A celebration usually full of rejoice and remembrance of loved ones was riddled with politically influenced floats this weekend.
Floats in this year’s Marigold Parade, which took place Sunday, included those from schools such as Del Norte High School, Erne Pyle Middle School and New Mexico International School. Students from the schools dressed up and threw candy to attendees.
The parade was part of Albuquerque’s Day of the Dead celebrations this year, which were all put together by Cambio Inc. According to its website, Cambio is an Albuquerque nonprofit company that “promotes programs of self-sufficiency, self-determination, and social change in working class, poor communities of color.”
Other parade floats were more serious, using the venue to address issues such as gay rights and the Nov. 19 Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance vote.
This vote would decide whether Albuquerque will continue to allow abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Albuquerque law allows medical abortions into the third trimester of pregnancy.
The ballot for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance states that “By 8 weeks after fertilization, the unborn child reacts to touch. After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human.” If passed, the law would make abortion illegal after this 20-week mark.
Many in attendance of the celebration said they were voting against the ordinance.
Former UNM student Ken Cornell, who attended the parade, said although he plans to vote ‘no’ on the ballot, he thought the float that countered the abortion ordinance was out of place.
“I don’t think that it was appropriate at all,” he said. “I don’t think it is anymore than somebody running for mayor should be allowed to have one with their name on it saying ‘Vote for me for mayor.’ It’s unethical.”
Cynthia Chavers, an attendee who is also voting ‘no’ on the ballot, disagreed.
“I think that Albuquerque is all about our community and what we decide to do in our community,” she said. “This parade is reflective of what we do in our community so this whole thing is about what we do as people. I think it’s appropriate either way if people want to bring those floats to the parade.”
Early voting for the abortion ordinance began Oct. 30 and would go on until Nov 15. Citywide runoff elections for the ordinance is set for Nov. 19.