A VISION FOR A COLLABORATIVE CITY COUNCIL
Santa Fe's uniqueness and greatness are undeniable. Upholding our cultural diversity and cherished small-town values will forever remain at the heart of Santa Fe's identity while we look to the future and adapt to the evolving needs of our residents.
Together with you, I am devoted to nurturing a city founded on pillars of inclusivity, respect, attentive listening, unity, and safety.
Security for everyone in Santa Fe is a top priority. A post-COVID world has led to an increase in crime, mental and behavioral health issues, substance abuse, and housing insecurity.
Meanwhile, access to services has decreased and many have found themselves facing extremely hard times and even harder choices. I will make sure that public safety is one of my top issues as an elected official.
Looking to the future and adapting to the evolving needs of our residents is essential.
We must address critically understaffed first responders and law enforcement agencies. This means encouraging local recruitment and scouting for a broader range of skill sets can reshape our local agencies. This will improve response rates as well as ensure appropriate response teams that can manage a wide range of crises. I am determined to improve the resources available to our first responders and reduce the overall costs and effect of crime in our community.
To address the rapid increase in unhoused members of our community, we must develop housing first models centered in areas where folks have ready access to all their needs in one central location. I will collaborate with city-wide organizations to ramp up their services and implement much needed health and wellness programming. We must help those most in need by addressing the current mental health and addiction crisis suffered by many of our unhoused.
Invest In Alternatives
We will expand and invest more heavily in Alternative Response Units (ARU) to relieve some of the pressure on our understaffed agencies. In addition, alternative training strategies can provide specific tools to de-escalate hostile situations rather than use force. I will be a strong proponent of building out ARU services and training, ensuring staffing needs are met to carry out their obligations.
Everyone deserves an affordable, accessible, safe, healthy place to live– regardless of their race, class, or neighborhood. Our streets are in disrepair, parks are neglected, the public transportation system is inadequate and affordable housing is out of reach for our workforce.
By channeling resources into innovative technology, sustainable infrastructure, and contemporary conveniences, we can secure Santa Fe's position as a city that thrives culturally, enhances residents' well-being, and maintains economic vitality.
It's no secret that Santa Fe has a shortage of affordable housing, despite all the buildings going up all around town. As your City Councilor, I will advocate to make sure new developments focus their efforts on affordability and usability. Creating mixed-use housing around the city whereby we combine residential units with commercial space, a strategy that has been successful in other cities, will help curb our current housing crisis. I am committed to supporting current efforts to fund housing for all Santa Feans. We must protect tenants from the rising costs of housing by enacting good cause eviction policies.
Along with the desperate need to clean our sidewalks and repair broken bridges, our city lacks infrastructure that serves a variety of uses, users, and transportation modes. Though some parts of our district are friendlier to walking and biking, we are quickly falling short of our communities' need for efficient and usable streets and sidewalks. Expanding bike lanes, sidewalks, and installing traffic calming devices will help the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and those with physical disabilities. Creating transit centered housing and more businesses within walking distances to homes, will help reduce the need for cars and parking. I am committed to work with public works to best serve Santa Fe's residents.
Public transportation helps people better engage with their community, reduces traffic congestion, and preserves air quality. Effective public transportation gives both residents and visitors the ability to get around our city more easily. Our current system is inadequate. Only five of the city's ten bus routes run on a regular service, which means there is no regular bus service to some of our city's biggest employers. A 2020 city commissioned plan to identify better and more efficient ways to provide public transportation has yet to be implemented. It will now need to be reviewed and updated for our growing city’s needs. As your City Councilor, I will advocate for a stronger public transportation system that helps us all. Cities such as Los Alamos and Albuquerque have established zero-fare transit programs, which have seen significant increases in bus ridership. We should investigate the feasibility of doing this here.
Santa Fe is blessed with many rich cultural traditions, a vibrant heritage, and talented creativity. I am passionate about bringing the creativity that characterizes Santa Fe into our government.
I will work to create policies that have diverse and equitable funding opportunities for artists and arts programs. I'm dedicated to creating a dialogue between our city government and the creative community that will foster an environment for collaboration and entrepreneurship. Together, we can ensure that our local community is vibrant, unique, and creative for years to come.
Strong Arts And Culture Department
One of my priorities will be ensuring the City’s Department of Arts and Culture becomes fully staffed. We must create new programs to support local artists and make arts more accessible to all residents, regardless of their income or background.
I will support the Department in seeking increased funding by reaching out to my Arts’ networks for outside sources of income to supplement the city's investment.
Investing in local Talent
I will collaborate with the Department of Arts and Culture to provide new avenues for local artists to exhibit their work, get regional and federal money for self-advertising and education, and continue to set the standard for working artists. I commit to helping artists have access to support so they can afford to produce and display their art in Santa Fe and around the world.
I will collaborate on a more robust and responsible tourism plan that protects our city's cultural and environmental resources by educating tourists of the importance of respecting our community and its residents when visiting Santa Fe, O’ga P’ogeh Owingeh.
In Santa Fe, the process of long-term planning and conservation of our local water reserves has already begun. As of 2020, the city has stopped draining local groundwater and created a long-term plan for water conservation and reclamation. We have been recognized nationally as having some of the best conservation efforts in the country and our groundwater levels are rising despite our growing population.
However, we have more work to do. As your City Councilor, I'll focus on investing in our water infrastructure to preserve the quality of water we deliver to our community. I am committed to rallying our Council behind the preservation of our wetlands and habitats, ensuring the safeguarding of our precious flora and fauna for the well-being of future generations. I will vigorously advocate for the advancement of solar energy to pave the way for a sustainable and renewable future. And I will press for green spaces for all neighborhoods in our District.
While we are creating water reserves for the future, we have more work to do. As your City Councilor, I'll focus on investing in our water infrastructure to preserve the quality of water we deliver to our community. I am committed to help champion a new water treatment plant, as well as reclamation infrastructure around the city, to ensure that future generations of Santa Feans have access to clean, safe water.
Protecting Our Wetlands and Habitats
In the fight to preserve our local ecosystems, communities have come up against political hurdles and procedural red tape. As your city councilor, I promise to continue to hold public hearings on environmental issues, to give the public a chance to voice their concerns and learn more about city projects. It is important that the City of Santa Fe request studies of the wetlands, rivers and other environments for their ecological value. This would help to quantify the benefits that our ecosystems provide, such as flood control, water purification, and wildlife habitat.
Going Further with Solar
Solar energy is a key part of the solution to our energy challenges. By investing in solar energy, we can create a cleaner, more secure, and more prosperous future for ourselves and our planet. Solar is a clean, renewable resource that can help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and combat climate change. I am committed to broadening the solar programs we have already invested in, as well as creating new opportunities for more power independence.
Preserving City Green Spaces
The City has a number of programs in place to encourage sustainable development, such as the Green Building Program and the Water Conservation Rebate Program. We must continue to fund and promote programs that keep sustainability at their core. I am excited to work with Parks and Open Spaces to assure we keep our city parks healthy and well maintained. Community engagement is a must and continuing programs like "Adopt-a-Park or Trail" encourage people to help care for their local parks.