Alibi V.28 No.42 • Oct 17-23, 2019 

Election News

Time to Vote!

Municipal Election Is a Beginning

I voted
Courtesy NM Political Report

Dear citizens: Is the gnawing of nothingness raising itself from mere background noise—a former specter as it were—to the point where it may indeed obscure Kid A as the soundtrack to your post-20th century existence? If so, please take note.

Early voting for Albuquerque’s 2019 municipal election begins on Saturday, Oct. 19, providing an opportunity to inject some cultural meaning into you life. Citizens have the power to make decisions regarding local, state and regional governance; here’s your chance to participate.

This time around, that’s critical. If you don’t vote, the machine called democracy ceases working—and the elephants and their orange captain will prevail. He’ll survive impeachment, then, and it will get hotter; no one will do anything about it. In that timeline, the Earth itself spins out of control and toward the Sun.

But not if you commit to voting in each election—municipal, primary and national—that’s headed your way in this timeline. We believe that committing to progressive democracy through active participation is our best chance as a culture, as a nation, to move beyond the age of Trump.

Voting in the municipal election is a meaningful move. It affirms your rights as a citizen and gives you the power—along with regular attendance at meetings and knowledge of current civic discourse—to shape public policy and the city’s direction.

Of course the next step after that is maintaining a Democratic Congressional delegation. That prospect is generally considered good; after a few more interviews, we may endorse a candidate for the hotly contested District 3 race.

In the meantime, here are the folks we reckon you ought to vote for this time around.

City Council District 2

In ancient Rome—for praetors and proconsuls anyway—you were out after one term, even though that term sometimes lasted a lifetime. But it’s also true that term limits breed ambition; many a local politician has looked to the lay of the land in the aftermath of battle in order to tell their future course.

It’s also fine when longtime incumbents truly take root and continue to flourish, producing effectively forward-looking, thoughtful legislation—while having a sort of common touch with the civic community in all its variations that strongly implies continued progress and circumspection—season after season. That pretty much describes how we feel about longtime City Councilor Isaac Benton.

Weekly Alibi endorses Isaac Benton in the District 2 City Council Election.

City Council District 4

Here’s a district in the Northeast Heights that’s been conservatively—in line with the doctrines of former power wielders Richard Berry, Susana Martinez and Jay McCleskey—served by Brad Winter, a former APS administrator and Martinez political appointee. Winter did not seek re-election.

In Ane Romero—a gifted young Democrat with vision and moxie who currently serves in the Lujan Grisham administration and has a stellar background in both governance and community health issues—this district has a chance to throw off the chains of dysfunction inherited from those now-discredited Republican politicians.

Don’t let them fool you, either; McCleskey has helped pay for media material for Romero’s opponent, a publically financed former PTA president who has changed her party affiliation five times in the past few years.

Clearly voter turnout is a very important factor in this race, and Ane Romero is our choice to move the district forward.

City Council District 6

Two Words: Pat Davis.

During his first term as a member of the Albuquerque City Council, Pat Davis distinguished himself as a true leader, displaying wisdom and sometimes choosing outrage while authentically embracing a role as a humble, cardigan-clad man of the people.

Davis has been responsible for a vast revisioning of the International District, a project that was begun by his predecessors but one that he has grown into a successful model for revitalizing the city’s urban areas.

Davis’ opponent, Gina Naomi Dennis, is running a “people-powered campaign” and although her campaign, like Davis’, is publicly financed, her platform consists mostly of an attack on the work—or perceived lack of work—of the incumbent while being spare on details about her own proposed solutions. Davis, it must be noted, hasn’t hit back—a sign of maturity and political prowess.

City Council District 8

The incumbent in this race is Trudy Jones, another nonpartisan wannabe who caucuses with the Republicans, at least in an informal but genuinely realpolitik sense. She and McCleskey henchman Brad Winter are behind the latest City Council call for the re-institution of the notoriously civil rights-defying “party patrol.” Mayor Keller and APD Chief Mike Geier aren’t on the same page, supporting intensive social services over the sort of police presence that made the nightly news for all the wrong reasons during the previous administrations.

Jones’ opponent is the well-spoken Maurreen Skowran, a USMC veteran with community-minded ideas. Skowran is an advocate for evidence-based solutions to problems and her scientific outlook would be a breath of fresh air on the Council. Skownran would like to work on taking a public health approach to violence and lawlessness, developing affordable housing programs and consolidating homeless services in the Duke City.

Maurreen Skowran is Weekly Alibi’s choice for District 8 City Council.

CNM District 6

Our editorial board has taken some time tracing the social media presences of the two candidates in the only contested seat on the Central New Mexico Community College Governing Board.

We didn’t discover much about the challenger Layne McAdoo; we know that she was a sociology professor at CNM and that she currently works for Sandoval County. She hasn’t responded to our emails.

Virginia Trujillo’s mark, meanwhile, is much more visible. A tireless and outspoken advocate for our state’s children and their education as well as a good old-fashioned champion of the trades and of organized labor—who has an informed opinion about everything—Trujillo is a cultural treasure with much wisdom and influence, whose continued work on the Governing Board is essential in our opinion; if you are eligible to vote in this important but sometimes overlooked contest, vote for Trujillo.