Constant Picking At The ART Bus Scab

According to the city Office of Inspector General report, a combined $96.7 million in federal grants have not been be released to the City of Albuquerque by the Federal Transportation Administration.

http://www.koat.com/article/art-project-still-waiting-for-more-than-90m-in-federal-grants/21940595

$75 million of the $96.7 million is the federal grant money needed to pay for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.

After a full seven months in office, Mayor Tim Keller is still “cautiously optimistic” that the Federal Transportation Administration will approve the federal grant that has been pending approval for over 3 three years since the application was made.

The truth has always been that all the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) has done is send the city a “letter of no prejudice” during the grant process.

The FTA “letter of no prejudice” contained language that said “the authority to incur cost provided in this letter does not constitute an FTA commitment that future dollars will be approved for the project”.

Notwithstanding the no commitment of federal funding, the Berry Administration consistently lied to the city council that the money would be forthcoming.

The Office of Inspector General report found that ART spending carried on despite no advance guarantees on funding.

The Albuquerque City Council bought into the lies and approved the project refusing to put it on the ballot for voter approval.

For all the ART lies see:

http://www.petedinelli.com/2017/06/27/another-lie-from-the-city-hall-liars-club/

For over a full week, Channel 7 tried to get an interview with former Mayor Berry regarding his “legacy project”.

Berry’s public relations firm (yes, he now has a PR firm) finally responded with a comment that said in part “As Mayor, I was an advocate for a world class transit system for Albuquerque. … I believed then and still believe that ART holds great potential for our city.”

Mayor Tim Keller disclosed the “great potential” is the disaster ART really means for the City if the federal grant money is not forthcoming.

Mayor Keller put into perspective what the $96 million means for the city when he said:

“That number is the equivalent of all the capital projects we do over the course of two entire years. … It basically means we have to go on a public works diet for a long time.”

In other words, if the money is not forthcoming from the FTA, projects that are truly needed such as road projects, community centers, parks and repairs to city public facilities will not happen.

Berry’s insistence that ART is a “world class project” shows how out of touch this former Mayor has always been.

A world class transportation project costs billions of dollars like Denver and Phoenix light rail systems.

ART has always been nothing but is a cheesy nine-mile, $129 million bus route that has destroyed historic Route 66 not to mention putting many firms along central out of business.

Mayor Keller tries to give a status report each month regarding the ART Bus project which amounts to nothing more than “pulling the scab” off an infected and festering wound each time.

Rather than keep hoping and praying that the FTA will be forthcoming, Mayor Keller should tell the City Council this is their project they approved it and financed it and they need to come up with a solution and take responsibility for the disaster they funded without any guarantee of a funding source.

One likely scenario is for the city counsel to pass “revenue bonds”.

Over the last 3 years, the City Council borrowed over $65 million dollars to build pickleball courts, baseball fields and the ART bus project down central by bypassing the voters.

(For full story see January 2, 2017 Albuquerque Journal “BYPASSING the Voters” page A-1).

Revenue bonds are repaid with gross receipts tax revenues.

Following are further blog articles on the ART Bus project:

http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/06/11/give-art-work-to-city-attorney-nm-attorney-general-and-district-attorney/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/06/04/want-a-divorce-hire-a-lawyer/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/03/07/to-be-clear-funds-were-never-guaranteed-that-was-simply-never-the-case/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/01/15/vowing-to-fix-problems-required-to-fix-by-law/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/01/10/this-project-is-a-bit-of-a-lemon/

http://www.petedinelli.com/?s=Special+Grand+Jury&submit=Search

http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/01/22/mayor-keller-should-scrap-art-bus-project-and-find-alternatives/

” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/01/10/the-lemons-and-lies-of-berrys-art/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2017/12/14/leaking-new-civic-plaza-fountain-symbolizes-berry-administration/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2017/06/27/another-lie-from-the-city-hall-liars-club/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2017/03/16/biggest-lie-the-check-is-in-the-mail/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2017/02/22/remember-election-time-who-carried-the-mayors-water-on-art/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2017/02/17/hidden-costs-of-berrys-white-elephant/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2017/02/12/art-bus-project-funding-still-in-doubt/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2017/01/03/sneaks-we-is-when-funding-art-bus-project-and-capital-projects/

http://www.petedinelli.com/2016/11/18/art-bus-project-destroys-historic-route-66/

Kudos To Keller On Mental Health Outreach Program

The Albuquerque Fire and Rescue Department (AFR), formerly known as the Albuquerque Fire Department, responded to 7,000 mental health calls last year.

