Dear District 5 Constituents,
These last two and a half months working to stay ahead of COVID-19 have been and continue to be trying. Our office has worked closely with Mayor Tim Keller and his staff, as well as the Governor’s administration to create a vision for recovery, recognizing that resources are severely taxed. Rest assured we are working together to stay ahead of this emergency.
It is also essential to recognize and celebrate our city’s successes and its brave employees – our First Responders, Transit, Solid Waste, Construction, Parks, essential Office Workers, Maintenance Crews, 911 and 311 operators, and so many others who have stepped up to keep our City running smoothly. Please thank these folks whenever you have the opportunity!
The City of Albuquerque appropriated a half a million dollars to fund a small forgivable loan program for Albuquerque’s small businesses. These loans were quickly dispersed, and another $50,000 was donated from the One Albuquerque Fund for a final round of loans. In addition, the City of Albuquerque corralled $500,000 to support the creative economy. Finally, when the National CARES Act neglected aid to non-profits struggling with expenses incurred in service to COVID-19, Albuquerque City Council identified and voted to apply $1,000,000 in smaller appropriations to 44 City non-profits.
Many of us take solace in the spring weather. It somehow has a calming effect in the midst of troubling events. Take the time to enjoy District 5‘s outdoor amenities such as bicycle and walking paths, Bosque trails, and our Westside sunrises and sunsets. Please remember to stagger your outdoor activities to allow for COVID-19 social distancing at a 6-foot minimum, in groups no larger than five, and wearing masks in public.
While I continue to work on your behalf to fight for our continued public safety, I am also working to keep the projects we began work on together over the past two and a half years moving forward, including (partial list):
- Expansion of Paseo Del Norte
- Cibola Loop Multi-Generational Center
- Westside Blvd.
- Landscape Medians
Some of these projects are partially funded by the State of New Mexico. We need to talk with our District-5 Legislators to ensure the funding remains intact, especially since the pandemic threatens to draw on all 2019 and 2020 funding sources.
I recently sponsored Memorial 20-2 (https://cabq.legistar.com/Legislation.aspx ) that respects the New Mexico State Department of Health’s orders, and recommends that Albuquerque’s reopening advisory councils formed by state, industry, and municipal representatives consider alternative safe means Albuquerque can undertake to facilitate, promote, and expand local business and restaurant operations now that businesses are undergoing phased reopening.
A District 5 economic initiative for the area around Unser and McMahon is underway with the help of The Office of Economic Development and APD working on your behalf to organize retail businesses currently through channels of creative social networking technology. Keep watch for my continued legislative and programmatic advocacy in the upcoming months during what is aimed to be a strong incubation and rebirth of Albuquerque’s economy.
Our economy and physical health are priorities under the emergency conditions and we will get through this pandemic together; however, we must also look to the well being of our mental and intellectual health, and that of our families. I personally miss the day to day energy of connection with my constituents. I do try to reach out daily through my Facebook Page and on Twitter. In gratitude for the children of Albuquerque and empathizing with home-schooling needs, I created the ‘Lavender Libros’ YouTube Channel. Each week on Wednesday and Friday a new children’s book is presented by our local State and City Leaders to help our kids get through this time, and learn about a new book. Please tune in to Lavendar Libros for a spark of childhood imagination—enjoy an authentic moment with everyday people—your government, school, and community leadership.
Also, I am giving a loud shout out to our Albuquerque Graduates, who fill us with pride for our state and society. Congratulations and Thank You Graduates, for the promise of hope you embody for all of us!
Please stay positive, District 5 neighborhood and community members. Our community needs you! We can all be heroes by acting responsibly and with care for each other’s health and well-being. Please reference your list of helpful Covid Resources.