Tag Archives: Mayor Keller

New Mexico Cities Confront Homelessness | The Line

Line Homelessness

February 28, 2020 – Cities throughout New Mexico are dealing with increasing numbers of people living on the streets, in makeshift shelters, or in unstable housing. Gene Grant and The Line opinion panelists look at the crisis for people suffering homelessness and question whether New Mexico cities are taking the best approach to address the issue. 

Line Panelists:
Diane Denish, former NM lieutenant governor
Dan Foley, former state representative
Serge Martinez, professor, UNM School of Law
Diane Snyder, former state senator 

For Further Reading: 

Editorial: Spending priority of legislators, governor ignore homelessness crisis in Albuquerque — Albuquerque Journal 

APD investigates homicide after homeless woman was found dead — KOB 4 

As Webber grapples with homelessness in Santa Fe, homeless man lands at his doorstep  Santa Fe New Mexican 

ABQ’s new homeless shelter? — Albuquerque Journal 

Budget includes small fraction of funds requested for Albuquerque homeless shelter — KRQE Media 

Las Cruces Homelessness, Public Safety Programs Counting on 2020 Census — KRWGnews 

Transcript:

>>GRANT: THE GATEWAY CENTER IS A PLACEMENT FOR ALBUQUERQUE’S EXISTING SHELTER ON THE CITY’S FAR WESTSIDE HAS BEEN APPROVED. NOW THE BIG QUESTION, WHERE TO PUT IT. AS ALBUQUERQUE GRAPPLES WITH NIMBY, NOT IN MY BACK YARD OPPOSITION, SANTA FE IS ALSO DEALING WITH PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS. LAS CRUCES, FARMINGTON TAOS ARE ALSO DEALING DEAL WITH HOW TO BEST ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS. DIANE, DO YOU THINK NEW MEXICO CITIES ARE DOING AN ADEQUATE JOB AS YOU HAVE BEEN READING UP FOR THIS SEGMENT? WHAT IS YOUR SENSE OVERALL ON HOW THE BIGGER CITIES ARE HANDLING HOMELESSNESS?

>>SNYDER: I DON’T THINK SO. I WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE ARTICLE THAT TALKED ABOUT WHAT SANTA FE IS DOING. THEY ARE USING A PROGRAM CALLED BUILD FOR ZERO. WHICH IS BEING DONE AND THERE ARE SEVERAL STATES, CITIES IN DIFFERENT STATES THAT HAVE GOTTEN THEIR POPULATION DOWN TO ZERO OR FUNCTIONALLY ZERO. WHAT THEY DO IS THEY DIVIDE IT UP. YOU HAVE THE CONTINUOUSLY HOMELESS, THE MILITARY HOMELESS, OTHER DIVISIONS. AND THEY TAKE EACH SEGMENT AND SOLVE THAT PROBLEM FIRST. INSTEAD OF BLANKETLY SPREADING ALL THEIR RESOURCES. THEY SOLVE A PROBLEM AT A TIME. SANTA FE STARTED WITH THEIR MILITARY AND THEY ARE NOW AT WHAT THEY CALL FUNCTIONALLY ZERO OF HOMELESS MILITARY. THAT IMPRESSED ME VERY MUCH. I WAS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THIS CONTINUOUS HARANGUING ABOUT WHERE THE PLACE IS GOING TO BE IN ALBUQUERQUE. I MEAN, WE SPENT MORE TIME TALKING ABOUT WHERE IT IS GOING TO BE LOCATED RATHER THAN GETTING IT BUILT, DESIGNED, BUILT AND MOVING FORWARD. I UNDERSTAND NIMBY AND MY NEIGHBORHOOD DOESN’T HAPPEN TO BE ONE OF THE ONES SUGGESTED, BUT I STILL THINK IF WE LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE, WE’RE WASTING SO MUCH TIME AT DOING WHAT WE NEED TO BE DOING AND IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE DOING SUCH SHOTGUN ATTACKS TO THE ISSUE THAT WE ARE NOT REALLY GETTING THINGS FOCUSED.

