Sunday, December 05, 2004

Councilor Urges Investment in Coalition Area

In an editorial on page B3 of the December 5, 2004 edition of the Albuquerque Journal, Councilor Martin Heinrich explains why he proposed an amendment to move one mill of the City's property tax levy from the general fund (where, according to Councilor Heinrich, it had been moved as a temporary measure from the capital outlay program two years ago in response to a severe budget crisis, but where it was never intended to remain permanently) back into the capital improvement program.

In the opening paragraph of his op-ed piece, Councilor Heinrich expresses a vision that is shared by our Coalition: "Imagine an Albuquerque where the sidewalks are safer for kids riding bikes. Imagine sidewalks in older parts of town on which you can actually walk your dog without tripping. Imagine high quality streetscape improvements that encourage strolling and interaction outside of the vehicle. Imagine the success of Downtown revitalization mimicked....on Fourth Street NW." (Emphasis added).

Our community recenty articulated just such a vision for our part of Fourth Street (you can download and view an Adobe version of our Coalition's Community Visioning Report by going to http://www.cabq.gov/council/communityvisioningreport.html and clicking on the "Community Visioning Report [pdf]" link). Our Area is long overdue for precisely the kinds of "high quality" investments that Councilor Heinrich describes - the kinds of investments that are identified in the Coalition's Community Visioning Report. The City's currently planned "improvements" at the intersection of 4th Street & Montaño fall far short of the comprehensive infrastructure improvements that will be necessary to realize our community's Vision.

The Coalition's goal is to make this historically and culturally rich area a "jewel" within the heart of Albquequerque: an area of thriving economic activity that all Albuquequeans may enjoy and that supports the City's claim of being a "world class city." To achieve world class status requires political will and capital improvements. We call on the Mayor and the City Council to deliver both. We deserve no less.

You may read the full text of Councilor Heinrich's op-ed piece at http://www.abqjournal.com/opinion/guest_columns/267190opinion12-05-04.htm.