In the last few months, the Mayor and Council received hundreds of calls and emails in support of Access Tucson and in the last 10 days, a small group of public access producers have collected more than 1000 signatures on the petition drive to keep Access Tucson alive and well.
Today, the Mayor and Council passed a motion that directs City staff to support both Tucson 12 and Access Tucson with parity next fiscal year. So starting July 1st, the government's voice (Tucson 12) and the people's voice (Access Tucson) will be supported equally by the City of Tucson. This motion was made by Karin Uhlich and passed 6-1 with Councilman Rodney Glassman voting no.
The motion also included that the City negotiate to get out of the Pioneer lease as soon as possible and for Tucson 12 to move to the Access Tucson building at 124 E. Broadway. The savings from the Pioneer rent are to be used for Access Tucson's support. City staff, Tucson 12 and Access Tucson are to come back in 30 days with a detailed plan for the co-location.
No additional financial support will be provided by the City to Access Tucson this year and any additional support needed for public access services will be provided by the Tucson 12 staff.
Sam Behrend, Access Tucson Executive Director will bring a plan about going forward to the Access Tucson Board of Directors meeting Thursday, March 11th at 5:00pm.
Access Tucson appreciates all of the hard work and sacrifices made to get us this far and especially appreciate Karin Uhlich's focus on this item today. This is clearly a positive step for the future and longevity of community media in Tucson.