Kudos and honorable respect to our three Taoseño youth, Roberto Martinez, Gilbert Valerio and James Valerio, who attended the Governor's Forum in Taos on Tuesday, April 18. Due to concurrent Acequia meetings, I was not able to attend. With great pride, I read "My Turn", April 20-26. Their disappointment on the outcome of the forum left me sad. These three prepared themselves with specific questions to ask. Instead of a Forum, the event disintegrated into a shouting match. The boys received no recognition nor opportunity to speak.
One major problem with the acequias in Taos Valley is lack of youth involvement. Advocates for neighborhood access to clean water are mostly community elders. What are we nurturing for the future? When youth show a sincere interest, we must acknowledge and honor them, give them time to participate and let their voices be heard, instead of grandstanding on personal concerns. Heated arguments can always be tabled for a few moments to give encouragement for our youth to exercise their voice and express thoughts and concerns. Who knows what windows of communication these young men may have opened at the Forum. We need to do this to build a flourishing and inspired future for our community and society.
– Juanita J. Lavadie, Taos area