News & Announcements
A substitute resolution for the Culture, History, Arts, Reconciliation and Truth committee (CHART) is on the agenda for presentation at tomorrow evening’s meeting of the Governing Body. The resolution is sponsored by Mayor Webber and Councilors Romero-Wirth, Rivera, and Abeyta.
The substitute resolution eliminates for now the idea of an appointed commission, and instead calls for a widespread, inclusive, and democratic process for community-based engagement. The focus is not on an oversight body, but on as much participation from the people of Santa Fe as possible. It takes a different approach to increase inclusivity and community participation, while understanding this is a call to action to discuss the City’s cultural histories and current viewpoints to seek solutions for a future of peace, justice, healing, and reconciliation. This substitute resolution focuses on creating a process for community engagement to encourage all people to speak, to be heard, and to listen.
The new approach is modeled on the community engagement process recently used in Albuquerque to get community input regarding their race and healing project. It provides for a variety of ways for people to participate and have their views known, including a questionnaire, one-on-one interviews, and participation in a series of three roundtable meetings where people can express their points of view, listen to, and learn from each other.
“The focus of CHART needs to be our community members participating, being heard, and sharing their stories and experiences. Community healing and moving forward is our goal. It is about understanding each other, and this resolution allows for that opportunity,” said Councilor Abeyta.
“This resolution allows the focus to be on giving our residents the opportunity to be heard, to feel heard, and to heal,” said Councilor Romero-Wirth.
Councilor Rivera echoed the desires for community healing, while emphasizing, “We need to start the process, we need to provide an opportunity and platform for all residents to participate, not just group leaders and organization representatives, but members of groups, grandmothers, cousins, and friends.” He continued, “We need to listen to what people want and find a way forward. I also want to acknowledge and thank the many individuals that have reached out to this point, and shared comments, feedback, and feelings.”
Under the resolution the City will contract with a facilitation coordinator with experience in cultural competency and community-centered processes. The City will facilitate the convening of community dialogue sessions by organizations and, as appropriate, a number of community dialogue sessions open generally to community members unaffiliated with a particular community organization. The community dialogue sessions will be designed to promote broader cross-cultural understanding, racial equity, healing, and reconciliation and to inform decisions for statutes and monuments as well as short, medium, and long-term responses for community healing and reconciliation.