Upwards of 80% to 85% of all AFR emergency calls are for emergency medical care as oppose to “firefighting” which was the major reason for changing the name of the department.

https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/afr-responded-to-7000-mental-health-calls-in-2017-alone/4961287/#.Wy5afT3YIDY.facebook

All Albuquerque Fire and Rescue firefighters are not only firefighters but are also fully licensed emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics.

More than one out of 10 emergency calls to 911 for AFR are mental health-related.

In 75 percent of those calls, an ambulance had to take a patient to the hospital.

The AFR provided data that revealed most mental health calls happen Downtown or in the International District, which is not at all surprising.

Downtown Albuquerque has a number of “homeless” shelters and charitable organizations to help feed and house the homeless all within a 5-mile radius of each other.

The shelters provide help and assistance to the approximate 3,500 homeless in Albuquerque, many who suffer from mental illness.

The International District is located in the SE heights and has a chronic narcotics problem which contributes to drug overdose calls.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue is working collaboratively with Albuquerque Police and the Bernalillo County Behavioral Health Initiative to help those who need it the most.

As part of the city’s efforts, families who have loved ones with mental health conditions are actually teaching AFR first responders on how to respond more empathetic with people who suffer from mental illness.

AFR Paramedics are also being trained to respond to autistic patients.

AFR has also been working with APD to better deescalate mental health situations.

The increase emphasis and change in tactics when dealing with mental health calls is directly related to the Keller Administration implementing the AFD Mobile Health Care Outreach Program.

Last year, AFR had a total of 174,426 calls with 110,000 resulting in a dispatch.

The number medical first responder calls last year for basic life support was 65,000 with the number of advanced life support calls being 45,000.

Further the number of other non-emergency calls was 60,000.

The 2018-2019 AFR approved budget is $82.9 with an overall increase of 8.5% or 6.5 million above last year’s budget.

AFR’s 2018-2019 adopted budget funds 730 full time-positions.

Reference: City of Albuquerque Budget, page 106, Fire Department Budget:

http://documents.cabq.gov/budget/fy-19-proposed-budget.pdf.

AFR MOBILE HEALTH CARE OUTREACH PROGRAM

During the 2018-2019 budget process, the Keller Administration secured $3.2 million dollars to develop and establish the “AFR Mobile Health Care and Community Outreach Program”.

The AFR Mobile Health Care and Community Outreach Program consists of six positions and three rescue vehicles.

The mobile AFR unit has a paramedic and a person on board who can do community outreach and respond to indigent or homeless people or people in crisis.

The goal is to free up time for police officers and firefighters to respond to more pressing calls for service.

The programs goal is to shift resources from high cost reactive strategies, including a full crew responding to a 911 call from someone who does not actually need an ambulance.

The program intends to shift those calls to less resource-intensive approaches like home or site visits to common callers and community risk reduction efforts for private residences and public places.

The program will also include a robust and visible Basic Life Support Unit presence in the Southeast Heights and other high needs area.

This new program will allow the Albuquerque Fire Department to provide additional services as a partner to the city-wide effort to interrupt the cycle of crime and lead to a safer city.

COMMENTARY

The AFR Mobile Health Care Outreach Program was a concept proposed by Mayoral candidate Gus Pedrotty.

The program makes perfect sense and will be fully funded July 1, 2018 when the new budget takes effect.

The program is a clear and dramatic reflection of the change in attitudes and priorities from the previous administrations attitude of favoring a reduction in social services.

Mayor Tim Keller is to be commended for adopting the program which is already beginning to have an impact.