>>GRANT: INTERESTING POINT. SERGE, WE FOUND MONEY IN LEGISLATURE FOR PRACTICE FIELDS, OTHER THINGS, BUT WE CAN ONLY COME UP WITH 50 GRAND OUT OF THE 14 MILLION-DOLLAR ASK FOR THE HOMELESS SHELTER. WE ARE GOING TO PRESS ON WITH THIS ANYWAY, THE CITY HAS A PLAN, THEY’LL GO BACK NEXT YEAR. YOUR SENSE HOW YOU SEE THE CITY APPROACHING THIS, HOW WE GET OUT OF THIS MESS?

>>MARTINEZ: I LOVE THAT THE CITY HAS MADE THIS — KELLER HAS SAID, I AM GOING TO TRY TO JUMP ON THIS. BUT, SAYING, YOU KNOW, WE NEED EX MILLIONS FOR A SHELTER THAT IS NOT THE CURE-ALL EITHER. THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS PEOPLE ARE HOMELESS AND SO MANY THINGS THAT WE NEED TO ADDRESS. I AM A HOUSING FIRST GUY, RIGHT. THE BEST SOLUTION TO HOMELESSNESS IS GET SOMEONE A HOME BUT SIMPLY SAYING LET’S BUILD ONE BIG GATEWAY STRUCTURE IN ALBUQUERQUE, I LOVE THE IDEA OF LET’S PUT ALL THESE RESOURCES TOGETHER BUT IT IS EASY TO SAY, WELL WE DID THAT SO NOW WE DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE. I AM NOT — CERTAINLY DON’T THINK THAT IS GOING TO END HOMELESSNESS HERE IN ALBUQUERQUE OR ANYWHERE IN NEW MEXICO. LIKE DIANE WAS SAYING, WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IS A COMMITTED EFFORT BY EVERYBODY AND THAT IS WHAT THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT SAYING, THIS IS IMPORTANT TO US, AND THAT IS A BIG MESSAGE, RIGHT? HOUSING FOR VETERANS I WOULDN’T SAY IS EASY BUT THERE ARE A LOT MORE RESOURCES FOR HOMELESS VETS THAN FOR A HOMELESS PERSON NOT A VET. YOU HAVE FEDERAL SOURCES, THAT YOU DON’T HAVE AVAILABLE. DOING LOW HANGING FRUIT FIRST IS GREAT. HOUSTON HAS DONE A GOOD JOB AND STARTED WITH HOUSING FOR HEROS AND THEY HAVE DONE THE SAME THING, TRIED TO WORK THEIR WAY DOWN, BUT WHAT WE SEE IS EFFECTIVE IS REAL COMMITMENT FROM EVERYBODY. AND SO IF WE ARE SAYING, WELL, THAT HAPPENS IN ALBUQUERQUE, THAT IS A BIG CITY PROBLEM, AND WE ARE GOING TO PUT IT ALL IN THIS ONE PLACE, THAT IS NEVER GOING TO WORK.

>>GRANT: AS I READ ABOUT THIS, THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN, THE STORY ABOUT THIS FELLOW THAT WAS AROUND THE MAYOR’S OFFICE FOR WEEKS AND WEEKS, TRACY LEE, 62 YEAR OLD HOMELESS MAN, STARTED HANGING OUT AT CITY HALL. THE SENATOR’S POINT ABOUT THIS, IT JUST ILLUSTRATES THE DIFFICULTY ON EACH INDIVIDUAL BASIS. NO ONE PROGRAM IS GOING TO WORK FOR EVERYBODY OUT THERE AS SERGE WAS MENTIONING. WHAT IS YOUR SENSE OF HOW WE ARE GETTING DOWN TO THE GRASS ROOTS HERE AND SOLVING THIS PROBLEM?

