. The park also features hiking trails and picnic areas for a fun day out with your furry friend.

Read the article from Forbes Advisor
A giant list of dog-friendly places and things to do in Tucson

What's Happening in Town?

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (15)

Agave Heritage Festival

If you're a fan of the agave plant, you won't want to miss this festival! Rooted in historical and cultural significance, the event offers a variety of activities, including workshops, tastings, lectures, and dinners.
When:April 27-30
Where:Various locations
Cost:Various prices, some events are free!
Check out theevent pagefor more information.

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (16)

Children's Day Festival

Looking for a fun and free family event? Check out the festival presented by Arizona Bilingual Newspaper! With free admission to Children's Museum Tucson, live entertainment, food trucks, community resources, and even a vaccine clinic, there's something for everyone.
Don't miss out on this exciting day of fun and community!
When:10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29
Where:Children's Museum Tucson,200 S. Sixth Ave.
Cost:Free to attend
Check out theevent pagefor more information.

A to Z with Nikki Lee: April 25th, 2023 (17)

Tucson Astronomy Festival

The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association is hosting their annual Astronomy Festival soon! Join the fun at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, where you can observe the sun in the afternoon and gaze at the stars at night. There will be plenty of engaging activities for the whole family, and even prizes to be won!
When:3-9 p.m. Saturday, April 29
Where:Brandi Fenton Memorial Park,3482 E. River Road
Cost:Free to attend
Check out theevent pagefor more information.
Events brought to you by #thisistucson. Click here for the entire April list.

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How Can I Stay Updated?

Thereare multiple waystostay updated with my officeand the City's work:

  • Looking for city updates? Follow the Ward 4 City of Tucson page to learn about core services, projects, events and helpful information about all things Tucson.
  • Looking for me? Follow my Councilwoman Nikki Lee page to see what I'm up to around town, articles I write, official events I'm hosting, and more!
  • Follow my Council Member twitteraccount,@CouncilwomanLee.
  • Follow my Council Member instagram account:@nikkilee_az.


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