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Councilman to speak on campus tonight

Payne to promote student interest in city government

City Councilman Greg Payne hopes to promote and improve student interest in city government when he speaks at a College Republicans meeting on campus tonight.

Ryan Rice, the College Republicans president, said the speech, which will be held in Dane Smith Hall, room 127, at 7 p.m., will focus on issues that could come up during the upcoming mayoral race.

Payne, who is serving his first term on the City Council and represents District 8 — the Foothills and Far Northeast Heights of Albuquerque — said he is coming to UNM because he wants to encourage student participation and interest in local government.

“I feel very strongly that it’s important for young people to get involved in the political process,” he said. “You might not be interested in government, but the fact is government will still be interested in you.”

Payne said he will talk about some issues Albuquerque is facing, including the proposed downtown baseball stadium. He said he is particularly interested in discussing the stadium because it is not only on the front burner of city politics, but is something the community will be deciding on shortly.

He said he has also approached Associated Students of UNM President Jennifer Liu in hopes of reaching out to more students.

“My hope is to encourage a new generation to get involved and make the system work in a manner they believe in,” he said.

Payne served in the U.S. Navy and received an honorable discharge. He then studied in the Honors Program at Portland State University, where he majored in History with a minor in English.

Rice said it is a nice attraction for the College Republicans to bring in guest speakers to cover controversial issues. He said the speech is a good event for college students to gain a little more insight on what’s going on with city politics.

“I think it would be a really good event for students to go to,” he said. “It will hopefully get them interested in what’s happening with their city.”

Rice said food and drinks will be served before the speech begins.

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