Food Resilient Tucson – Our Future is Delicious

Why should we want a Delicious & Resilient local food system?
• We get to enjoy the wide range of delicious local foods that show off our 4000-year history of growing food in the desert.
• We get to celebrate the unique history and multiple cultures that make Tucson special.
• We get to create thousands of local jobs based on everything from growing and preparing local food to learning to design and build the specialty tools that will help make Tucson a world leader in desert-adapted urban agriculture.
• And of great importance, we get to share delicious food with our neighbors and create community in the process.

Why do we need a Resilient & Delicious local food system?
• Most national food chains have adopted a Just-In-Time inventory system, so we have only a few days of food in our stores.
• The national distribution system brings us everything, every day, from 1000 miles away and could become a bottle neck, if anything goes seriously wrong with the communication, banking, power and fuel systems that run it.
• It will help us do our part to mitigate climate change and protect us from climate impacts, like unstable food supplies.

The May General Meeting will focus on two questions:
• What do we need to do to make Tucson more Food Resilient? And why do we need to make Tucson a more food-resilient community?
• What factors that led to our designation as a World City of Gastronomy can we use to grow and eat more local food?

We have an excellent panel of local experts who will give their perspectives on these questions, discuss their implications for Tucson, and lead us in a lively discussion.

Panelist are:
• Carolyn Niethammer – Cookbook author, specializing in local food
• Mohyeddin Abdulaziz – President of Tucson Organic Gardeners
• Erik Stanford – Owner of Pivot Produce, a local logistics company that connects local farms and restaurants
• Parker Filer – Member of Pima County Food Alliance and educator
• Michael Ray – Neighborhood activist and member of Building Resilient Neighborhoods
• Moderator: Tres English – Sustainable Tucson and local sustainability expert

Join us on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:00 (doors open at 5:30) at the Ward 6 office, 3202 E 1st St.

Tucson’s Complete Streets Policy

On February 5th, the Tucson City Council passed Ordinance 11621 – The City of Tucson Complete Streets Policy. What’s in the Complete Streets Policy? How was it created? What does it mean? How will it affect the future of Tucson? At our next meeting, we are going to answer these questions and more. We’ll look at the details of the new policy and how it was created. We’ll also have some expert opinion about how the policy will be implemented. Be sure to join us and get a glimpse of the future of Tucson!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 6-8 pm at the Ward 6 community room. Doors open at 5:30.

Advocacy 101 – Working with our government

RSVP

The 2019 Arizona State Legislature session is well underway, with legislators introducing bills that will, if passed, have significant impact on our lives and our rights. At the federal level, the new Congress is hard at work, and locally both City Council and County Board of Supervisors deal with matters of direct interest to our community. At all levels, it’s vitally important to make our voices heard on important issues that we care about and that affect us all.

Join Sustainable Tucson at our February Monthly Meeting for Advocacy 101, an evening of training and tips on effective ways to reach out to elected officials, focusing primarily on the State Legislature, with lessons learned that can apply equally well at the local or national level. Presenters from League of Women Voters Greater Tucson will give an overview of the state legislative process and provide details about the Request to Speak (RTS) process, an easy but effective way to communicate your position on proposed bills as they are reviewed in committee. Then Jana Segal, Sustainable Tucson’s Advocacy Chair, will present a description of ST advocacy and policy efforts and how you can (and should) get involved.

Along with an overview of RTS, the LWVGT presenters will teach us how to sign up for an online account to use the system. If you bring your laptop, phone, or whatever you use to connect to the Internet, you’ll be able to sign up right then and there. Alternatively, you’ll learn how to sign up online at home or where to go in Tucson to sign up.

This evening’s program is the first in a series that Sustainable Tucson will be presenting on effective communication with our elected officials — and with those who aspire to be elected. We’ll be looking ahead and getting prepared for communicating to candidates for the City Council elections this fall, and then for elections at multiple levels in 2020.

Tuesday, February 12
Doors open 5:30 pm; program starts at 6:00 pm.
Ward 6 Council Office, 3202 E. 1st Street

Dealing with Drought


Starting at 5 pm, Sustainable Tucson will host a tour of the rainwater harvesting, greywater harvesting, and water conservation features at WMG’s Living Lab. We’ll also be showing the Arizona Public Media film “Beyond the Mirage” for those who don’t want to participate in the tour. At 6 pm Sustainable Tucson regular meeting will begin. Local experts discussing the Drought Contingency Plan, what it will mean for Tucson, and what we all can do to prepare for the upcoming shortages.

Arizona could experience the impact of a Tier 1 water shortage by 2020 if the water level in Lake Mead continues to drop. What can we do to avoid this situation…or at least mitigate the impact if it does happen?

Join Sustainable Tucson for our monthly meeting to talk about water issues, water conservation, and the Drought Contingency Plan at a special location: the Watershed Management Group Living Lab and Learning Center.

Light snacks and rainwater will be available.

Limited handicapped parking is available next to the Welcome Center, just off of Dodge Blvd. DO NOT PARK IN THE IZUMI PARKING LOT WEST OF THE LLLC – YOU WILL BE TICKETED. There is ample parking on the south side of Speedway Blvd, just behind the Bashful Bandit, and a pedestrian signal to cross at Dodge.

Celebrate Our Sustainable Future

Come celebrate with us!

Share the bounty of the season at our holiday potluck. Non-alcoholic drinks provided by Sustainable Tucson. Save a dinosaur; bring your own flatware and glasses.

REASON TO CELEBRATE

If you read the recent IPCC study on climate change, you might not think there is much to celebrate this holiday season. The idea that climate change is progressing faster than first predicted can be quite a jolt, even if you’re already working to fight it. But it could also be an opportunity to come together as a community to envision and create a better, more sustainable and resilient Tucson!

At this year’s holiday party, Sustainable Tucson will be celebrating the possibilities by creating a festival atmosphere with street fair activities:

Design Your Dream Neighborhood: Create a walk-able, inviting neighborhood from a typical Tucson neighborhood map using blocks that represent elements of complete streets. (Model built by Changemaker High School students.

Creating Our Future: Draw the ways we can create a sustainable future for Tucson by 2038 on panels we will join together into a paper quilt.

Community Tree: Add leaves with your ideas about what we can do as a community to make Tucson Sustainable by 2038.

Time Capsule: Place your note to the future in our time capsule to be opened in a year: What are your hopes for Tucson or what will you make happen in Tucson in the coming year?

“Tales of Future” storytelling stage: Local Comedian Jeremy Segal will host impromptu stories about pursuing your vision for a sustainable future and other fun environmental stories.

You are invited to Sustainable Tucson’s holiday party.
Tuesday, December. 11, 6-8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Special location
St Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 3809 E 3rd St. Geneva Room
(Free parking in the church lots on 3rd St. or 2nd St. The 2nd St. lot is closer to the Geneva Rm.)

Recycling and beyond

Are you concerned about all the waste produced in modern society? Is “zero waste” a realistic goal? What can we do otherwise? Join us for a conversation with Master Recyclers, who will share insights and advice on effective recycling, one piece of the sustainability puzzle.

Post-presentation planning meeting, 7:30-8:00 pm: If you would like to be part of a new action team in Sustainable Tucson, we will be discussing local points of leverage for plastics reduction and other zero waste strategies. Sample points: no-straws-please, plastic tote bags, and green waste collection by the City. Join us for mindful activism in community!

Tuesday, Nov 13, 6:00-7:30 pm,
at the Ward 6 office, 3202 E. 1st St.
Doors open at 5:30

WHAT’S UP WITH THE PROPOSED ROSEMONT MINE?

Sustainable Tucson’s October meeting

Sustainable Tucson’s October meeting

 

6:00 – 8:00 PM, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018

(Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

Tucson City Council Ward 6

3202 East 1st Street · Tucson, AZ

If you’ve been looking at the newspaper recently, you will have seen an op-ed from the Tucson Chamber of Commerce saying that it is time for us all to stop “fighting” and for the Rosemont mine to start. That was followed by a number of letters to the editor that clearly explained why the mine is a really bad deal for southern Arizona.

