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District 2 Newsletter 9/18/15

Hello Neighbors,

Election Day is coming and early voting has started! The Municipal Election on Tuesday, October 6 includes:

- General Obligation Bond questions for funding for capital projects;
- A charter amendment to change the number of signatures required for direct legislation by voter initiative and require that such initiatives be submitted to voters only at general elections or regular municipal elections;
- A charter amendment proposing that only a title and summary be required on ballots for future charter amendments;
- A charter amendment requiring the advice and consent of the Council for the appointment of the Police and Fire Chiefs;
- An ordinance adopting a municipal 1/8 cent gross receipts tax for capital improvements to the BioPark.

Check the City Clerk’s webpage for voting locations and sample ballots.

Legislation of Interest
• Decriminalization of Marijuana R-15-243 and O-15-60 (Garduño, Benton) will be heard at the Council meeting on Monday, September 21. These bills establish a policy of low priority for enforcement of laws criminalizing possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, remove marijuana and related offenses from the City’s criminal code, and create civil penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia. According to a 2013 poll performed by Research & Polling, Inc., approximately 57% of New Mexico voters favor reducing the penalty for adult possession of marijuana for personal use from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil penalty with small fines and no jail time. Additionally, an advisory question placed on the 2014 general election ballot in Bernalillo County regarding marijuana decriminalization was supported by 60% of City residents, 74% of District 2 residents, and a majority in all nine Council districts. I do not believe criminal enforcement of marijuana offences to be a good use of scarce law enforcement resources.

Upcoming Events & Meetings
• Cultural Services Events: September 2015
• 2015 ABQ CiQlovía: September 20, 10am – 3pm
• ABC-Z Project: Comprehensive Plan Vision Open Houses September 21 and 22
• MiABQ Mixer: September 24, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
• NM Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society Open House: September 26, 9am – 4pm
• Rainwater Harvesting Class (Querencia Green): October 3, 11am – 12:30pm
• Pop Up Playground in the Sawmill neighborhood: October 24, 10am – 3pm
• Rail Yards Market Sundays 10am – 2pm May through October
• WHEELS Museum at the Rail Yards, open Sundays 10am – 2 pm

Project Updates
• Projects List
• 12th & Menaul: The early stages of the Indian Pueblo Development Corporation (IPDC) are underway. The City’s design team continues to work with IPDC and other stakeholders to complete the design of the City’s street project.
• Edith Transfer Station Project: This project has been submitted to the Environmental Planning Commission. The EPC hearing is scheduled for October 8, 2015, beginning at 8:30 am. The staff planner is Vicente Quevedo [email protected]
• Gabaldon/Leopoldo Street Improvements: Submit comments on the three alternatives by Friday, September 25.
• North 4th Street / Candelaria to Menaul: This project is being designed. More information to come!
• Rio Grande Blvd / I-40 to Central: Check out the new webpage!
• Rio Grande & Candelaria Roundabout: Due to delays in the federal right-of-way process, the bid for construction on the Rio Grande Boulevard and Candelaria Road roundabout is expected to go out in January 2016 with construction beginning in spring 2016.
• Santa Barbara Martineztown Pedestrian Improvements: More details to come!

Community Announcements
• Municipal Election Tuesday, October 6. Early voting has started!
• Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART): The City has applied for the federal Small Starts grant, which would fund approximately $80 million of the estimated $100 million project. Stay informed and involved!
• Boards and Commissions Vacancies

Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2

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