The Tucson Metro Chamber recommends city voters vote “no” on Proposition 205—Tucson Families Free and Together initiative.
The chamber supports diversity and the rights of all people who live in our community. We also appreciate that discrimination and profiling is a potential danger and must be stymied. This citizen’s initiative, however, is not the answer. If Prop 205 is passed, there is a significant risk that the City of Tucson could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in both state and federal funding. For example, the city could face the loss of 26 percent of General Fund revenues from the state—a catastrophic scenario—if this proposition is determined to be in violation of Arizona law. A cut of that magnitude would significantly hamper the city’s ability to provide and perform basic civic functions. The loss of that support would necessitate significant cuts to charter mandated services.
A “no” vote for Proposition 205 is in support of those this initiative claims to help. This isn’t about economic prosperity, but sustainability and is not a position against refugees. The economic reasons and the ability to provide services, especially by the Tucson Police Department, is 100 percent about community.
In addition to a potential loss of $11.2 million in federal grants largely dedicated to public safety, TPD would immediately lose the support of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and Drug Enforcement Agency, who they actively work alongside in solving some of our most heinous crimes against women and children. The loss of the ability to work with federal agencies on joint operations, investigations and the use of federal databases all would be devastating.
Mayor Rothschild, councilmembers including mayoral candidate Regina Romero, and the chief of police who know best how cuts to funding would impact the ability to provide services to those who need it the most—especially current and future refugees— all have taken the same position to vote “no” on Proposition 205. Many provisions of this initiative are interpreted to be in direct conflict with existing state law and if passed will immediately be legally challenged creating an expensive, time-consuming process which will waste already limited taxpayer resources. The magnitude of the unintended consequences of this proposition on the local economy will negatively impact those this initiative is intended to support. This chamber position is not a position on sanctuary cities or refugees, but about the specific language in this proposition that could not be altered once passed at the ballot. Therefore, Tucson Metro Chamber urges City of Tucson residents to vote “no” on Proposition 205 on Nov. 5.