As the saying goes, there's wisdom in crowds. We trust then that you, Albuquerque voters, have good sense, want to be well-informed and will attend a neighborhood mayoral forum or City Council debate. Seeing and hearing these candidates in person is always revealing in ways that reading descriptions of them in a newspaper cannot be. But if such a task is too much of a strain on your busy schedule, we'll do our best to assist in the only way we know how. We'll call it like we see it, and you can take or leave our advice.
Mayor: Eric Griego
City Council Races
District 1: Miguel Gómez
District 3: Isaac Benton
District 5: Michael Cadigan
District 7: Marianne Dickinson
District 9: Chris Catechis
Public Campaign Financing: Yes
Living Wage Ordinance: Yes
Voter ID: No
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We support the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage in Albuquerque.
As you know, we're not economists. But, to be sure, we don't want to see any local businesses harmed. In fact, the Alibi is a local business and part of our business is to support other local businesses through effective, widespread advertising. When we say we care about the local economy, it's because our livelihood depends on it.
We realize this is a controversial decision and some folks in the restaurant, retail and service industries are fearful of its ill-effects. But since other cities such as San Francisco, Madison and Santa Fe have already led the way, we suggest folks consider the outcome in these parts and put their fears aside.
Let's not mince words here. The Voter ID proposal that will be on the ballot on Oct. 4 is a straight-up political sham. This isn't to say that requiring voters to show an ID when they go to the polls is a bad thing. It isn't. But as it stands, the current proposal leaves much to be desired.
The Alibi enthusiastically endorses City Councilor Eric Griego to be our next mayor. We believe his four years on the Council have given him the experience to make Albuquerque a safer, more efficient and economically vibrant city. We believe his vision, candor and enthusiasm will serve the city well in its pursuit of a diversified economy, better planning and honest government.
One of the most unfortunate aspects of modern American politics is that it often takes a bloody political brawl to get voters to pay attention to an election. For better or worse, the battle for District 1 has shaped up as a vocal fight between two vehement political rivals with diametrically opposed visions for the future of both their district and our city.
In recent decades, fundraising in federal, state and municipal elections has ballooned to absurd proportions. Consequently, there's an increased and very real danger that wealthy donors and organizations will exert an unfair influence on the candidates they've showered with money. This is bad for our democracy, and it's bad for the future of our city.
District 3 is comprised of a diverse cross section of neighborhoods stretching from UNM, throughout Downtown and across to the Westside. It's the literal heart of the city, an anchor for the tourist and entertainment industries, centralizing the city's so-called "string of pearls," made up of cultural amenities like the KiMo Theater, BioPark, Explora, Old Town, Natural History Museum and the rapidly transforming EDO corridor. Intertwined with these areas are some of the city's most established, historic neighborhoods like Huning Highlands, South Broadway, East San Jose and Barelas.
District 5 can fairly be described as the northwest quadrant of Albuquerque. The area, unfortunately, is a testament to the American dream gone fatally wrong in the form of sprawl, inept urban planning and transportation gridlock.
Marianne Dickinson is hands-down the best candidate running for District 7 and might be the best candidate running for any office in this year's municipal election. She's intelligent, savvy and comes with a wealth of experience in community development rooted in Albuquerque for more than 20 years.
The bad news for District 9 is that incumbent City Councilor Tina Cummins is seeking re-election. The good news is you get to vote for someone else. The even better news is you can have a candidate genuinely informed on the issues and passionate about the area—two requisites sorely lacking in Cummins. Your choices are between Vivian Cordova, Don Harris and Chris Catechis, three candidates who cited Tina Cummins' lack of responsiveness to the district's needs as reasons for running.