District 4 Albuquerque City Councilwoman Brook Bassan is pulling back support on the recently approved safe outdoor spaces. In a Monday email, she said she will be introducing legislation at Wednesday’s meeting to place a one-year moratorium on approvals for the spaces and a repeal of references to them in the zoning ordinances. The full text of the email is below:
“I supported sanctioned encampments based on the understanding that existing vagrancy, loitering, trespassing and overnight camping laws would be enforced. Upon hearing Mayor Tim Keller’s recent press conference statements, it has become clear that this enforcement is highly unlikely to occur.
“Additionally, I have heard your voice demanding an end to discussion of sanctioned encampments. In order to achieve this, I am introducing two separate pieces of legislation at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. The first is a one-year moratorium on all Safe Outdoor Spaces approvals so that none can be approved in the near future. The second bill is a repeal of all references to Safe Outdoor Spaces from our zoning ordinances.
“Since being elected, I have been focused on implementing solutions to reduce crime and homelessness. Safe Outdoor Spaces was an idea to force homeless encampments from our neighborhoods and towards behavioral health services. You have helped me understand that this idea is not a workable solution and needs to be abandoned.
“I have always promised that, if I ever made a mistake such as this, I would apologize and work to correct my action. I am sorry for not registering your opposition to this idea sooner. Moving forward, I will work even harder to represent your voice in City government. I will continue to focus on supporting our police department’s ability to enforce existing laws, increasing the availability of behavioral health services, and providing rental assistance to those at risk for experiencing homelessness.
“Thank you for reaching out to me. I promise to continue to listen and represent your voice.”