Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona
Last week’s Tucson Mayor and City Council meeting was variously described as “raucous,” and “inspiring.”
Protesters from Occupy Tucson packed the meeting and testified for hours. They pleaded with the Mayor and Council to intervene with the Tucson Police Department to stop against the $1000/night fines against the Occupiers and to intervene with the Parks and Recreation Department to end the $150/night camping permits (the biggest camping permit I know of) and the requirement for insurance.
No decisions on these items could be made last week because these issues were not officially on the agenda.
These issues are still not on the agenda for tonight’s Mayor and Council meeting. Instead, they are flagged as an executive session item on the study session agenda. In addition to not dealing with the Occupation in public today– unless, of course, Occupiers speak at the call to audience again– the Mayor and Council are not scheduled to have another open meeting until Wednesday, November 9 (after the election).
Also of interest to the 99% and also on today’s study session agenda is a follow-up to a 2007 report on Poverty and Urban Stress in Tucson. This is an excellent report conducted by former Councilman Steve Leal; unfortunately, after he retired, the report was shelved– until a few of us rabble-rousers (including Leal) started making noise about it. Watch for more on this.
Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment are out of control in our city, but if you listen to the Democratic and Republican mayoral and city council candidates, you’d think the biggest issues facing our city were development-related fees and the self-perceived hassles developers have when dealing with the city’s bureaucracy. (Give me a break.)
It’s time for our elected officials to open their eyes and look around. Maybe they should be talking with the 99%– instead of holed up behind closed doors with attorneys, current and former law enforcement (ie, our new city manager), and other bureaucrats.
UPDATE: The Occupiers are going to march from Armory Park to the City Council Meeting later today. The march begins at 4:30 p.m. The City Council Meeting begins at 5:30.
According to Occupy Tucson’s facebook page, 259 citations have been issued in the 10 days since the Occupation began. There are 50 tents at Armory Park, but that number should swell this weekend with the planned Family and Friends Campout on Friday, October 28.
UPDATE 2: For moving Occupy Tucson testimony from the 2 City Council meetings were no action was taken by the Council on the issue of park permits and citations, check out these links. Particularly moving is the homeless man at the beginning of part 2 of the October 25 meeting.
October 18, 2011 Tucson Mayor and Council Meeting
October 25, 2011 Tucson Mayor and Council Meeting
Just got this email alert from “Occupy Tucson”:
“Tuesday, October 25th, at 4:30pm,
Occupy Tucson will march to City Hall
for the second week in a row as a symbol
of solidarity to show the city government
that we are still here. Any and everyone
is invited to join us as we march for
The City Council meeting begins at 5:30 pm
Thanks, Occupy Tucson”
I thought Arizona had open meeting laws ?
Anyway Rothschild and Scott have been really tone deaf on this – holding on to my ballot to see what happens but I expect to vote Green.
This would be a great recruiting opportunity for the Greens – no one is running against Scott I see
Republican Tyler Vogt (older brother of LD 30 House rep. Ted Vogt) is running against Scott in ward 4:
He got the AZ DailyStar endorsement last week: http://tucsoncitizen.com/community/2011/10/19/arizona-daily-star-endorses-rothschild-for-mayor-cunningham-romero-vogt-for-council-seats/
Vogt, Grinnell, and Rawson stand with the 1%. They are shills for local businesses. Grinnell is a member of both failed Rio Nuevo Boards AND a lobbyist for Rosemont Mine. They are the corporatist trio. Shirley is just inept. The choices in this election are dismal at best. Hurray for the 99% for taking charge.
When I said “no one” I meant no Green candidate – of course I could never consider a Repub 🙂
It was an opportunity missed, considering Scott’s tone deafness.
Monday, October 24, 2011RE: Public Records Request ARS 39-121 and ARS 38-231. Open Letter to Mayor Bob Walkup and Council Members:
Many Tucson citizens participating in the Occupy Wall Street activities at Armory Park have been criminally cited for violating the city park ordinance. City ordinances do not include a policy protecting political expression or assemblies for the common good. We understand that the city attorney Mike Rankin has offered his opinion on the balance between park ordinances and the fundamental rights guaranteed to all citizens by both the Federal and State Constitutions.
