Local Opinion: Councilmember Lane Santa Cruz Has Delivered Results and Deserves our Votes

This article was originally posted by The Daily Star.

By Karin Uhlich Special to the Arizona Daily Star

We all recognize that certain chest-thumping, “I’m The One”, “Let’s Go After Her” brand of politicking that I hear echoing through the campaign of Lane Santa Cruz’s Democratic Primary opponent. It’s easy to criticize without offering new ideas or real solutions.

Fortunately politics sometimes does attract rare gems like Council Member Santa Cruz. She fearlessly and effectively represents her constituents, leading with integrity and deep care for Ward 1 residents. I join Congressman Raul Grijalva, Mayor Regina Romero, and many others in endorsing Lane Santa Cruz for reelection as Tucson’s Ward 1 City Council Member.

Mayor Romero and I have both worked closely with Council Member Santa Cruz, as well as with her Democratic Primary opponent. Her opponent served as Chief of Staff in the Ward 3 office during my first term on the City Council. I know most Ward 3 constituents would agree that those were not our best years of constituent or neighborhood services; we heard that feedback directly at the time. We had a talented team to start but had high staff turnover and needed better processes for tracking and responding to requests. Rather than focusing on improving our constituent services, Council Member Santa Cruz’s challenger decided to run for the TUSD school board. I rejected his expectation that he keep his Chief of Staff job and full city salary while campaigning. It was not until I hired a new Chief of Staff and additional talented public servants that we figured out how to effectively serve Ward 3 constituents.

I believe Lane Santa Cruz continues to be the right person for the Ward 1 City Council job for many, many reasons. I’ll highlight one. After she was elected in 2019, she and her volunteers visited with over 10,000 Ward 1 residents. After she was elected, she focused on door-to-door contact to meet with and listen to her constituents to be sure that she truly understood their priorities.

Since being elected, Council Member Santa Cruz has delivered results. As I served with her on the City Council during 2021 I saw her leadership in action.

She led on creating affordable housing, including city rules allowing casitas/accessory dwelling units

Helped pass Proposition 411 for repaving all neighborhood streets and improving traffic safety

Restarted the City’s youth employment program

Championed local, small businesses as our economic engine

Put seniors, youth and working families as top priorities for COVID-relief help and in annual budgets.

Council Member Santa Cruz was born and raised in Ward 1 neighborhoods. She is an educator and organizer, now raising four beautiful children. I back her without any doubt. Take the time to learn more about her during this primary campaign and I believe you will reach the same conclusion.

Karin Uhlich was elected to serve three terms as Tucson’s Ward 3 City Council Member (2005-2017). She was unanimously appointed by Mayor and Council to serve again in 2021.

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