All political power is vested in and derived from the people: all government of right originates with the people, is founded upon their will and is instituted solely for their good.
Our founding fathers wrote this section of our constitution as one of the first things they did. I consider it to be the basis for governing nearly 100 years later. The statement is a concise definition of what government is, why it exists, and who it is for. In Santa Fe County we have gotten away from the basic sense of this article, much to our detriment – we have to get back to a system that honors and supports the direct democratic involvement of citizens in their own government.
Here are some ways we can begin to immediately put this process into place. 1) Create citizen boards that will guide county staff and commissioners in key areas: energy, water, food, agriculture and ranching, local economy, health care, housing, new codes,governance. Every one of these groups would be made up of intelligent, committed citizens with a strong track record within their chosen group. They could then begin to define problems and desired solutions . set goals and objectives, do study , outreach and education and finally draft ordinances for the BCC. This way, we put our local talent to work solving local issues in the most thorough and innovative way.
2) Begin the drafting and ratification of a Bill of Rights for Santa Fe County citizens. We need to have this document to honor and affirm our rights as citizens of a democratically run county.This process can move up through existing communities, existing groups within the county and individuals. This can be a powerful process for setting down in direct language, the agreed upon rights of individuals and communities . We do no have such a document yet, consequently, our rights are never clearly defined and never really exist.