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Legislation of Interest

NOTE: There are no regularly scheduled Council Meetings in July

During the FY15 budget review and approval process in April and May, I successfully advocated for additional funding for increases to social service programs, capital improvements to the City’s emergency shelter, and funding for a task force coordinator for a multi-jurisdictional collaborative effort to identify the most effective and efficient use of $1.5 million in additional funding in the budget for homeless, mental health, and substance abuse

treatment services.

I co-sponsored M-14-5 with Councilor Winter, calling for the City, State, and Bernalillo County to form a task force to discuss joint funding and collaboration opportunities and propose recommendations to address mental health issues. I worked with a bipartisan group of elected officials to help create a multijurisdictional mental health/substance abuse/homelessness Task Force that includes a small expert working group and paid staff. The larger task force includes providers, consumers, law enforcement/corrections, the State health insurance exchange, the judiciary, and elected officials. This group is in place and within 3 months will produce an assessment of service gaps and begin to establish a “triage” process and supportive housing that will inherently reduce unsatisfactory encounters with law enforcement.

I co-sponsored R-14-55 with Councilors Peña and Sanchez to pay $30k for a study of the gaps in homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse services; this study will inform the recommendations of the Task Force. Council passed a floor substitute sponsored by Councilor Peña on June 9.

On June 16, Council passed R-14-73 (Benton, Winter) supporting a project with Bernalillo County for the purpose of implementing a housing assistance program for persons with mental illness being released from the Metropolitan Detention Center. We will work with the County to fund a process to address recidivism and provide supportive housing for repeat offenders among the homeless population.

Project Updates

Projects List thank you for your patience as we continue to update the website with all of your projects!
Albuquerque BioPark Master Plan: Final public information session to be held June 30.
Barelas Pedestrian Bridge: Councilor Benton and the Barelas community are celebrating the completion of this project with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, July 16 at 6:00 pm.
Downtown Walkability Study: Jeff Speck will return to present his downtown walkability study and recommendations July 31, 6:00 PM **please note change in date from previous email**
Albuquerque Rail Yards Redevelopment: City Council approved the Master Plan and the Development Agreement for the Rail Yards on Monday, June 16. We are looking forward to seeing this plan implemented.
West Downtown Central Avenue Corridor Plan: Councilor Benton has commissioned a peer review for the City’s team. This will include an analysis of the DMD-proposed configurations at the Central & Rio Grande and the Central & Lomas intersections, as well as analysis of three options for each intersection. There will be a public meeting in August for a presentation of new alternative designs for the intersections of Central/Lomas and Central/Rio Grande.
Rio Grande & Candelaria Roundabout: The Department of Municipal Development is proceeding with this project based upon recent Council reaffirmation of its support.
Cultural Assets Mapping for the SE Corridor and Near NE Heights

Upcoming Events & Meetings

Fusion Theater Company Presents Princess Marisol & the Moon Thieves: June 24-29, 2014
Open House regarding the Albuquerque BioPark Master Plan: June 30, 9 AM – 5 PM
Jeff Speck will return to present his downtown walkability study: July 31, 6:00 PM **please note change in date from previous email**
NM Black Expo Entertainment Event: August 30, 10 AM – 10 PM
Rail Yards Market: Sundays 9 AM -3 PM through November 2, 2014
Cultural Services Calendar & 516 Arts Calendar: August 2014

Best regards,

Isaac Benton

City Councilor, District 2

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