KCEC millennial group looks for way to get involved in government

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The Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Millennial Leadership Forum met Monday at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership for its third meeting to discuss the well-being and economic futures for those in the 20-to-36-year-old demographic in Taos.

"Our main goal is to focus on the quality of life for millennials," said KCEC public relations coordinator Michael Santistevan. "We don't want this to be under fluorescent lights all the time. We want this to be fun."

Santistevan said he wanted a more relaxed discussion for the third meeting rather than to be confined inside a boardroom or other smaller space. Millennials, mostly from Questa and other Taos County municipalities, turned out to voice their opinions and get focused on the future.

Formed out of concern over the lack of 20-to-30-year-old residents taking charge in public process, the group strives to get a younger demographic's voice involved with decision making in the communities within and around Taos County. Officials from KCEC, the town of Taos and the village of Questa were present and have been at the past two meetings to hear the concerns of the group and encourage them to make an appearance at the meetings that often decide their futures. Several controversial topics have been discussed at the meetings with many different solutions being offered to address the issues. Now it seems the group's identity is beginning to form into committees ready to take some action.

Topics ranged from the affordable housing crisis in Taos, wages and the need for better youth activities. Several people expressed concern over the inability of working individuals to make the various public government meetings across the county. Many work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are often unable to make a 3 p.m. council meeting or board meeting.

"I would love to be more involved (in the community)," said participant Steve Vigil. "The only reason I am here (at the meeting) is because it's after five."

The group decided to work toward forming various committees to represent the overall group at meetings in the future. Since only a few people present in the group of less than 30 are able to make public meetings during work hours, a representative could be sent to the various meetings to report back and even speak on behalf of the group. Nothing official has been voted or decided yet, and the group plans to meet again in the hopes of gathering more to the table.

The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22; however, the location has yet to be determined. For more information, contact Santistevan at (575) 758-2258.

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