>>DENISH: LET ME SAY I THINK MAYOR HAS THE RIGHT IDEA TO TAKE THIS APPROACH. I HAVE BEEN TO SOME OF THE FORUMS ABOUT LOCATION AND IT IS AMAZING TO ME HOW PEOPLE EQUATE HOMELESSNESS WITH CRIMINALITY WHICH IS REALLY NOT WHAT HAPPENS. BUT I WANT TO SAY, I THINK THERE IS TWO OR THREE THINGS, I THINK LOCAL NEWSPAPERS DIDN’T GET IT EXACTLY RIGHT. THE MAYOR HAD PRIORITIES AND HOMELESSNESS WAS NOT THE HIGHEST ONE AND SO THE CRIME PACKAGE WAS VERY HIGH ON HIS LIST.  SOME LEGISLATORS THAT I TALKED TO DIDN’T SEE HOPELESSNESS ON THE ALBUQUERQUE PRIORITY LIST. I AM NOT SURE THAT IT WAS ENTIRELY THE LEGISLATURE’S FAULT FOR NOT GIVING THE MONEY.

>>GRANT: THEY GAVE MILLIONS FOR THE CRIME STUFF.

>>DENISH: THAT IS THE NO. 1 ISSUE IN ALBUQUERQUE. THE PLAN THAT ALBUQUERQUE HAS, THERE IS NOT CONSENSUS AROUND THAT PLAN. AND I THINK ONE LARGE SHELTER, THEY HAVE GOT A PROPOSED SITE NOT FAR FROM THE STUDIO, AND THAT NEEDS TO BE IN THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE UNIVERSITY WITH THE GROWTH OF THE CANCER CENTER. THE COUNTY HAS BEEN ASKED FOR SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS. I DON’T THINK THEY ARE IN AGREEMENT ON THE 300 BED FACILITY. SO, I THINK THAT THE PLAN ITSELF DOESN’T HAVE CONSENSUS. VOTERS WERE NOT GIVEN SPECIFICS ABOUT THE PLAN. IT WAS FOR A FACILITY. I AM GLAD THEY ARE INCLUDING NEIGHBORHOODS AND TRYING TO GET THAT BUT THINGS ARE NOT CONSOLIDATED YET AND THEY NEED TO — I THINK I HEARD THAT FROM LEGISLATORS. THEY DIDN’T FEEL LIKE THE PLAN WAS SPECIFIC AND SOLIDIFIED.

>>GRANT: I CAN SEE THAT.

>>SNYDER: THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO START WITH, 14 MILLION. THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY AND THAT IS WHAT I HEARD FROM LEGISLATORS WAS, BECAUSE MY THOUGHT WAS, LIKE EVERYBODY. WHAT? YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT HOMELESSNESS, BUT THEY DO, BUT THEY SAID, YOU KNOW, YOU’RE NOT READY TO HAVE OUR MONEY. YOU DO YOUR DESIGN, YOU DO YOUR — CONSOLIDATE YOUR PLAN, AS THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SAID.

>>DENISH: THE OTHER THING WE CAN’T DO IS DO A HALF-BAKED CENTER.

>>GRANT: LET ME ASK A QUESTION ON THAT VERY THOUGHT. THE IDEA OF TAKING AN OLD HOTEL WHICH HAS BEEN FLOATED OUT THERE AND USING THAT AS A HOMELESS CENTER, RIGHT BY THE HIGHWAY. AND I FORGET THE ROAD, NOT CARLISLE BUT MENAUL. THAT SENT PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK INTO A TIZZY, YOU KNOW. IT FELT SORT OF PIE IN THE SKY. WHY WERE WE TALKING ABOUT THIS. IS THAT PART OF THE PROBLEM?

