I hate to say it, but my beloved city is degrading.
We have a labor force made up of people who will take any crappy job that’s available, simply because they lack technical and marketable skills. Our community leaders bicker and point fingers, rather than organize people into active groups ready to act toward improving our city’s conditions. Our schools are becoming overrun with drugs and violence yet local columnists blast elected officials for trying to build bridges. These things unravel before our eyes, yet rather than come together, Santa Feans appear to do all they can to tear each other down.
Well, it’s time that we wake up and realize that we are all in this together. If one group is marginalized, then that group’s alienation will ripple through the entire community and rip apart any initiative that can create positive change. If a group of people vomit hate into public forums, then their hate will pour into all discourse, and rather than create fruitful dialogue, the community will recede into the apathy that keeps voters from participating in elections. Personal attacks lead to counter attacks, and like the old saying goes, the person who seeks revenge should dig two graves.
Therefore, our community needs to come together and actively solve our problems. If you don’t like weeds in the parks, then organize a group of people to go cut them. If you think our schools are terrible, help tutor struggling kids. If you think homelessness is a growing problem, then feed someone and offer them a ride to a shelter.
Complaining about things and doing nothing isn’t going to stop the degradation we are facing. Elected and appointed officials really do work hard, but they can’t be solely responsible for our community’s outcomes. Yes, we should hold elected officials accountable, but really we are all accountable for our city’s conditions.
If you’re a “community leader” and do little more than complain, then the first finger you point should be toward a mirror. Act. Spew support rather than hate. Organize your “followers” into active teams. Disagree on issues, but offer actionable solutions.
No one has all the answers, but if we worked together, we could stop the depressing degradation from spreading. Complaining feels great, but arm-chair quarterbacking is easy. It’s time we get off the couch and act toward Santa Fe’s future, together.
Juan Blea is a native Santa Fean who lives and works in our historic city.