In this talk Gayle Hartmann, president of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, will bring you up to date on what is happening and what is likely to happen in the near future. We’ll also screen a documentary about the Rosemont Mine by Frances Causey: “Ours Is The Land” is the new short film that depicts in moving and powerful detail the spiritual, cultural, and physical connection of the Tohono O’odham people of Arizona to Ce:wi Duag or the Santa Rita Mountains which are imperiled by the proposed creation of the mile-wide, half-mile deep Rosemont open pit copper mine. Desecrating this revered area with a mine would fundamentally alter the cultural landscape of the Tohono O’odham nation.

 

Sustainable Tucson at TENWEST!

At 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14th, look for our tents at Discover Local Day in the Tucson Museum of Art Courtyard. “Discover Local Sustainability” Fun activities for all ages that show how our desert town can flourish in the future. Activities include:

  1. “Design your Neighborhood”: Create a walkable, inviting neighborhood from a typical Tucson neighborhood map using movable pieces that represent elements of complete streets. (Model built by Changemaker High School students.)
  2.  “Planning Tucson’s Future”: Draw your ideas of what we can do now to make Tucson a great place to live in 2038.
  3. “Understanding Our Groundwater”: Nothing is more important in the desert than water and the water we use in Tucson comes from underground. Understand how this works with an interactive groundwater model from Arizona Project Wet.
  4. “Note to the Future” letter-writing activity. Adult participants will be prompted to write a letter to a young person to be read 20 years from now, and young people will be prompted to write to a parent or other elder, looking ahead 20 years.
  5. “Tales of the Future”: Attendees will be inspired to tell their own 2-3 minute stories on their vision for a sustainable future for Tucson. The show will be hosted by local comedian Jeremy Segal.

 

TACTICAL URBANISM BLOCK PARTY

From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 20th, you can find our tent at Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street (near EXO coffee.) “Design your Neighborhood” and “Understanding Our Groundwater” activities. Volunteers with vehicles needed to transport tables and activities. For more information call Jana at 325-9175.

SHADE FOR TUCSON

September Sustainable Tucson Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, September 11, 2018     

One of the simplest and most pleasing ways we can adapt to climate change, while mitigating its effects, is to reforest our world. Globally, trees are dying off. But cities across the country are working to reverse this trend. Tucson is one of those cities. The goal: a shade canopy of 20% (we’re currently at 8%) by 2030.

At this Sustainable Tucson meeting, you can learn about the Shade for Tucson campaign, led by a network of non-profits who are reaching out to businesses, government agencies, and community groups to join in this massive effort. After brief presentations, leaders in this campaign will engage in conversation with all present as we envision and plan for the planting and care of one million trees across the city. Panelists include Tom Ellis, Executive Director, Tucson Clean and Beautiful; Katie Gannon, Program Director, Trees for Tucson; Kendall Kroesen, Community Outreach Coordinator, Mission Garden; and Tanya Quist, Director, UA Campus Arboretum.

Doors open 5:30 pm   Program starts 6:00 pm   

Ward 6 City Council Office  3202 E 1st Street

 

 

What’s the future of energy for Tucson?


Solar power. Wind energy. Hydroelectric. Geothermal. Nuclear power. What are the alternatives to our fossil fuel addiction? How can we implement them? What are the advantages? What are the challenges?

There are a lot of questions about transitioning to alternative energy. Join us at the next Sustainable Tucson meeting as we explore the options. We’ll start off with a movie program that highlights some of the issues and then welcome a panel of local experts to discuss the topic and answer your questions. It promises to be a stimulating and informative evening.

The panelists for the evening:

  • Duane Ediger, Technicians for Sustainability
  • Michael Peel, Local First Arizona
  • Russell Lowes, Sierra Club Rincon Group
  • Jeff Yockey, TEP Resource Planning Manager
  • John Eisele will be able to represent Tucson 2030 District

In addition, we will present two short videos that gives important context for the discussion:

  1. National Geographic Renewable Energy 101 (3:16). May seem elementary to our audience, but it does provide some basic organizers. Suggestion: introduce it as a primer/reminder, a kind of warm-up for what follows.
  2. Global Weirding Series Renewable energy is way too expensive, right? (6:27). Katharine Hayhoe rocks, modeling what activists want to be able to do: understand and be ready for the scoffing remarks of status quotists . . . with a smile
  3. What is a Zero Energy Building?
  4. 12 steps to net zero. Conserving heat is a big piece of the puzzle in Puget Sound, but the concepts are applicable here

What’s in store for Tucson? Find out at the next Sustainable Tucson meeting:
August 14, 2018
Ward 6 • 3202 E 1st St
6:00 (Doors open at 5:30)

Complete Streets, Connecting Complete Neighborhoods, Creating a Complete City

New construction is popping up all over Tucson: widening roads, new hotels and apartment complexes, and development of some of our most treasured architectural icons. At the same time, Tucson’s bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. In recognition of the opportunities and problems, Ward 6 will be hosting a Complete Streets planning session on July 25th at 5:30 pm (see below).

In preparation for this meeting and to discuss the ramifications of some of the many development projects in the works or being proposed, we will be hosting a Complete Streets Primer at our July meeting (July 10 at 6 pm). Join us in thinking about



this topic in a broad and comprehensive way, including access to friends, neighbors, jobs, urban food production, services, resources, and entertainment in ways we can afford and that produce a lot less CO2.
We’ll present a selection of informative videos, followed by a discussion to envision building complete streets, complete neighborhoods, and a complete city in Tucson.

July 10, 6:00 pm (doors open 5:30 pm)
Ward 6, 3202 E. 1st Street

NOTE: Ward 6 no longer allows food or drink in the Community Room, so we can no longer provide refreshments at our meetings.

If you want to see what you missed, here are the videos we showed:

Sustainable Tucson Summer Potluck

Tucson is not prepared for Climate Change, Mega-droughts, and much more. It will take a strong community where we know our neighbors and pull together to deal with what’s ahead. But many solutions exist at the local level, and the place to start is a good meal with friends and neighbors.

We know already that what we’re doing here is special: It grows (no pun intended) out of the 4,000-plus history of agriculture in our region, and we can use this local food scene to build community, build our local economy, and build a resilient future for our region. A great place to start to ensure a resilient Tucson is with a strong and resilient local food system.

Come to the June Sustainable Tucson meeting – a potluck dinner and discussion about Building Community thru Food. Find out about the new Food Resilience Network and how you can help build a healthy community in your beautiful, safe and abundant neighborhood.

This Tuesday, we will get together at the Ward 6 office (3202 E 1st St) to share a meal of family favorites and seasonal local food. And to discuss what would persuade you to want to get together with many of your neighbors to share food and fun, and build a stronger community where you live.

Bring a dish you can share. If possible, please try to feature one or more local ingredients. You can find a wide variety of delicious, seasonal local foods we grow right here in Southern Arizona at local Farmers Markets . And of course, favorite family traditions are welcome.

So regardless of your food tradition, come for the good food and community. At the

Sustainable Tucson Summer Potluck 2018

Program/potluck starts at 6:00. Doors open at 5:30. See you on the 12th.

 

P.S. – Help us keep plastic and similar products out of the local landfill — If you can, please bring your own plate, utensils, cup or glass. If you can’t (or forget), we’ll have all these supplies available, but we’re hoping to keep our trash footprint as limited as possible.

P.P.S. Space is limited, so if you use Facebook, please let us know you plan to attend thru this FB event link.

Do you eat? – Tucson’s Local Food Systems

One of the reasons Tucson is recognized as a UN City of Gastronomy is that we have continuously grown and eaten local food for over 4000 years. We are also at the crossroads of many cultures and major climate zones, and have developed a unique culinary history. And we have dozens of local groups that are working to build a strong food system that provides delicious food, cuts down on food waste, and supports local economy, local farmers, community, and much more.

