Fat, fluffy snowflakes fell from the sky as SFR put the finishing touches on the first issue of 2019. Temperatures plunged into the teens and people took pictures of their patio furniture under the drifts. It wasn't the snowpocalypse that had been predicted, but we got to build a snowman and went to bed early. And there's always more on the way.
Sometimes new beginnings don't feel dazzling.
Yet, who among us was not ready to leave the last year in the tracks, to plod away from it without a backward glance?
That's why newsroom staffers Aaron Cantú, Alex De Vore, Matt Grubs, Julie Ann Grimm and Charlotte Jusinski spent a few days listening to Santa Feans look ahead. As is our tradition, we asked them all the same question: What do you need and what does our community need for 2019?
And we predict you, and they, are going to crush it in the new year.
Artist and designer
Lovingkindness. Without its presence, I am anchorless and discouraged. And our community—local, regional, statewide or national—could use more compassion and lovingkindness too. Currently, so much of the division we observe and experience seems to be born from a lack of compassion and empathy for others.
Parking lot attendant
For myself, basically just to be kind and get along with people, you know? That's basically the way I look at it. In the year to come, through the Legislature or whatever, just to see less people who are out there in poverty and homelessness is what I'd like to see. To where that kind of dwindles down to where you don't see it that much anymore, you know? … It seems like it's gone down, but there's still some [people] out there where it's kind of depressing to see them, especially this time of the year you don't want to see people hurting or going through stuff like that when the holidays come around.
Mi'Jan Celia Tho-Biaz
Founder, New Mexico Women of Color Nonprofit Leadership Initiative
I think the world needs more North Stars—as in who, not what. As in, 'What is your North Star?' Who? Who? We need the people who are North Stars, that's what I think. And what do I need? Self-compassion. That is my 2019 goal—strong, sweet, sensual self-compassion.
For myself—and I get a little philosophical, so bear with me—but what I would say I need in my life is I need to continue to strengthen my relationship with our creator and to lead by example. I need to remember that my life and health and welfare and that of my family is priority. To identify those events or circumstances or even, I dare say, people that cause unnecessary stress or set a bad example by their behavior, and be mindful of that, and what I have control over to make the necessary changes. … What I would hope for our community is that we can slow down and take some necessary time to appreciate life, our spouses, our children, our family and friends. And with that I mean, put the cell phone down every once in a while and spend some quality time with each other. … And we need to take time out to remember who we are
in the world and in Santa Fe— what makes Santa Fe unique and special. We can't let that go. We are a diverse community.
For 2019 I hope our elected officials never forget the job that they volunteered for—to serve and protect the public for the greater good of the people and not for their own political or personal agenda, and we the people cannot be distracted with the day-to-day struggles of life so we hold those elected officials accountable.
Mover, Delancey Street Foundation
That's a good one. So, what do I need? A better lifestyle. Just change my old ways and the way that I was living before. [I was] hurting people and not really caring about what I was doing.
SFR: And then for the community around you, what do want to see?
More jobs. Yeah, more jobs.
Barista, Holy Spirit Espresso
It's going to sound stupid. It's pretty blunt. But OK, I'm going to be vulnerable. Come to think of it, it's pretty much everyone's resolution. All right, personally, I want to lose weight. Why? So I can look better for the community. It's that simple. I thought of this earlier this morning. I went through my mind thinking, 'Do I have a resolution? Yeah. Lose weight. Why? So I can look better for the community.' So the better I look, the better the community looks. Can I say that?
Mother and photographer
For myself, I find that the easiest group of people to be kind to on a daily basis are nice strangers. The people we love and the annoying strangers seem to take the brunt of our moods and grumpy days. So in the new year, I want to practice being consistently kinder to the people I love, and kinder to difficult strangers.
And for Santa Fe, I want employers and businesses to be more mom-friendly, providing maternal and paternal leave with pay (or at least partial pay). I believe Santa Fe would be a more vibrant place if women could return to the workforce after having kids without having to choose between full-time mom and full-time work. Stimulating part-time work, workplaces with onsite childcare and jobs that provide flexible days and hours would be simply magical.
I'd like to see myself traveling. I want to go to California, go on up the coast and then switch over to the East Coast and kind of just travel and really connect.
And that's what I want to see for my community as well, is the connection for a traveler going through and never being in places. I'd like to have people with open arms coming to greet me and, I don't know, help me become myself in a way, through all my travels and stuff. So I guess that's what I'd want to see from other people, is that initiative to give back and pay it forward.
And really, [for me], facing that fear about traveling. I've wanted to travel for so long and I've had the money to do it and the means to do it, but there's just like something inside me [that says] I can't do it alone or whatever. But it would be really good for me to get some inspiration and just do it alone. Like a leap of faith or something, you know?
Darryl Lorenzo Wellington
Writer, thinker, activist
For 2019, there are lots of issues—housing, and all that—but I think there's a change that needs to take place in Santa Fe that's happening all over America, and it has a lot to do with race and racism and in response to the Trump administration. I've been here six years and I've already seen change, but a lot of people come to Santa Fe with an image of it like race doesn't matter. But for right now, that can't stand. Because it's a tourist city, it puts an emphasis on external images that attract tourists. One example is the [Entrada], which I was shocked by when I first moved here, but I've seen it disappear. A lot of institutions have a foundation which is of white supremacy, and I don't say that in an accusing manner, but the community is not really as much of a tri-cultural community as it could be or needs to be. It's been more of a tourist trap; there's a weakness for sentimentality toward tourists. We need to realize contention can be a healthy thing, our challenge is to deal with it in a healthy way.
