Perhaps the most inspiring 2 days of the trip has been in Austin. Many lessons for how to truly engage and support formerly chronically homeless folks. Also a call to action at the City Council Wednesday. Call, email, attend.
Today’s post includes a detailed summary of our visit to the Austin Community First! Village, which to us represents the manifestation of what can be done when a community expands its vision and makes equity the priority in decisions about how to use key resources. Coincidentally, the City of Santa Fe is at a decision point as to whether it wants to slow its SFUAD process and incorporate the perspective of folks who have been omitted from the process to date. Read on. FYI–Today we leave San Antonio and will arrive in Las Cruces, NM tonight!
Expand Outreach & Input on Santa Fe University of Art & Design. City Council Decision Time. Wed.Aug 8, 5:30pm. City Hall. 200 Johnson St. Councilor Villarreal introduced amendments to the SFUAD process to expand outreach and input from communities that were not consulted in the process to date. If we are to be a truly unified community, we need to do more than hear from the same folks who attend all the meetings. We create an echo chamber of consensus that omits over half of our community. Please, even if you can’t make the meeting, contact information for your City Councilor and your Mayor are at the bottom of today’s post.
Read the amendments HERE Read the Santa Fe New Mexican article HERE For more information on the meeting and the issues at stake, click here for a blog from last week.
Dark Money, CCA, 6pm Thursday, Aug 9. Please join Ethics Watch for a sneak preview of the movie, Dark Money, at the CCA at 6 pm this Thursday, August 9, and for the following reception and short talk with Ann Ravel. We think you will enjoy the movie and talk by Ann Ravel, who is in the film, and I think you will be interested to learn more about New Mexico Ethics Watch, given your commitment to getting money out of politics. Tickets are available from https://ticketing.us.veezi.com/purchase/2297?siteToken=dwadj82g7zwrbd9zzytyah11j0.
Austin Community First! Village: An Inspiring Example of How Five People Can Make a Difference…And NOT a Small Difference
- An innovative mix of affordable housing options
- Memorial garden, columbarium and prayer labyrinth
- Places for worship, study and fellowship
- Medical facility for health screenings, and other support services including hospice and respite care
- Walking trails
- Community gardens
- Outdoor movie theater
- Community market
- Bed & breakfast for overnight visits where Roxanne and I stayed last weekend
- Capital Metro bus stop
The community garden, Genesis Gardens is far more than just a garden. It allows neighbors from all over Austin to come together to roll up their sleeves and engage with Community First! residents, practice hospitality, recall what it means to put down roots, and share the abundance of the garden’s yields. The produce from the garden is washed, bunched, canned, pickled, preserved or cooked and provided to neighbors throughout the Village — giving them direct and free access to the best vegetables on Earth! The farm at Community First! Village features:
- More than 3 acres of organic vegetable production
- Hundreds of fruit and nut-bearing trees
- Dairy goats, chickens, rabbits, donkeys and honeybees
- Geodome and aquaponics system
The Community Art House provides a means through which our highly creative artists at Community First! produce and sell some of the best works of art in Austin. The art program provides a safe and supportive environment that fosters healing and creative expression for our formerly homeless friends. Mobile Loaves & Fishes partners with our Community First! artists to assist with the promotion and sale of their artwork, supporting their efforts to earn a dignified income through the beautiful use of their long suppressed talents.
The map below is of CommunityFirst! This site is roughly 1/3 the size of the Santa Fe University Art & Design. Kinda makes the mind swirl with the possibilities. To be clear, we are not saying that this, or any model from another community can or should be exported wholesale to Santa Fe, but a development such as the Village should inform our thinking and open our minds to what is possible–a good reason to slow the process and open the process to new ideas that may be more responsive to the needs of underserved and under-heard communities. So please plan to come to the Wednesday night City Council meeting and raise your voice in support of Councilor Villarreal’s amendment to create an aggressive outreach process to obtain input from communities and populations who were not part of the SFUAD process to date. To read more, click here and you can take a visual tour of this remarkable community initiative.
Contact Information. Even if you can’t make the meeting on Wednesday, calls and emails will have an impact.
