Like most Albuquerque residents, I wake up with frustration when I look around at my city. I watch and worry, and I see the effects of bad public policy. I see my neighbor, who tells me of his recently broken-into car. I see students struggle as their access to education fails them. I see what seems to be myself and half of the city, stuck waiting on Paseo Del Norte, losing valuable free time trying to make our daily commute. These daily disappointments in our local government are concerning. But I don't just see the difficulties, I see the solutions and opportunities behind them. I envision all the different ways that we could improve. Each and every one of us deserve to wake up in the morning, look out the window, and be proud of this beautiful, great city we all live in. Let's begin a dialogue on how, together, we can make it better. That's why I'm running for City Council.
I have dedicated my entire life to public service for our community, having spent 28 years as a city planner, 8 years on the PERA Board, and currently on the AMAFCA Board. I have developed the skills and expertise required to bring leadership to bring about these solutions in which we so desperately need.
We need to get serious about the crime that plagues and strangles the feelings of safety and economic opportunity in our city. We need more officers on the street. We need a concise and tangible approach to keeping criminals in jail, until they are sufficiently rehabilitated. We need to create an economy that welcomes and embraces small businesses, new industry, and attracts new and fair paying companies. We need to fight for education, and provide the funding our children and young adults deserve to keep them off the streets, and ready to enter the work force. The Westside needs infrastructure that doesn't force hardworking people to spend hours of their valuable time in traffic.
I'm asking for your vote on Tuesday, November 14. It's time to get to work, and turn this city around. We've heard enough talk, and enough rhetoric. I've brought comprehensive solutions to many communities as a City Planner, and as your City Councilor, I'm ready to do the same for you. This November, we have a real chance to turn our communities and our city around. I will work passionately and diligently to bring about these changes, and with your vote, we can create the positive reform that ourselves, and our children deserve. It's time for change, but I can't do it alone. I am asking for your vote.
I am outraged by the crime in our city. Fewer police on the street means fewer criminals arrested and more crimes committed. We cannot expect to attract and grow high paying jobs when we are number one in crime in the nation. The finger pointing has to stop!
I have a five point plan to reduce crime:
1. Increase the number of police officers on the street.
2. Provide new leadership at APD, Chief Gordon has to go.
3. Invest in community policing.
4. Invest in organized crime prevention programs, coordinated with neighborhood and business associations.
5. Invest in Mental Health Programs that keep criminals off the street.
Albuquerque rapid transit (art) and west-side commuting
Albuquerque needs a comprehensive, effective, and fully developed public transportation system. We can no longer look at only a piece of the puzzle. It requires planning, experience, foresight and vision to accomplish a truly comprehensive system. With predicted city population growth, we've already seen increases in traffic all over the city, particularly with our freeways during rush hours. We need a transit system that works. We now have a disastrous commute scenario to-and-from the Westside, whether you choose to travel Alameda, Paseo Del Norte, Montaño, or the Interstate, and our city needs to fund new design and infrastructure that serves both our current and future population needs. The Albuquerque Metro-area needs to be responsive to those who commute to and from the West-side everyday, by being ready to meet their traffic demand with coherent, efficient solutions.
Albuquerque Rapid Transit (A.R.T.) along Central Avenue has created many issues for businesses located along the Historic Corridor (Route 66). Serving as a City Planner, it was clear to me that construction should have been phased quickly and efficiently, so as not to tear up the middle of the nine mile avenue all at once. This process has cost the area and the city significant economic loss, the exact opposite of the project's intentions. Now its time to rebuild what we've lost, and create a comprehensive public transportation system.
I have a four point plan for job creation:
1. To create an infrastructure that allows businesses to flourish, especially small businesses.
2. We must build a city that welcomes new avenues of innovation, small business, technology and economic prosperity.
3. Tirelessly recruit new industries and invest in a well educated and well trained workforce.
4. Double down on growing tech industries by encouraging more tech transfers, working with the Base and our Laboratories.
According to a recent study in The Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico ranks #1 in the nation in unemployment rates across the nation. I find this completely unacceptable for our beautiful city. A low unemployment rate, brings an increase in crime, and economic stagnation. This issue is one that the city needs to be much more focused on, and work collaboratively to address. As a small business owner (Cyba's & Associates), I've developed the skills and expertise needed for bringing opportunity and growth back to our city, and especially the 5th District. I've cultivated my skills with first hand experience in helping small businesses grow, and that's something I can contribute to the entire city. We need to provide extra focus on making sure that Albuquerque is an attractive destination city for new industry. We cannot be a successful, growing, and thriving city without this key element. As your City Councilor, I will work to ensure that we are a city that welcomes new avenues of innovation, small business, technology and economic prosperity.
Education is key when it comes to cultivating a better Albuquerque. In recent years, New Mexico has suffered through tax cuts and gutting of our educational system, and because of these issues, we rank among the worst in the nation in high school and college graduation rates, as well as test scoring. These statistics are a hard pill to swallow. In order for Albuquerque to develop into a thriving and successful city, we must invest in our future, and that all starts with the access to quality education for our children, and young adults. We cannot stand idly by and watch the quality of our education system crumble. Our children deserve better, and so does the community. As your City Councilor, I will make it one of my top priorities to expand and invest in our educational system.
An educated and well trained work force is a priority when it comes to developing economic opportunity. Having graduated with a Bachelor in Science in Education from UNM in 1980, I have a clear and cohesive understanding of the vital role that a well educated society plays in a city. We must encourage reasonable solutions to decrease our dropout rates, and promote learning and growth. As a city, we must make a college education accessible and affordable. We must promote excellence in our teachers and support the quality of learning. We must also work to make schools safer. If we do, we will see a decrease in the crime rate, and foster economic growth.
I'm proud to say that I am the only publicly financed candidate in the 5th District, City Councilor race. What is public financing? It is a way to fundraise my campaign that comes straight from my constituents. I am therefore not obligated or indebted to any entity that can afford to buy their way into elections, and I am not beholden to any personal agenda, except the people of the district. I could not be more grateful to the people of the 5th District who helped make it possible for me to run for this Council office.