Hello Friends,

November represents all my favorite things: cooler weather, great food, family time, and celebrating veterans in our community. In fact, these things together illustrate my journey to Tucson.

Having grown up in rural Illinois, the biting winters feel like a distant memory when our Arizona summers hit 110 degrees. I’m a snow boots girl at heart, and so our brief chilly nights in winter are something I always look forward to. What brought me to Tucson was, in a way, family – although none of mine lived here. Growing up, I was inspired by my family members who served in the U.S. military and knew that would be my path. At 17, I enlisted in the United States Air Force. It was my service that brought me to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, just like many current and former Service Members in our community.

It’s fitting that this month brings together Thanksgiving and honoring veterans, because I am grateful for so many people I served with in the Air Force. I consider them family. As an elected leader, I prioritize supporting our veterans. Those who devoted their lives to protecting us deserve resources for their health and well-being as they transition into Tucson’s workforce and community. To honor our veterans working at the City of Tucson, I hosted a special Veterans Appreciation Luncheon and kicked off the first City of Tucson Employee Resource Group.

This month I also briefed Mayor & Council on the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program, after working with city staff for months to implement within the organization. Each year approximately 200,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed in over 140 military installations in the U.S. and overseas, will separate from active duty and re-enter the civilian work force or pursue higher education.

Through the SkillBridge program, the City of Tucson will benefit from gaining early access to the extensive experience, skills, and unmatched work experience and culture Service Members bring to the workforce. The city will craft the SkillBridge program to meet our specific workforce needs, matching those needs to the skills and abilities of highly motivated Service Members. I am eager to see how we can utilize this program to help our city Police, Fire, and 911 Communications departments, as well as other departments where staffing is a challenge.

Thank you to all who have served. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at ward4@tucsonaz.gov.

There will be no town hall this month due to Thanksgiving. Keep an eye out for more Ward 4 Office events coming soon.

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