>>FOLEY: WE ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY IMPACT ON HOMELESSNESS UNTIL YOU TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH. WE TALK ABOUT HOMELESS VETS AND CRIME, MENTAL HEALTH. THE OTHER THING IS, I WOULD SUBMIT, HAVING GROWN UP IN CLOUDCROFT, LIVED IN ROSWELL, LIVED IN PORTALES AND NOW IN RIO RANCHO, THE HOMELESS PROBLEM IN ALBUQUERQUE IS A STATE-WIDE PROBLEM. IT IS NOT A CITY PROBLEM. IT IS A STATE-WIDE PROBLEM. THE RESOURCES ARE HERE AND THE COMMUNITIES OUTSIDE, THIS IS WHERE THEY SEND THE FOLKS TO GET HELP ONCE THEY GET IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM OR SOMETHING DOWN IN ROSWELL, THEY ARE BUSSED TO ALBUQUERQUE TO GET HELP, AND THEN TURNED OUT ON THE STREETS WHEN IT’S OVER.  I THINK UNTIL WE TAKE A AN APPROACH TO SAY — TO YOUR POINT ABOUT THE HOTEL, IF YOU BELIEVE THE ONLY THING SOMEONE NEEDS IS A PLACE TO LAY THEIR HEAD AND THAT WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEMS, THAT IS A GREAT ANSWER. IF BELIEVE THERE ARE FAR MORE ISSUES TO HOMELESSNESS, TO INCLUDE CHILDREN, FAMILIES, BREAKING THE CYCLE, VIOLENCE, THE DRUG ADDICTION, THE MENTAL HEALTH STUFF, THEY HAVE GOT TO COME UP WITH A HOLISTIC APPROACH THAT SAYS WE ARE GOING TO GET PEOPLE OUT OF HERE. AND THE LAST THING I’LL SAY IS, IT TAKES MORE THAN 300 BEDS, A LOT MORE THAN 300 BEDS.

>>DENISH: BUY A HOTEL FOR 15 MILLION AND IT BECOMES LIKE THE COUNTY BUILDING, ANOTHER 1,5 TO 30 MILLION TO RENOVATE IT. IT IS GOING TO BE A PROBLEM.

>>GRANT: DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL NUMBER FOR HOW MANY BEDS? IT IS NOT 300, HOW MANY BEDS DO WE REALLY NEED?

>>MARTINEZ: 3,000. I SPEND A LOT OF TIME INTERACTING WITH A POPULATION THAT IS NOT HOMELESS, PRECARIOUSLY HOUSED AND TRANSIENT. IT IS WAY MORE THAN 300.  I AM SURE I AM NOT SEEING –

>>GRANT: THAT IS ALL THE TIME WE HAVE FOR THIS WEEK. THANKS TO EVERYONE HERE STUDYING UP ON THOUGHTS. DON’T FORGET TO CATCH UP WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA, ESPECIALLY FACEBOOK WHERE WE OFTEN POLL OUR FOCUS ON NEW MEXICO GROUP TO FIGURE OUT TOPICS WE DO EACH WEEK.

City of Albuquerque Reaches Agreement With Problem Stores | The Line

City of Albuquerque Skyline

January 31, 2020 – The city of Albuquerque reached an agreement with two “nuisance” convenience stores. They’ll stop selling mini and pint-sized bottles of alcohol, train their staff more thoroughly about not selling to persons who are intoxicated, and provide better clean-up and security.  Good for the neighborhood, or just pushing problem down the road? Gene Grant and The Line opinion panel debate whether this move is a victory for public safety or a dangerous step onto the slippery slope of regulation. 

Line Panelists: 

Merritt Allen, Vox Optima
Michael Barrio, executive director, Prosperity Works
Dan Foley, former state representative
Sophie Martin, attorney

For Further Reading/Watching:  

City officials announce changes at pair of 7-Eleven nuisance properties  KRQE

Two stores agree to halt sale of ‘mini’ and pint alcohol bottles   Albuquerque Journal 

Transcript:

