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District 3 Newsletter, Edition #15

06/25/2020

In This Edition:

Important Contact information
Message from the Commissioner
BernCo at Work
How You can Help
Community Resources
A Good Read, Listen & Look


IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION:

Important Telephone Numbers to Keep Handy

COVID19 hotline
1-855-600-3453

Non-health related COVID19 hotline
1-833-551-0518

For an updated one-stop source of COVID19 information, click here.

 


MESSAGE FROM THE COMMISSIONER:

Continued from last week.

Where do we go from here, Part III?

Life changing events, like what we are currently experiencing, should motivate us to reevaluate the status quo.

I am proud that BernCo has already begun to face the future –

We quickly embraced tele-everything. There have been mis-starts and missteps, but mostly positive outcomes, including greater virtual participation in commission meetings and the ability to support a remote government workforce. Government and community leaders need to find the talent and the funding for digital infrastructure so that everyone can benefit from this digital evolution.

The Commission is committed to the productive, loyal workforce and families of Bernalillo County. Recently the Commission approved emergency financial support for qualified small business through the BernCo CARES small business grant. These grants will assist with costs associated with business disruptions caused by the coronavirus. A paid time off ordinance which requires employers in the county to permit employees to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned paid time off for every 32 hours worked was recently passed. An increase of the minimum wage from $9.05 to $9.20, became effective January 1, 2020.

A ban on the single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam containers in the un-incorporated area of Bernalillo County was approved by the Commission. They also banned the use of the pesticide glyphosate because of concerns about the chemical’s impact on human health and the environment. The Commission is working to increase green space, including urban open spaces like the UNM North Course and Stark property. We are committed to the county operating with more sustainable practices.

In October 2019 the Commission passed an administrative resolution recommending that dashboard and lapel cameras to be used by BernCo Sheriff’s Office field personnel. This issue is still being discussed (during the recent Special Legislative Session, SB 8 was passed and sent to the Governor, requiring all NM law enforcement officers to wear body camera while on duty). As part of the Behavioral Health Initiative, Mobile Crisis Teams have been formed to work with law enforcement to respond to individuals experiencing behavioral health crises so that encounters don’t escalate. The voters of Bernalillo County approved bail reform and support the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to improve public safety and ensure justice for both the victim and accused.

Although these might be small, first steps, they show that the county is committed to protect its citizens and make changes to improve lives. The Commission is willing to make controversial decisions when necessary and to confront the trifecta of pandemic, rapid social change and shrinking revenue. Let me know what else we should be doing. Remember we are still all in this together!

In the meantime, take care, stay well, wash your hands and wear a face mask – Jim Collie

PS -- This will be the last newsletter, at least for a while. The newsletter was started to communicate with District 3 constituents while we were all staying at home. Now the COVID19 health emergency seems to be under control due to everyone’s efforts and hard work, our life is settling into the new routines and July is the month when everyone takes a break. We will reassess whether to restart the newsletter later this summer but, hopefully, we will be able to begin our monthly luncheons again, depending on public health orders. We are looking for outdoor locations. Let us know if you have any ideas.

Click here to see the past newsletters
For the latest edition of the BernCo at a Glance, click here
If you haven’t yet, complete your Census today on-line.


BERNCO AT WORK:

BernCo Economic Development

CARES Small Business Grant Application

Through this program, the county will offer one-time grants up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses and nonprofits to cover costs such as employee wages, vendor bills, and rent. Five million has been allotted for this fund, which is available as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal stimulus package.

Priority will be given to businesses and organizations that did not receive funds from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), or small business assistance funds from the State of New Mexico or the City of Albuquerque. Reimbursement is not required for grant recipients.

The application process is open through June 29. First grant payment will go out mid to late July.

For more information, required documents and the application, click here: https://bit.ly/3eipqUr

Capital Improvement Program

General Obligation (GO) bonds are one strand of revenue for capital projects. Voters are presented with GO bond ballot questions in elections held in even numbered years. The proposed 2020 GO Bond package is $40.35 million dollars in six questions. BernCo’s Bond counsel is currently working on the ballot question wording based on the projects’ information.

The GO Bond package is now on BernCo's web page for public viewing.

The link contains two key pieces. The first is story maps where the six topics and projects’ locations and descriptions can be viewed under each tab. The second item is a brief powerpoint presentation summarizing the county’s capital program, and the GO Bond as a vital revenue source. The Capital Improvement Program collaborated with the Planning and Development Services Dept. this year to assemble this material.

Bernalillo County Arts Board

The Bernalillo County Arts Board is looking for qualified artists and artist teams to create public art for the Tiny Home Village. Artists that live in New Mexico are invited to apply. Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of Bernalillo County, sensitivity towards the population of the Tiny Home Village and surrounding community and have experience with community engagement.

The Tiny Home Village will offer housing intervention for individuals experiencing homelessness and will provide them with safe housing in a supported, single-site community setting. The village is a collaboration between Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque Indian Center, and the City of Albuquerque.

It is located on the property of the Albuquerque Indian Center at 105 Texas Street SE. The artwork will be located in the visitor parking area of the facility and artists are encouraged to include a community outreach process in the design and execution of the art.

The budget for the project is $43,000. It will be participatory and will engage the surrounding community and village residents. You can apply online as an artist or artist team.

Bernalillo County Community Health Council

The Bernalillo County Community Health Council (BCCHC) works to improve the health and quality of life in Bernalillo County through coalition building, health assessment, and community action. The council is currently developing a Community Health Profile to identify and map our community's health resources, needs and characteristics. The profile information will be used to prioritize needs and develop strategies for change. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and your answers will be anonymous. Take the online survey here.


HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Emelia Pino’s Care Packages for Children

Emelia Pino, a resident of Zia Pueblo and Bernalillo High School senior, needs your help! She is putting together care packages for the children of Zia Pueblo and needs donations of books, puzzles, educational toys. Monetary donations are also welcome. Donations can be sent to Pueblo of Zia, attn: Monique Burton, 135 Capital Square Drive, Zia Pueblo, NM 87053 or through the Native Health Initiatives & Healers of Tomorrow Program. For more information, click here

All Together New Mexico Fund

The Altogether NM Fund is still accepting monetary donations. They have granted over $200,000 to nearly 60 food pantries in rural communities around the state.

To make a donation, text “Together” to 505-333-4714 or by mailing a check to the Santa Fe Community Foundation, PO Box 1827, Santa Fe, 87504. Write “All Together NM Fund” on the check memo line.


COMMUNITY RESOURCES:

Friends of the Public Library

The Friends of the Public Library will resume their used book and media sales in the basement of the Main Library, Downtown, later this month. The sales will begin on June 30, from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays through September 22.

Shoppers must wear a face covering and capacity restrictions will be in place. Validated parking will be available in the nearby Very special Arts parking garage.

For more information, call 505-786-5167 or by e-mail.

Albuquerque Public Schools

High School Summer Activities

APS has developed guidelines for high school summer activities. Summer activities will resume on Monday, June 29, and will be limited to high school students only. Click here for more information.

Summer Learning Activities

A few APS summer programs have been canceled, others have been moved online. For more information, click here

Summer Classes on TV

This summer APS@Home will air 4 weeks of new lessons for grades K-5 on NMPBS, KNME Channel 5. Lessons will run Monday-Friday though July 10. Click here for schedule.

Emergency Action Fund

The Emergency Action Fund is shifting its distribution of money from immediate assistance to long term COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Applicants for funding must hold a 501©3 nonprofit status. Priority will be given to organizations in the Albuquerque area. Grants will range from $25,000 to $50,000.

Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2. For more information visit their website.

Take a Ride On Us

Restaurants and breweries have reopened and the “Take a Ride On Us” program offers customers a safe ride option to avoid driving under the influence.

Through midnight, June 30th, customers can download the Uber app and use the code SUMMER2020. This code is valid for the first 3,000 riders who will receive a credit of up to $10.00 for one trip. All riders are required to wear a face mask.

Bernalillo County has contributed $80,000 to this effort. The county’s financial contribution comes from liquor excise taxes.

No-Cost COVID-19 Testing This Week at EXPO New Mexico

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is offering no-cost COVID-19 testing at EXPO New Mexico, 300 San Pedro NE, from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Testing will take place six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Enter through Gate 3 off San Pedro and Copper, then follow traffic instructions. You can pre-register for testing at: https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org. There is also registration assistance on-site.

PNM Helping Hands Tuesdays

PNM’s Helping Hands Tuesday provides relief for low income customers. If you are facing unexpected financial hardship, call 505-967-8045, on Tuesday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 7, from 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., to see if you qualify for a credit of up to $150.00 towards your PNM bill.


A GOOD READ, LOOK & LISTEN:

You Should Read

Here Are 29 Books By Black Authors That Are So Compelling You'll Want To Read Them More Than Once, click here

Racism and Rights, America’s Long Complicated History, from Governing Daily

Interesting Information

To Protect Against Coronavirus, CDC Says to Have These 3 Things When Venturing Out, click here
More reasons for wearing face masks, click here
Road Trips in the Time of COVID-19 -- click here
Six Experts on How We Will Live, work and Play in Cities After COVID, click here
5 Radical Ideas about School After Coronavirus, click here

Invitation from the World Wildlife Foundation

Being outside in nature, while continuing social distancing practices, is one of the few activities that can be safely pursued during this time, which is why you are invited to join the WWF’s Panda Paddle Virtual event from August 21-23.

All registered Panda Paddle participants will receive a medal for their participation and those who raise $100 or more will also get this limited edition shirt.

For more information, email PandaPaddle@wwfus.org.

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