With two members absent, the Albuquerque City Council tackled a light agenda that had the sexiest items deferred. Council President Cynthia Borrego and Councilor Klarissa Peña were excused, leaving Councilor Diane Gibson handling the president’s gavel.
A huge shout out and many kudos go to Veronica Flores, Stephanie Griego and Kim Stark, along with all the volunteers, workers, donators who diligently and tirelessly work every day with the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico. A proclamation was issued to recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Rape Crisis Center gives 24-hour support, advocacy, crisis intervention, counseling resources and referrals to anyone affected by sexual violence. The center provides community education and outreach through age-appropriate, theory-based curricula, either on a one-time basis or to educational institutions. There are over 293,000 victims of sexual assault reported each year with a rape happening every 120 seconds. Donate, volunteer and check them out here: Rapecrisiscnm.org
Council members deferred a resolution establishing a Healthy Communities, Public Health and Sustainability Policy Committee until June 7. They deferred approval of Healthy Families and Workplace Ordinance until April 19 and topped it off by deferring appointing Richard Johnson to the Civilian Police Oversight Agency Board.
Residents in the North Valley near the Rio Grande Nature Center, off Rio Grande Boulevard and Candelaria, say too many folks are parking along their streets to take a Bosque stroll. So they had a parking permit zone approved for Trellis Drive and Decker Road to help alleviate the parking problem. These types of permit areas are typically found up around the University of New Mexico area to mitigate student parking issues. City Councilor Issac Benton said he was concerned about limiting access to the Bosque by restricting parking along those residential streets. And he said approving parking permit areas like this could “snowball” if other residents want to limit parking along their streets nearby. He proposed amending the city parking ordinance, so the Council went along with Benton’s concerns and voted to hold off on enforcement in this permit zone and on establishing any other parking zones for six months. This allows city peeps to take a look at and reconsider changes to the city’s parking ordinance.
Another crew of citizens took their places on various boards and commissions: Jolene O. Wolfley and Matthew Pinson to the Affordable Housing Committee; Joseph P. Sanchez to the ABQ Volunteers Advisory Board; Zoe E. Romans and Mitchel B. Graham, Eli Hi Crowley, Grant W. Leigh and Kylee S. Huston to the Youth Advisory Council; Ryan Lee Haack and Markie Anderle and Rick Murphy to the Transit Advisory Board; Gabriel S. Pacyniak to the Albuquerque Energy Council; Daniel M. Strokes to the Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Council; Timothy B. Krebs and Jessica D. R. DuVerneay to the Indicators Progress Commission and Dan Turnham to the Municipal Golf Advisory.
Councilors have been busy doing the things they do while away from the government table. Councilor Lan Sena, other Council members, Mayor Tim Keller and a number of other government officials gathered on March 28 to rally against Asian American Pacific Islander hate and bias.
A day earlier Council President Cynthia Borrego helped give away about 100 trees in the Paradise Skies Neighborhood.
Also on March 27, Councilors Klarissa Peña and Brook Bassan—along with folks from Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque Police Department and the National Shooting Sports Foundation—launched Project ChildSafe Albuquerque by distributing hundreds of free gun locks, plus firearm safety and suicide prevention resources. The national organization takes gun safety seriously and has distributed more than 38 million gun locks. Check them out at projectchildsafe.org.
On March 21 Councilors cruised in lowriders and motorcycles along Route 66 to the site of the long-awaited West Central Route 66 Visitor Center to break ground on the 21,000 square foot museum, event space, catering kitchen, taproom, office space and outdoor amphitheater. It will take about 13 months to build the complex.
More details were shared about the proposed and controversial Gateway Center that will be located at the old Lovelace Hospital on Gibson Boulevard. The Gateway Center will be a homeless shelter hub with on-site services in place. The city is buying the facility to the tune of $15 million dollars. It could have about 50 spots each for men and women and 25 family rooms. Medical rooms are also in the plan. On any given night, there are more than 1,500 people in Albuquerque experiencing homelessness. About 5,000 families are homeless at some point in the year.
The next meeting of the City Council is set for a Zoom meeting at 3pm, Monday, April 19. Watch it at GOV-TV at cabq.gov or on Comcast Cable Channel 16 or on the city’s YouTube channel.