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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Neighborhood Engagement Process and the Neighborhood Association Recognition Ordinance Update.

What is the Neighborhood Engagement Process (NEP)?

The purpose of the NEP is to deepen relationships and trust between Neighborhood Associations, their surrounding communities and the ONC while building better process and capacity to engage communities in ongoing dialogue that leads to actionable policy change.

The NEP will focus on collecting information about process and structural issues to facilitate stronger community engagement efforts and may help inform amendments to the Neighborhood Association Recognition Ordinance (NARO).

This will involve engaging the public in meaningful dialogue as it relates to developing a series of recommendations to support the update of the NARO.

While community engagement is critical, information gathered from this process won’t be the only data considered. Community input, staff research, historical documents, and best practices will all be reviewed to inform recommendations.

What are the goals of the NEP?

  • To establish an ongoing dialogue between ONC and neighborhood associations
  • To create equity in the engagement process
  • To ensure more representative and democratic associations
  • To encourage vibrant and thriving neighborhoods
  • To improve the clarity of and have proper expectations for the NARO
  • To help inform ONC on how best to support neighborhoods

What are the potential products from the NEP?

  • Strengthened relationships between ONC, neighborhood groups, and other City departments.
  • The NARO could be amended with clear language giving more authority to ONC to strengthen coordination between associations across the City.
  • The NARO could be simplified to keep effective elements and clarify elements that result in conflict, confusion, and disagreements.
  • The NARO rewrite may include additional guidelines or resolutions that identify internal ONC procedures to support neighborhood goals, priorities, and values. The process may include clearer guidelines regarding neighborhood association best practices and create trainings for neighborhoods to build capacity.

What is the Neighborhood Association Recognition Ordinance (NARO)?

The NARO guides the work of the ONC and outlines the relationship between ONC and neighborhood associations.  It creates a pathway for Albuquerque residents to engage the City on issues affecting neighborhoods – amenities, improvements, development, etc.

The NARO is often referred to as “O-92” by neighborhood association representatives who were active in 1987 and/or who were involved in the public process of adopting the ordinance as the result of the work of a task force consisting of neighborhood representatives, city staff, and citizens at large.

What is the history of the ONC & the NARO?

In 1985, the Office of Neighborhood Coordination (ONC) was created within the City’s Department of Human Services, initially having only two staff members. By 1987, the ONC expanded to a 14-member staff. Over the next couple of years, a Task Force consisting of neighborhood representatives, city staff, and citizens at large worked on legislation to create the “Neighborhood Association Recognition Ordinance.” This Ordinance was adopted on March 16th, 1987. In July of that same year, the ONC was placed in another department, called the Office of Neighborhood Services, following the election of then-Mayor Ken Schultz. Since then, ONC has been moved around to a few different City Departments, but currently resides under the auspices of City Council Services. 

Who is involved with the NEP?

ONC has contracted with the Everette Hill of Social Innovation Strategies Group to lead the Neighborhood Engagement Process and collect information from residents, business owners, community organizers and neighborhood groups.  The Social Innovation Strategies group is also partnering with Eduardo Martinez of Meridian Strategies to facilitate this public process and to develop a report on the public process.  Both have worked in community, youth, economic and organizational development arenas in Albuquerque and statewide for over twenty years. Detailed biographies are listed on the ONC website.  In order to effectively engage all Neighborhood Associations (and other CABQ residents), Social Innovation Strategies expects to engage additional facilitators and programmatic supports to complete the project. But more importantly, it’s members of the community like you who are informing this public input process!

What is the timeline and status of the project?

As of July, 2018, the contractors have completed initial engagement with the City Councilors and their policy staff.  Likewise, the initial document/historical review has been completed.  The dedicated public engagement process will commence in August and continue through Spring of 2019.  The final analysis will be presented to ONC and City Council staff in sometime in late 2019.

While the portion of the NEP focused on collecting community input on the NARO will take over a year to complete, the NEP is intended to establish an ongoing dialogue between ONC, other relevant City Departments, neighborhood associations, and the community-at-large for years to come after the NARO has been revisited.

What will happen to my input?

Information gathered throughout the entire process will be analyzed and synthesized; then presented as a set of data that can be used by ONC to develop a set of recommended changes to the NARO that would go to the city council.

Throughout the process, contractors and City staff will work to develop meaningful feedback loops to keep the community informed of the progress that is being made. Utilization of the neighborhood newsletter, staff visits to association meetings and interaction with ONC & City Council staff will support ongoing communications.

Where can I go for more information?

  • ONC Website – cabq.gov/neighborhoods
  • Neighborhood Newsletter
  • ONC Social Media accounts – Facebook & Instagram
  • 311 for general information
  • Contact [email protected]

What is not addressed by the NEP process?

The NEP process is not intended to bypass existing communications links between residents and City departments.  Constituent services at Council and Administrative levels remain available to receive your request for assistance. Similarly, ONC and other departmental staff (Parks & Recreation, Planning, Waste Management, etc.) will still be able to receive and respond to your requests.

NEP contractors cannot respond to requests outside the scope of the project.  Their role is to collect information on strengthening community engagement with the City that may be addressed through legislation. They will refer community-specific service requests to City staff.