The Piñon Post has learned that Ordinance 20-40, sponsored by Councilors Isaac Benton and Cynthia Borrego, which would mandate fines and jail time for those not following public health orders, will no longer be considered at Monday’s 3:00 City Council meeting.
According to City Council staff, “the sponsors have chosen to take it off the agenda for today,” but they “have not said” if they will place it back on the agenda.
Our reporting was followed-up by a formal announcement from the Council, reading, “City Councilors Cynthia Borrego and Isaac Benton have announced that they are withdrawing O-20-40, relating to enforcement of Public Health Orders. They will turn their attention to creating an educational campaign to assist community compliance with Public Health Orders.”
The proposal would have charged all who “knowingly obstruct, impede with, or interfere with any City employee’s officer’s or agent’s enforcement of any public health laws, orders, or restrictions” with a misdemeanor, which is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both.
The backtracking on the proposal appears to be, at least in part, due to public outrage, with many reaching out to city councilors demanding they vote against the proposal. The New Mexico Republican Party shared a post on Saturday urging supporters to contact councilors to oppose the bill.
Albuquerque residents were planned to protest the bill at 12:00 noon on Monday, however, according to one organizer of the protest, it will now be “turned into a celebration.”
Regardless, if citizens would like to contact City Council members regarding the proposal, their emails can be found below:
Mayor Tim Keller: MayorKellerIQ@cabq.gov
Councilor Lan Sena, District 1: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilor Isaac Benton, District 2: email@example.com
Councilor Klarissa Peña, District 3: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilor Brook Bassan, District 4: email@example.com
Councilor Cynthia Borrego, District 5: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilor Pat Davis, District 6: email@example.com
Councilor Diane G. Gibson, District 7: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilor Trudy Jones, District 8: email@example.com
Councilor Don Harris, District 9: firstname.lastname@example.org