Many of you know that I grew up here in Santa Fe. I went to public schools here, got my first job here, and raised my son here. I love our city and I love the rich diversity and history that we share – whether you have lived here for decades or for seconds. Our city hugs and welcomes you. We weave you into the brilliant tapestry that is our city of faith.
We have faced tensions in our city for generations. People who have lived here for generations are now feeling the pinch of not being able to live and work here anymore due to rising housing and living costs and the uncertainty of our ability to have a sustainable environment for future generations. We fought as a capital; We have relied on too many unstable industries to sustain our budgets and may have ignored our painful past of diversity.
The current administration in our city is quick to claim that the divisions affecting our community are a lack of leadership from previous administrations and are proclaiming that they hear our concerns. There is no direct tour in the town hall.
As the incumbent councilor, I’ve made meaningful suggestions about problems just to say, “I hear your concerns,” which is the scope of the conversation, with no feedback or implementation other than finding ways to limit my influence.
It was disappointing to hear our city government leaders claim there was dialogue. If so, this dialogue resulted in inaction that eventually led to the destruction of public property. In my opinion, this was a highlight of the city administration’s lack of transparency. The removal and attempted destruction of public property was not a decision presented to the city council.
As we try to move forward, I can assure you all that the leadership requires quick and immediate action. It will require us to build trust and, like our city of faith, build trust in one another to do the right thing. I urge my colleagues on the city council to speak louder about the lack of leadership in the council, about the fact that we can no longer live in fear of political retribution from others and only speak the truth that lives in our hearts. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: âWe cannot only talk about forgiveness and reconciliation. We must act on these principles. âWe have told our truths to the leadership of this city, but now is the time to act sensibly.
I hope that as we move forward as a city, we can elect people to embody true leaders.
JoAnne Vigil Coppler represents District 4 on Santa Fe City Council. She is running for mayor of Santa Fe.