Ok, so, I don’t know why I read the Santa Fe New Mexican. The reality for me is that it’s probably better that I don’t know what’s going on within my once beloved home town. Yet, I make the mistake, over and over again (like Charlie Brown believing Lucy that this time she’ll let him kick the ball) of reading the local news. Today is one of those days.
It appears that there is an effort within our City government to improve Santa Fe’s struggling nighttime economy (the story that sums up the efforts is here). There’s a 25 year old woman quoted within the story named Shannon Murphy who created some alliance of performers and venue owners to create a more inviting nightlife scene. She’s indirectly quoted as such, “Murphy said she would like to see the city lobby the state to ease liquor law restrictions so a wider variety of events can have a shot at drawing crowds. She also called for more promoters to give people a reason to visit the streets.”
Ease liquor laws? In a state hampered by DWI deaths? Ms. Murphy is a transplant and I think she should take her liquor-loving ass back to wherever she derived. I have no interest or desire to see anything that increases alcohol consumption in my town. Now, if it’s about art and expression, then let’s talk, but it the goal is to increase alcohol-related revenues, then this initiative should be cast away and never revived.
To me, this goal of improving Santa Fe’s nighttime economy is short-sighted. The reality is that the entire economy in Santa Fe is dying due to the lack of an industry and a workforce to support it. Rather than try to get more young (or old for that matter) people to go out drinking, we should encourage technology-based entrepreneurs to base their startups in Santa Fe and then partner with schools to provide internships for students to gain workplace skills.
I agree with Ms. Murphy that there are few incentives for young people to stay in Santa Fe. But the truth is people can get drunk anywhere. As a matter of fact, I’d rather people went our clubbing in other towns. That way, the risk of drunk-driving is transferred to somewhere other than in Santa Fe. The City Council should recognize that Santa Fe is dying and needs a shot in its economic arm. I can do all I can to develop an internship plan; but if no one wants to pursue the idea of a technology-sector based economy, then there’s not much more I can say about that….