>>GENE GRANT: WE SPOKE ABOUT THIS HERE ON THE LINE WHEN IT FIRST CAME UP. TWO 7-11 STORES IN SOUTHEAST ALBUQUERQUE WERE DECLARED NUISANCE PROPERTIES AFTER MANY, MANY COMPLAINTS AND ASKED TO CLEAN UP THEIR ACT. NOW AN AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED BETWEEN THOSE STORES AND THE CITY. THE STORES WILL STOP SELLING MINI AND PINT SIZE BOTTLES OF ALCOHOL. THEY WILL POLICE THEIR AREAS DAILY AND GIVE ADDITIONAL TRAINING TO EMPLOYEES SO THEY CAN AVOID SELLING ALCOHOL TO THOSE ALREADY INTOXICATED. LET ME INTRODUCE THE LINE OPINION PANEL. ALL WHO HAVE AGREED TO READ UP ON THE ISSUES AND BE PREPARED TO TACKLE THIS STORY AND OTHERS. FORMER NEW MEXICO HOUSE MINORITY WHIP AND LINE REGULAR, DANIEL FOLEY IS HERE. MICHAEL BARRIO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF PROSPERITY WORKS JOINS US AS WELL. ATTORNEY AND ANOTHER LINE REGULAR, SOPHIE MARTIN IS HERE WITH HER TAKE ON TODAY’S TOPICS. LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, MERRITT ALLEN IS HERE. SHE IS THE OWNER OF VOX OPTIMA PUBLIC RELATIONS. WELCOME TO YOU ALL. HOW DO YOU SEE THIS? VICTORY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY? DANGEROUS STEP INTO A SLIPPERY SLOPE OF PUBLIC REGULATION?  

>>DAN FOLEY: FIRST OF ALL, MAKES NO SENSE. I DON’T KNOW WHO PLANNED ON LETTING THE MAYOR STAND AT THE PODIUM AND HOLD UP TO LITTLE MINIS AND GET THAT PICTURE IN THE ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL. THIS IS CRAZY. I DON’T, YOU KNOW, AT THE TIME THIS WAS GOING ON, RIGHT, WRONG OR INDIFFERENT, YOU HAVE A RECORD MURDER RATE UNDER HIS WATCH IN THE CITY. I AM NOT SAYING IT IS HIS FAULT. IT CAME OUT DURING HIS WATCH. AND HIS ANSWER TO THAT IS WE ARE GOING TO GET TWO 7-11 STORES TO STOP SELLING PINTS AND MINIS. YOU KNOW. I MEAN, YOU WOULD THINK IF YOU’RE A DEMOCRAT AND YOU WANTED TO ADDRESS THIS, WHY AREN’T YOU REACHING OUT TO SOMEONE LIKE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, YOU KNOW. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS IN YOUR PARTY, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS BEEN GOING AFTER PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES.  

>>GRANT: WE HAVE A CITY COUNCILOR IN THIS DISTRICT, DAVIS. WE HAVE A CITY COUNCILOR SO I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT TO THE AG.   

>>FOLEY: LET’S TALK STATISTICS. HOW ABOUT LOOKING AT — YOU’RE LOOKING AT A CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT THAT IS DOING THIS. BASICALLY WHAT WE ARE DOING IS MOVING THE PROBLEM TO THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT. SO, WHY NOT TALK TO SOMEONE LIKE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL? THIS IS A STATE-WIDE EFFORT. WHETHER HE HAS DONE A GOOD JOB OR NOT DONE A GOOD JOB, IT’S OPEN FOR CONVERSATION. I GET IT BUT THE ANSWER TO TWO — THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TO REMEMBER, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IMPACTING TWO 7-11 STORES IN THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE. AND SUDDENLY THIS IS GOING TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM? WE HAVE A BUSING SYSTEM PEOPLE CAN GET UP AND DOWN CENTRAL ON. IT SEEMS LIKE AT A TIME, YOU KNOW, THAT ROME IS BURNING, NERO IS STANDING ON THE ROOF WITH A FIRE HOSE SAYING I AM GOING TO PUT THE FIRE OUT. I THINK IT IS A HUGE ISSUE. I ALSO THINK IT WAS A BAD MOVE FOR THE MAYOR TO HAVE THAT PHOTO OP WITH MINIS AND I THINK THIS WAS NOT HANDLED CORRECTLY. IN MY OPINION, THE PUBLIC RELATIONS, TO HAVE THE MAYOR OUT SAYING, WE HAVE THE HIGHEST MURDER RATE EVER IN ALBUQUERQUE, HERE ARE TWO MINIS. 

>>GRANT: GOT YOU. MY FAULT. MY UNDERSTANDING YOU LIVE FAIRLY CLOSE BY ONE OF THEM.   

>>FOLEY: PART OF THE PROBLEM.  

>>SOPHIE MARTIN: ONE IS THE CLOSEST COMMUNITY STORE TO MY HOUSE SO I AM A MEMBER OF THAT NEIGHBORHOOD. AND, YOU KNOW, THAT 7-11 HAS BEEN A PROBLEM FOR MANY YEARS. THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY HAVE PUSHED FOR CHANGES THERE FOR MANY YEARS. FOR MYSELF, I DON’T THINK THIS IS ENOUGH. I WENT IN THE OTHER NIGHT AND I COULD SEE THEY HAD REMOVED MINIS AND PINTS, BUT YOU CAN BUY QUITE A LARGE BOTTLE OF ALCOHOL IN THERE FOR NOT VERY MUCH MONEY. YOU CAN SEE IMPROVEMENTS ARE MADE IN TERMS OF THE CHANGES AGREED TO BUT THERE IS STILL AN ISSUE WITH PANHANDLING OUTSIDE. IT STILL DOES NOT SEEM SAFE AND IT IS QUITE WELL LIT. THANK GOODNESS. SO THIS IS SORT OF AN INCREMENTAL STEP THAT MAYBE DOESN’T GET THE NEIGHBORHOOD ALL THE WAY TO WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO. TO DAN’S POINT ABOUT THE MURDER RATE, THERE HAVE BEEN SHOOTINGS IN AND AROUND THAT 7-11. AND I SAY IN. I AM NOT SURE IT IS ACTUALLY TRUE BUT AROUND THE 7-11, THAT PROPERTY. IT HAS BEEN A MAGNET FOR PROBLEM BEHAVIORS FOR QUITE SOME TIME. AND SO, YOU KNOW, TO THE EXTENT THE COMMUNITY IS SAYING YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING, WELL, SOMETHING WAS DONE. BUT, IT ENCOURAGES ME A LITTLE BIT TO HEAR THE MAYOR’S OFFICE SAYING WE RECOGNIZE THERE MAY NEED TO BE MORE THAT HAPPENS HERE. THIS IS A TRIAL RUN.   

>>GRANT: I APPRECIATED THAT THE MAYOR, MICHAEL, HAD MENTIONED THAT THIS IS A BIT OF AN EXPERIMENT, A MOVING TARGET. I APPRECIATE HE SAID THAT OUT LOUD. IT IS HARD TO DENY 1,127 COMPLAINTS TO THE CITY’S 311 LINE FROM THESE TWO PLACES ALONE. THAT KIND OF BEGS AN ANSWER, SOMETHING HAD TO HAPPEN. STATUS QUO WAS NOT GOING TO SUFFICE HERE.  

>>MICHAEL BARRIO: I THINK HE USED THE PROPER TERMINOLOGY, I THINK IT IS AN EXPERIMENT. THE WAY THAT I SEE IT IS, SOMETHING DOES HAVE TO BE DONE BUT NOT SELLING PINT SIZE AND MINI BOTTLES, I DON’T THINK THAT IS A SOLUTION. BECAUSE ARE WE THEN SAYING THAT WE KNOW FOR A FACT THAT ALCOHOL IS A DIRECT CORRELATION TO ALL THE MANY PROBLEMS THAT ARE OCCURRING IN THESE AREAS? I DON’T THINK THAT WE COULD REALLY MAKE THAT CASE WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE DATA. YOU KNOW, THERE ARE A LOT OF SOCIAL DETERMINATES THAT DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT A COMMUNITY IS GOING TO BASICALLY FACE THESE KIND OF ISSUES, SO I DON’T KNOW THAT SAYING WE ARE NOT GOING TO SELL THESE SIZE LIQUOR BOTTLES TO THESE COMMUNITIES, I DON’T KNOW THAT IS THE ANSWER AND IT SEEMS LIKE IT IS AN INFRINGEMENT –   

