December 2nd, 2019, was a huge win for so many Tucsonans. It was the day that Regina Romero took office as the first Latina mayor of the city. Little did she know that halfway around the world, a virus was emerging and that soon afterward, it would not only arrive in the United States, but it would also profoundly impact her own constituents.
A few months into her newfound role as a public servant, Mayor Romero, along with all of us, found herself amid the Coronavirus pandemic, and she was now tasked with battling this public health crisis.
With a governor who was more laissez-faire (to say the least) with policies like establishing a statewide mask mandate, Mayor Romero found herself reaching out to other mayors in Arizona and working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Arizona.
Despite not having solid leadership herself from the state, Mayor Romero was still able to issue a mask mandate in Tucson, expanded testing sites for COVID-19 throughout the city, and allocated approximately $10.5 million from the Federal CARES Act to provide emergency rent relief and assistance for utility bills to Tucson residents impacted by the pandemic.
As one of her constituents, I can see that Mayor Romero still has found ways to bring light and encouragement to our Tucson community during such dark times.
She posts on her social media ways to support small businesses in town, shares updates on the pandemic and how to best protect the ones we love, and even highlighted a video of herself ringing the Tucson Fire Department bell as a way to honor the lives of those lost to COVID-19.
Though her messages of hope are much needed, her posts on finding resources during the pandemic are just as valuable, and they were the reason I was able to find a COVID-19 testing site close to me here in Tucson.
For the incredible leadership she has demonstrated and that has helped save lives, Mayor Romero is being awarded the Antonio Villaraigosa Award at the upcoming 34th Tribute to Mayors event, taking place virtually on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET. Mayor Romero will also be a part of the “Latina Leader Panel” alongside Janet Murgía and Maria Elena Salinas, which includes a live Q&A with viewers. It’ll be streamed on Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope.
This event is hosted by the Latino Leaders Network, a national nonpartisan nonprofit focused on highlighting leaders who have significantly contributed to the Latino community. BeLatina News is the media partner for the event, so please use @beatinanews on Instagram, @belatinamedia on Facebook, and @Be_Latina on Twitter for highlights of the event.
To be the first woman and Latina mayor of the city of Tucson is a huge achievement in and of itself. To be the first woman and Latina mayor during a global pandemic that has taken over 2 million deaths worldwide warrants bounds and bounds of recognition beyond any other. Join BeLatina News in congratulating and honoring Mayor Regina Romero for the extraordinary work she has done for and alongside the people of Tucson in her first year in office.
Please register for the event here.