Culture, History, Art, Reconciliation, and Truth (CHART)
At the January 13, 2021, Governing Body Meeting the Substitute CHART resolution was unanimously approved. In support of the process, the entire Governing Body signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution.
The evolution of this resolution from its inception to its final form exemplifies democracy in action. The original proposal was for the formation of a committee that would deliberate and make recommendations for the disposition of monuments and statues that became controversial flashpoints last summer. Upon further research and reflection, the sponsors-Mayor Alan Webber, Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth, Councilor Roman “Tiger” Abeyta, and Councilor Chris Rivera--decided that far better outcomes would be achieved through a grassroots process that invites and facilitates community-member-to-community-member dialogue.
“We’ve been working on a way forward for months, with committee meetings and public input, and feel very positive about where we’ve arrived,” says Mayor Webber. “It takes courage to talk about hard subjects, but Santa Fe is up to the challenge.”
The goal of the CHART process is to foster mutual understanding of shared values among individuals and groups with diverse backgrounds, not simply to decide about monuments and statues. Ultimately, citizens who have participated in the process will recommend forward-looking solutions to historic problems to the Governing Body. This is the beginning of an ongoing effort to learn and understand our complex histories and stories, and to promote truth, healing, and reconciliation for a future of peace and justice.
This revised approach is informed by the community-engagement process recently used in Albuquerque to solicit broad community input regarding their race and healing project. It offers a variety of ways for people to have their views known, including a survey, one-on-one interviews, and participation in a series of roundtable meetings. The process will require patience—for now, it is projected to last all year—but the reward will be an outcome that’s the result of grassroots democracy and reflective of the community as a whole.
Under the resolution, the City will contract with a coordinator experienced in cultural competency and community-centered processes. The City will then facilitate the convening of dialogue sessions by members of organizations and unaffiliated community members. These sessions will be designed to promote broad cross-cultural understanding and racial equity, and to inform decisions for statues and monuments as well as short-, medium-, and long-term responses to ensure community healing and reconciliation.
The budget for the CHART is approximately $265,000.
The meetings are available for viewing on YouTube: youtube.com/user/cityofsantafe .
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Watch CHART Discussion from 1/13/221 Governing Body Meeting