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City of Albuquerque Hosts 140 Cities and Counties for a National Conversation on Race and Equity

City leaders shared current efforts and engaged in conversations to make Albuquerque more inclusive and equitable for all Burqueños.

April 19, 2019

This week, the City of Albuquerque hosted the Annual National Member Meeting of the Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) April16th-18th. More than 500 people from 140 city and county governments including Durham, NC, Seattle, WA, New York, NY, Mecklenburg County, NC, Multnomah County, OR, Washtenaw County, MI were in Albuquerque to share ideas about the importance of equity and inclusivity in government.

Mayor Tim Keller said, “Race equity is major priority for our administration, and we’ve been a leader in tackling this deep-rooted issue by establishing dedicated offices for Equity and Inclusion and for Civil Rights, hiring a diverse and talented leadership team, and expanding our Buy Local campaign to support local minority-owned businesses.” He added, “Considering the national context around race, equity, and human rights, the GARE conference was timely for us to share innovative ways to embed equity into city government and dismantle structural racism. We appreciate these productive conversations with leaders from around the country; together we are supporting a powerful movement towards cities with equitable outcomes for all."

Mayor Keller’s administration has taken steps toward a more inclusive and equitable Albuquerque to live, work and do business in. Some of these steps include:

  • Establishing the Offices of Equity and Inclusion and Civil Rights.
  • Making Albuquerque the first city in the nation to recognize tribal sovereignty by establishing government-to-government relations.
  • Providing equity training to employees to help examine who they hire, who they do business with, and where tax-payer money is invested.
  • Taken steps to ensure that more City contracts are awarded to local and minority-owned businesses, increasing City contracts with minority-owned businesses from $6.8 million in 2017 to $20 million in 2018. 
  • Hosting 4 job fairs connecting people of color and youth to employers.
  • Establishing Albuquerque as an Immigrant Friendly City and working with community-based organizations and the faith community to provide basic need resources to over 1,400 Central American refugees and asylum seekers since February.

The GARE Conference centered indigeneity, and showcased local leaders and artists by featuring local plenary speakers, vendor pop-ups and performances. More than 60 city employees attended trainings at the conference. City of Albuquerque employees and community partners presented on panels and in workshops on topics of:

  • Workforce Equity in Local Government – How the City of Albuquerque is working to hire, retain and promote people of color in city government.
  • “Building Bridges Not Walls!” – Albuquerque’s commitment to supporting immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Promoting Health Equity and Youth Opportunities with Employment and Transportation- Collaborations between community and City departments to erase youth inequity.
  • The Elusive, Inclusive Economy – How the City is leveraging procurement and economic development tools to build an economy that works for everyone.
  • Communities of Color and the 2020 Census – The difficulties and importance of a complete count in the upcoming 2020 Census.
  • Youth-Led Efforts on Anti-Racism and Racial Equity- The strategies and importance of engaging with youth and young-adults.
  • Working from Positions of Power: Advancing Racial Equity at All Levels – City of Albuquerque CAO, Sarita Nair shared how encouraging department leaders to be creative, innovative and work together has produced positive results for the City.