U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. will deliver the keynote address to kick off the second annual Quality of Life Initiative Symposium at 1:10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 at the Santa Fe Community College.
The two-day symposium, entitled, “Education, Engagement, Empowerment, Equity,” will focus on ways the community can strengthen their efforts to improve the quality of life in Santa Fe’s south side.
Heinrich will be joined by local leaders, including Santa Fe City Councilors Carmichael Dominguez and Chris Rivera, and health, education, food access, transportation, and youth and teen service advocates.
The Quality of Life Initiative brings together service providers, nonprofits, employers, educators, and residents to address the needs of Santa Fe’s south side and discuss issues most important to the community. Following a series of community listening sessions, the initiative has focused its work on a wide-range of areas including access to affordable and healthy foods, transportation and walkability, access to quality health care, youth and teen services, veterans’ issues, and parks and recreation.
Heinrich’s office has played an integral role in the initiative by organizing events aimed at helping to promote civic engagement, collaborative governance, and better alignment between service providers in the area. In February, Senator Heinrich met with the Quality of Life Initiative steering committee at La Familia Medical Center’s Southside Clinic in Santa Fe where they discussed how best to strengthen the initiative’s effort to help the community.
This two-day symposium is free and open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend. Information will be available in English and Spanish. Events will include free food, panel discussions, group work sessions, and teen and youth support dialogues.
Staff from the Ocotillo Institute and Doña Ana County residents will present their work using the Empowerment Congress model to address quality of life and social justice issues in the Colonias. The Empowerment Congress, founded in 1992 in Los Angeles, California, promotes partnership between community members, business leaders, and faith-based organizations to address local issues and connect residents with public resources.