Tips on Tucson if you must live there.
This post will repeat some information about Tucson previously posted, but add additional tips on how to live there (not recommended).
I advise those that doubt my veracity to do thorough research on the net, google, etc as you will find what I have said to be true, although maybe somewhat exaggerated.
Lived there on an off for about 12 years. I am a retired human services professional. I have lived in half a dozen U.S. cities and extended stays in many others. Have lived or spent long periods in a few other countries.
Can't say much good about Tucson. I will say I liked the weather, but I love hot, dry places where the weather does not change much. It's sunny most ALL the time and very dry with a one month monsoon and spectacular lighting storms; occasional flash floods. If you like four seasons you will not like Tucson as the weather gets very boring.
The good weather is more than offset by what can only be described as an absolute SH*T town. I won't call it a City even though greater Tucson is nearing the one million mark, because it lacks most good things that are found in other cities of it's size-culture, good parks, good museums, good theatre, good services, government assistance, progressive populace, poltical representation.
It does have good shopping. Lots of big box stores, restaurants and supermarkets to choose from. The restaurants are mediocre at best, lots of fast food joints. Poor food preparation here, got food poisoning multiple times, but the health department will address complaints. Service at the stores is lacking.
wages are low here and the level of service reflects that.
You are easily expendable here as a worker and the treat you accordingly. As in many cities there is an undercurrent of good Ol boy when it comes to applying and getting hired. They like to have cattle call job fairs so they can see you personally, what color your skin is, how old you are. Makes it tons easier to discriminate without getting caught.
Bus system is ok compared to many other cities, but when I left buses did not run past 11pm or so. Taxis are not well regulated and can be outright dangerous. There was no bus service to the airport late at night or early morning. Taxi drivers here are even worse sc*mbags than other cities I have lived in. The government here adopts a hands-off policy and the residents here suffer as a result.The taxi companies do whatever the hell they please, no oversight.
One of the biggest problems with Toosad and most of AridZONEA is the lousy, corrupt, police state type governments here. Both City and State. It's almost as if they are trying to emulate Mexico in this regard. How do you spell CROOKED, INEPT, IGNORANT? The City gubbermint is a joke, exists solely for it's own pleasure with little regard to the average joe walking on the streets. Serious convictions of cops here for felony offenses in the several years I was there, and even more committing unprofessional behaviors-google it, it's on the net. Lots of rogue, ignoramuses on the force, maybe they recruit from the local homeless shelters?
Election "helpers" who try to prevent legitimate registered voters from voting based on what I can only guess is some secret political blacklist. Court system that uses jury duty to punish political enemies. Crooked city prosecutors who prosecute based on their own personal animosities rather than any crimes being committed.
Judges who do not know or follow the law. Welfare offices that deny applicants based on their being white or simply because the state Gov. of AZ is too stingy to help people.
Crooked attorneys who violate attorney-client confidentiality-I personally witnessed this from two supposedly well regarded attorneys. You name it, it happens in Toosad. You are in the Wild West.
Bring your tape recorder and video cam to record your interactions with anyone in authority and/or employees. Bring witnesses with you at all times dealing with these low-lifes. You should also have someone accompany you to doctors appointments. It is the only way you will get quality medical care unless your insurance is the best and you are regarded as a fellow professional.
Political representation at the Federal level is piss poor, with representative mostly concerned about who they can get money from to get reelected. When I left the so called "democratic" representatives were on the payrolls of big business and liberal in name only.
If you are a renter here BEWARE. Lots of slumlords and NO CITY or GOV protection from their bad treatment of tenants. Read your contract carefully and get a copy of the AZ Landlord Tenant Act. Know your rights and record everything. Carefully check all appliances and inspect the unit before moving in and record all deficiencies. Many landlords do not follow the law and will enter your residence without notice when you are not home.
Crime and drug dealing is a MAJOR problem at many of the complexes. These slumlords care only about one thing: getting their rent money on time. Forget about maintenance, you will have to kiss their asses to get anything done or more. Landlords are paying off the City and politicos to protect them from their abuses of the law and human decency. This is more like Mexico, then the USA. But in Mexico they do not have the problems with meth heads that they have in Toosad. This probably does not apply to high end renters who pay large amounts above what they should for better service. But if your rich, do not rent, buy. Renting here is a losing proposition.
Medical care? Hard to find a decent doctor and wait times are months frequently. Also lack of professionalism among doctors and in hospitals. They frequently violate their hipocracy (SIC) oaths. Most doctors here are the same as many U.S. cities-incompetent, old, outdated in their knowledge, providing inadequate care. City hospitals are rated poorly-again google Medicare+hospital ratings.
Traffic here is bad, but not as bad as places like L.A., New York, and other larger cities. Lack of freeways for cross town traffic in a city where SPRAWL is it's middle name. Virtually no traffic enforcement. Lots of bad drivers, run lights, speeding, etc. Cops are allowed to park illegally downtown with meter maids ignoring it. Cops are allowed to violate traffic laws with no repercussions.
Lots of gang activity concentrated on the South Side but all over really. Frequent violent shootings and other violence. You can carry a gun openly here, which is a solution for many. This is the Wild West with judge Roy Bean presiding. Be careful where you live and who your neighbors are.
University here is substandard compared to northern cities. Poor teaching, poor administration, poor libraries. Little to no political dissent is tolerated here-the students are just too apathetic, dumb and status quo to care and the admins are not supportive of free speech. Lack of quality and professionalism throughout. University exists for football and making money on research projects, not for the students. University and faculty/staff do not like old people using facilities and homeless rights are frequently violated to keep them off campus. University police force in this regard is a bad joke. If you're not a young, naive, conservative and stereotypical off-to-college (think 50's movies) student, you are not welcome here.,Prices on campus for food are sky high. They use these facilities to make money for the University, that is their purpose, not to serve the students.
By and large this is a police state. You have no rights here except the right to hire a probably crooked attorney to enforce the rights you are not routinely accorded in other locales. The cops are ignorant and do not care often. The court system is corrupt as are the prosecutors offices here. The whole gov. system is on the take from landlords, businesses and criminals with money-this is a Barry Goldwater/Joesph Bonanno (mafia chiefdon) State & it's all about who gets paid off. Not all cops but a significant percentage are this way. So are many of the politicos here. In short there are no or low standards of conduct, professionalism or justice that are enforced here. This is improving with regards to the police department according to recent news reports-looks like the department is starting to root out bad cops, good.