February 10, 2009
Honorable Tucson Mayor and Council Members,
Sustainable Tucson acknowledges the dire economic conditions facing the City of Tucson as well as the people and organizations in our community.
While we hope for the best, we also recognize that this emerging situation is unprecedented and may be worse and more long-lasting than we think.
Our core intention is to work together with both public and private groups to help achieve both the immediate and long-term vitality of our community. To this end, Sustainable Tucson has already embarked on a preliminary sustainability planning process to accelerate actions toward community resilience and sustainability.
As such, we are in full support of your efforts to protect key City functions and ensure that new jobs and general fund revenues are stimulated to replace those that have been lost. We are also in full support of creating sustainable transportation and water infrastructures and enabling a major shift to green redevelopment, all of which, will generate green jobs to provide needed employment.
Neighborhoods have been a vital source of energy for positive change and should continue to be supported through PRO Neighborhoods because of their capacity to facilitate community involvement and contribution.
For Tucson to become sustainable the four challenges of global warming, resource depletion, economic collapse, and unraveling of the social fabric must be met with foresight and resolve. Successful adaptation will require making major new investments while we abandon spending patterns that are no longer needed.
Tucson’s past economy was dominated by growth which now appears more uncertain and unreliable as a basis for prosperity. To respond effectively to today’s challenges, City policies must shift from supporting growth to managing sustainability.
The City’s new economic stimulus program should focus on helping people help themselves and on preparing for these key challenges – access to each other, goods and services, without cheap oil; disruptions of global trade and our reliance on distant and declining resources; inability to raise capital and a trained workforce needed to make major changes in key infrastructures; and breakdown of the social fabric and our ability to work together to support each other.
While we feel the pain of the passing old prosperity, this is a unique, opportune moment to begin the steps to building a new future for our community.
Sustainable Tucson stands ready to bring all groups together, including the business and environmental communities, to tackle these problems and create a broad coalition for positive change.
Thank you for your efforts during this difficult time.
The Sustainable Tucson Core Team