July 14, 2024 4:35 am

Local News

AZ mayor sees federal investments pay off for Tucson

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Alex Gonzalez, Producer

Regina Romero, mayor of Tucson, was one of many local leaders at the 92nd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, which wrapped up this weekend.

Romero said federal investments have allowed “visionary initiatives” to become reality in Tucson. She cited an urban forestry grant to help Tucson plant more than 1 million trees by 2030 and another federal grant to purchase low-emission and electric buses.

Romero pointed out the city is now talking with the administration about more transit improvements, like a rapid bus transit system.

“We have had the opportunity to have conversations with the FTA (Federal Transit Administration) about it,” Romero explained. “‘This is our dream, this is what we are bringing up to you next,’ and we continue to make sure that we advocate for Tucsonans.”

Romero noted the conference is a way for local leaders to make sure cities get what she called “their fair share of federal dollars.” More than 200 mayors attended the four-day conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Southwestern cities face water shortage challenges, and Romero believes the current administration understands the critical need for water security and safety investments, especially as cities like Tucson continue to grow. She stressed the need to keep meeting with high-ranking government officials, and to keep their communities informed.

“It’s important in an election year that we pay attention to these issues and that we find common ground,” Romero emphasized. “But also that the decisions that we’re going to make as voters of this country are going to be long-lasting.”

Romero added because of the American Rescue Plan, Tucson was able to institute a policy known as “Housing First,” a plan to end homelessness by buying properties like hotels to provide shelter to the unhoused, along with wraparound services to help people get back on their feet.

References:  

Population data Univ. of Arizona 2024