Santa Fe’s City Council actually did something right: They removed a ten (10) tax for using a grocery store’s paper bag. They removed this tax as part of a bigger ordinance to remove plastic bags from our streets. We all know what a scourge plastic bags are; their very existence rips at the time and space continuum. As a matter of fact, I think plastic bags account for Russia’s victory at the Sochi Olympics. Because the rest of the U.S. isn’t as progressive as Santa Fe, athletes must have carried some of their gear in plastic bags, making them a lot slower than they otherwise would have been…
Seriously, though, I am happy that the ten cents grocers would have been charged was stricken. But, someone at the council meeting was quoted as saying, “If Santa Fe wants to be green, it should start acting like it” in response to the loss of the ten cents. “Green” advocates of the charge felt it was the best way to force consumers to bring re-useable bags to shop for groceries. But, unless those “green” people walk around my town with those head cones veterinarians give dogs, we have bigger problems that need attention.
Yesterday, a fourteen (14) year old girl was arrested because she stabbed her father. The girl was drunk and all her father tried to do was question her behavior. The girl didn’t like her father’s questioning and took a swipe at him with a knife. To me, this incident is symptomatic of a city in decay. Years and years of economic and educational oppression have created a culture in some pockets of my city of absolute hopelessness. Our city leaders are trying to make a case that they are progressive by even thinking that further economic oppression is a good idea.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again and again and again: We, the people of Santa Fe, need real leadership. I think it’s a great idea to want to help the environment heal its wounds and I’m all for looking at ways to do this. But, right now, our children our not doing well. Santa Fe County’s drug-related death rate is twice the national average for people under twenty-five (25) years old. Over thirty percent (30%) of our teens aren’t finishing high school. Meanwhile, our City Council is spending tax dollars researching ways to make day-to-day living in Santa Fe even harder. Ten cents per bag may not sound like much, but it would have added up.
I need our City leaders to start using the space between their heads to see that my city is dying. They should start looking at ways to develop our youth in ways that would make them want to stay in school and see that there are job opportunities in their hometown. But, guess what? Right now, there isn’t any reason for our brightest kids to stick around. Our best and brightest can’t wait to get the hell out of this hopeless town. To tell you the truth, as stupid as our city leaders are, I can’t say I blame them.