The May and June Sustainable Tucson meetings will begin to explore what we are already doing to make a vibrant and delicious local food system, and what we need to do to make Tucson more resilient and sustainable in food.

May is Movie Night. We’ll feature a wide variety of short videos on the Tucson local food scene — growing, distributing, eating, and sharing delicious local food. These shorts will feature local organizations and food heroes. Follow-up discussion will include how we can use food to build community and the local economy.

June will feature a potluck that (if you bring it) will feature a lot of locally sourced ingredients, with (planned) demonstrations of delicious food you can harvest from your own neighborhood (and yard), and presentations by local groups working to ensure food security in their communities.

Join us and prepare to share the abundance of our desert home.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
6:00, Ward 6, 3202 E 1st St (doors open at 5:30)

Sustainable Tucson is supporting this. You can too.

This letter begins:

“We ask Tucson Electric Power (TEP) for the following:

  • Plan for seven generations of ecological recovery.
  • Expedite the replacement of fossil fuels with clean renewable energy enriched by energy storage.
  • Start in Tucson with the Irvington H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station (IGS).”

If you want to find out more (And you really should),
then check out
<SIGN THIS LETTER>

You can sign it too.

Sustainable Water – A mirage or our future?


At this month’s Sustainable Tucson meeting we will continue our investigation of water sustainability in Tucson.

A five person panel of water experts from academia, government, and the community will present their viewpoints about what water sustainability means in Tucson and how we can achieve that goal. There will be a moderated question session and then we will open the discussion up to the audience.

There’s nothing more important to life in the desert than water, so be sure to join us for this fascinating and essential discussion.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
6:00 pm (Doors open at 5:30)
Ward 6, 3202 E 1st St

March General Meeting




Sustainable Water
Part 1

Our March Sustainable Tucson meeting will feature Beyond the Mirage: The Future of Water in the West, a film by Cody Sheehy, produced by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC).

As we in Tucson know all too well, “a water shortage is dogging all of the states in the Colorado River Basin. Beyond the Mirage: The Future of Water in the West reveals new technologies and challenges old ideas through interwoven stories that connect the Colorado snowpack to the bright lights of Las Vegas; presents the challenges facing and competition between the desert cities of Arizona, California, and Nevada and potential solutions being developed in Israel and China.” (IMdb)

Beyond the Mirage “is a journey deep into the … water shortage that is unfolding across the Western United States. Avoiding the mounting risk to our economic and social systems is possible, in large part by learning from countries like Israel that have already navigated successfully from water insecurity to abundance both for humans and the natural environment.”

We’re going to watch Beyond the Mirage, explore the additional footage on the Beyond the Mirage website, and discuss the film afterwards. Join us for popcorn and a thought-provoking evening.

March 13, 2018
6:00 pm (Doors open at 5:30)
Ward 6 Office, 3202 E 1st St.

SAVE the DATE: April Meeting: April 10: Panel on Water Issues


ST February Meeting: Civics 101 for Sustainable Advocacy

Do you know what powers the Initiative gives Arizona citizens? What the City does that is different from the County? How you can speak at a public meeting?

Join us for an overview of the basic structure of the AZ governments, and how we can influence each one. The talk is designed as a factual reminder about civics and government – the stuff many of us learned in middle school but may have forgotten. Learning about the AZ government is important, as many of us didn’t grow up in AZ and have never learned how the AZ government is organized.

Follow-up discussion will review effective ways to interact with Arizona policy makers at all levels on issues of importance for our sustainable future.

Our presenter is Greer Warren, of Indivisible Southern Arizona. Greer Warren, a Tucson resident since 1988, became aware of the need for basic civics education this time last year, overhearing casual conversations about how one’s votes didn’t count, conversations rife with misinformation about how governmental systems work. She developed her Civics 101 classes because she figured it was time to try to get the information straight. Greer is also a birder and a hiker and a keen appreciator of geology and the natural world.

February 13, 2018
6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30). Ward 6 Office, 3202 E. 1st St.

Start the year right – with Friends and Action

What delicious food would you like to share with other STers? We’re looking forward to sharing good food with you at a potluck dinner at the next Sustainable Tucson meeting on January 9.

The January Sustainable Tucson meeting will be a working potluck dinner. Our goal is to get to know one another, and to start to develop the ST working groups.

In 2018 we will continue to provide excellent information programs. But it is time make sustainability the agenda that drives public policy, the local economy, and private actions. Beginning on January 9, we are forming working groups that will:

  • Organize important meetings on ways to make Tucson more sustainable
  • Help you advocate for sustainable public policies, local businesses and private actions
  • Expand the reach of Sustainable Tucson and “get the word out” about our sustainable future
  • Help you work with your neighbors so we can all create that “village” where we work together to create the beautiful and resilient future we all seek

We are starting now, and you can help make it happen. We need your help to make it happen

Join us for a delicious potluck. Bring something to share and your own tableware. We particularly hope you will look for local ingredients, since local food is critical to creating our sustainable future. You can check out farmers markets near you thru this Edible Baja Arizona list

We know 2018 will be an exciting year. Kick it off the right way – working with friends to create our sustainable future together.

Happy New Year.

January 9 Sustainable Tucson meeting
Working potluck dinner
Ward 6 office, 3202 E 1st
Starts at 6:00 (doors open at 5:30).

Are you ready for some … Action?

Yes, we’re all active in our community. Yes, we’re all busy. But there’s always more that needs attention — sometimes, immediate attention. The October Sustainable Tucson meeting will highlight both ideas and opportunities for action.

We will present a set of video clips featuring some exciting ways people are building sustainability in their communities, programs and projects to provoke your own ideas of what we can do here in Tucson. Among others, we will be showing some segments from a movie about Transition, a world-wide movement addressing climate disruption and economic instability through grass-roots community action. We will also show an interview with climate scientist and former UA professor Jonathan Overpeck, motivating us with a strong call to action.

Following that there will be a series of short “pitches” sharing current and urgent opportunities in our own community, opportunities for you to take your own action that night and in the days to follow.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 10.
Ward 6, 3202 E 1st St
6:00, (doors open at 5:30)

Sustainable Tucson General Meeting

Turning Principles into Action

The challenge of creating a sustainable Tucson is daunting. In a de-carbonized world we will eventually have and do nothing that requires fossil fuels. And currently everything does.

But the opportunities for a beautiful, safe, and equitable world are even greater than the difficulties. So … let’s get on with the job.

At the Sept 12 Sustainable Tucson meeting, we will ask you to think big – What would inspire you? What would make you think – “I WANT that!”

Over the summer, about 60 people developed a few Principles for Our Sustainable Community. We organized our August City Council Candidates Forum around these principles. We only covered a few areas – water, transportation, economy – and we plan to cover more areas in the future. But these are important areas that will get us started.

Your task on Sept 12 is to work together to identify ways to take these Principles and turn them into opportunities for action. We will also ask you to identify the groups that should be involved to help make them happen. At the least, these could become very interesting topics for future Sustainable Tucson meetings. They might even evolve into new coalitions that would try to make them happen. (Similar to the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection that got the County to create the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and protect 200,000 acres of Sonoran desert.)

Do you have an INSPIRING idea for what we can do in Tucson to make sure we have sustainable water, transportation and jobs? Do you want to hear the great ideas that some of our neighbors already have? Check out some ideas at Food for Thought.

Come to the next Sustainable Tucson meeting on September 12, starting at 6pm. We will meet at St Marks Presbyterian Church, so we have room to spread out.

See you there.

Next meeting:
September 12, 6pm (doors open at 5:30)
St Marks Presbyterian Church, 3809 E 3rd St
Plenty of parking in 2nd St lot

September General Meeting – Moving Principles to Action

Over the summer, Sustainable Tucson developed the first set of principles for our sustainable future. These formed the basis for last month’s City Council Candidates Forum. We will add to them at future, to cover other important sustainability topics.

Now it’s time to go to the next step.

