Ten years after a mass shooting claimed the lives of six people and wounded 13 others, including then U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the anniversary of the tragedy was commemorated with a memorial dedication at the Historic County Courthouse in downtown Tucson. The January 8 Memorial, formally named Embrace, honors the victims, survivors and first responders of that day.
In the immediate months following the shooting in 2011, as the community took steps to heal, it gave rise to the National Institute for Civil Discourse. Over the last decade, the institute has focused on promoting and teaching meaningful ways to discuss our differences. The importance of that mission was underscored this week when a mob of the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. The institute’s executive director Keith Allred discussed how those events play into deepening political divides and solutions that individuals can undertake.
Arizona 360 also heard from former Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, who put politics aside and literally crossed the aisle to support then Congresswoman Giffords on her road to recovery. Flake memorably sat with other House Democrats next to Giffords during the 2012 State of the Union Address. He reflected on his actions then and shared his views about partisanship on Capitol Hill.
Like the rest of the country, Arizona entered the new year still firmly in the pandemic’s grasp. The current outbreak has hit the state hard, leading to one of the fastest growing infection rates in the world this week. Amid ongoing public health and economic setbacks, small business and local tourism leaders in Tucson are trying to remain optimistic about 2021.
As of the first week of 2021, about 120,000 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. That includes more than 22,000 people in Pima County. Banner – University Medical Center in Tucson is one of the main distributors of the vaccine. Arizona 360 got an update on how distribution is going from the hospital’s physician executive Dr. Joshua Lee.
After more than 20 years, there’s new leadership at the offices of the Pima County recorder and attorney. The women who served in those roles for more than half a century combined both decided to retire at the end of their terms that ended last year. Shortly before they left office, Lorraine Rivera sat down with former county recorder F. Ann Rodriguez and former county attorney Barbara LaWall to discuss their public service careers and the legacies they hope they left behind.