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Structure, History, and Responsibilities of the City Council

The City Charter establishes the structure of government for the City of Albuquerque

The Charter provides the basic framework and duties that the City Council performs, establishes term length and election dates for the districts, and provides the method for boundary change after each census.


Structurally the City Council is represented by nine geographic districts. Each district elects one councilor to represent that district for four years, with elections staggered between odd-numbered districts and even-numbered districts. During the first Council meeting each January, the councilors choose a President and Vice-President to head Council meetings.


The Charter establishes in Section 10 the major duties and responsibilities of the City Council. The Council must:

  1. Judge the qualification and election of its members
  2. Establish and adopt five-year goals and one-year objectives for the city which are reviewed and revised annually
  3. Consult with the Mayor, seek advice from appropriate committees, commissions and boards, and hold at least one public hearing before adopting or revising the goals and objectives of the city
  4. Review, approve, or amend and approve all budgets of the city, and adopt policies, plans, programs and legislation consistent with the goals and objectives established by the Council
  5. Preserve a merit system by ordinance
  6. Hire the personnel necessary to enable the Council to adequately perform its duties
  7. Perform other duties not inconsistent with or as provided in this Charter and
  8. Faithfully execute and comply with all laws, ordinances, regulations and resolutions of the city and all laws of the State of New Mexico and the United States of America which apply to the city.

Former City Councilors

Interested residents can visit the City Councilor Archive to see who has been a City Councilor since the establishment of the current form of government in 1974.  All Councilors, present and past, have helped shape the policy and direction of Albuquerque.