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 V.18 No.39 | September 24 - 30, 2009 

Candidate Q&A

Don Harris

Age: 47

Occupation: Attorney Private Practice; Family Law and Bankruptcy

Political Experience: City Councilor, still in my first term. I was a Special Assistant Attorney General for several years, then an Assistant City Attorney for approximately two years with the City of Albuquerque.

District: 9

1) What's your plan of action for three major issues in your district?

(1) Public safety (2) Economic development and (3) Parks and community centers.

With regard to public safety, I will try to increase the number of police officers and increase the fire department resources. With regard to economic development, we need to work with the state government and private industry to continue to recruit businesses to locate here or relocate here. With regard to parks and community centers, we need to prioritize them more than they have been.

2) What's your take on three major citywide issues?

The top two issues in the city are also the top two in my district (public safety and economic development), and the answers are the same. A citywide issue of great importance is water, and I think the measures taken by the Water Utility Authority are, on balance, correct.

3) How can we balance city growth with sustainability?

We should continue to engage in water and energy conservation, and, so long as we do, new and existing technologies will take over.

4) What will you do to help residents in your district who are struggling with the economic downturn?

The city has many programs for needy children, such as free lunch in the park and after-school programs. Those should continue. The city has many programs for the elderly also. Those should continue. I desire to improve the community centers in the poorer parts of the district.

5) What's your take on public transportation, and do you support modern rail?

We will get more return for our investment by investing in busses, with more flexible options and routes, than with rail. I do not think a strong enough case has been made to justify the streetcar.

6) What can be done to improve public safety?

We need more police, and we need them actually on the street. We need to improve and build up neighborhoods and neighborhood associations, and improve their communication with the police, so that the police have good and reliable information about what is going on in various areas. We need tougher laws that would cause lengthy incarceration of hardened criminals.


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