ith all this talk about the city looking into/subsidizing cultural nightlife and economy around here, we figured it wouldn't be such a bad idea to look into that. After all, our new mayor, Javier Gonzales' campaign sure focused on concepts like nightlife and music and the youth and so forth. Oh, we had our own concerns (read on) but were also interested in what people within the scene had to say.
Johny Broomdust—Bassist, Broomdust Caravan
"I'd like to see marijuana prohibition as the lowest priority for the SFPD."
Javier Gonzales: It's definitely on the low end of priority when it comes to the SFPD. My feeling is that we need to move toward decriminalization and eventually legalization, and I think it's important for the city to be able to regulate the trade and to tax it and provide education for kids and treatment programs. The big thing about Santa Fe is that most people already get it, but they don't want their children getting criminal records for using a substance that is really viewed as not being as harmful as, say, alcohol. From my standpoint, regulating the trade is better than allowing drug dealers to come into the community. We're going to advise the police force how to allocate their resources and how to keep neighborhoods safe [and] right now, we're pretty stretched thin, and I don't want to put energy into areas that aren't necessary.
Ben Durfee—Drummer, As In We
"I'd want to ask what the legality is behind 21+ venues in Santa Fe opening their doors to all-ages crowds."
JG: We're already looking at ways to do that. We do that at the Fuego baseball games where people can go and have a beer, and kids can be there. One of the things I'd like to do for this year's Bike & Brew is to allow…in The Railyard during the entertainment portion, for people to be able to listen to music and have a beer. We're looking to make sure all voices are heard in the process, and for people to have a good time, sure, but to be able to enjoy a beer and be safe.
Jamie Lenfestey— Local Promoter, Heath Concerts
"We should work to change the perception that there is nothing to do in Santa Fe."
JG: On a worldwide scale, we're known for our arts and culture, and we need to stay true to those communities, but also make known and available all the outdoor activities—when you look at our trails, we're consistently classified as one of the top cities with biking and hiking trails—and nightlife. This is about looking at non-traditional ways to create economy, and it shouldn't always be about a single person setting up a single bar. We need a nighttime and cultural economy that allows for entrepreneurs, and we need the city to come together for that, be it events in Ragle Park or Santa Fe Place or The Railyard. We need to look at any venue where nightlife entrepreneurs can put together creative events. Santa Fe needs to grow young, too, and part of growing young means that young people need to feel a part of it, and that means attractive jobs and affordable housing.
Paul Feathericci—DJ/Musician, D Numbers
"I envision a city-funded cultural center that has great sound, food, coffee…a place that can actually work for all-ages."
JG: Part of the Nighttime Economy Task Force is to solicit those ideas for what we can do to have a more vibrant nightlife. My view is that, for now, the city has put up $5,000. I think there will be more ideas than there is money, but also the potential for more money later. So where can we have these cultural events the money is intended for? This creates a dialogue for people looking to do things like this. I'd like to look into creating a venue that can be attractive to live music audiences or ways to use existing city assets to support a vibrant arts economy.
Bill Palmer—Producer/Musician, TV Killers
"The police presence downtown on a weekend night is discouraging to a relaxed, vibrant nightlife."
JG: This isn't the intent of the police, but we have to continually work to find that appropriate presence. You want to be able to walk into a venue and not worry about someone outside waiting to get you. You want a police presence that's enough to provide a safe environment—and that's a fine line that I expect the police to walk.
JG: There are a couple things I want to do. We need to focus on creating jobs that come out of the creative sectors of Santa Fe. It all comes down to affordable workspace, and we're talking about taking 10,000 square feet in the Railyard to make it a shared workspace for tech entrepreneurs and artists at an affordable price…we're actively looking for workspace for people who graduate with a digital media degree.
Alex De Vore—Super handsome dude
"I'm curious about municipal liquor licensing."
JG: I believe they're currently rewriting the state laws on liquor licensing, but I do think we have to make licenses more affordable and more accessible if we want to see the nighttime grow. How we do that will be heavily involved with the nighttime economy. We have to be able to address the public concern about access to alcohol and what it means for their safety, but I don't think it needs to be one or the other.