>>GRANT: IS THAT NOT JUST PLAIN GOOD GOVERNANCE TO HONE IN ON A PROBLEM AT A GRASS ROOTS LEVEL? 

 >>FOLEY: THAT IS THE PROBLEM.   

>>GRANT: LET ME HERE — BEFORE YOU GET A POINT IN DAN, YOU KNOW, HONESTLY THE POLICE RESPONDED 733 TIMES. RIGHT? THAT MEANS THEY ARE NOT DOING SOMETHING ELSE, TO DAN’S POINT ABOUT BIGGER ISSUES.  

>>MERRITT ALLEN: THIS IS A HUGE OVERREACH. IF THIS IS AN EXPERIMENT, IT IS A DANGEROUS ONE BECAUSE IF YOU CAN DECLARE A LICENSED, PROPERLY ZONED, PROPERLY LICENSED, PROPERLY ZONED BUSINESS A NUISANCE BECAUSE YOU CAN’T KEEP CRIME DOWN AROUND IT, WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DECLARE A NUISANCE PROPERTY? A POLITICAL RIVAL? THEN WE GET INTO EMINENT DOMAIN AND ALL SORTS OF THINGS.   

>>GRANT: DO BARS FALL INTO THAT CRITERIA AS WELL? 

>>ALLEN: POSSIBLY. IT COULD BE ANY TYPE OF AREA WHERE THERE IS ACTIVITY, IT COULD BE AN ADULT CLUB, THAT SORT OF THING. IF THEY ARE ZONED, THEY HAVE A LICENSE, THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE AND I AM SO UPSET JUST AT THE PRECEDENT. WHETHER IT DOES ANY GOOD, I DON’T THINK IT IS GOING TO DO ANY GOOD BUT IT SHOWS ME THAT THE GOVERNMENT, THIS, ADMINISTRATION, IS WILLING TO TAKE EXTREME GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION STEPS WHERE THEY AREN’T WARRANTED AND THAT SHOULD BE ALARMING TO ALL OF US AS CITIZENS.   

>>GRANT: I WANT TO TAKE OFF ON THAT POINT. THE FIX, IS IT EQUIVALENT TO THE PROBLEM? SOPHIE, TO YOU ON THIS, FIRE AND RESCUE HAS RESPONDED 189 TIMES SO MOSTLY FOR FOLKS WHO WERE, QUOTE, DOWN AND OUT. WOULD THEY BE DOWN AND OUT WHETHER THIS 7-11 EXISTED, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?  

>>MARTIN: THAT IS ACTUALLY WHERE I WANTED TO GO. WHEN WE LOOK AT THE ISSUES SURROUNDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE, ALCOHOL ADDICTION, DRUG ADDICTION, THEY DON’T EXIST IN A VACUUM. SO TO JUST SAY, WELL, TO DAN’S POINT, WE ARE GOING TO TAKE THE ALCOHOL OUT OF THIS ONE AREA, DOESN’T, THEN, ADDRESS THE HOST OF OTHER ISSUES LIKE POVERTY.   

