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Letter to District 3 Constituents from City Councilor Klarissa Peña

Includes links to updates and resources.

Dear District 3 Constituents,

I am reaching out to you during these uncertain times our community is facing regarding the COVID-19 virus. My office highly values the health and safety of our friends and families throughout the South Valley, SW Mesa, West Central, and West Mesa.

I fully support our Governor and Mayor’s Stay-At-Home instruction policies and encourage you to practice social distancing. While we honor the courage and bravery of essential employees who are out delivering critical services to our community and keeping our city running, we hope all non-essential employees are working from home during this time. We have seen an exponential increase in infections in Bernalillo County and New Mexico in recent days. Other cities like Los Angeles and New York City are experiencing a critical mass of COVID-19 numbers that have made it difficult for their local governments to maintain, but Albuquerque and New Mexico has the chance to “flatten the curve” of positive cases if we follow our local and state officials’ instructions. Small, but critical steps such as social distancing, staying at home, and frequently washing your hands are absolutely essential to saving lives during these times.

I encourage you to call your neighbors and loved ones while finding safe and hygienic ways to support local businesses. To support you and your families during this time, our staff are following state protocols, closely monitoring health department/CDC guidelines, working with City & State leaders, participating in safety training, and will continue to update you as we know more on my website and/or on social media.

The City of Albuquerque website has information related to COVID-19, including everything from hotline phone numbers to the status of city services and can be found using the following links;

For COVID-19 Health Information: https://www.cabq.gov/environmentalhealth/news/city-of-albuquerque-coronavirus-faqs

For the latest updates on City Services: https://www.cabq.gov/coronavirus-information/coronavirus-impacts-on-city-services

For the latest resources for your family and community: https://www.cabq.gov/coronavirus-information/community-resources-during-covid

I also understand that much of the business community in Albuquerque, and particularly in my district, is made up of long-standing, family-owned ma-and-pa shops who need financial support now, not later. For that reason, I am working closely with the West Central Community Development Group, Albuquerque Public Schools, the Albuquerque Police Department, and other key community organizations and agencies to bring our businesses resources as soon as possible.

Business owners such as yourselves can play a key role in controlling the spread of the virus in your neighborhoods by encouraging households to stay calm and communicating with employees and customers about what you are doing to ensure products and services are being delivered in a well-thought out and hygienic manner. Per Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s new Stay-At-Home Instruction, I ask you to please follow the State’s new business policies to keep your neighbors safe (please refer to the Governor’s website and/or the New Mexico Department of Health’s website for more information). I appreciate your continued dedication to your customers and residents living within our district.

The City has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for business owners, entrepreneurs, and self-employers who find themselves in this difficult situation at this time: https://www.cabq.gov/coronavirus-information/business-organization-resources

If you are looking for more immediate resources or are interested in volunteering your time to support others, the Rio Grande Food Project is in need of volunteers to help distribute boxes Monday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Legacy Church's parking lot. The first distribution is planned for this Monday, March 30, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Legacy Church is located at 6900 Los Volcanes NW.

In another effort to get more resources out into the community in a timely fashion, the West Central Community Development Group (WCCDG) and APD’s Problem Response Team have teamed up to purchase and assemble care packages for Southwest Mesa/West Central families and households. These care packages are intended to specifically support the elderly, disabled, and homebound residents. Let’s use this as an opportunity to show the most vulnerable members of our community that we care about and value them. If you would like to make a donation and/or volunteer, please contact the Executive Director of West Central Community Development Group Luis Hernandez Jr. at [email protected].

My office is always available via telephone and email to address your concerns. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]. You may also contact my policy analyst, Nancy Montano, at 505-259-0236 or email her at [email protected].

Wishing you and your family's good health and safety during this time,

City Councilor Klarissa Peña

District 3

[email protected]