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  • Evictions topic of March 21 panel discussion

    Mar 13, 2019 | Read More News
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    When families pay as much as 70 percent of their income on housing, it’s not surprising when a missed rent payment and, eventually, eviction result. Indeed, last year in Pima County, more than 13,000 evictions were filed in court. Many more never even make it through the legal process. The rising cost of housing and the shrinking number of affordable housing units is making the problem worse.

    The issue has prompted Pima County to team up with the Innovation for Justice Program at the UA James E. Rogers College of Law on a panel discussion at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., Thursday, March 21, 6-8 p.m. on "The Eviction Problem in Pima County: What Can We Do?" All are welcome to the free event.

    One of the panelists is Stacy Butler, director of the Innovation for Justice Program, which exposes students to the justice gap in the civil legal system and engages them to think critically about the power of technology and innovation to close that gap. She’s also a founding member of Step Up to Justice, a free civil legal center for low-income individuals and families in Pima County.
    Eviction notice
    Other panelists will address issues and share resources around housing, homelessness, emergency services, the perspective of property owners, and the impact on children and education. Additional organizations will be present with staff to address questions and share information on local resources.  

    Butler’s “Visualizing Justice” class will have a poster display at the event. Other panelists include Pamela Moseley, Pima County Sullivan Jackson Employment Center; Manira Cervantes, Pima County Community Action Agency; Kim Fitch, Nicolosi & Fitch; Marcos Ysmael, Pima County Housing Center; Ken Briggs, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona; and Saundra Munoz, who went through an eviction. 

    For the last month, reading groups have been gathering at libraries across the County, considering questions from Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, such as:
    • Have you or anyone you know ever been evicted? How did that experience affect your/their life?
    • Was any particular story in the book emotionally painful to witness? Why?
    • Many people point to “bad decision making” as a reason others get evicted. Did you feel this way before reading Evicted? Did your opinions change after reading it?
    The reading groups and the March 21 panel discussion are co-sponsored by Pima County’s Community Services, Employment and Training Department and its Ending Poverty Now Program, Pima County Public Library, the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, and Step Up to Justice.

    For more information, visit library.pima.gov or call Infoline at (520) 791-4010.