Below is contact information on all the City Council members and our Mayor.
Mayor Alan Webber: (505) 955-6590. firstname.lastname@example.org
- District 1.
- Renee Villarreal, (505) 955-2345, email@example.com
- Signe I. Lindell, (505) 955-6812, firstname.lastname@example.org
- District 2.
- Carol Romero-Wirth, (505) 955-6815. email@example.com
- Peter Ives, District 2 Councilor, (505) 955-6816, firstname.lastname@example.org
- District 3
- Roman “Tiger” Abeyta, (505) 955-6814 email@example.com
- Chris Rivera, (505) 955-6818, firstname.lastname@example.org
- District 4
- JoAnne Vigil Coppler, (505) 955-6811 email@example.com
- Micheal Harris, (505) 955-6817, firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at City Council and pack the room in support of these amendments and for equitable planning in Santa Fe!
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 8 5:30 PM8,C ity Hall, 200 Lincoln Ave8, Santa Fe, NM
Categories: Economic Justice, Community & Economic Development, Local-State Government & Legislation, Social & Racial Justice & Immigration Reform
Gah! They don’t understand why a big segment of the population does not engage. Of course they would not, they do not understand how their condescending, fact resistant attitudes would deter people from engaging. When these groups engaged in the past, they were ignored, belittled and endangered. It is much safer to keep their heads down, and avoid unwanted attention. We have 2 realities here in Santa Fe, the Mayor and City Council are still in the reality where things work as designed. They remain insulated, and clueless.
In general people know when they are being patronized, condescended to, or have to override a conflicting false narrative. It is like communicating with Pod People. That lot tend to regurgitate things they heard repeated in some Neo Liberal, religious, or local paper, narrative of the plight of the disenfranchised. In order to communicate with them, there would have to be a shared objective reality. There is none.
Here we go with the Tiny Houses again. This exemplifies the problem. Of course Tiny Houses are better than sleeping on the street, but they are not really a “Solution.” None of our City Counselors or our Mayor have set foot in a Public Housing Project. They are incapable of understanding those dynamics. None of them have an inkling of how these projects started out, and how they have diverged from the original intentional design.
Many of the “Disenfranchised” are proud people. They worked hard all of their lives and due to the Neo- Liberal world order have nothing to show for it. They might be the Grandparents who bailed out their grandchildren a few too many times. The For profit Courts took full advantage of family ties There are families that lost everything because of a sick family member. The system took full advantage there too, using up their insurance and Medicare, which barely covers the medical care. Some of these people invested in Education for their children, who have left the state. Now they can barely maintain their homes, do without heat in the Winter, and would never lower themselves to beg for charity.
The lower income folks are taught to blame themselves, and many do not identify with the “Poor.’ People one paycheck away from destitution, tend to identify with the overlords. The minimum wage employee, that told me the reason he could only get 30 hours a week, was because the “minimum wage went up” The guy, is a single parent, supporting a child on minimum wage, but he was more concerned about his employers bottom line. There is no alternative media here, and the news they are exposed to, runs a constant false narrative blaming the poor. It is so pervasive people don’t notice.
When they do cover the statistics there is always a qualifier, or a counter narrative. Local News also deliberately misrepresents the “Services” available. They make it sound as if poverty is a choice, after all the community is so generous, giving away “Free Stuff.” Every day there is a fund raiser, charity event and they are really hyped in the local papers. All of this publicity is meant to offset the fact that the profiteers don’t pay any Taxes. The highly publicized “Give Back” corporate advertising is working. They can pay for advertising ties ins that are a tiny percentage of what they would have paid in taxes. They get a local “journalist” to place a wonderful articles, that serves as Misinformation and cheap advertising. Then everyone can get lulled into complacency again.
The Tiny House concept will be another well meaning but essentially humiliating situation. It will look good from the outside as intended. Around here there is no reason to provide free anything if the subjects are not humiliated or constantly reminded of their place in the system. It helps too if the subjects are open to religious conversion, proselytizing, and faith based nonsense. It does not look like it will be a step out of poverty. It will simply be warehousing some poor people, while the do gooders put it on their resumes or post selfies to social media.