Voces de Casa Maria

Barrio Neighborhood Coalition: Letter to Mayor & Council Addressing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

3 min read To: City of Tucson Planning Commission Daniel Bursuck, Planning and Development Services Regina Romero, Mayor Lane Santa Cruz, Ward 1 Councilperson Paul Cunningham, Ward 2 Councilperson Karin Uhlich, Ward 3 Councilperson Nikki Lee, Ward 4 Councilperson Richard Fimbres, Ward 5 Councilperson Steve Kozachik, Ward 6 Councilperson Michael Ortega, City Manager   From: Barrio Neighborhood Coalition   The Barrio Neighborhood Coalition (BNC) has been working tirelessly since 2018 to stress to Mayor and Council and City Staff just how important the issues of gentrification, displacement and housing affordability are.  Through our efforts, there is now a Commission on Equitable Housing and

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Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

2 min read Casa Maria worker, Brian Flagg, reviews the book Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Doe Brown and reflects it upon his own life as a white American man.

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The National Housing Crisis is Scandalous… & how it affects South Tucson

3 min read Everyone who is homeless or teetering on the brink of being homeless or even those in this country who have recently tried to buy a house for under $200,000 or even $300,000 knows this is true. Some are making lots of money on the housing crisis. And it amounts to no less than class warfare against the middle class and especially the poor. It’s not magic or bad luck or some invisible hand of the market at work.                 This is about global economic forces whose policies and decisions seep all the way down to my barrio, the City of

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Part Two- “The Great Climate Migration”: How Climate Change Will Affect Food Accessibility in Tucson

2 min read In the recently published New York Times article titled “The Great Climate Migration”, author Abrahm Lustgarten describes several climatic changes that are heavily affecting rural agricultural families and their crops. In Guatemala he describes how drought, flood, bankruptcy and starvation affects rural farmers: “Almost everyone here experiences some degree of uncertainty about where their next meal will come from. Half the children are chronically hungry…”  Lustagarten emphasizes the threat of desertification in Guatemala and other areas in Central America caused by the exacerbation of odd weather patterns like El Niño: “Many semiarid parts of Guatemala will soon be more like

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“The Great Climate Migration”: How Climate Change and US and Mexico Immigration Policy Affects Central American Migration and Immigration According to The New York Times and How We Will Feel These Effects in Tucson.

3 min read In July 2020, The New York Times published an article by Abrahm Lustgarten titled “The Great Migration”. Lustgarten models how certain climatic changes in Central America and U.S. immigration policies will affect rural to urban migration within Central America, and ultimately, immigration to Mexico and the United States. Climate change has affected rural agricultural Central American in various ways including crop blight, drought, and unpredictable storms. Lustgarten describes how these effects leave people in these rural areas unable to sustain themselves financially through agriculture, so they begin to move to large cities like San Salvador in search of opportunity. A

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2 min read Sign the letter and Show up at the City Council Offices! Thanks be to God, the Pima Area Labor Federation (PALF) and Jobs with Justice (J w J) have jumped on board and energized the Barrio Neighborhood Coalition’s campaign to get the cities of Tucson and South Tucson to declare a Moratorium on GPLETs! ON September 9, the Tucson Mayor and Council will decide whether to expand or terminate their Central Business District (CBD) which is the area in which the City is currently able to give out GPLETs to wealthy developers. WE NEED YOU TO SIGN ON TO OUR

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AZ’s Disastrous Education System

2 min read by Roxanna Valenzuela Last week my daughter began online classes. She is now in seventh grade; I can’t believe how time flies. Obtaining a high-quality education is paramount to minimizing the exposure to COVID-19, but we must postpone traditional learning for the safety of everyone. Most people I know have always struggled to survive in our capitalist system but now we’re risking and sacrificing even more. What frustrates me is that If only we had taken the necessary precautions six months ago and listened to the CDC and WHO, we could’ve prevented the spread of this killer virus and protected

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The Housing Market: Some Profit, Most Suffer While the Pandemic Rages On

4 min read I am Pissed- During this time of uncertainty and suffering due to the pandemic, many continue to pad their already too-fat wallets while a tsunami of evictions/foreclosures is looming ever closer on the horizon. For us here in South Tucson it seems obvious that the solution to the gentrification of the one square mile City of South Tucson is to buy as many homes as possible, getting them off the speculative market and into a Community Land Trust so as to provide housing that low income families can afford. But it is easier said than done. Why? Because “the housing

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The Realtors and The Chamber of Commerce – Enemies of the People

2 min read Thanks to Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller for revealing how The Realtors and other monied interests are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence the state representative elections on the South and West sides of Tucson. (Outside Groups use Glossy Mailers in Bid to Influence Voters, 7-29-2020) They want to ensure that the Dems elected will serve them in the State government. They are using so-called independent committees to shower money on the campaigns of Daniel and Alma Hernandez. And they sure as hell don’t want candidates with solid track records of consistently acting in the interest of

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St Mark in Oro Valley is not only beautiful on the outside, it’s comprised of beautiful servants of God.

< 1 min read Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Mark the Evangelist parish had a “sandwich squad” that met on the fourth Saturday of every month to make 200 bag lunches that they would deliver to Casa Maria for distribution to the needy.  In addition, St. Mark parishioners would also volunteer at Casa Maria on the 4th Tuesday of the month and the Knights of Columbus would do the same every other month. When the pandemic hit, Fr. John Arnold (pastor at St. Mark) and Paul Guertin visited Brian Flagg to assess the situation at Casa Maria and find out how we could

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Fighting for Justice, Liberty, & Peace in Barrio Libre