District 2 Newsletter 6/25/2014
Legislation of Interest
- NOTE: There are no regularly scheduled Council Meetings in July
FUNDING FOR HOMELESS, MENTAL HEALTH, AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT SERVICES:
During the FY15 budget review and approval process in April and May, I successfully advocated for additional funding for increases to social service programs, capital improvements to the City’s emergency shelter, and funding for a task force coordinator for a multi-jurisdictional collaborative effort to identify the most effective and efficient use of $1.5 million in additional funding in the budget for homeless, mental health, and substance abuse treatment services.
I co-sponsored M-14-5 with Councilor Winter, calling for the City, State, and Bernalillo County to form a task force to discuss joint funding and collaboration opportunities and propose recommendations to address mental health issues. I worked with a bipartisan group of elected officials to help create a multijurisdictional mental health/substance abuse/homelessness Task Force that includes a small expert working group and paid staff. The larger task force includes providers, consumers, law enforcement/corrections, the State health insurance exchange, the judiciary, and elected officials. This group is in place and within 3 months will produce an assessment of service gaps and begin to establish a "triage" process and supportive housing that will inherently reduce unsatisfactory encounters with law enforcement.
I co-sponsored R-14-55 with Councilors Peña and Sanchez to pay $30k for a study of the gaps in homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse services; this study will inform the recommendations of the Task Force. Council passed a floor substitute sponsored by Councilor Peña on June 9.
On June 16, Council passed R-14-73 (Benton, Winter) supporting a project with Bernalillo County for the purpose of implementing a housing assistance program for persons with mental illness being released from the Metropolitan Detention Center. We will work with the County to fund a process to address recidivism and provide supportive housing for repeat offenders among the homeless population.
- Projects List thank you for your patience as we continue to update the website with all of your projects!
- Albuquerque BioPark Master Plan: Final public information session to be held June 30.
- Barelas Pedestrian Bridge: Councilor Benton and the Barelas community are celebrating the completion of this project with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, July 16 at 6:00 pm.
- Downtown Walkability Study: Jeff Speck will return to present his downtown walkability study and recommendations July 31, 6:00 PM **please note change in date from previous email**
- Albuquerque Rail Yards Redevelopment: City Council approved the Master Plan and the Development Agreement for the Rail Yards on Monday, June 16. We are looking forward to seeing this plan implemented.
- West Downtown Central Avenue Corridor Plan: Councilor Benton has commissioned a peer review for the City’s team. This will include an analysis of the DMD-proposed configurations at the Central & Rio Grande and the Central & Lomas intersections, as well as analysis of three options for each intersection. There will be a public meeting in August for a presentation of new alternative designs for the intersections of Central/Lomas and Central/Rio Grande.
- Rio Grande & Candelaria Roundabout: The Department of Municipal Development is proceeding with this project based upon recent Council reaffirmation of its support.
- Cultural Assets Mapping for the SE Corridor and Near NE Heights
Upcoming Events & Meetings
- Fusion Theater Company Presents Princess Marisol & the Moon Thieves: June 24-29, 2014
- Open House regarding the Albuquerque BioPark Master Plan: June 30, 9 AM – 5 PM
- Jeff Speck will return to present his downtown walkability study: July 31, 6:00 PM **please note change in date from previous email**
- NM Black Expo Entertainment Event: August 30, 10 AM – 10 PM
- Rail Yards Market: Sundays 9 AM -3 PM through November 2, 2014
- Cultural Services Calendar & 516 Arts Calendar: August 2014
City Councilor, District 2
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