Lawmakers fund Albuquerque gun violence memorial

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A wave of high-profile crimes in Albuquerque in 2015 had families of victims fighting for tougher laws during the legislative session this year, but there was something else they wanted.

“We just all came together and thought it was an important idea to memorialize all the lives that were lost,” said Nicole Chavez, the mother of Jaydon Chavez-Silver, the teen killed in a drive-by shooting at a party last year. “Unfortunately it took a lot of tragedies to get to this point.”

In this year’s capital outlay bill, which still needs to be signed by Gov. Susana Martinez, is $229,000 for an Albuquerque gun violence memorial, appropriated to the Cultural Affairs Department. That money came from Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque.

Details of where the memorial would go, what it would look like and when it would be completed are not set. The plan is for the memorial to go into a city park, with the city providing a list of possible locations.

Chavez says the memorial is meant to honor all victims of gun violence, but it is not meant to be in favor of gun control.

“I myself am a concealed-carry person so I wouldn’t stand for that,” said Chavez.

Instead, Chavez hopes it sparks a push to clamp down on violence in the community.

“This going  to be a symbol,” Chavez said. “A symbol to remember them and a symbol to make a change.”

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