Over the coming months, Sustainable Tucson will explore the opportunities to make Tucson a more resilient and sustainable community. These include:
* Sustainable reliance on renewable water
* Sustainable transportation that is climate-ready, affordable, and that connects us to what is important
* Sustainable economy that serves our people and our needs

On September 12, we will ask you to consider each of the key principles we developed over the summer and answer three questions:
* What opportunities can we have and create, if we implement these principles?
* What local resources must we have and create, in order to seize these opportunities?
* What’s next?

It is important that we also get your help to develop these ideas for future programs. We will be recruiting volunteers to help develop future programs – contact groups that are promoting the ideas, forming stakeholder panels, developing background information, and more. Please consider helping, if a topic really interests you.

Check out — Food for Thought. These are only a sample of some of the many good ideas that are currently circulating in Tucson. We will be adding more, as we go along.

Special location:
St Marks Presbyterian Church
3809 E 3rd St
Parking on 2nd Street
Program starts at 6:00
Doors open at 5:30

August Candidates Forum

How do we Build Our Sustainable Future Together?

See the Entire Forum

Sustainable Tucson, in collaboration with Local First Arizona and others, is hosting a City Council Candidates Forum on Wednesday, August 9, titled “Building Our Sustainable Future – Together”. All candidates from the three City wards with elections have been invited.

Five candidates are confirmed, so far:
Ward 3

  • Felicia Chew (D)
  • Paul Durham (D)
  • Tom Tronsdale (D)
  • Gary Watson (I)

Ward 6

  • Mike Cease (G)
  • Steve Kozachik (D)

This free forum will be held at Changemaker High School, 1300 S Belevedere, starting at 6pm. It is open to the public. Current sponsors are: Local First Arizona, Pima County Food Alliance, Progressive Democrats of Arizona, Community Water Coalition, and Changemaker High School.

The August 9 Candidates Forum will ask the candidates to discuss their views on the City’s role in four areas:

  • Assuring renewable water that serves Tucson’s priorities
  • Climate-ready and affordable transportation
  • Relocalization and economic redevelopment, and
  • Public awareness and involvement: Making sustainability our way of life

Candidates will be asked to discuss how they see the challenges that the city faces in these areas, and what role the City government has in helping to prepare Tucson for the challenges ahead.

Sustainable Tucson is an 11 year old non-profit organization that educates Tucson on the challenges and opportunities we face in the years ahead. At recent monthly meetings, we have covered topics ranging from Building Resilience by Building Community to Community Banking to Living with Urban Wildlife. Other projects include the 7th Annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival this November, and Feeding Tucson, a program to promote community resilience through a strong local food system.

Forum:
6:00 to 8:30, August 9, 2017
Changemaker High School
1300 S Belevedere Ave

Doors open at 5:30

July Workshop
What are our best opportunities for action?
What’s next? How do we get governments, businesses, financial organizations, educational institutions, and just plan folk to work together to make Tucson more sustainable and resilient?

One answer is to know what we want … and then talk “amongst ourselves” – every chance we get.

Come to the next Sustainable Tucson meeting, July 11 at Ward 6 office from 6-9pm, and help create the next step in developing “Principles for Our Sustainable Future”. Please register now, so we know how many people to plan for and can provide additional materials for next Tuesday’s meeting.

At this workshop, we will build on the principles developed at the June Sustainable Tucson meeting. These principles were developed by over 40 people in a 3 hour workshop and cover five areas – water, transportation, local jobs and businesses, green redevelopment, and financing.

At the July workshop, you will help identify overlaps and connections between these principles and then craft community-wide opportunities that the City of Tucson could help promote. (Example connection)

The results of this meeting will guide our City Council Candidates forum on August 9. The goal will be to identify 4-6 such opportunities and ask the City Council Candidates to discuss the City’s role in making Tucson more resilient and sustainable, using these opportunities as examples. These principles and connections may also be used in candidate forums for the Board of Supervisors, next year.

This should be a fun evening. You will be working with other creative and caring Tucsonans who want to make Tucson a better place for all of us. So put on your creative cap, and join in the fun. Register now.

Special June Workshop – Principles for Tucson’s Sustainability Agenda

If you don’t know where you’re going, any direction will do.

The June Sustainable Tucson meeting is the first of a three-part program to begin a community dialog on what we need to do to make Tucson more sustainable and resilient.

The June meeting is a workshop to develop “Principles for Tucson’s Sustainability Agenda”. At this meeting, we will tackle five key areas (out of dozens that are possible) and identify key principles of sustainability that we need to apply in Tucson. (For example, a principle might be “we will plan to rely solely on renewable, dependable water supplies.”)

The July meeting will develop a strategy to make – having a future – a central part of the public (and private) discussions. And August will be the first example of this – a City Council Candidates’ Forum that focuses on the candidates’ views of the City’s roles in making or preventing progress toward sustainability.

If you want to get involved in the June workshop, you need to register, because seating is limited. The meeting will be from 6 to 9pm on June 13. Please use this Doodle Link <https://doodle.com/poll/xix3i2smc35czpei > to reserve your seat and to indicate which topic areas you are most interested in.

We need help to put on these programs, and the programs that follow. Please consider becoming part of the team that makes these and future programs happen.

We hope to see you Tuesday.

Living with Urban Wildlife: Ready or Not!

May General Meeting
When: May 9, 2017 Doors open 5:30 p.m. Program begins at 6:00

You don’t have to go far in Tucson for wildlife encounters. Right in the center of the city, we’ve all seen coyotes trotting down the street, watched hawks circling gracefully overhead, and heard that distinctive rattle that brings all motion to a halt. We see bobcats lounging in the back yard, share our gardens (though not by choice) with everything from javelina to ground squirrels, and laugh at the lizards doing push-ups. We’re already living with wildlife throughout out urban area.

But changes in climate and habitat — including on-going development in once-wild areas — are bringing increasing numbers of wildlife into the city. And with the changing numbers, we are faced with the need to change our relationship with these new “neighbors.” So how can we all live together, safely and calmly, in ways that respect and protect all?

Join us to explore this question at Sustainable Tucson’s May General Meeting, “Living with Urban Wildlife: Ready or Not!” Our panelists will share insights and suggestions, looking at current conditions and looking ahead a bit at expected changes in numbers and kinds of encounters. There will be plenty of time to ask questions and share ideas.

Speakers include:
• Erin Sol, Environmental Education Program Specialist, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation
• Sergio Avila, Conservation Research Scientist, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
• Dr. Michael Rosenzweig, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
• Jennie MacFarland, Bird Conservation Biologist & Tucson Bird Count Coordinator, Tucson Audubon Society

When: May 9, 2017 Doors open 5:30 p.m. Program begins at 6:00
Where: Ward 6 Office, 3202 E. 1st St. (one block east of Country Club, one block south of Speedway)

Initiatives for Climate-ready, Resilient Buildings – the Emerging Tucson 2030 District and More

2030 Districts are a national network of organizations in 15 cities in North America that are working to reduce building energy, water waste, and carbon transportation emissions by 50% by 2030.

At Sustainable Tucson’s April General Meeting, come hear the update of the Tucson Emerging 2030 District, Tucson’s new Community Partnership to transform our commercial and institutional buildings.

The Tucson Emerging 2030 District continues to evolve, and their executive committee will share their progress and expectations with Sustainable Tucson to describe how far the concept has proceeded since earlier presentations. Learn about the workshops, forums, PCC classes, and community events, which are attracting interest in this important new initiative in Tucson.

After Tres English presents a brief overview of the conditions of our quarter million aging tract homes, the second half of the April General Meeting will feature David Eisenberg, Director of the Development Center for Appropriate Technology.

David will present an overview of what people need to know to embark on the green building journey. This will include information on building codes, building science, green building materials, and reliable sources for further information. If you are interested in the subject of green retrofitting of existing residences or designing and building your own eco-house, this part will be of particular value. David will also describe the potential for green retrofitting Tucson’s vast housing stock built between 1950 and 1990.

