ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As Albuquerque’s newest city councilor, Lan Sena is now speaking out about her priorities for the west side. The new job has come with a lot of challenges as she tries to fill the shoes of late Councilor Ken Sanchez, and helps the community amid the pandemic.
“Starting a new job has its own stressors,” says Councilor Sena.
City Councilor Sena is doing her best to keep up after Mayor Tim Keller appointed her to the Distict 1 position, following Councilor Sanchez’s passing on January 1. She’s an Albuquerque native, daughter of Vietnamese refugees, and the first Asian American woman to serve in Albuquerque city politics.
“Late Councilor Sanchez did for our community and then his passing, it was very heartbreaking,” she says. Sena wants to continue where Councilor Sanchez left off.
“There’s a lot of projects that he started and that I hope to continue, one of them being the indoor sports complex,” she says.
That’s not all. Sena’s main passions are public health, health policy and advocacy, in hopes of solving other pressing issues in the city.
“Using public health measures to address homelessness and even crime,” she says.
All these goals, however, were put on hold once the city got its first case of the coronavirus.
“Coming in to this and hoping to address things for the community in the long run, were put on the side just to address the immediate needs of our community,” she says.
As city council starts holding meetings through video conference, Sena says it’s just another change to get used to with this new ‘norm.’
“Just adjusting to this new phase of being online and not being able to meet the people who are reaching out to me,” she says.
Sena also wants to try to set up phone town halls for her constituents who do not have internet access. As for that sports complex, Sena says $5 million has already been secured for the first phase of the project.