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One Albuquerque Fund, Mayor Keller Announce Initiatives to Invest in the Black Community

Fund will raise private dollars to positively impact Black community, Mayor asking Council to join with a $1 million investment in same goal

June 26, 2020

The One Albuquerque Fund announced today that it is creating a dedicated investment fund that will focus on positive impact in the Black community such as boosting Black-owned businesses and job training opportunities. The Fund is calling on companies and the community to donate to the Fund specifically to support these efforts.

In the same announcement, Mayor Tim Keller asked the City Council to join the effort by investing $1 million of year end reversion funding toward the same goals. Due to the City’s belt-tightening measures and successful efforts to get federal assistance and avoid measures like furloughs, the city government has funding that went unspent. This year, in the midst of nationwide and local calls for justice and equality for Black Americans and New Mexicans, Mayor Keller’s administration is asking to dedicate a portion of those funds to close a long-standing gap in access to opportunity.

Together, these two initiatives will support local Black businesses and communities, paying dividends in the form of new jobs, stronger communities, and a better economy for everyone in the city. The push meets two major goals of the administration: supporting young people and developing an economy of small businesses that works for all.

The new initiative was announced in a video released Friday afternoon by Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair, and One Albuquerque Fund Board Chair Charles Ashley III. Click to watch.

“At times we mistakenly perpetuate a tri-cultural history myth—and we forget that Albuquerque especially has a vibrant Black community. Relatedly, we have ignored a big gap in access to opportunity for this community for too long. We’ve got to step up for them to create better access to funding, investment, and capital. Now is the time. That’s why we’re asking Council to approve a $1 million investment in positive impact for the Black community,” said Mayor Keller.

“Across our community, Black residents have worse outcomes for health, housing, and economic security, even though unemployment rates and economic achievement are even with or higher than other groups. Some of these problems, like segregation in housing, are getting worse, not better,” said CAO Sarita Nair. “Thanks to our careful management of the City budget, we have an opportunity to make a difference. If we want to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ and mean it, we have to invest in changing the institutions and the structures that negatively impact those lives.”

“This is something we’ve been working on and talking about for some time. There is no greater time than now to challenge Albuquerque to invest in our Black community,” said Charles Ashley III, chair of the One Albuquerque Fund. Through the One Albuquerque Fund, we’re evaluating the best way to invest in our residents, businesses, and neighborhoods—and we’re excited to be partnering with the City on a big step forward.”

The One Albuquerque Fund will develop objectives and criteria in the coming weeks to determine how to invest the money they raise in the Black community in the most effective way. The criteria will be developed using a community-driven public input process. The group will also be challenging Albuquerque businesses and individuals who have voiced support for Black Lives Matter and have the capacity to give to step up and make a contribution to the One Albuquerque Black Investment Fund.

 To donate to the One Albuquerque Fund’s Black Investment Fund, visit www.onealbuquerque.org.

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