• Ward 6, 3202 E 1st St
• Tuesday, April 11, 2017
• 6:00 pm (doors open 5:00)

Building Resilience by Building Community

How can we build supportive relationships with our neighbors in a world that is fragmented by everything from automobiles to zoning to the internet to globalization? How do we remain secure in a world where we have almost no things stored here (like food) and nearly everything we have is made someplace else in the world and then shipped here, all using fossil fuels?

The March Sustainable Tucson General Meeting is Building Resilience by Building Community. It is the second of our The Opposite of Helpless series. At this Building Resilience program, we will explore many of the ways that Tucsonans are working together to build community and resilience in local food, care for the elderly, education, and climate readiness.

The meeting format is:
* Brief presentations by groups on their current activities and volunteer opportunities
* Panel discussion on how their work can help promote community connections and what Tucson can do to dramatically expand the sort of work they are doing.
* A “Volunteer Fair” so you can find out how to help these organizations, develop a future general meeting program, or develop a Sustainability Agenda for Tucson.

Currently scheduled groups are:
• Food Resilience Project
• Pima Council on Aging’s Neighbors Care Alliance
• Building Resilient Neighborhoods
• Community Food Bank’s Garden program
• Changemaker High School
• Watershed Management Group

Find out how you can get involved, and what we need to do to make Tucson a more Resilient and Sustainable community at the Sustainable Tucson March 14 General Meeting, 6:00 at Ward 6, 3202 E 1st St. (Doors open at 5:30).

Map and directions

What will it be like to live in a sustainable Tucson? Part of our challenge, to making this transition before we have no choice, is to really imagine what it will mean.

Sustainable Tucson took a small step toward understanding what that will mean with our Valentine’s Day Party and Creativity Workshop: “Love in the Time of Climate Change”. It was a social mixer plus brainstorming session. And we had chocolate!

Brainstorm - "Love in the Time of Climate Change"The main activity involved a mashup between the Permaculture design tool called Random Association and the board game Clue. People worked together to create ideas for what we could actually do in our neighborhoods, all of Tucson, or this region to live more sustainably. Using over 120 different actors, actions, places and tools, representing Who (You, Elderly Neighbors, Kids, Local Businesses, Wildlife, etc.), Do What (Eat, Share, Ride, Cross, etc.), Where (Neighborhood street, Pocket park, Local business, backyard, etc.), and With What (PV panel, bamboo, chicanes, shade trees, garden, etc.), people came up with dozens of ideas for ways to transform their neighborhood or community into a more Beautiful, Delicious, Safe, and Fun place to be a part of. At the end, we all participated in the Dances of Universal Peace.

Another goal of the meeting was to recruit people for the new Sustainable Tucson initiative “The Opposite of Helpless”. This year, we will be exploring the “Hows” of making Tucson more sustainable, not just the “Whys”. It is critical that our ST Partners (that’s YOU) help organize these monthly meetings on topics ranging from “Aging in place and in community” to “Prioritizing Water for Food and Nature” to “Financing Sustainability”.

In the end, we can’t do this without you. Please look at this survey of upcoming meeting topics. If you have other ideas to suggest, please add them. If you find one that is important to you, please sign up to help organize it. This is a one-time, limited commitment, but it is really important that you get involved.

 

It’s a Valentine’s Day party!

Love the Earth.
Love your community.
Love your neighbors.
Love yourself and those close to you.

The February Sustainable Tucson meeting will be a party to celebrate Tucson’s sustainable future and each other, and an evening to dream of how to create a better future for Tucson. This Valentine’s Day Party and Creativity Workshop is a time to get to know other Sustainable Tucson partners like yourself, to exercise a little creativity in creating a vision of what a sustainable and resilient desert community would be like in your neighborhood, and to ENJOY Chocolate and other sweets. We’ll have a little music and dancing, too.

Among other activities, you will have the opportunity to work with other on a kind of game that is a mashup between the Permaculture design technique called Random Associations and the game CLUE. (You’ll be surprised what happens when you combine things like elderly neighbors, traffic calming chicanes, Permaculture food forest, and potlucks.) And since ST is all about making Tucson sustainable while having fun, you will also have a chance to learn about and get involved in our new initiative “The Opposite of Helpless” and our annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival.

Please join us on Valentine’s Day, starting at 6:00 at the Ward 6 office. (Doors open at 5:30) We will provide drinks and some sweets. Please bring some chocolate or other sweets to share, if you can.

See you there.

Communicating Climate Change

Our January General Meeting focuses on issues of how we communicate on Climate Change. To stimulate our discussion, we will view selections from a lecture titled “Climate Change in the American Mind,” by Anthony Leiserowitz, the Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

The program includes a reading by Susan Feathers (one of the founders of Sustainable Tucson), from her newly released novel Threshold, which looks at Tucson and the Southwest in the not-so-distant future under the impacts of climate change.

Please join us to be part of the discussion and explore ways in which we can communicate more effectively on this vital issue.

Note new day of the week and new location for 2017 General Meetings.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Ward 6 Office, 3202 E 1st St. (one block south of Speedway, one block east of Country Club)
Doors open 5:30 for networking. Program starts 6 pm.

Further References:

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication:

http://climatecommunication.yale.edu

Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz – full March 2015 lecture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpmcJDr3KX8

Key Climate Scientists

Dr. James Hansen, 2016 lecture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42wtAennn8w

Dr. Kevin Anderson 2016 Interview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck_Ev8oqBh0

December Meeting – Celebrating Community and Sustainability

At our December meeting, we will show how you can celebrate the holidays sustainably. Our first guest, Local First Arizona, will talk about the benefits of shopping “locally” and provide a local guide. Next, we’ve invited Upcycle Tucson to demonstrate how to use recycled materials to make art, gifts, and gift-wraps. We’ll close the evening celebrating community by dancing and singing with the Tucson Circle / Dances of Universal Peace.

Local First Arizona
Think Local. Buy Local. Be Local. Local First Arizona is a nonprofit organization that celebrates independent, locally owned businesses. The organization’s vision is an Arizona economy that is sustainable, resilient, and celebratory of diverse cultures. Local First Arizona educates citizens about local business ownership, social equity, cultural diversity, environmental kinship, and collaboration. It raises public awareness of the economic and cultural benefits provided by strong local economies. Local businesses contribute to a sustainable economy for Arizona and build vibrant communities we’re all proud to call home.

Upcycle Tucson
Shop, create, participate, and advocate! Upcycle Tucson is a creative reuse arts center. Their mission is to promote the creation of functional and aesthetic art from scrap (reusable materials). Upcycle provides inexpensive and gently used materials and offers fun classes on upcycled art. They support local artisans with a gallery featuring the community’s upcycled art. Tonight they will demonstrate how to make a small gift box from an old gift card!

Dances of Universal Peace
Building and Celebrating Community. From the beginning of time, sacred movement, song and story have brought people together. The Dances of Universal Peace are part of this timeless tradition. In the spirit of building community, Sustainable Tucson brings the Dances of Universal Peace to our December meeting. The Dances are simple, meditative, joyous, multi-cultural circle dances that use sacred phrases and movements from all of the world’s wisdom traditions. They touch the spiritual essence within ourselves, and allow us to recognize it in others. There are no performers and no audience.
Please bring cookies or other goodies to share!

December 12, 2016 6 pm – 8 pm (doors open at 5:30 pm)
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Geneva Hall
3809 E. 3rd Street (free parking in church lot on 2nd St.)

Localizing Our Economy

Please join Sustainable Tucson for the November General Meeting, “Localizing Our Economy.” We’re excited to present speakers on two innovative tools for financing local entrepreneurs and stimulating the local economy.

• Jim and Pamela Powers Hannley, from Arizonans for a New Economy, will speak on the benefits and possibility of creating an Arizona State Bank, a system designed to support local needs and local control of financial activity.
• Chris Squires, of Ten 55 Brewing, will speak on crowd-funding, equity investment, and the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, a law that adjusted various securities regulations in order to encourage broader opportunities for funding of small businesses.

Discussion and Q&A will follow the presentation

6pm-8pm (doors open at 5:30)
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Geneva Hall
3809 E. 3rd Street (free parking in church lot on 2nd St.)

