Councilor Isaac Benton’s district was annihilated after February’s redistricting. The region he represents includes the University area, Downtown and Barelas. With the new plan, those will be split up and tacked onto other districts, while the Westside gains a Council seat.
The vote for this plan happened, as usual, along party lines. Democrat councilors oppose it, saying minority representation in the city will be diluted.
There was both finger-pointing and back-patting at the Monday, Aug. 16 City Council meeting.
During the often-colorful public comment section, a Catholic priest challenged Councilor Rey Garduño to explain why he spoke at an abortion rights rally [ “Protesters Stand Against Anti-Abortion Group,” Aug. 5-11, 2010]. Garduño declined to be engaged by the mad-dogging man of the cloth. The priest said Albuquerque was becoming “the abortion capital of the nation.” This comment and another about former state Sen. Manny Aragon being “the most successful state senator in New Mexico history” made for a couple of lively moments in an otherwise lackluster meeting.