City councilors to withdraw Santa Fe obelisk rebuild plan

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SANTA FE, N.M. — Four Santa Fe city councilors plan to withdraw a proposal to rebuild a controversial obelisk with some modifications.

Enraged protestors tore the monument down in October 2020. Now, its remains are in a box in the middle of the Santa Fe Plaza.

In February, the city councilors proposed using the remaining pieces of the old obelisk to build a new, “culturally-inclusive” one. They also proposed creating and setting up an Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Now, they plan to withdraw the current resolution during a special meeting this Wednesday. Then, they plan to redraft the resolution to focus solely on setting up that office.

Councilors Romero-Wirth, Villarreal, Rivera and Chavez issued the following statement Tuesday:

“We will withdraw the CHART resolution directing the next steps for the Soldier’s Monument/Obelisk at the Special Governing Body Meeting on Wednesday. We’ll propose, at a subsequent meeting, a redrafted resolution to create and provide direction for an Office of Equity and Inclusion. We believe that funding for an Office of Equity and Inclusion should be part of the Mayor’s FY24 Budget.”

Councilors proposed rebuilding the monument to highlight the divisions that brought the monument down in the first place. Four new plaques would’ve also reframed what the monument stood for.

The 150-year-old obelisk honors Union soldiers who fought Indigenous and Confederate soldiers in the 1860s. However, the monument specifically highlights “heroes who have fallen in the various battles with savage Indians.”

Mayor Alan Webber proposed permanently removing the monument and replacing it with a culturally-inclusive one. Then, in June 2021, a Hispanic heritage group sued to block Mayor Alan Webber’s plans, alleging state law protects the monument and calls for its restoration.

Wednesday’s special meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The only item on the meeting’s agenda is action on the resolution. There will be no public comment period.