An Accelerator Named Lewis
Councilor Dan Lewis weighs in for mayoral race
While the candidate elucidated no concrete plans to come up with the feria needed to manifest infrastructure-
Easy-going, well-spoken on policy and generally earnest in demeanor, Lewis met with Weekly Alibi on Friday, March 17, to discuss his candidacy. This is some of what he said, the beginning part as it were, as the cameras rolled on our second in a series of interviews with Burque’s mayoral hopefuls. August March conversed with him about business, economic development, ART, the police and being Republican in the age of Trump, in case you want to know.
The whole enchilada, a 42 minute video interview captured by the geniuses at Field and Frame, is available for your perusal.
Weekly Alibi: Dan, for our readers that may be unfamiliar with you, please say a little about yourself. Tell us why you should be the next mayor and what process you went through to come to that decision?
My wife Tracy ... teaches for APS. My kids both go to the University of New Mexico, they graduated from Cibola High School. I’ve pastored a church here, called SolRio Church, and I’ve been on the City Council for going on eight years now. I was elected in 2009 and represent the northwest part of Albuquerque.
I’ve fought hard, over the years, for the kinds of things that put people first. [Policies] that really care for the people of this city. It’s people first, then neighborhoods and then the businesses that create the jobs in this city that we support.
I’m running for mayor because I believe we can change this city. Our city, right now has been described as dangerous. In fact, we’ve been defined by criminals right now; 5,000 auto thefts in the city last year, half of them were stolen by repeat offenders. We’ve been one continuous crime scene here, lately. But I believe we can change it; we don’t have to accept an unhealthy status quo.
Okay. I wanna follow up. You imply it’s gonna be a small business focus to your mayoral tenure and that you’re gonna emphasize a sort of entrepreneurial spirit to bring back jobs and revive the economy here. Am I close to the mark on that?
Absolutely. There are 18,000 businesses headquartered here in Albuquerque. Eighty percent of those are considered small businesses; small businesses create 80 percent of the jobs in this city. We have to help small businesses be able to thrive. We have to have a city government that’s a platform for them to thrive. Meaning that we want a planning department, we want a city government, to serve small businesses, not the other way around.
How is this job creation mission, which is going to happen through small business ... a growing sense of entrepreneurial spirit and ownership—how is that going to change the [cultural] dynamic?
I’m going to accelerate our entrepreneurial ecosystem. I want young people in this city—and some of them are thinking about having a better opportunity in Phoenix, or someplace else and I don’ blame them for that, I’ve thought that way too—to hear me when I say to them that the best opportunities for them, in this country, are going to be right here in Albuquerque. If you choose to leave, you are going to miss out on a city that is on the rise.
... I want to tell businesses that are looking at Albuquerque that this is a safe city to do business in. We’re going to put 1,200 officers on the streets ... With the cities that have that kind of [staffing], proactive policing becomes possible.
Something that approaches community policing?
Absolutely. Community policing means there’s an officer there in those neighborhoods [that really need it].
And then trust develops. Wow, that would be a huge change!