Localizing Our Economy

Please join Sustainable Tucson for the November General Meeting, “Localizing Our Economy.” We’re excited to present speakers on two innovative tools for financing local entrepreneurs and stimulating the local economy.

Jim and Pamela Powers Hannley, from Arizonans for a New Economy, will speak on the benefits and possibility of creating an Arizona State Bank, a system designed to support local needs and local control of financial activity.
Chris Squires, of Ten 55 Brewing, will speak on crowd-funding, equity investment, and the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, a law that adjusted various securities regulations in order to encourage broader opportunities for funding of small businesses.
Discussion and Q&A will follow the presentations.

St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Geneva Hall
6pm-8pm (doors open at 5:30)
3809 E. 3rd Street (free parking in church lot on 2nd St.)

6th Annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival


We’re very excited about this year’s Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival, this Sunday, October 16, 11am-4pm, at the YWCA, 525 N. Bonita Ave., with an amazing variety of exhibitors and vendors, speakers, food, music, and lots of fun for all. Check out the Festival website for details.

The Festival is taking place close to Tucson’s origins, reminding us of a history reaching back over 4,000 years of continuous agriculture. Talk about sustainable roots! And Mission Gardens will be at the Festival to share some of that history with us. At the same time, we’re at the heart of Tucson’s Emerging 2030 District, looking to create a sustainable future by working with building owners to reduce energy and water use by 50% by the year 2030.

There’ll be plenty of free parking, but if you choose to come (sustainably) by bike, there’ll be a Bike Valet provided by Living Streets Alliance and sponsored by Ajo Bikes.

So join us on Sunday: Learn about recycling granite for your home, recycling for art projects, and recycling for creating new tools and vehicles. Bring your questions about sustainability issues from desert gardening to neighborhood resilience, from solar for the home to solar cooking, from slow food to native fruits, from energy efficiency to electric vehicles. Find out about improving air quality, harvesting our precious rainwater, building green homes, and much, much more.

AND — There’s still opportunity to volunteer and help on the day of the Festival, from set-up in the morning to break-down at the end of the day. Use the Volunteer page on the Festival website if you can help.

The ABCs of the ACC: A Full Run-down of the Arizona Corporation Commission

We’re all familiar with the role of the ACC in setting our electricity rates. Many of you were probably at the ACC public hearing in Tucson on August 31 and may even have given testimony about TEP’s rate case now before the Commission. But do you know the full range of what the ACC does?

The Arizona Corporation Commission, known as the “4th branch of government in Arizona,” impacts our lives and the economy of the state in many ways — not just our utility rates. This meeting will provide an overview of all aspects of the ACC’s work. In November, we’ll be voting for candidates to fill three seats on the Commission, and this program will help ensure that we’re all informed voters as we make that decision.

Join Sustainable Tucson for our September Monthly Meeting, presented in collaboration with Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter. Speakers (confirmed to date) will be Sandy Bahr and Dan Millis.

Meeting Date: September 12, 2016
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, in Geneva Hall, at 3809 E. 3rd St. (west of Alvernon, south of Speedway).
Doors open at 5:30 pm; program begins at 6:00 pm
Free parking in the church lots off 2nd St. (preferred) and 3rd St.

Speak Up for Solar! With a Change of Date, Change of Location

Join Sustainable Tucson for our monthly August meeting, focusing on rooftop solar and getting the community ready for the upcoming Aug 31 ACC hearing in Tucson on TEP’s rate request. The meeting will start with the movie “Catching the Sun”, followed by current information on TEP’s request, with background on rate requests by other utilities, the expected effect of the rate request — if approved — on all customers and the projected impact on the spread of rooftop solar in the region. Along with what to expect at the ACC hearing, the meeting will include the opportunity for letter-writing, to share our position on the rate request.

NOTE CHANGE of DATE, CHANGE of LOCATION, EARLY START TIME for this meeting!
August 22, 2016 Doors open 5:15 pm, Program starts 5:45 pm (to allow enough time for the movie)
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 3809 E 3rd St, Tucson, AZ (just west of Alvernon)
Free parking in church lots on 3rd St. and 2nd St.

………………………..

Save the Date! September 12
The September Monthly Meeting will again be held at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church.
Presented jointly with Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter:
The ABCs of the ACC: Understanding the Arizona Corporation Commission

Minimalism

Some of the themes from A Simpler Way will be explored in Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things in Life, for which Sustainable Tucson will be a Community Partner with The Loft Cinema, on July 19th at 7:30pm. This film looks at living minimally in all aspects of life, from our interaction with the environment to business, from music to design and architecture. As the film’s website explains, “minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives—clearing the clutter from life’s path so we can make room for the most important things.” The film “explores various recipes for how to live a more meaningful, deliberate life. Not a perfect life, not an easy life—a simple one.”

A panel discussion after the film will include Tucson architect Frank Mascia, who is featured in the film.

For more information:

The Loft Cinema is located at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson. Stop by the Sustainable Tucson table before the film.

A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity

July Monthly Meeting – Movie night
This month’s Sustainable Tucson meeting be a showing of A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity, a recently released feature-length documentary that follows an intentional community in Australia who came together to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises. Throughout the year presented in the film, the group builds tiny houses, plants veggie gardens, explores their understanding of simple living, and discovers the challenges of living in community. Interspersed with segments showing how the community developed are shorts interviews with permaculture specialists, economists, authors, and other scholars, who explore those global crises and with the changes we all need to make in addressing them.

Written and produced by Jordan Osmond, founder of Happen Films, and Dr. Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute, A Simpler Way was made on a limited budget, all of it crowdfunded by its many supporters. Here, Osmond writes of the motivation behind the film:

“The dominant mode of global development today seeks to universalize high-consumption consumer lifestyles, but this has produced perverse inequalities of wealth and – to an extent that is no longer possible to ignore – is environmentally catastrophic. We are called on to take shorter showers, recycle, buy ‘green’ products, and turn the lights off when we leave the room, but these measures are grossly inadequate. We need more fundamental change – personally, culturally, and structurally.

“The purpose of the documentary is to envision a way of life that positively responds to the overlapping global crises of climate change, peak oil, economic collapse, and consumerism. Genuine progress today means building a new, more resilient world based on permaculture, simple living, renewable energy, and localized economies. Most of all, we need to reimagine the good life beyond consumer culture and begin building a world that supports a simpler way of life. This does not mean hardship or deprivation. It means focusing on having enough, for everyone, forever.”

Please join us for this exciting film and for discussion afterwards addressing implications for our own lives and for our community here in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

As always, the meeting is at the downstairs meeting room of the
Downtown Main Library, 101 N Stone.
Doors open at 5:30. Movie starts at 6:00

A Time to Choose

Along with The Loft Cinema and the UA Institute of the Environment, Sustainable Tucson will be co-presenting the film “A Time to Choose,” which will be shown June 15, at 7:30 pm, at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Come early and visit with us at the Sustainable Tucson table on the patio. The film addresses worldwide climate change, looking at both the challenges and possible solutions.

For more information: https://loftcinema.com/film/time-to-choose/

Additional reviews (just to entice you to attend):
https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/movies/a-time-to-choose-makes-an-eloquent-case-for-acting-to-save-the-planet-now/2016/06/02/433b17b8-2441-11e6-9e7f-57890b612299_story.html

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-time-to-choose-review-20160531-snap-story.html

Food Resilience — Learning to Adapt, Survive & Thrive in the 21st Century

Of all the things that we could do to make Tucson more resilient — better able to survive and thrive, no matter what the world throws at us — the “lowest hanging fruit” is probably — FOOD. Who woulda thunk it?

Come to the joint meeting of Sustainable Tucson and Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance this coming Monday (June 13 at 6:00) at the Downtown Main Library.

This meeting will focus on what Tucson is already doing to create a beautiful and healthy community that can provide a more secure food supply based on our renewable rainfall, ample land, year-round growing climate, and long tradition of unique local food.

