Concerns About Legislative Priorities

Dear City Councilors and Mayor,

In looking at your agenda for next week, I was glad to see that you are planning to ask for funds for expanding behavioral health services in southern NM. Thank you!Hopefully this will help with the increased drug and crime problems we are seeing.
One thing I was surprised to see was that there was no item requesting that the legislature pass Bills to help with the crime situation. This seems like an urgent need for our community as well as others such as Albuquerque.  In last year’s legislative session, there were several Bills proposed that were aimed at reducing crime, yet they all failed.  Will you please consider asking the legislature to help with this issue?
Also, I continue to be concerned about the huge amount of funding going towards Housing First initiatives in Las Cruces, such as the $7 Million line item for Community of Hope. We have already seen with Desert Hope that Housing First has many problems and doesn’t meet the needs of the homeless who are trying to actually reform their lives and change their life paths. Are you planning to invest in any other options, such as the Work First model being used successfully at Boulder Bridge House? After approximately one year, trainees graduate to mainstream jobs and permanent housing, and that program has an average success rate of 74%.
PS  I know this is the last meeting for Councilor Abeyta, Mayor Pro Tem Gandara, and Mayor Miyagishima. Even though we do not agree on everything, I appreciate the time and effort you have devoted to serving our community.
I look forward to hearing back from you,

Sarah SmithLas Cruces, NMFree People of the Southwest (local)
New Mexico Freedoms Alliance (statewide)


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