By Councilwoman Nikki Lee

Happy New Year! I think we’re all grateful for the fresh start January brings. Last year, many of us navigated a new working-from-home balance, becoming at-home tutors for our kids, and trying as much as possible to stay socially connected while physically distant. My new year’s wish is that my family and loved ones continue to stay healthy, and that our community stays safe and strong as we work to decrease the impact of COVID-19.

In the September 2020 Vail Voice article, I wrote about the mental health effects from COVID-19. Pima County has lost over 800 loved ones due to the pandemic, and my own neighborhood is still healing from a tragedy that occured right before Christmas. Like other parents in my neighborhood, I struggled to find the words to explain the loss to my children. It’s comforting to know there are local resources to help:

Pima County Victims Services: supporting and empowering victims of crime to seek justice that strengthens and rebuilds their lives.

Tu Nidito: supporting children and families during the grief process.

Homicide Survivors, Inc: providing long-term support and resources to families of homicide victims.

Emerge Center: supporting victims of domestic abuse.

Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center: helping child victims of abuse undergo the initial steps of an investigation and begin to heal.

Empact: providing support for family members and friends who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Casa de los Niños: striving to improve the lives of children and their families and reduce the long-term social and financial costs of child abuse for our community.

As we enter a new chapter, my team and I have been working hard on our 2021 strategic plan. In December, we had an office retreat which included a goal-setting session to discuss how we can best serve Ward 4 in the upcoming year. It is hugely important to us that we receive your input as we construct our goals. Therefore, if you are a Ward 4 constituent and you are interested in participating, we invite you to visit or to take our online survey constituent survey by January 31, 2021. Most of the questions are optional and taking this survey is 100% voluntary.

This survey asks for feedback on the critical services the City provides for Ward 4. This includes:

Tucson Police Department: Neighborhood Patrol, Traffic Enforcement, Community Outreach, Investigative Policing/ Evidence/Crime Lab, Mental Health Unit

Tucson Fire Department: Prevention and Outreach, Medical Response, Fire Response

Parks & Recreation: Parks Maintenance, Park Amenities, Recreation Centers, Recreation Classes, Senior Programing, KIDCO, Aquatics

Transportation & Mobility: Major Road Maintenance, Neighborhood Road Maintenance, Landscape Maintenance, Public Art, New Roadways and road widening, Connections including walking and bike paths, Public Transit

The survey also leaves space for any ideas, suggestions, or additional concerns you’d like to elaborate upon. Added ideas and information are always welcome and encouraged!

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful, honest input. We pride ourselves in the Ward 4 Office on responding to our constituents and implementing your ideas.

I’m also excited to share we’re wrapping up plans for our 2021 Ward 4 Town Halls! This year, we’ve decided to roll out a new system: we’ll be alternating between full Ward 4 town halls and neighborhood town halls each month. We hope this will allow for more comprehensive, targeted conversations about neighborhood-specific ideas and concerns. Our town halls will begin in February, and we are planning for all town halls to be virtual, at least for the first part of the year. Visit our website or Facebook page for specific dates and registration information.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out at or (520) 791-3199 with any questions, concerns, or suggestions. Enjoy your week, and I’ll be back next month with another Ward 4 update.

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