By Dylan R.N. Crabb
Albuquerque City Councilor Diane Gibson organizes a regular event in her district to meet with city residents (posted on the city website). The meet-up this morning was a very cordial one of a couple dozen or so concerned citizens albeit the majority of attendees were senior citizens.
I was not disappointed about who was in attendance but rather about who was not in attendance; only a handful of faces in the crowd looked younger than 40. It baffles me that most individuals from my own generation have no interest in prospecting their local political processes. Although cynicism is understandable, it is not excusable. Regardless of the overwhelming burden of political activism on an individual, it is still necessary to at least attempt to understand the issues happening around you and make an effort to exert your influence (no matter how small it may be) on the people elected/appointed to represent you. Governments do not stop operating simply because you choose to bury your head in the sand. In fact, averting your eyes from government processes will only ease the temptation toward corruption on government officials, a temptation that pulls on every human in a position of power.
The group discussion began with the possibility of a land bank for the City of Albuquerque, basically a method for the city to identify vacant lots and run-down structures to acquire and flip for productivity. There was a majority support for this idea as a main concern throughout the meet-up was blight and property values. I asked Councilor Gibson about this so-called land bank being used to identify vacant lots and dilapidated structures to be transformed into new public parks, she said public parks could be a possibility but the main focus was on acquiring old and vacant homes to flip on the housing market. I also asked Councilor Gibson about how the Council could improve the city buses, she replied that she would like to see a larger fleet of buses to reduce wait times at bus stops. Councilor Gibson joked that she would probably be long dead before we saw more bridges constructed across the Rio Grande so a larger fleet of buses is the next best thing to reduce traffic on the roads; she said that she is a ardent supporter of public transit. The meeting ended with a vibrant discussion on how the city can “go green” regarding his consumption and energy use, it seems to be an issue on a lot of residents’ minds which is hopeful for the future.
It’s Monday so be sure to set a new goal for the new week and try and be a better than person than you were last week. We all have our “bad days” but, if we tackle life just a little bit at a time, we can get through anything.