We’ve included both of those items below, including a timeline of votes by councilors on the issue and our appreciation to councilors who have proposed to remove the ALEC-like policy from the city’s legislative priorities.
(12/3/13, 8:31am) Santa Fe – City Councilors in one of America’s most progressive cities are sponsoring legislation to turn Santa Fe, New Mexico into a municipal lobbyist for ALEC, the conservative corporate special interest bill factory and that has progressive advocates calling for change.
(12/6/13, 5:52 am):
Patti Bushee message:
Pat Davis’s (Progress Now) blogspot and petition are dead wrong about my position on mandatory sentencing for drug offenses. The City’s legislative priorities resolution, introduced by Mayor Coss, inclu
des a provision requiring the City to lobby for mandatory sentencing for drug traffickers. I do not support that provision and will not vote for it.
If you want to understand my position on mandatory sentencing for drug offenses, read the City Council meeting minutes of October 30, 2013, I advocate for funding for Drug Courts, as a priority. I also advocate for diversion rather than incarceration.
“She said there needs to be a companion resolution that supports the other side where we are diverting from incarceration and moving toward treatment…” I have never supported the for-profit prison industry as suggested by Pat Davis, and that’s a statement that cannot be made by the other “self-labeled progressive” mayoral candidate, former County Commissioner Javier Gonzales, who successfully advocated building a for-profit County Jail. Check the record on that one.
I served on the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) task force and will continue to support treatment for drug addiction over incarceration and oppose mandatory sentencing. I think that the War on Drugs has been a colossal failure. As for the trumped-up ALEC connection, it is absurd to think I would support anything they stand for.
Ms. Bushee and some of our petition signers have asked us for additional information. While a copy of the resolution has been posted here since the first call to action, we have provided an updated timeline and highlighted the specific provisions relevant to this issue.
October 9: A resolution, sponsored by Councilors Bushee, Dimas, Trujillo, Dominguez and Rivera was prepared by the council’s legislative liaison at the sponsor’s direction.
October 15: The resolution, bearing the names of Councilors Bushee, Dimas and other sponsors was presented and placed in the record for discussion at the city’s council’s public safety committee meeting.
October 21: The resolution was discussed at the city council finance committee meeting where Ms. Bushee was present. The minutes reflect that one councilor offered an amendment to another portion of the resolution. Ms. Bushee voted, with others, to approve this amendment. Councilor Dimas offered a spirited argument for mandatory minimum sentencing. Ms. Bushee did not object or offer any comments.
Ms. Bushee did not offer any amendments to remove, or even comment on, mandatory minimum sentencing.
October 30: The resolution, in its original form, was discussed at the City Council meeting. As Ms. Bushee notes, she expressed support for other provisions of the resolution, including a hotline for reporting drug activity.
Also, as evidenced on the next page of minutes Ms. Bushee references in her response, some councilors questioned whether the lobbying directives in the Bushee-Dimas resolution should be included in the city’s other lobbying resolution, not in a resolution about a drug hotline.
Instead of making a motion to remove the “lobby for mandatory minimum sentences” provisions from the bill, Ms. Bushee voted to merge her lobbying recommendation with those of the mayor and other councilors in the omnibus legislative priorities bill.
Since we first brought attention to this issue, and the devious ALEC and for-profit prison connections behind these types of proposals, both Councilor Bushee and Dimas have expressed a desire to remove mandatory minimum sentencing from the council’s final legislative priorities legislation.
At ProgressNowNM, we thank them for being open to a robust public dialogue on the issue and for engaging with their constituents and concerned citizens who see any eroding of civil liberties on a few as a threat to us all. We look forward to the City Council’s December 11th meeting where the conversation will, no doubt, continue and where councilors are expected to make the final decision on the city’s legislative priorities for 2014.