HELP: LC Guaranteed Basic Income/Cannabis Near School/C19 Relief Funds

Team – In partnership with Sarah, I am sharing one of her calls to action in the areas where we are working together…

This effort falls under the Crime and Local Politics AC- Zeke Rodriguez

Dear Las Crucens,
Here are a few important items on next week’s Sept 6 City Council meeting agenda that may be of interest to you:Allowing a variance for a Cannabis pharmacy to operate closer than 300 feet from a nearby schoolApproving projects for COVID19 Relief Funds, to include Guaranteed Basic Incomepaying property damages and rents to landlords housing homeless, and moreNoise Ordinance which will make it illegal to drive a vehicle loudly, punishable by up to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jailMore info about all of these is below.

If you have concerns about any of these items, please TAKE ACTION by contacting the City Council and/or attending the September 6 meeting to give public comment. ???

MAKE SURE TO SEND INDIVIDUAL EMAILS RATHER THAN ONE EMAIL TO ALL COUNCIL MEMBERS. Otherwise, they will be unlikely to respond to you, as responses to emails sent to all Council members are being considered violations of the Open Meetings Act.  1. EMAIL/CALL the Mayor and City Council
 • Mayor – Ken Miyagishima – [email protected] – (575)-541-2067• District 1 – Kasandra Gandara – [email protected] – (575)-541-2066• District 2 – Tessa Abeyta – [email protected] – (575) 541-2068• District 3 – Becki Graham – [email protected] – (575)-541-2070• District 4 – Johana Bencomo – [email protected] – (575) 541-2071• District 5 – Becky Corran – [email protected] – (575)-541-2076• District 6 – Yvonne Flores – [email protected] – (575)-541-2069• City Clerk – Christine Rivera – [email protected] – (575) 541-2115

City Council will be voting on whether to allow a variance of the requirement that cannabis dispensaries be 300-ft away from schools, specifically related to New America School and Mesilla Valley Pharmacy (both in the downtown mall). 

The school has expressed concern over the potential for cannabis to be dispensed so close to the school and it looks like the Planning and Zoning commission already denied the permit for the pharmacy to dispense cannabis. Nonetheless, the pharmacy is Appealing this decision and that is what will be voted on at the City Council meeting.

You can download the full resolution here: ???
Resolution No. 23-028 – Pdf
One of the main things that the City promised when it legalized marijuana was that marijuana would not be dispensed close to schools. I, personally, am frustrated that they are already considering going back on this promise, and concerned for the kids at the nearby school.

City Council will be voting on projects to fund with COVID Relief Funds. Here is a summary of the funding breakdown, with my notes in RED.
The full resolution is 820 pages (!!!) and you can download it here: ???
Resolution No. 23-027 – Pdf

Here is more information about a couple of the projects they are considering funding:
 HOUSING RELIEF MITIGATION FUNDSThe Housing Relief Mitigation Funds going to the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope are largely to cover expenses related to helping landlords stay willing to rent to people with unfavorable qualifications and/or rental histories.  This is specifically related to housing for the homeless. 

The usage of the funds would include paying for property damages incurred in the rental properties as well as paying the rent itself. The funding breakdown shows that $250,000 will be used to cover client “rent, mortgage, utilities, deposit”. I do not know whether there are any limitations being applied in order for people to qualify for this assistance (such as substance abuse history, current status, prior history damaging rentals properties, etc.). I am trying to find out more.

I, personally, am very concerned about whether this project may actually enable people to continue their self-destructive lifestyles instead of helping them turn their lives around and become responsible members of our community.

GUARANTEED BASIC INCOMEThis project would provide $500 monthly to 150 families for 18 months. Additionally, the project would pay out $450 each to families who participated in the data collection.

This project raises some big flags for me, personally.  These families will likely become dependent on the monthly funds, and then the seemingly-inevitable next step is that there will need to be more and more funds devoted to this. Yet, where would those funds for continuance come from?  This seems like a slippery slope that will not be helping these families in the long-run.

 LAS CRUCES NOISE ORDINANCEThe City Council will be voting on repealing and replacing the existing noise ordinance. You can download the new Ordinance here:???Ordinance No. 3010 – Pdf Violations of the noise ordinance are petty misdemeanors, subject to a fine of $100-$500 and up to 90 days in jail. The new ordinance includes this new section:Motor-Driven Vehicle Noise Limits
No person shall start, drive, turn or stop any motor vehicle, or accelerate the vehicle engine while the vehicle is stationary, in a manner which causes any loud and unnecessary noise in or from the engine, exhaust system or the braking system, or from the contact of the tires with the roadway.

Such regulations shall include maximum permissible noise limits measured in decibels: [there is a chart showing 80 decibels for cars, 90 decibels for motorcycles, 96 decibels for UTVs, etc]

I, personally, am very concerned about this ordinance being an infringement on people’s rights (even though I think noisy vehicles are annoying), the allowable punishment of fines up to $500 and up to 90 days in jail, the fact that this ordinance is not easily enforceable, and that our police have much more important matters to be dealing with than noisy driving. (We already have ordinances against careless driving and reckless driving.) 
We have to be involved if we want to turn things around.  If you are concerned about any of these items, please take action now.

Standing with you in solidarity,
Sarah Smith


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