October 19, 2015

Censure of ABQ city council pres withdrawn

Albuquerque city councilors in May, 2015.

The recent blow up in the Albuquerque City Council over comments made by Council President Rey Garduño came to a quick end on Monday night during a council meeting.

Albuquerque city councilor Dan Lewis

Albuquerque city councilor Dan Lewis

Earlier this month, Councilor Dan Lewis criticized Garduño for disparaging remarks towards councilors who cast a dissenting vote on a proposed Indigenous People’s Day proclamation. Lewis issued a memo that called for the censure of Garduño, but within the first 20 minutes of Monday’s meeting, Lewis announced he was withdrawing his proposal, followed by applause from the audience.

The withdrawal came just after Garduño issued a public apology to his councilors for previously calling them “cowards.”

“For that, I’m a sorry. I regret my choice of words,” Garduño said. “I’m sorry that my colleagues on the council were offended.”

The problem may have been solved before the council even met though.

As Lewis walked into the council chambers he shook hands with Garduño and they both stepped behind closed doors for about ten minutes.

Albuquerque city councilor Rey Garduño

Albuquerque city councilor Rey Garduño

As the council began business for the night Lewis said he would not be pursuing a censure of Garduño.

“I won’t be doing that tonight,” Lewis said of the agenda item.

Still, some members of the public had already signed up for public comment and took the opportunity to admonish the celebration of Columbus Day and praise Garduño.

One speaker took it upon himself to admonish Garduño calling the proclamation “racist.” He told Garduño, “its people like you that keep the racial fires burning.”

Many public speakers said they had long speeches ready to criticize Lewis’ proposal to censure Garduno. Instead, most praised Lewis for withdrawing his proposal.

Garduño said last week that he would be introducing a resolution to “more formally recognize Indigenous People’s Day.”