Panel discussion on homelessness held at Main Library in Tucson


Posted by Carolyn Classen

Over 125 people filled up the Lower Level 1 meeting room of the Joel D. Valdez Main library yesterday in downtown Tucson for a Community Forum/panel discussion on homelessness.  Tim Steller, columnist at the Arizona Daily Star moderated a panel of eight individuals:

Michael Keith, CEO of Downtown Tucson Partnership

John Cooper, Organizer with Occupy Public Land

Michele Ream, Social Services Outreach Rep. and Organizer with Community Supported Shelters Tucson

Anthony Potter, Co-founder of Safe Park, and Field Organizer with Occupy Public Land

Jodi Barnes, City of Tucson Community Development

Jon McLane, Co-founder of Safe Park, and Field Organizer with Occupy Public Land

Michael B. Schwartz, Founder of Tucson Arts Brigade (TAB)

Dave Ferrari, Pastor of Central City Assembly

This event was co-sponsored by Downtown Tucson Partnership, Primavera Foundation, Tucson Arts Brigade, Occupy Public Land, Safe Park, Community Supported Shelters, Nonviolence Legacy Project and Central City Assembly.  The only politician represented was Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik (who was ill) – his Chief of Staff Ann Charles was present and spoke at the Q & A session afterward, saying they wanted to assist in continuance of this dialogue.

As we walked in there was a flyer (based on a recent January 30 survey of homeless at Safe Park) entitled “WHAT WE WANT” and this is what was listed:

24 hour bathrooms

Daily showers



To be left alone

Storage lockers



More drop-in/community centers

Elimination of Black Line

Power stations

No income bus passes

Non weapons based industry

Seating in public areas

The right to sit downtown

Community gardens


Non weapons based economy



Business creation assistance

Shamisen concert at Yume Japanese Gardens on February 15

Posted by Carolyn Sugiyama Classen As the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (SAJCC formed last year), I publicize some of our cultural events here in Tucson. Coming up is an exciting concert event on Saturday, February 15, featuring Japan-born, now  Canadian resident Aki Takahashi, along with Kyle Abbott (founder of “Aki … Read more