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District 2 Newsletter 6/25/2014

Hello Neighbors,

Legislation of Interest

  • NOTE: There are no regularly scheduled Council Meetings  in July


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.

Project Updates

  • 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


Best regards,
Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2

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