We understand that the ‘attorney-client privilege’ applies to Mr. Rankin’s advice to the city council. However, the council is the client, and as the client the council may waive that privilege at any time. We request that the council agrees to make Mr. Rankin’s opinion public, providing the residents ofTucson with a document that clearly states what that opinion is. In this way, all of the residents in our community will understand what Mr. Rankin is advising you to do and why. The Tucson community places great importance on the rights of all people to peacefully assemble, to, among other purposes, discuss their grievances to advance the common good. That right is confirmed by the Arizona Constitution, which states that “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” Fundamental to our Democracy is the right to petition the government. The Council should be outraged that former State Legislator Ted Downing, clipboard in hand, was arrested along with fellow citizens who signed his petition for Open Elections/ Open Government an initiative to change the Arizona Constitution. If, the council believes it necessary to treat citizens as criminals, citizens who are exercising their democratic rights and assembling for the common good, this opinion should be made public. The choice is the council’s alone, and not the city attorney’s. The sunlight of liberty is the best disinfectant: citizens ofTucson should not be arrested night after night because of the secret opinions and opaque reasoning of others. Our fundamental rights are no secret; they should be primary in decisions concerning the law. We want to help the council carry out its responsibilities for the sake of allTucson residents. We all need to examine these fundamental issues. It is only by reaffirming our fundamental principles of freedom and openness thatAmerica’s individual rights can be protected and the perpetuity or our democratic government perserved.
If the city government cannot handle the “flea party” and enforce current and long standing laws, it is simply further evidence that the class war is now on.
It’s been on for a long time – Repubs just don’t want it mentioned.
“Just Like Greece” Sounds like another teabagger loaf spewing garbage again
To listen to the tirades of some of those involved with the “occupation,” one would get the impression that the United States was a fascist nation, replete with a police force enamored of brutality. It was clearly lost on these types that they had been invited into a government building in order to be indulged by a sympathetic, democratically elected assembly, and were being afforded the opportunity to justify what is effectively trespassing.
There was no mention that the laws that govern Tucson parks are being wantonly waived in their favor, nor that various city ordinances are all but being ignored. Judging by the attitude of our worthless city officals toward this collection of crackpots and jugheads nothing is going to change any time soon, the monsoons are over so weather isn’t going to provide the relief we desperately need.
Isn’t it amazing how people keep demanding the law be enforced, unless it’s enforced against the elite? If staying in a public space past curfew is a crime, why aren’t you demanding enforcement and incarceration for those who have committed fraud and theft against the taxpayers of this country as well assaults on them via the police? Your selectivity in the law’s application reveals your type’s biases for all to see.
Your “type” ?
You mean immigrant from Soviet Union who has lived this, or
you mean law abiding and democracy supporting- “type”
I mean the type of person who would support applying the laws only towards dissidents and not this nation’s leaders, economic, political or otherwise. Whatever this type may be called, you’re obviously one of them. Overstaying a curfew in a park pales in comparison to looting the nation’s treasury to support bad business decisions by this nation’s elite. Since you clamor for enforcing against the former “crimes” and not the latter, it is, again, very evident where your biases lie.
These people should “occupy” reality long enough to realize how ridiculous their list of demands is.
They occupy more of it th
..than you ever will. If demanding that laws be enforced against those who have looted this nation’s citizenry is ridiculous, than your ridicule carries about as much weight (and intellectual heft) as Sarah Palin’s college degree.
Looted? Just what,exactly, was taken from your purse personally-
This I gotta hear.
It was taken from everyone’s purse, $16 trillion worth that you, I and every other taxpayer must pay back over the next seven generations or so. If you can honestly say that TARP wasn’t a theft, then I hope your ignorance equals bliss as you’ll at least be happy, if not well-informed.
And if you’re really from the Soviet Union, then you should be on the front lines opposing this form of corporate socialism, having witnessed it firsthand. Otherwise, your hypocrisy will far outweigh your ignorance, with no bliss involved.
Baggers beware, when the war comes we will count you 1%ers as the enemy