>>FOLEY: THE MENTAL HEALTH DISPARITY WE HAVE IN NEW MEXICO AND ESPECIALLY IN ALBUQUERQUE. WHERE I THINK THIS IS FAILED AS AN EXPERIMENT, I AGREE 100% WITH MERRITT ON THE WHOLE OVERREACH STUFF, BUT I THINK THAT THESE FOLKS ARE NOT GETTING OFF WORK AND GOING TO 7-11 AND BUYING A PINT AND HAPPEN TO BE DRINKING TOO MUCH. THEY ARE SELF MEDICATING. IF YOU TAKE THE ALCOHOL AWAY FROM SELF MEDICATING THERE AND DON’T REPLACE THAT WITH AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM TO GET THE HELP THEY NEED, YOU’RE JUST GOING TO CREATE THE PROBLEM THAT EITHER MOVES OR IT IS GOING TO GROW AS A PROBLEM THERE. I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE SEEN THE MAYOR SAY, WE ARE NOT DOING THIS, AND, BY THE WAY, WE ARE DOING THIS TO ADDRESS THE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM THAT CLEARLY IS ONE OF THE ISSUES AT FOOT HERE AND WE ARE NOT — WE ARE ONCE AGAIN IGNORING THE NEED FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN ALBUQUERQUE BY JUST SAYING, HEY, WE ARE GOING TO GET A QUICK POLITICAL SNAPSHOT, NO MORE MINIS, PINTS AND THESE PEOPLE WILL GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.  

>>MARTIN: I DON’T AGREE THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION IS NOT DOING ANYTHING ON MENTAL HEALTH. I THINK THAT YOU CAN’T ISOLATE ONE THING, ONE THING WITHIN A SYSTEM, AND SO THIS IS PART OF WHAT I SEE THE ADMINISTRATION TRYING TO DO BUT I THINK IT IS A THING THAT MAKES THE NEIGHBORHOOD POTENTIALLY FEEL GOOD. IT MAY, AS DAN SAID, PUSH DRINKERS TO OTHER AREAS AND PUSH THEM TO DRINKING MORE. ANECDOTALLY, I KNOW OF SOME PEOPLE WHO, THEY MANAGE THEIR DRINKING BECAUSE IT IS A SMALL BOTTLE AND THEY TIME IT OUT WITH A SMALL BOTTLE AND A BIGGER BOTTLE MIGHT BE MORE DANGEROUS.   

>>GRANT: EXACTLY THE SAME OR APPRECIABLY THE SAME, HOW DOES THE EXPERIMENT LOOK AT THAT POINT?  

>>BARRIO: I THINK IT IS POSSIBLE THAT WE WILL SEE SOME THINGS TURN AROUND BUT I DON’T THINK IT IS BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT ABLE TO PURCHASE THOSE SIZES OF ALCOHOL. ALL THE OTHER SOLUTIONS THAT WERE INCLUDED IN THIS, THOSE FRANKLY SOUND MUCH MORE SUBSTANTIVE THAN — IT FEELS LIKE THE ALCOHOL, THAT WAS TACKED ON BECAUSE IT SOUNDS GOOD.   

>>MARTIN: IT IS MOST INTERESTING.  

>>BARRIO: THE MAYOR SHOWS UP WITH LITTLE BOTTLES AS DAN POINTS OUT. SO, I THINK THAT THERE COULD BE SOME POSITIVE OUTCOMES FROM IT. I MEAN, WHAT DID IT SAY, IT’S CLEAR 90% OF EACH WINDOW POSTERS, INSTALL CAMERAS, SIGNS, NO TRESPASSING SIGNS, TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES.   

>>GRANT: THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE REGULAR COURSE OF BUSINESS.  

>>MARTIN: FRANCHISE OWNERS OF THE CONVENIENCE STORES IN ALBUQUERQUE ARE REBRANDING. THEY ARE TURNING IN DK. IT IS A DIFFERENT MOD LOOKING, NOT QUITE SO RUN DOWN –   

>>GRANT: REST OF THE COUNTRY HAS FLIPPED ON THAT. I HAVE GOT TO RUN ON THIS ONE. WE’RE OUT OF TIME. AFTER THE BREAK, THE SUPER BOWL IS THIS WEEKEND. WE CHECK IN WITH ISLETA PUEBLO ABOUT THEIR DECISION TO ADD A SPORTS BETTING FACILITY TO ITS CASINO.