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March 20, 2021 Community Hall Newsletter

City Announces Mayor Keller’s 2021 State of the City: Leading Through Uncharted Territory

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Mayor Tim Keller delivered his third State of the City address last week, this year in a virtual format due to COVID-19. In place of the annual community event, the hour-long video features special guests from City leadership and the community. The full State of the City Address can be viewed here.

This year’s remarks reflected the theme of leading through the uncharted territory, finding true north without a roadmap, and illuminating the road ahead in midst of crisis. The Mayor shared personal stories of eerie shopping trips when the shelves were empty, getting his two young children logged in for virtual school each morning, and delivering groceries to his parent’s doorstep.

While reflecting on the crisis-laden past year, Mayor Keller outlined plans for recovery ahead. As the City pushes forward on COVID-19 recovery efforts, keeping focus on Albuquerque’s biggest challenges remains a top priority for the Administration including tackling crime, addressing homelessness, and boosting economic development.

Watch the Address


Highlights from the State of the City

Following a purpose-driven path to address public safety

  • Hired two new top leadership positions for APD–Chief Harold Medina and Superintendent of Police Reform Sylvester Stanley.
  • Met the goal to hire 100 new officers annually,  for the third year in a row.
  • Reversed worst-in-the-nation property crime rates, and auto theft, burglary and robbery are all falling year-over-year.
  • Weekly anti-crime operations led to more than 1,000 arrests, 136 recovered firearms and 124 recovered stolen vehicles.
  • 73% of offenders on the Metro 15 list are no longer on Albuquerque’s streets.
  • Tripled the size of the homicide unit from 5 detectives to 14 detectives and 2 sergeants and investing in long overdue gunshot detection technology. 
  • Targeted dangerous quality of life issues like speeding and drag racing.
  • Cleared the decades-old rape kit backlog within three years, once and for all. 
  • Interrupted the cycle of violent crime through the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) – of the 110 individuals who have participated since October, most have not picked up a gun again.
  • Reimagined policing through the new Albuquerque Community Safety Department.

Investing in Public Safety

“We are investing in modern technology to give APD every possible tool to fight gun violence in Albuquerque. We brought gun detection technology to Albuquerque with critical funding from the Legislature and the Governor. This is already helping officers respond more quickly to shootings and arrest the drivers of violent crime.”

Charting the path forward on homelessness

  • Signed an agreement to purchase the Gibson Medical Center, which will serve as the first 24/7, low-barrier Gateway Center. 
  • Doubled the number of people being served by the City’s homeless support system by expanding emergency shelter and developing long-term answers.
  • Kept the Westside Emergency Housing Shelter (WEHC) open 24/7, provided three hot meals a day, brought in a medical services team and expanded transportation options.
  • Opened five wellness hotels for families and individuals who needed to isolate.
  • Created a fast-track to housing for families to get into their own homes using housing vouchers.
  • Received investments towards this progress from a group of local businesses for a half a million dollars, and $1 million from Bernalillo County. 
  • This year, the administration will make the vision of an integrated behavioral health and homelessness system a reality.

Strengthening Albuquerque’s Safety Net

“When other cities shut down, we stepped up. We know that for Albuquerque, telling folks to ‘just stay home’ is oversimplifying a complex issue. It’s a catchy phrase but not a policy that works for hundreds of thousands in our town. Staying home is a luxury that not everyone has, and home is not always the safest place. We moved nimbly to design a response and recovery that would leave no one behind.”

Bolstering the local economy and bringing good paying jobs

  • Created more than 4,000 new job opportunities, including projects with Netflix, Orion, NBCUniversal, and many others, and by supporting local gems like Bueno Foods, Los Poblanos, and Build with Robots as they expand. 
  • Announced that in addition to Orion's plans to break ground on 4.1 million sq ft manufacturing facility at the Sunport, they have secured 200,000 sq ft of office and manufacturing space to start building out their team here in Albuquerque. 
  • Albuquerque’s own ‘New Deal’: Invested $200m in new streets and sidewalks on the west side, two new community centers along Route 66, an expansion at Explora for teenagers, and a new library in the International District. Pushed through $200 million in transformative infrastructure projects including those in East Downtown, Nob Hill and supportive housing at Central and Unser.
  • Gave $12 million dollars in grants and other assistance directly to businesses to stay afloat. Waived thousands of dollars in permitting fees so restaurants could expand outdoor dining and stay open.
  • Jumped 72 points on the Best Performing Cities Report, a credit to high-tech growth and the City’s resilience and inclusion. For the first time in recent memory, more people are moving to Albuquerque than leaving.

Jumpstarting a COVID Economy

“When the crisis first hit, and our team was brainstorming what do, many of us harkened back to the legendary ‘New Deal’ program that guided our country through the Great Depression…For the first time in years there are construction cranes popping up all over town as we build for recovery. Our City is getting new streets and sidewalks on the west side, two new community centers up and down Route 66m an Explora expansion for teenagers, a new library in the International District, and through our redevelopment program, we are sparking transformative construction projects in East Downtown, Nob Hill and Supportive Housing at Central and Unser...totaling over $200 million.”

Ensuring a Strong Recovery Post-Pandemic

  • Albuquerque is now one of the top 10 sustainable cities in the country and will be 100% renewable by 2025.
  • Providing free childcare for frontline workers who cannot stay home.
  • Dispersed $1 million in rental assistance to help families and individuals stay in their homes, with another $24 million on the way this year.
  • Provided nearly one million meals to seniors and conducting 12,00 home visits to make sure people are not isolated.
  • Leaving no one behind by embedding equity in COVID testing and vaccine distribution. Removing barriers related to immigration status, language access, disability, and transportation.