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DIGGING DEEPER: How much did Tucson’s City Hall BLM banner cost taxpayers?

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Tucson Mayor Regina Romero's office said the Black Lives Matter banner was taken down from Tucson's City Hall building on Monday.

The mayor's office said the banner was damaged from the wind, but the city is trying to fix it so it can be hung back up.

The BLM banner was purchased in support of the BLM movement that has taken the country by storm.

Regardless of if you support the BLM movement or not, if you are a Tucson resident, your taxes have funded this $3,348 banner hung up in support of the cause.

Mayor Romero unveiled the banner on Juneteenth, a celebratory day commemorating when U.S. slaves were freed in 1865.

"I think it's an entirely appropriate use of public funds," Larry Bodine, president of the Democrats of Greater Tucson said.

Bodine said the banner is a way for the city to show support for Black people and demand police reform.

"You're not gonna cause any change or call things to the public's attention if you don't something dramatic," Bodine said. "This banner is dramatic and I support it."

In a Facebook post, Black Lives Matter of Tucson called the banner "pure performative allyship" and criticized the mayor for not doing enough to support the movement outside of hanging a banner.

Others around Tucson think it is too supportive.

David Eppihimer, chairman of the Pima County Republican Party said while the murder of George Floyd should not be tolerated, BLM has a wide agenda that not everyone supports.

“You don’t put on the side of city hall a banner advocating controversial political positions," Eppihimer said.

In a statement to News 4 Tucson the Mayor's Office said, "We put this banner up as a statement of solidarity and acknowledgment of the systemic racism that our Black community still faces. The funds that were used came out of my office's budget and pale in comparison to the important message of solidarity we are sharing with our community."

Alexis Berdine

Alexis Berdine is an Investigative Multi-Media Journalist at KVOA.

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