A panel of local experts will discuss what Tucson is already doing that contribute to our food resilience, as well as what we might do to magnify our efforts. The panelists are:
• Nick Henry – Director of the Community Food Bank’s Food Resource Center
• Sarah Brown – Co-coordinator of Watershed Management Group
• Oscar Medina – Changemaker High School teacher in History, Civics, and Urban Agriculture Restorative Ecology
• Carolyn Niethammer – Author on the plants, food, environmet, and people of the Southwest
• Tres English – Director of Sustainable Tucson Food Resilience Project
The panel discussion will be followed by Q&A from the audience.

In addition to the panel, there will be an opportunity to talk with local vendors who are directly involved in local sustainability. Currently confirmed are:
• Tanks Green Stuff
• Iskashitaa Refugee Harvesting Network
• Tucson Organic Gardeners.
• Carolyn Niethammer – Local author on SW food, environment and people

Join us for lively discussion on an important issue facing Tucson.

As always, the doors of the downstairs meeting room open at 5:30 and the program starts promptly at 6:00. Parking is free in the parking garage below the Main Library.

ST April General Mtg – Tucson’s Energy-Economy-Climate Revolution

Sustainable Tucson’s April General Meeting will provide an up-to-the-minute update on efforts to pave the way for creating a positive energy-economy-climate future for our region.

Tucson-based international economist Skip Laitner will report for the RENEW team on this important three-part community initiative. These include 1) intervening in the Arizona Corporation Commission’s current energy rate cases for southern Arizona; 2) high-level discussions with senior Tucson Electric Power staff; and 3) building community support for a sane and prosperous energy future.

RENEW (Ratepayers Expect New Economic Wisdom) is a collaboration of Tucson-based individuals, groups, and businesses who have begun the hard discussion of positive strategies that might strengthen the region’s economy at the same time we transition to clean, renewable energy sources.

Monday, April 11, 2016
Downtown Library, 101 N Stone
Lower level Conference room.
Program begins at 6:00pm. Doors open at 5:30

 

Sustainability on the Chopping Block – Tucson City Council Decision April 19th

XXX

This is an urgent appeal to the Sustainability Community to show up and speak out for sustainability and reject an unnecessary road widening plan which will cost millions and do nothing for sustainable mobility and economic vitality.

XXXXX

We have limited opportunities to help shape decisions about urban form and public infrastructure which effect the way we live and generate climate-changing GHG emissions. This is one of them.

XXX

 

The Tucson Mayor and Council will decide at their April 19th Regular Meeting on how to proceed with the 30% design proposal on the table. We urge you to sign the popular “Vote No” petition below sponsored by the Broadway Coalition and ALSO submit your “negative” comments on the 30% Design here at the City’s website.

XXX

When: Tuesday, April 19th,  5:30 pm

Where:  Tucson City Hall Council Chambers

We Should Develop Historic Broadway NOT wastefully widen the roadway!

 

Say YES to smart development and NO to another bad alignment plan for Broadway. Why would we spend $75 million for no appreciable improvement in traffic?

 

On April 19th, the City of Tucson will vote whether to:

XXX

1) Widen Historic Broadway even though traffic hasn’t increased for 20 years,

2) Demolish 30+ buildings and businesses, and

3) Ignore the community’s overwhelming plea to design a vibrant, history and place-preserving, climate-friendly future where local businesses thrive and more people prefer to safely walk, bike, and use public transit.

XXX

The City’s alignment plan would set a horrible precedent for our economic future!

XXX

We need to stop wasteful public spending on unnecessary widening of roads when we need to:

XXX

1) Revitalize our historic places leading into Downtown Tucson.

2) Repave our unsafe, crumbling Tucson streets and roads.

3) Invest in alternatives to more cars – walking, biking, public transit.

4) Encourage and enable use of renewable energy – electric vehicles, Street Car extensions.

Our Petition Campaign has exceeded the first goal of 1,000 signatures with over 400 comments. Please add your name, comment if you like, and see what other Tucsonan’s are saying:

 

Time for Action is Now!

 

For background on Broadway Widening , references, articles, and research go here:

 

 

Why Are We Spending $74 Million

and

Destroying 30 Buildings in a Central Historic Area

while

Producing No Traffic Improvement?

By Dave Bilgray

 

 

The Broadway Improvement Project is not needed, and will provide no benefit to the residents of Tucson.  The City’s own data shows that widening Broadway will provide only a 6-second improvement in travel time.

 

The City of Tucson wants to bulldoze dozens of buildings, many of them historically significant, to handle nonexistent traffic increases which were projected 30 years ago, but did not materialize.

 

The effort started in the 80s, when City analysts predicted a substantial increase in Broadway traffic by 2005. This began a decades-long push to widen Broadway, despite a consulting firm’s analysis that widening would not improve traffic flow.  The reason is the delays at intersections.  The City got funding for the project in 2006, as part of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) proposition.

 

But the traffic increase didn’t happen, for two reasons:

 

1. Population growth, which had been primarily to the East, went to the Northwest instead.

2. Aviation Parkway was completed in the 90s, providing an alternative for residents in Southeast Tucson.

 

In 2009, a consultant’s study showed that Broadway traffic was essentially unchanged since the 80s. That should have squelched the project. But the City said it was obligated to do the job, because voters approved it as part of the RTA. (Not true. The RTA proposition said a change in the plan was permitted if there was “no degradation in performance”. That 6-second difference is 1 percent, which would certainly be within the limit.)

 

So the City’s plans continued. The original design was for widening Broadway to 8 lanes, 150 feet wide. That’s half the length of a football field. More than 100 structures would be demolished, mostly locally-owned businesses, including nearly everything on the North side of Broadway, from Euclid to Country Club.

 

There was strong opposition by thousands of citizens and several neighborhood associations.  This resulted in creation of a citizen’s task force, with representatives from business, neighborhood, and disabled communities. Between June 2012 and May 2015, the task force held 37 design meetings, coordinated by City staff and consultants. There were 5 Open Houses, each attended by several hundred people, and five Business and Property Owner Meetings.

 

In late 2014, a compromise was reached between the City, RTA, and task force, calling for 6 lanes, with an estimated 10-12 buildings to be torn down. City agencies and consultants were to work out technical details.

 

We have now received the revised plan. It calls for at least 30 buildings to be demolished — triple the City’s compromise estimate — including 2 blocks of houses in Rincon Heights.  Many other buildings will become inaccessible, and will likely be destroyed, because their driveways and/or parking lots will be wiped out.  There also are changes at intersections which impact nearby neighborhoods, by diverting or blocking traffic flow.

 

Will the Broadway Corridor be a gateway to our revitalized downtown, with locally-owned businesses, and human scale?  Or will it be a wide swath of asphalt, straddled by empty lots and the dream of big box stores?

 

Tucson got a black eye with Rio Nuevo.  Let’s not do it again.  The money can be spent on sidewalks, landscaping, and ADA compliance, which would enhance the area. Please tell your City Council member to reject this wasteful and harmful idea, once and for all.

 

For more info:   www.facebook.com/broadwaycoalition

 

Thanks to Margot Garcia, for providing background and chronological information; Les Pierce, for identifying important items in City and RTA documents; and Bob Cook, for wording suggestions.

Climate Change and Pima County Operations

Climate Change and Pima County Operations:

Mitigation and Adaptation through Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, and Renewable Energy

The Sustainable Tucson general meeting for March continues this year’s focus on climate change and local impacts and actions.

In Pima County, residents, businesses, and public services primarily rely on energy generated by natural gas and coal-fired thermoelectric plants and on water supplied by the Colorado River and transported by the Central Arizona Project (CAP).

The production and transmission of energy and water supplies are linked, and the costs of these resources are rising as a result of scarcity issues, growing demands. and regulatory uncertainty around renewables. Furthermore, energy and water supplies are vulnerable to the effects of climate variability, such as prolonged drought, which further influence costs. Electricity and water costs for Pima County are projected to rise 10-30% in the coming years. While existing County policies and tools have thus far kept rising costs at bay, new strategies and infrastructure need to be considered in the context of these increasing and compounded risks.

