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June 3, 2021

In this week's issue: 

Message from Councilwoman Ann O'Brien

As we finish the second week of June, we can already feel the heat of the long summer ahead of us. This week was the first full week of 100+ degree temperatures. Next week is set to be even worse! There is a heat advisory in place next week as temperatures are expected to reach 117 by the middle of the week, through the weekend. Please refer to this list of Summer Safety resources in English and in Spanish.  If you need additional resources, please call our office.

PHX SUns.PNGCongratulations to our Phoenix Suns, who now leads the series 2-0 against the Denver Nuggets! To show our support for the hometown team, Phoenix City Hall will be illuminated with Phoenix Suns purple to wish the team luck. The Suns will be in Denver for Game 3 at 7 p.m. tomorrow, June 10.  Make sure to watch what will be an exciting game!

On Tuesday, the City Council Policy Meeting was held to discuss and vote on how the first round of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies would be spent. This first round of funding comes in at a total of $198 million.

Per the Federal government, ARPA funds are to be utilized in a relief capacity. These funds were given to cities and towns to help mitigate the effects the pandemic had on local economies and to help reinvigorate small businesses and communities. The expectation is to use these funds to make one time updates and changes to existing city services to ease the burden of the pandemic on our citizens and to create new, short-lasting initiatives which provide relief or additional help to our citizens who experienced hardships.

I am pleased to see that the Early Childhood Education Program is part of the plan. Especially since Council District 1 lost much-needed slots for the Head Start program. Early childhood education is so important, not only because it teaches basic learning skills, but also because Early Childhood Education helps young children develop their social and emotional skills, their critical thinking skills and their coping skills that will be the foundation of their formal education.

By using ARPA funds to widen the criteria for this particular program it is allowing eligible families to be at a 200% poverty level rather than the 100% poverty threshold level to enter into the Federal Head Start program. Yes, wages have increased in the past few years but so has the cost of living. Meanwhile, the poverty level thresholds have remained stagnant, making it still difficult for low-income households to provide quality early education for their young ones.

Additionally, the kinds of programs and initiatives we should be supporting are the ones which connect our citizens to our services easier. For example, one of the proposals was to expand citywide wifi services to all our public housing and extend the range at all our public buildings. Connecting citizens with their government and making it easier for them to apply for existing services is exactly how these onetime funds should be spent.

In the spirit of making it easier to connect with our services, during the meeting I made a friendly amendment to increase the portion being allocated to the Human Services Department to update their woefully outdated Case Management Systems software from $1.5 million to $3 million. It’s important to note, this did not increase the overall amount, but merely required them to shift some funds to fully fund the software update.

Currently, citizens cannot even submit their application for our services online. They’re required to call in, schedule an appointment and come downtown to submit their forms. Why is it in 2021 the fifth largest city in this country doesn’t allow their citizens to submit forms for services necessary to help them get back up and stay on their feet online?

Finally, I want to take another opportunity to express my sincerest condolences to the family of Officer Ginarro New as they laid him to rest today. My condolences go out to Officer New’s wife, Kristen, his mother, brother and grandmother. I also give my condolences to his Black Mountain Precinct police family. Our police and fire staff and their family give an insurmountable sacrifice to our community to keep us all safe.

Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers, and if you are able, please donate to assist his family through the following organizations: pleacharities.org100 Club of ArizonaPhoenix Police Foundation

All my best, 


Councilwoman, District 1

Valley Metro NW Extension Phase II Updates 

The Northwest Extension Phase II (NWEII) project will extend light rail west on Dunlap Avenue from 19th Avenue, then north on 25th Avenue and across I-17 on Mountain View Road with a terminus on the west side of the freeway near Metrocenter Mall.

NWEII project construction began in August 2020. It is estimated the contractor, Kiewit-McCarthy, A Joint Venture, will complete construction in late 2023.

Former Metrocenter Mall

  • Southbound I-17 Frontage Road Closure at Cheryl Drive -  KMJV is constructing support Dunlap.jpeg columns and girders for the I-17 light rail bridge during daytime hours. Southbound I-17 frontage road closed at Cheryl Drive, as well as southbound I-17 frontage road access at Cheryl Drive. In addition, southbound Metro Parkway East closed at Cheryl Drive. Traffic restrictions will be in place 24/7 through Mon., July 5, 2021 at 5 p.m. 

25th Avenue

  • 25th Avenue – Northbound Road Closure at Arizona Canal: KMJV is reconstructing the Arizona Canal bridge on 25th Avenue between Dunlap Avenue and Mountain View Road during day and nighttime hours. The northbound traffic lane will be closed on 25th Avenue at Mission Lane. Traffic restrictions will be in place 24/7 through Sat., July 31, 2021, at 7 a.m. 
  • Rose Mofford Sports Complex and Dog Park: KMJV is replacing drainage infrastructure in and adjacent to Rose Mofford Sports Complex and Dog Park. The work will involve removing fencing on the southwest corner of the dog park. Temporary fencing will be placed, allowing continued use of the park during construction. In addition, available parking areas will change throughout the process. The Rose Mofford Sports Complex and Dog Park will remain open during this work. The work will be completed in late spring 2021.

For more details and construction updates for Dunlap Avenue between 19th and 25th avenues, please visit Valley Metro's Northwest Phase II

Washington Elementary School District Head Start - Now Enrolling

wesd_head_start.pngThe WESD Head Start Program is now enrolling for the 2021- 2022 school year! The Head Start Program is a multicultural early childhood education program designed to meet each child’s individual needs. Students must be three or four before September 1, 2021, to participate and qualified students attend at no cost. 

or call 602-347-4806.



WESD Enrolling Smaller Class Sizes for 2021-2022

Enrollment_latestnews-01.pngKnowing students will have a variety of individual needs next year, the WESD is lowering class sizes at all grade levels, with an emphasis in our primary classrooms. This is to ensure each child gets their individual needs met and to personalize our work with your child. Please share with your friends who may have an interest in what choices the WESD offers. WESD is currently enrolling for the 2021-2022 school year and accepting open enrollment.


Coffee with a Cop is Back! Mark your calendars

July 2021 CWAC (final).jpg


On July 14, residents will get to meet Commander Wickers when the Cactus Park Precinct hosts their Coffee with a Cop after a long hiatus! 

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 14. 

See you there!





DVUSD Summer Curbside Meal Distribution

Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) will continue to provide meals to al children 18 years and under at various locations in the school district through July 1. Children do not need to be present when picking up the meals. During actual pickup, please stay in your car and meals will be placed in vehicle trunk/cargo space or empty passenger seat.

Please check the DVUSD website for any location or time changes:

Phoenix Sister Cities Fall 2021 Internships

Fall 2022 INTERNS (1) (002).jpgPhoenix Sister Cites is looking for interns for Fall 2021! This is open to college students and recent graduates! Several internship positions are available so let your recent college grad or college students. Deadline to submit the application is July 7, 2021. 






Upcoming City Council Meetings

  • Wednesday, June 16 at 2:30 p.m. (Formal Meeting)
  • Tuesday, June 22 at 2:30 p.m. (Policy Meeting)
  • Wednesday, June 23 at 2:30 p.m. (Formal Meeting) 

Learn more about Councilwoman O'Brien, her priorities and focus for District 1 on the district's webpage.

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