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Goals & Objectives

Key Issues for District 2.

Goals & Objectives

Councilor Benton considers our District's key issues to be the following:

  • safe streets
  • economic development and housing
  • homelessness
  • public safety

He will work to improve the safety and quality of the area's streets for walking, biking, driving, and the use of public transit. He does not support continuing to design Albuquerque only for a single mode of transportation, the automobile.

Besides improved educational opportunities, he believes the best hope for economic development in District 2 is the revitalization of our historic older commercial areas. That will require public/private/nonprofit partnerships. Mixed-use, site-specific, transit-oriented corridors reinforce our “sense of place.” Councilor Benton also believes that housing in such mixed use developments, as well as other infill sites, should be mixed-income, requiring public investment and perhaps regulatory changes to keep them affordable for all working people.

Councilor Benton sponsored the Behavioral Health Task Force made up of experts, providers and stakeholders who identified the gaps in services and made essential recommendations to the City and County.  He continues to be active in the efforts, serving on the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Commission, the oversight body for the Behavioral Health Initiative.  He continues to support robust funding for homeless services like Albuquerque Heading Home, Albuquerque Street Connect,  and the supportive housing to be built by Hopeworks with the support of city, county and the NM Mortgage Finance Authority. 

That project includes a good neighbor agreement recognizing the concerns and protecting its neighbors. I'm very aware of and sympathetic about the impact of the homeless population on area businesses and residents. I bought my first home in Wells Park in 1979 and lived there before and after such services came to the neighborhood. I'm well aware of the increases in the street population and the severity of the community's behavioral challenges since then. I seek solutions not only for the homeless but for businesses and residents affected by their presence outside their doors.

We continue to still need more affordable housing options for familes without special needs; as sponsor of our Workforce Housing Fund, Councilor Benton supports its funding in every bond cycle. 

Public safety is also a top priority.  APD needs at least 200 more police officers, and the Council has funded better pay and incentives to attract and keep them.  Fewer people are choosing policing as a career - we have to compete with other cities to find and keep them here.  Unfortunately, our officers have very little time to patrol neighborhoods, as they are almost exclusively answering priority calls for service.  This is not just about asking  more of APD; we also need to help them ourselves as residents and businesses through vigilance, reporting and neighborhood crime watches.

Under previous mayors and police chiefs, Councilor Benton advocated for a serious police presence Downtown, critical to our tourist industry and our economy.  He’s thrilled that under Mayor Keller and Chief Geier we finally have a public safety district with “beat cops and bike cops” on all shifts. It has made a world of difference.

Fire and Rescue remain important to our district.  Councilor Benton secured funding for the relocation of Fire Station 2, which included construction of a new facility.  He subsequently funded new rescue units at Stations 2 and 4 in District 2.