According to today's Albuquerque Journal, the safety of students and teachers at APS comes down to one vote - the vote of board president, Paula Maes. Unlike voters in last week's Eye Poll, the school board seems to be in a deadlock with 3 members from the East Side (Mary Lee Martin, Marty Esquivel, and Gordon Rowe) in favor of arming APS police officers, and 3 West Side members (Berna Facio, Dolores Griego, and Robert Lucero) against. That leaves District 5 representative and board president Paula Maes as the swing vote.
Wednesday night the board meets to take final action on the safety commission recommendation to arm the defenseless officers and protect students and teachers. We think it's a no brainer - give officers the training and equipment necessary to do their jobs. Otherwise we shouldn't expect officers to be able to protect anyone, including themselves.
The good news is that even though the board has largely shown that it doesn't get it and won't do what's necessary to protect anyone, Maes appears to be on the fence. Perhaps a few emails or phone calls would persuade her that even though she's "not a gun person," she should vote to equip and pay police professionals to their jobs. You can reach Ms. Maes by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (505) 880-3739. If she fails to see common sense, you can use those numbers to let her know how unhappy you are.
----- Update -----
We were just listening to a 770 KKOB news break and were alarmed to hear that Maes told them that she didn't believe that one more gun would have prevented the tragedies at Virginia Tech or Columbine. This type of attitude shows an amazing disconnect with reality. There are bad people out there who want to kill other people, some are crazy, some are just simply evil. Not liking guns and not arming trained police officers doesn't make these types of people go away.
The Piercing Truth
This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes