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In Part One of 2020 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, Sixty-One Percent Say ABQ Handling Pandemic Better Than Other Cities

Majority of ABQ residents also support City’s approach to public safety and equity during challenging year

Sept. 22, 2020

The City of Albuquerque conducted the first part of the 2020 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, which shows support for Mayor Tim Keller’s response to COVID-19.

The annual survey, mandated by City Council, measures the views of Albuquerque residents on important issues facing the community. Due to the unprecedented nature of this year, the survey was split into two parts to address urgent needs faced by the community. Part one focuses specifically on the City’s response to COVID-19, equity and inclusion initiatives, and policing. Part two is expected to focus on a wider variety of topics related to general quality of life.

“Many cities across the country are struggling with the unprecedented challenges this year has brought, but I’m grateful that Albuquerque has carved its own path and found solutions that work for our community,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Rather than be divided by the pandemic and calls to re-imagine policing, we have found ways to forge ahead and build an Albuquerque that is emerging from these challenges stronger and healthier.”

They survey shows strong marks for leadership in response to COVID-19. Sixty-one percent of respondents felt the City has handled the pandemic well, citing consistent communication with the public, and keeping residents safe and healthy while balancing support for business as primary drivers for their response. Sixty-one percent also felt that Albuquerque has done a better job than other cities in responding to the virus.

Brian Sanderoff, President of Research and Polling, Inc., said, “This year’s survey revealed significant support for the City’s pandemic response, with Mayor Keller taking the lead and effectively communicating with the public throughout the crisis.”

Residents identified crime as their top concern, but the majority also felt that the Albuquerque Police Department has done a good job of responding to recent protests. Public safety is the top priority for the administration. Mayor Keller raised salaries for officers and led the charge to hire 200 additional officers. The additional officers helped APD cut property crime by 19% since 2018.Mayor Keller also invested in community policing and launched the Violence Intervention Program that disrupts cycles of violence through a proven public health approach.

Acting APD Chief Harold Medina said, “Our officers work very hard every day, and it is gratifying to see support from the community for that work. Nobody could have predicted the challenges we would face with COVID-19 and the dozens of protests this summer. We worked through those challenges, learned from mistakes, and I believe this a positive step toward strengthening trust with the community.”

This year, Mayor Keller established the Albuquerque Community Safety Department to send trained professionals to calls related to mental health, homelessness and addiction so officers can stay focused on violent crime. Just under half of residents polled said they are hopeful about the direction the city is heading, notably in line with trends from last year’s survey rather than dropping off during the unprecedented challenges this year.

Sanderoff added, “Social justice issues have been at the forefront of national conversations this year, and Albuquerque is reflective of that. There has been a magnifying glass on how protests are handled, and how local governments respond. Many residents who took part in this survey were generally pleased with the City’s response to the protests.”  

Also rated positively by respondents were the City’s efforts to address civil rights and equity and inclusion issues. The Administration established the City’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and Office of Civil Rights to oversee these issues, a first for Albuquerque. More recently, Mayor Keller announced an investment of $1 million dollars to help the black community directly through the One Albuquerque Fund.

The latest edition of the survey of randomly selected residents was conducted by the independent firm Research & Polling Inc., and the report is dated August 2020 to reflect the dates the poll was in the field, from August 12th to August 18th, 2020.

Part two of the annual Citizen Satisfaction Survey is expected to take place later this fall.

The full survey results can be viewed here.