On Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 1:20 PM, Becki Graham <[email protected]> wrote:Hide original message
Good Afternoon, Sir –
Thanks for your thoughts on my less-than-a-letter (more just copy/paste jobs from a few separate emails); thanks, Juan, for sharing with your membership.
Whether or not Council has the power to override Federal rulings is definitely something I’ll leave up to the lawyers, but I have seen the effects of some of those wranglings. I’ll share here, for example, a story from August 2018 (before my Council term, of course), regarding communication the City then received from the ACLU of New Mexico on the anti-panhandling ordinance then in place:
The ordinance was modified later that year in response to the situation. See, for example, for a longer-term timeline:
As you pointed out, the City and/or Council can attempt to push back in some circumstances. In fact, Albuquerque did so when they received the same letter from ACLU of NM in 2018. The court case wrapped up the next year, with the ACLU prevailing. See, for example:
I’m not sure how much budget was put into financing the lawsuit, but it’s certainly worth considering. While I’m sure you’re correct that some members of the community would be in favor of such an action, even if it was almost certain to fail in court, there are so many factors I, as a Councilor, have to consider (financial stewardship included).
At the end of the day, the Constitution protects all, even those of whom some don’t approve. They, too, are “the people.” I shared the additional context with Juan for two reasons: one was to simply to provide more information I found after looking into the specific suggestions referenced. I also think it illustrates one of the pitfalls of seemingly simple or “common sense” solutions – there are typically far more moving parts than might appear on the surface.
Becki Graham, PhD
City Councilor, District 3
Direct: (575) 386-7541
Ms Graham, as a member of CCIA that has upon occasion taken the council to task on various issues, your letter regarding your research into the homeless problems in Lubbock is appreciated. It did not really try to propose any solutions; it did highlight some items worth further discussion. For example the 9th circuit ruling regarding the right of individuals to be on public property you referenced is perhaps applicable in some situations but I would suspect that local ordinances and regulations can be enacted and/or enforced to prevent public vagrancy that don’t violate anyone’s rights or personal autonomy.
It appears that the city leadership ( council, administration and judiciary) is afraid to take a stand against what they consider the various powers that be rather than defend the rights of the majority of Las Cruces’ population. You know as well as I that the progressive left would rather defend the ‘poor ,the downtrodden,the hungry’ than put on the appearance of favoring the middle class that is the backbone of our nation. The ideologues in power in our national and state governments today are hard to deal with from the level of a common citizen. They cry ‘democracy’ when they want to support underprivileged or perhaps underachieving groups yet when groups of citizens that actually are functioning productively in society speak up we are called domestic terrorists. We (the people) need your support as our city council to be willing to look at solutions that may not be favorably viewed by courts or party leadership. If ,for example, the city council voted to provide a tent city for the homeless in an area that is removed from the business areas that are being victimized now you might well get a court challenge but your constituents would stand behind you all the way. We want to work with the council rather than against you.
Thanks for your letter.
Sincerely Jody Kincaid DVM ND