Take Your Own Council
As Albuquerque's legislative branch, our nine City Councilors serve four-year terms and collectively adopt the ordinances and resolutions aka laws that govern our city. Roughly half of them are up for reelection every two years. In this election, councilors for Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 are on the chopping block. A tip for voters: You only get to vote in your own District's Council race, so refer to our handy map and read on at your own peril, lest you clog your brain with pointless information.
As in his last election, District 1 Councilor Ken Sanchez is running unopposed. Assuming he votes for himself, he should emerge victorious. Don't assume he doesn't matter, though. In the past Sanchez has displayed an earnest interest in his position and his constituents' concerns.
Two-time councilor (and architect) Isaac Benton lost his position when redistricting combined his Downtown seat with District 2. He voices concerns about economic development and public safety, supporting local businesses over large corporations and restoring public confidence in APD. Benton is strongly opposed to Berry's Rio Grande Vision Plan.
Mayor Berry appointed Roxanna Meyers to fill the vacancy created when Debbie O'Malley moved from District 2 to the Bernalillo County Commission. She is a former bank president and owns a successful sign company. While enthusiastic, she admits she's on the learning curve of City government. She supports Berry's plan for the bosque, but only as an outline; she feels it still requires extensive study and planning.
Klarissa J. Peña
Klarissa J. Peña has never held political office, but she's been actively involved in community concerns on a grassroots level and holds economic development as her primary concern. She supports Berry's plan for the bosque so long as it is neither intrusive nor commercial.
Tania S. Silva
Tania S. Silva's law practice provides free assistance to the underprivileged, which underscores her passion for public service. Like Peña, she has ideas to spur economic recovery and supports development of the bosque. … but only in a well-planned and ecologically responsible manner.
Ronnie O. Garcia
Ronnie O. Garcia holds a degree in public administration and has worked 26 years for the City. Economic development and public safety—especially with regard to property crime—are his main concerns. He encourages promotion of the bosque, but from a stance of preservation and respect.
Eloise Gift believes that education and workforce enhancement are inseparable from economic recovery. And while she applauds the conservational aspects of the Rio Grande Vision Plan, she also feels the budget for enhancements could be better used elsewhere.
Incumbent Dan Lewis wants to continue fighting for economic development and improvement of the Westside's transportation infrastructure. He urges caution, transparency and public involvement where development of the bosque is concerned.
Matthew HC Biggs
Biggs, a former US Marine and Iraq War veteran, owns a local fitness center. He feels that economic recovery requires supporting local business while also bringing in outside jobs and working to keep City contracts within the local economy. He feels that more study of the bosque's fragile ecosystem is needed before development.
Diane G. Gibson
Diane G. Gibson has a background in real estate, tax preparation and machinist work for Sandia Labs. She believes that bond-funded repair of the City's infrastructure, education and support of the technology and film industries can help repair our economy. She opposes commercial development of the bosque.
Janice E. Arnold-Jones
Janice E. Arnold-Jones, appointed to the council by Berry, is a former State Representative assigned to Tax and Voters Committees with a long history of community service. She believes that planning, financing and reducing red tape can lead to economic recovery and position Albuquerque as a tourist destination. She also believes that development of the bosque could be an asset to the city. … but only if it's properly planned.
Don F. Harris
Two-term city councilor Don Harris was formerly an Assistant City Attorney and Special Assistant Attorney General. He feels that economic development could be spurred through targeted tax breaks and the commercialization of technology through partnerships with UNM and Sandia Laboratories. He supports low-impact recreational enjoyment of the bosque.
Lovie L. McGee
Lovie L. McGee has worked behind the scenes on community concerns for 20 years. She feels that additional funding could help restore APD's integrity and opposes the privatization of city jobs. She's concerned about the long-term effects of bosque development, but also feels it could become a more integral part of life in Albuquerque.
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