You can download a letter-form pdf of this email here

Mayor Keller,

I am contacting you today regarding the policy for mandatory community center IDs that is staged to be enforced at the Heights Community Center. Specifically, I am contacting you in regarding to the detrimental effect this policy will have on the regular Tuesday Night Swing Dance hosted by The Calming Four Primordial Swing Dance.

Every Tuesday evening (excluding holidays and other special circumstances) for over two decades, there has been a swing dance at the heights community center hosted by The Calming Four. As you are aware, from responses provided by your office, many of our members are concerned with the new pronouncement that the Heights community center will now require all attendees to obtain and present a community center ID any time they would like to attend the dance. You express condolences about the “inconvenience” this may cause; but you are perhaps unaware that this is more than an inconvenience and may, in fact, be the cause for the eventual shut-down of this social dance institution.

Successful dance communities require a number of things to survive, but two important qualities of any sustainable social dance is accessibility and reliability. In particular this policy, which may not be new to many centers but is new to us, would drastically reduce the accessibility of this dance. There are many reasons for this and many of the concerns of our community are described at, that include the use of the facility by minors, visitors from outside the city, occasional members, bands, out-of-state instructors, etc. Not to mention the obvious privacy concerns that many of our members have expressed. Starting to learn a new social can be a daunting activity—even for those with substantial dance experience and much more so for people with no dance experience. Adding additional barriers, even that you or your administration perceive as insubstantial will likely cause people to simply abstain from participating in the dance.

To conclude, I would like to tell you what this dance has done for you and the Albuquerque community. It has provided a weekly social outlet for your constituents, especially high schoolers and young adults. It has provided a place where people have enjoyable physical exercise. It is a positive space for inter and intra-gender social and physical interaction. IT provides a social outlet for youth in an increasingly digital, and isolated online world. It has provided a place for people of different backgrounds to celebrate their shared love of dance.

This dance community has been working for you and Albuquerque for over 20 years. I’m asking that you work for them. Please reconsider the policy for mandatory community center IDs for all participants of this community dance.

Thank you for your time.