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Albuquerque City Councilors had a fiery scare when a fire alarm was inadvertently triggered, causing them to think they had to evacuate. Very soon a calm voice came on the airwaves letting us all know City Hall was not on fire. With all of the public and most of the councilors Zooming in from their parts of the city, this left the city staff and Council President Cynthia Borrego wondering if they had to scamper down the stairs to safety. Another good reason to wear running shoes instead of heels.

Help Me First

It may not be you. It may be someone you love that is caught up in a domestic violence relationship and is afraid to call the police.

Councilors passed the Safe Harbor resolution—sponsored by Councilor Pat Davis—which would require the Albuquerque Police Department to work with criminal justice partners to come up with a policy allowing domestic violence and sexual assault victims to call police without worrying about being arrested for unrelated misdemeanor and some nonviolent felony warrants too. 

The measure passed on a 6-2 vote, with Councilors Brook Basson and Don Harris casting the nay votes. It will now go to the mayor’s desk. There was some posturing by Councilor Brook Basson, who seemed to be echoing the campaign cry that crime is out of control in our city. What is out of control is poverty, addiction and homelessness, and that is what leads to increased crime. The council table is not the place to bang the crime drum to scare citizens.

To Park or Not to Park

Parking permit rules were tightened up for neighborhoods looking to get on-street permits to prevent folks who don’t live in their neighborhood from parking there. The revamp came from Councilor Ike Benton after listening to constituents living along Candelaria and Campbell west of Rio Grande Boulevard who got tired of people taking up their street parking while they go take a hike in the Bosque. Now city planners need to come up with new guidelines that consider the broader community when issuing these types of permits.

Not In My Neighborhood

How does the government go about being good neighbors? Does it take care of the most vulnerable or the most vocal? City Councilor Pat Davis sponsored a resolution that puts together a “good neighbor program” to include community input sessions for residents, neighborhood associations to share their concerns. This came about over the proposed renovations of the old Lovelace Hospital on Gibson into the Gateway Center, a supportive one-stop facility to help address the city’s homelessness and other related issues. But as usual, the NIMBYs, (not in my backyard), came out in force on the neighborhood apps against helping out our vulnerable neighbors at this location—saying help them somewhere else, just not in my backyard. Ugh. … We need these types of facilities in each quadrant of the city to actually provide comprehensive services to address taking care of our street-dwelling neighbors.

The next meeting of the City Council is set for a Zoom meeting at 3pm, Monday, May 17. Watch it at GOV-TV at cabq.gov or on Comcast Cable Channel 16 or on the city’s YouTube channel. 

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