Martinez and Pearce Under Consideration For TV Sitcoms

DATELINE SANTA FE NEWS FLASH: GOVERNOR SUSANA MARTINEZ HAS BEEN OFFERED A JOB TO PLAY ROSEANNE BARR’S LONG LOST TWIN SISTER IN THE ANNOUNCED SPIN OFF WITHOUT BARR TO REVIVE THE SERIES. The Governor issued a statement saying she is honored to accept the job so she will have gainful employment come January 1, 2019. Roseanne Barr for her part said the Governor is more than qualified but is concerned that the Trump FCC just may ask her for a “green card” to make sure she is in the United States legally. Rumor has it the Governor is desperately looking for her original birth certificate but may have left it at the NM MVD to renew her driver’s license for real ID.

DATE LINE LAS CRUCES NEWS FLASH: Confidential sources are saying political consultants are trying to get Congressman Steve Pearce to change his political slogan from “Steve Pearce. Working For New Mexico. Everyday” to “Steve Pearce. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Everyday”. The argument being made is that the new campaign utilizing “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will better reflect how Pearce’s candidacy for Governor is being received by the voters of New Mexico. The Congressman is resisting it believing that Larry David would probably sue to get a restraining order to protect his tly image and the brand of the TV show. Pearce is confident that his feel good ad he ran in the primary that said “I was born a poor white guy and I struggled as an infant of tender months to overcome obstacles to live in Texas as my family became millionaires” has helped increased his poll numbers. Pearce is also concerned if he goes forward with the slogan change it will ruin his chances of going to work full time for the sic com come January 1, 2019 as a fill in for Larry David. For his part, it is said Larry David believes the change in the slogan will result in the TV ratings going down for his show in New Mexico. Stay tuned for more on this developing story.

DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE NEWS RELEASES ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED ANYTHING RELATED TO THE TRUTH FOR THOSE WHO TEND TO BELIEVE ANYTHING ON FACEBOOK AND THE INTERNET.

Our “Racist In Chief”

Yet another week of sure turbulence in this country as a result of the actions of our “Racist In Chief” sitting in the White House.

A few weeks ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that arrested and prosecuted people coming into the United States illegally and forcibly separated children from their parents at the Mexican border.

Cage like “chain link” enclosures and tents were erected to house the children.

Initially, President Trump dug in his heels over his controversial “zero-tolerance” policy.

Mr. Trump pointed to Europe, which he said had become a “migrant camp,” and said that would not happen to the United States under his leadership.

Speaking at the White House Trump said:

“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility. You look at what’s happening in Europe, and in other places, we cannot allow that to happen. Not on my watch.”

At the Nevada GOP state party convention, Trump reiterated some of his most vile rhetoric about immigrants from Central and South America when he said:

“The word is ‘overrun.’ We will have millions and millions of people pouring through our country and all the problems that would cause with crime and schools. … If they see any weakness, they will come by the millions.”

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/06/23/in-rambling-speech-trump-renews-attacks-on-immigrants-they-will-come-by-the-millions/23466476/

Trump elaborated on his plans for cracking down on people fleeing their home countries to enter the United States relying on fear mongering about gang violence from groups like MS-13 when he said:.

“These are sick evil people. … I called them animals and people said ‘that’s a terrible thing to say.’ Nancy Pelosi said that’s a terrible thing to say. She was defending MS-13.”

Apparently in Trump’s sick and warped mind, over 2,500 children separated from their parents are sick and evil people who are all MS-13 gang members.

After immense bipartisan pressure and public outcry, Trump abruptly reversed himself and signed an executive order halting his disgraceful policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border.

Just four days after reversing himself and issuing an executive order, Trump again took to bashing immigrant and children on twitter:

“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents. Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country. Strong Borders, No Crime!”

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/06/24/trump-calls-for-deporting-illegal-immigrants-with-no-judges-or-court-cases/23466729/

Trump has never differentiated between people who entered the United States to seek asylum and illegal immigrants.

