Candidates gather for final forum

Jesse Moya

Community members gathered together in a packed Kit Carson Electric Boardroom Wednesday (Feb. 28)  for the final candidates forum for the 2018 Taos town elections.

Sponsored by Taos Take a Knee and Reading to End Racism, the two hour discussion focused largely on colonialism and racial tensions within Taos. Candidates were asked how to deal with certain subjects around town like removing the Conquistadors from the Taos Fiestas and collaborating with Taos Pueblo on certain events in the future.

Over 50 people attended the event to listen to candidates social and economic concerns and remedies for many of the issues within Taos. Several candidates expressed fear that many legacy Hispanic families have been leaving Taos in the past few decades and were calling for solutions to keep younger generations in Taos. Council member and Mayoral candidate Darien Fernandez spoke about meeting with high school students and let the audience know that many of the students said they were planning on leaving Taos after graduating and that they bad little intentions of returning.

The discussion also touched on other forms of oppression and gave candidates the opportunity to discuss topics such as the #MeToo movement in which Mayor Dan Barrone and others advocated for more teachings of respect for community members in younger generations.

Early voting ends Friday (March 2) and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, Tuesday, March 6.