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City Councilors and Mayor Confirm the Passing of Councilor Sanchez

Albuquerque City Councilor of over 14 years, passed away on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

January 1, 2020

On Wednesday night, the family of City Councilor Ken Sanchez, Albuquerque City Councilors, and Mayor Tim Keller came together to acknowledge the passing of Councilor Sanchez.

Mayor Keller said, “It is with great sadness that we gather friends and family from across New Mexico to announce the passing of one of the Duke City’s strongest champions. Councilor Sanchez is a legendary public servant in our community. His dedication to his district, his tireless efforts to build the Westside and, often as Council president, his steadfast leadership, putting policy before partisanship and people before politics. He sat on the Albuquerque City Council for over 14 years and eight years on the Bernalillo County Commission. During his career as a City Councilor, he helped secure funding for critical programs and new developments to reinvigorate the community. As the Council president when I first came into office, he helped my administration find our way with City Council and joined with us to directly address many deep-seeded challenges facing City Hall. He secured $2 million in funding for youth programming and moved the Netflix deal through Council. Recently, he helped with the efforts to secure funding for the gateway facility for people experiencing homelessness. He also leaves a legacy as a dear friend to our local firefighters and police officers, always finding ways to support them. Personally, he was widely respected as an accountant, performing dutifully the taxes of thousands of New Mexicans. He will be dearly missed by his family, his community and our city.” 

The passing of Councilor Ken Sanchez marks the first time in several decades the City of Albuquerque has seen the passing of sitting City Councilor. The City is working with the Councilor’s family on further details regarding honoring his life and legacy.

Natalie Zamora, granddaughter of Ken Sanchez said, “On behalf of the family we just wanted to say thank you for the overwhelming love, support and prayers.  It’s been a very difficult time and we know that he hasn’t only touched our family but so many other lives and he is such a big part of the city.”

Council President Klarissa Peña said, “Today we lost a pillar of our community – a true giant in his service to others, his generosity, and his morality. He believed in this community and in our government’s ability to continue to make Albuquerque a better place, and he lived it through his actions every day. It’s with heavy hearts that we must bid farewell to a man who was a friend, colleague, mentor, and supporter to so many – he will not be forgotten.”

Councilor President Cynthia Borrego said, “It’s with a heavy heart that we lost a pillar of our community today.  Ken Sanchez, a person that I’ve known for over 35 years helped build Albuquerque and Bernalillo County as he also served as a public servant on the Bernalillo County Commission. His family should know that he will be deeply missed and that there will be an absence for a very long time. He offered himself, his spirit and his work to the people of Albuquerque.”

Councilor Trudy Jones said, “Councilor Sanchez was a great friend and a mentor for me in how to do things in city council.  He had the highest integrity, and cared for the city and all of the people in it.  We should all look to him as a role model on how to be an elected official and public servant.”

Councilor Pat Davis said, “Losing Ken leaves a huge void in our city. His legacy shows you what one man can do to build a city and what it means to be a leader amongst colleagues.”

Councilor Don Harris said, “Ken and I became very good friends, he helped me through a difficult situation at a risk to himself. He always put principal over politics.”

Councilor Brad Winter said, “In over 14 years working together, we became like family. Ken will be greatly missed.”

“Councilor Sanchez cared deeply about Albuquerque, and he supported our officers throughout his public service,” said Chief Mike Geier. “We appreciate everything he did for APD and the safety of our community.”

“I worked closely with Councilor Sanchez and valued his support and advice when I became the Commander of the Southwest Area Command,” APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina said. “I learned from him, and shared his commitment to Southwest Albuquerque.”

Councilor Diane Gibson said, “This is a very sad day for Albuquerque. We lost a public servant who gave so much of himself to make Albuquerque the great city it is and make it greater. He was the best of all of us.”