FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!
The events that occurred last year involving the Obelisk were unfortunate and avoidable. City leaders for decades have failed to understand and deal with the problem. The problem is not the obelisk but the plaque on the north side and that should have been removed long ago. It’s not only offensive to Indigenous people but offensive to anyone who cares about equality. It is offensive to me.
The Obelisk however remains important because it marks a time in history for us to remember. It celebrates the defeat of the Confederate Army. It celebrates neither politicians nor generals but soldiers—veterans. It celebrates everyday New Mexicans who volunteered to fight the invading Confederate forces. It celebrates New Mexico’s important role in bringing an end to the Civil War and bringing an end to slavery. Slavery was an evil curse on this country and practiced not only in the south but here in New Mexico as well. Marking our role in ending slavery is worthy of our Plaza.
The city of Santa Fe is committed to the CHART process and that should be respected. My concern is this will be a lengthy process lasting months if not years and there are no guarantees or commitments by the city council that they will take any action at all. This will leave us in a further state of uncertainty.
This is my proposal to move us forward.
As City Councilor for District One, I will propose a motion to restore the obelisk. I propose that we put the obelisk back together piece by piece, cracks and all. We will cherish every break and imperfection that defines our living history and use this experience to further give meaning and proof to strength and unity as a reminder to everyone that even through our differences, Santa Feans are united and strong.
I will also propose a motion that the plaque be removed. Because of its historic significance it can be removed to a museum, but it should not remain at the center of our Plaza. It never belonged there in the first place. I propose that we commission a new plaque that is dedicated to protection of freedom for all New Mexicans regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or identification.
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