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Mayoral Candidates Clash Over Santa Fe’s Housing Crisis

@JoeInSouthernCA via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

With just under a month left until election day, Santa Fe’s mayoral candidates met on Tuesday night to prove themselves the best pick to tackle the city’s housing issues. 

Hosted by the Santa Fe City of Commerce and the Santa Fe Housing Action Coalition, the mayoral forum was divided into two days –– one focused on the economy and business, and the other on housing. 

“There is not a silver bullet for our affordable housing needs.” 

That’s incumbent Alan Webber kicking off the forum.  

Also joining him on stage in the limelight was Alexis Martinez Johnson and City Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler, who answered questions on affordable housing, rent control, and future development in the city. 

L to R: Moderator Julia Goldberg, City Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler, Incumbent Mayor Alan Webber, Alexis Martinez Johnson



Alan Webber stressed the need for a streamlined homebuilding process. While JoAnne Vigil Coppler pointed to her past experience in city council and theSanta Fe Realtors Association to solicit trust from voters. 

“We’re never going to achieve affordable housing if we don’t tackle some of the old ways of planning for this city,” said Vigil Coppler. 

Rules of the forum were clear. No debate and absolutely no arguing. But, that didn’t stop candidates like Webber and Vigil Coppler from throwing punches at each other whenever the opportunity arose.

“Well, there you go again Councilor. As I predicted at the beginning of this forum, we would hear a lot of criticism and negativity and dark predictions,” said Webber. 

As the room was heating up, Alexis Martinez Johnson took more of a backseat in the conversation, centering her answers more on increasing quality of life for families and preserving the area’s unique landscape. 

“Everybody deserves to see the mountains,” Martinez Johnson said. “That’s the reason why we love Santa Fe –– why we live here or why we moved here. I think that we need to respect the community and understand that there are parameters.” 

Early voting is underway for November 2nd regular local elections and will go through the end of the month. Some counties will also be expanding and adding alternative early voting locations on October 16th.

You can also request an absentee ballot online through the Secretary of State website or your county clerk’s office. 



Watch day 2 of the forum in its entirety here



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