We’re please to share our brand new 2020 Annual Report, highlighting memorable moments and benchmarks from the past year and invite you to view and/or download it here.
Here’s the introduction:
At this time last year, we highlighted a series of benchmarks and accomplishments that had “tipped the scales” in LSA’s journey to reclaim streets as places for people. It seemed at the time like that year would be impossible to top. And then 2020 rolled in.
The past six months have ushered in change more rapidly than we could ever have imagined. With COVID-19, the notion of streets as public space shifted from being held by a passionate few to a powerful many, as people across the world sheltered in place and in doing so, rediscovered their place—their neighborhood, their neighbors, nearby essential businesses and resources—in a much deeper way. Despite being physically separated, streets provided us with social and emotional connections when we needed them most.
Then, on May 25th, George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The blatant disregard for his life and the violent nature of his death sent shock waves across the nation and around the world, elevating the message that Black Lives Matter. People took to the streets in more places, greater numbers and more often than perhaps ever before, demanding that America value, honor, and recognize Black lives. Seemingly overnight, streets became places of cultural expression, social commentary, resistance, and creation manifested through demonstrations, marches, protests, gatherings, murals, occupations, and more. George Floyd’s death made it overwhelmingly clear that Black and brown bodies are not yet safe in our streets as a direct result of policies and planning rooted in white supremacy.
This dual reality is playing out at this very moment in how Tucson’s streets are planned and designed, what and whose priorities are reflected in those decisions, and where and how they take shape. Living Streets Alliance has always worked to center communities in which we work as the guide for how change is implemented. And, this is also the beginning of a much deeper and broadened approach for thinking about, informing, and shaping our conversations about streets as places for everyone.
As we reflect on the past year and look to the future, we commit anew to our work of creating equity in Tucson’s streets. We will be explicitly adding anti-racism principles and practices as we work towards creating systemic change that centers the power of people and communities who have historically been targets of oppression, marginalization, and underrepresentation.
This is a process and a journey, and we don’t yet know all the ways in which our anti-racism work will manifest. We invite you to continue on this path forward as we learn, together, what we must do to make our streets safe and vibrant places for every one of us. Only then can our streets reach their full potential to ensure we thrive together.
And here’s a sneak preview of one of the spreads: