Tuesday, February 17, 2009

R-09-203, Recogninzing the INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT

At the City Council Meeting on Wednesday, February 18th City Councilor Rey Garduño will be introducing R-09-203, which recognizes the area in and around Louisiana Blvd. between Central Ave. and Zuni Ave. as the “International District.”

The area in and around the International Marketplace at Louisiana Blvd. between Central and Zuni, which includes the communities of La Mesa, Trumbull, South San Pedro, Elder Homestead, Fair West, and the surrounding areas.

Throughout the years, these neighborhoods have had a disparaging name for their communities. Now, through community voice and the beginning of redevelopment in the area, residents are ready for a fresh start.

The discussion of the “International District” begun nearly six years ago and has taken place in Neighborhood Association Meetings, Health Coalition Meetings, and every community meeting in SE Heights. They have culminated in two Town Hall Meetings with Senator Tim Keller and Councilor Rey Garduño, where the community settled on a unified name.

“The population is the most diverse in the City, and possibly the State. Native Americans and New Mexicans whose families have been in New Mexico for hundreds of years live alongside recent immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and many other countries” said Councilor Garduño. “The many cultures, customs, and faiths are represented in this diverse and vibrant part of the city.”

Councilor Garduño is sponsoring R-09-203 simultaneously with State Senator Tim Keller, who is sponsoring Senate Joint Memorial 24 at the State Legislature, to have this area of Albuquerque no longer labeled by a derogatory term and ensure that community members have the right to name and create their own identity in their community.

Councilor Garduño is encouraging community members to come to the City Council Meeting and speak to the City Council, before their vote, about their community and their support for the “International District.” The Council Meeting begins at 5:00 pm at the Vincent E. Griego Chambers at One Civic Plaza NW.

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