Action Group Urges City Council to Put Equity First

There was an elephant – at least a person dressed in an elephant suit – sitting in the front row at Wednesday’s Santa Fe City Council meeting.

He was there to remind the council of the elephant in the room – which a group of speakers describe as inequity in Santa Fe.

“We want to make sure that, as the budget conversations proceed, if and when cuts to services happen that you take into consideration equity, that you take into consideration the needs of the people who actually need these services the most,” Tomas Rivera, director of Chainbreaker Collective, a member-based nonprofit group that advocates for economic justice and environmental issues, told the City Council just as it was about to deliberate the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

He and others from the group thanked the council for looking for new sources of revenue, rather than just looking to cut services, to help close what city officials describe as a $12 million to $15 million budget gap in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

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