Speakers will include:

Dr. Julie Robinson, Pima County Sustainability Program Manager

Others to be announced.

Presentations will be followed by audience Q&A.

The event will take place in the downstairs conference room of the Joel Valdez Main Library in downtown Tucson. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for meet & greet begins at 5:30; the program will begin at 6:00.
Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Lower Level Meeting Room
(Free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Local Climate Change Actions: Policy and Progress

Continuing Sustainable Tucson’s theme of “Climate Change and Actions for Our Sustainable Future”, please join us at the February General Meeting to hear about the progress being made locally on the policy and actions front.

Find out what is happening within Tucson City government, Tucson’s Climate Change committee’s upcoming recommendation to establish a new carbon emission goal of “Net-zero carbon emissions by 2040”, and how it can be reinforced by putting a price on carbon emissions through national legislation promoted by the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.

Speakers will include:

  • Ryan Anderson, Planning, Transportation, and Sustainability Policy Advisor, City of Tucson, Office of the Mayor
  • Ben Champion, D.Phil., Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Arizona, Co-chair City of Tucson Climate Change committee
  • Suzanne Tveit, Arizona coordinator, Citizen’s Climate Lobby

Presentations will be followed by audience Q&A.

The event will take place in the downstairs conference room of the Joel Valdez Main Library in downtown Tucson. Meet & greet begins at 5:30; the program will begin at 6:00. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Lower Level Meeting Room,
(Free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Special event for November

Sustainable Tucson is co-sponsoring a special movie at the Loft Theater – “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein.

The presentation also features a post-film panel discussion with Luis Alberto Perales of Tierra y Libertad, Bob Cook of Sustainable Tucson, and Diana Liverman of UA Institute of the Environment.

This presentation is part of Science on Screen at The Loft, an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation. Movie starts at 7:00pm. Loft Theater, 3233 E. Speedway.

October Meeting – Film and Panel Discussion

On October 12th, the Sonoran Permaculture Guild and Sustainable Tucson host a special evening to view a new documentary,
INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective.
Permaculture is a unique design system for human settlement that mimics natural ecosystems. This thought-provoking film shows how Permaculture principles help communities become more sustainable and resilient.

Following the film, a panel composed of local permaculture design professionals will answer your questions and discuss how permaculture principles can be applied to our Sonoran desert. Panelist are:
* DAN DORSEY – lead teacher and designer for Sonoran Permaculture Guild, LLC, teaching Permaculture Design certification and related workshops such as Water Harvesting, Growing Food at Home, Bee Keeping, and Aquaponics.
* JUSTIN BRAMHALL – teacher with the Sonoran Permaculture Guild, specializing in sustainable design and implementation of landscapes using water harvesting and Permaculture design principles.
* SYLVIA LINDEMAN – licensed contractor, and owner of Grow With the Flow Landscaping Company LLC, specializing in design and implementation of low water use Permaculture type landscaping.

The event will take place in the downstairs conference room of the Joel Valdez Library in downtown Tucson. Meet & greet begins at 5:30, the 90 minute film will begin at 5:45. You can view the trailer at: inhabitfilm.com.

ENVISION TUCSON SUSTAINABLE FESTIVAL


Join us at this year’s 5th annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival, October 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the YWCA, 525 Bonita Avenue. The Festival will showcase the many features of sustainable living in Tucson and our desert Southwest.

We’re very excited about the great variety of activities and exhibits at this year’s event. Over 40 exhibitors, demonstrators, and vendors will be sure to provide something for everyone.

A few of the highlights of this event:
** The Festival is the starting point for PAG Solar Partnership’s neighborhood Solar Tour.
**The Tucson Electric Vehicle Association will display a wide variety of electric vehicles
** The Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce will present this year’s Climate Leadership Challenge recognition awards.
** In recognition of National Co-op Month, the ‘Co-op Cluster’ will showcase local co-ops that use this sustainable business model.
** The Festival is the kick-off event for 10West, a weeklong celebration of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Throughout the day, local and native foods will be featured in food preparation demonstrations. Examples of solar cooking will demonstrate an exciting way to be sustainable. Visionary speakers will be looking at how we can attain the sustainable future we need and want. The Annual Green School Recognition will again honor a local school that promotes ecological education, school gardening, and related activities. This year, that award goes to Davis Bilingual Magnet School. And we’ll dedicate Phase 2 of the Festival-installed vegetable garden at the YWCA.

Admission and parking are free, or come by bike and Living Streets Alliance will provide a Bike Valet service for those who come by bike.

Come to the Festival! Explore what’s going on now in our community, get more involved, learn new skills, and share your own vision of a sustainable community.

For more information: www.envisiontucsonsustainable.org and like us on Facebook at Envision Tucson Sustainable, or contact Paula Schlusberg .

Your chance to support urban food production in Tucson

The Planning Commission is holding a Public Hearing on proposed Urban Agriculture zoning rules. The new zoning laws will make legal a lot of things that are currently done but are actually illegal (just overlooked). The Planning Commission set a new hearing date: SEPTEMBER 16, 6 PM, at the Mayor and Council Chambers, 255 W Alameda.

Two years ago, the voters adopted Plan Tucson, the General Plan to guide the City government for the next 10 years. It calls for the City to promote urban agriculture. You can find out more about the new rules in this excellent summary of one of the key issues (small animals) by Merrill Eisenberg.

Get involved:

  • You can attend the meeting, and tell the Mayor and Council what you think.
  • And you can sign a petition to support the new rules

Want to support rooftop solar and fight climate change? You’re invited!

Join Sustainable Tucson, Sierra Club, and Tierra Y Libertad Organization to support solar and fight coal!

Help us plan a media event and rally in front of Tucson Electric Power (TEP) headquarters to tell TEP to stop attacking rooftop solar and to divest from the San Juan coal plant.

What: Planning meeting for future media event and rally in front of TEP’s downtown headquarters
When: Monday, July 13, 5:30-8 pm
Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.
Where: Joel D. Valdez Main Library, lower level meeting room
101 N. Stone
Parking: free — lower level off Alameda St.
Bike/Transit: Walk two blocks east from the Ronstadt Transit Center, just north of new protected bike path on Stone Ave.

Join us! Free and open to the public! For more information, contact:
dan.millis@sierraclub.org – (520) 620-6401
-or-
hello@sustainabletucson.org

Our goals are:

1) Force TEP to retract the June 1, 2015 ‘grandfathering’ date for new rooftop solar customers (net metering)

-and-

2) Force TEP to divest their stake in the polluting, out-of-state San Juan coal plant.

At this Planning Meeting, we will review the issues, create effective messaging for the rally and for a media campaign leading up to the event, and plan the logistics for the rally.

Background:

This spring, TEP submitted a plan to state regulators that would end net metering, the process that allows rooftop solar customers to receive fair credit for all of the energy their solar panels produce. New solar customers after June 1, 2015 would no longer be able to ‘bank’ the solar energy produced by their panels and use it later. This proposal was unfair and was opposed by many Tucsonans, and TEP withdrew most of their proposal. However, TEP told state regulators that they intend to submit the proposal again in 2016, keeping the June 1, 2015 ‘grandfathering’ date. The result is that between now and the end of 2016, when a decision is scheduled to be made, new solar customers won’t be able to make an informed decision about how much solar to install. Most potential customers will choose to defer on solar. As a result, local solar companies will lose business and Tucson will lose clean energy jobs.

TEP has been attacking rooftop solar while staying invested in a costly, polluting coal plant in New Mexico called the San Juan Generating Station. Operators of this greenhouse gas-producing plant have come up with a plan for partial closure, keeping part of it running. Many investors, utilities, and municipalities walked away from the deal when it was revealed that continued operations at San Juan would cost about $1 billion more than anticipated. TEP, on the other hand, plans to continue to generate about 15% of Tucson’s electricity from the San Juan plant’s dirty coal. Help us promote a better plan!