There has been some progress in the 2009 legislative session. NM may be on the verge of repealing the Death Penalty. It has already passed the House and hopefully will sail through the Senate. This, of course, is the same Senate that shockingly killed the Domestic Partnerships bill two weeks ago by a large margin. They expected a close vote, with the Lt. Governor possibly breaking the tie. It didn't happen. The governor, who has supported the death penalty historically, has expressed the notion that he might sign the bill if it hits his desk. I hope that he does. I've been against Capital Punishment since I was 16 and did a paper about it for my Junior Religion class. I had no idea what it was then and when I learned all about it, my mind was convinced that the Death Penalty was wrong.
The City is also set to vote whether or not to impose a transfer tax on real estate transactions of over $750,000 with the intention that any money received from the tax will go toward helping the city provide affordable housing. I'm a Realtor and I'm all for supporting affordable housing, however, I don't feel that this is the way to accomplish that. The Realtor's association have organized, received funds and have really campaigned against this tax, and in some ways I think that's great to see the troops rallied up, but in many ways I've found it very offensive how residents have been targeted, most especially by the radio ads that have aired as of late. I am offended by the ways that native Hispanics have been portrayed in the ads, little skits which talk about why this transfer tax is bad and why it will impact the poor natives the hardest. It is basically true but I hate how the Hispanic people in the ads have little sing-songy accents, sound like uneducated dimwits, whereas the anglos in the ads, drive hybrids, do good deeds and are just so damn cutesy. Maybe I'm being over sensistive. Maybe I'm just easily offended but the first time I heard the ads on the local radio my jaw dropped. I wish I had transcripts or audio copies.
The Church to a lesser extent has weighed in, and the rector of the Cathedral and the archbishop have written a joint letter to the editor in support of the tax. If it passes, so be it. I think it's a badly written piece of legislation, which could impact the whole state and everyone else in due time, but it's a start in the right direction of addressing the need for affordable housing. In fact, I don't think the idea of supporting affordable is a bad thing at all. However, there are better alternatives to finding and funding affordable housing for those who really need it. The money this tax will raise is a drop in the bucket and I fear will never wind up helping those in need. Sadly, there is plenty of housing available but it's priced too high for those who need housing. I think we are over built and we keep building. I'm getting sick and tired of seeing precious land flattened for cookie-cutter homes that are overpriced ugly boxes on postage stamp lots that will remain empty because right now no one is buying homes. These are the homes that are in the lower price ranges, but still out of range for most people. It's all about money but no one has it and so no one is making it.
Honestly, I really need to focus on a career change. I think God is leading me to go into teaching, but I'm still trying to rationalize it all and am not ready to let go and let it rest in His hands just yet.