Our Summer Advocacy Program culminated with our teens identifying an issue they were willing to tackle themselves – the crosswalk on Hillside Avenue! This crosswalk is particularly important to Girls Inc. of Santa Fe because it’s right in front of the Hillside Center, where the youngest girls are served.
One group of teens monitored Hillside Avenue and collected data about how many cars were speeding, how many pedestrians jaywalked, and how many cars did not stop at the stop sign. A second group of teens walked around downtown Santa Fe collecting signatures from local residents and businesses for their petition to put a crosswalk on Hillside Avenue.
After presenting their findings to the other girls and their signed petition to City Public Works Director Regina Wheeler and City Councilor Signe Lindell, the City of Santa Fe repainted the crosswalk on Hillside Avenue in an effort to make the area safer for all. This was a great win for the teens’ advocacy efforts!
Girls Inc. of Santa Fe is committed to advancing the rights and opportunities of girls and young women, to reduce and eliminate the barriers girls face, and to reform systems that impede their success. We approach this work with an equity lens, focusing in particular on the needs of girls from low-income communities and girls of color, who face multiple, intersectional challenges.
Last year, part of our advocacy efforts included Girls Inc. Day at the Roundhouse, where girls, staff, board members, and volunteers gathered at the New Mexico State Capitol and met with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. Deb Haaland, and NM Rep. Andrea Romero to discuss issues that are important to the girls, including bullying and access to feminine hygiene products in NM public schools. The girls also worked on supporting bills that were of particular interest to them during the 2019 Legislative Session. During our summer program, the teens were also visited by a series of speakers who work in the advocacy arena as part of our ongoing Advocacy Program, including City Councilor Renee Villarreal, School Board President Kate Noble, Christina Castro of Three Sisters Collective, Santa Fe Reporter Editor Julie Ann Grimm and Danika Padilla, a board member of Emerge.
Our Advocacy Program will continue this fall leading up to the 2020 Legislative Session, if you’re interested in staying up-to-date with our efforts join our Advocacy Action Alerts here!