Executive director, Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance
I need a sense of community, belonging and communal interaction. Whether it's helping out somebody at Sprouts market because they're having a hard time getting in their car, spontaneously having a dance party with people you just met … it's that deeper sense of community. How do you bring people together who wouldn't otherwise be together? Permeability allows us to grow. As far as Santa Fe goes, there are very elemental things. I'm really into relational aesthetics and politics, and one of the most poignant and simple things people can do is look at each other. Conceptual artist here, but I think that what could change the most about Santa Fe is that people begin looking at each other and interacting with each other, hopefully in a positive way. With a larger community, also with LGBTQIA folks, it's about enough delineation to find a sense of self, and after that it's about moving forward and realizing we're part of a larger group/community. Once we realize we're part of a larger group, it's easier to weave in those disparate threads of a larger group of people.
Principal at Nava Elementary School
Now that I'm familiar with my staff and my community, I'm looking forward to engaging more with them on making this school more successful. There's a lot of things we're starting here now—we started new ways of looking at math and talking about math, they've already stared the language part. I am also curious to see what the new governor is actually going to do. [Michelle Lujan Grisham] made it evident she's not happy with PARCC, but I really hope they look for an assessment that helps our special education population be more successful. The tests that they're doing right now don't do [these students] a service.
Caseworker, Santa Fe Community Guidance Center
I wish the city would open a medical detox program. We have a social detox, but we're having to take a lot of people to Albuquerque because these are people that are substance abusers, and the [Santa Fe Recovery Center] only takes people for social detox. I just think Santa Fe needs that [type of] center, so you don't have to go to Albuquerque. For myself, I just want to be spiritually and physically and emotionally healthy. I don't need wealth, I just need to be well. I'm okay with not being wealthy, just being spiritually wealthy.
Projectionist, Violet Crown
I think what this community needs is to realize they're not really liberal. They like to say they're really liberal, but every time I go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, everyone's staring at me like I don't belong here. And it's like, I work my ass off and no one really pays attention to that, they just see another brown guy in Whole Foods and are like, 'What is he? Where is he from?' I was born and raised in America. … What I need from the community is to be noticed. Because it's like, just because I'm such a small fraction of the community, I should be dismissed? And I constantly feel like everyone doesn't notice who I am, because they just see a brown guy and they jump to Muslim or all those synonyms like terrorist—and it's like, I don't bother anyone.
Portfolio manager and young Santa Feans happy hour host
I hope that we can really come together more as a community around our shared values. I would like to give back more and find ways to work with different subcultures within our little town to sharpen our shared vision for the future. I look forward to helping build a community of acceptance and tolerance but also one that stands up for what is right. I hope that we can work towards a Santa Fe where every person can afford to have housing and where all children can experience art and learn about our rich cultural history. We need to strive for a social democracy right here in our small town. We can do it!
Jessica Montoya Trujillo
Community organizer, Chainbreaker Collective
[What do I need] besides lots of money and tons of rest? … Being someone in Santa Fe who's looking to settle down and become a community member and participant, we need to desegregate Santa Fe. I'm born and raised in the middle part of town, and I'm really feeling the various lines in the city. My wish would be to erase those lines and those separations. [The greater Santa Fe community] needs equitable resource allocation, especially in communities of color. … It needs to be truly grassroots and have community engagement in that area. That could help mitigate some of the segregation issues that Santa Fe is facing as well. … I hope we can help foster and bolster up the movement for Medicare for All in New Mexico, as well as fighting this antiquated abortion [law]. … It's important that men get involved in the movement to end violence against women and girls, and against the trans community and people who are nonbinary.
Nathan Usher Rubinfeld
Director of programming, Ellsworth Gallery; vice president, Young Democrats of Santa Fe County
What I need in 2019 that I've started to get better at this past year is that I need to say no more often. I struggle with setting boundaries and trusting myself to know what's right and when, too. … This community needs more people who are interested in asking what this community needs, rather than thinking they know what exactly what will solve this community's issues. Something that comes off the top of my head was looking at the mayor's year in review, what we've accomplished—and I was thinking, maybe it would be beneficial to ask constituents and people who actually live on the Southside or the Airport Road corridor: Do they really need a soccer complex out there, and investment in an airport? Or are there other things that community might want and need a little bit more?
Shontez "Taz" Morris
Artist and master networker
I need a million dollars! But aside from that, cause I know that's not gonna happen right away—I need people to just unite. To come together as one. We're all in this together. Unity is what I'm working on achieving with my art. … We need to come together for each other regardless of what's going on. … Businesses pooling together, helping each other out in creative ways; we could start off there and see where it goes. Businesses are the heart of this town. And black folks need to be more understood instead of being feared.
Co-director, Arts Network for Youth and Justice in New Mexico; facilitator, Theater Immersion Education Workshops
I need support. After about a decade of being part of big institutions, I'm stepping out and starting stuff in a more organic way, and I need support in multiple dimensions. Not only the more predictable areas of finance and whatnot, but more radical—like like-minded people coming together to support the goal of art that's seeking to do good in the broadest sense. … And for the community, obviously, all the caveats apply, right? The community that I am part of is a very small part of what is the larger community here. … But I think we need more space where the arts can bring people together to just sit with the chaos of the world. Artistic spaces where we can just be in whatever that being means … and to use it as a way to reflect, debate, to critique, to protest, to radically dissent—whatever that means for us.