U.S. immigration law provides certain rights for undocumented immigrants arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Under US Immigration laws, in most cases, they are allowed a full hearing before an immigration judge before being deported.

The first conviction for entering the United States illegally is a misdemeanor and a second offense is a felony.

TRUMP’S HISTORY OF RACISM

Trump’s “no tolerance policy” and his treatment of children is nothing more than a continuation of Trump’s racists ways in conflict with a country that is a nation of immigrants.

President Trump’s racism dates back to 1973 when his housing management company was the target of a Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division civil lawsuit over allegations that he and father as real estate developers were keeping black and Puerto Rican people out of their apartments.

It was in 1989 that Donald Trump purchased ads calling for the death penalty for the “Central Park Five,” four black men and one Latino man accused of rape who were later exonerated by DNA evidence.

During the 2016 presidential election, Trump still insisted the “Central Park Five” were guilty.

For at least eight (8) years, Donald Trump was front an center of the “birther movement” and questioned former President Barack Obama’s American citizenship thereby questioning Obama’s legitimacy as President of the United States.

In 2011, Trump called on President Obama to release his birth certificate and went as far as to offer to give $5 million to one of Obama’s charity of choice if he released his college records and passport.

In 2015 when Donald Trump announced his bid for the presidency, he said “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”

During the Presidential election, Trump said “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

In May 2016 during the presidential campaign, Trump suggested United States Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who oversaw the class action lawsuit against Trump University, was biased against Trump due to his “Mexican” heritage claiming American born Curiel was from Mexico.

During a campaign stop, Trump looked over a crowd and ask out loud to the crowd of supporters “where’s my African American” as if to show he had support of African Americans.

On January 27, 2017, just seven days after being sworn in as President, January Donald Trump signed an executive order halting all refugee admissions and temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries arguing it was needed to combat terrorism. The move sparked numerous protests and legal challenges.

In August 2017, after a 20-year-old white man drove his car into a crowd at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one anti-racist protester and injuring 19 others, President Trump said that there was “blame on both sides” regarding the deadly violence that was instigated by white supremacists.

President Trump during a ceremony in the White House to honor the World War II Navajo Code talkers, one from New Mexico, he took the opportunity to call Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”.

During the football season, Trump proclaimed that professional football players, who were predominantly African American and who “took a knee” during the national anthem to protest the treatment of African Americans should be fired.

The New York Times reported in December, 2017 that President Trump said in a June meeting about immigration that Haitians “all have AIDS”, a statement denied by the White House.

On December 24, 2017, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump described Nigerians as people living in huts and that they would not want to return to them. He reportedly said 40,000 had come from Nigeria and would never “go back to their huts” once they had seen America.

https://www.vanguardngr.com › News

COMMENTARY

Trump’s “no tolerance policy” will remain an open wound of racism for all to see, including his most fervent defenders who no doubt have no problem with it.

Trump also stands for what the Republican Party has become.

Our President is a racist and the Republicans in Congress need to admit it.

Trump needs to be dumped in the garbage of history as the United States first duly elected dictator, the sooner the better, either by impeachment or resignation before we have another two more years of his racist version of “Making America Great Again”.

A Special Place In Hell

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ used a Bible verses to justify the Trump administration’s immigration policies to split up families that arrive at U.S. borders seeking asylum and separate children from their parents.

The Trump Administration was putting children in a tent city which was an empty Walmart building in a Texas border town with tents erected outside.

Cage like “chain link” enclosures were also erected to house children.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was quoted as saying: “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

During a daily press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked the question:

“Where in the Bible does it say that it’s moral to take children away from their mothers?”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded by saying:

“I’m not aware of the attorney general’s comments or what he would be referencing. … I can say that it is very “Biblical” to enforce the law.”

It has been reported that at least 2,700 children have been separated from their parents since the “no tolerance policy” was announced.

It is estimated that an average of 45 to 50 children were being taken from their parents each day.

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/11/17443198/children-immigrant-families-separated-parents

Initially, President Trump dug in his heels over his controversial “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that forcibly separated children from their parents at the Mexican border.

Mr. Trump pointed to Europe, which he said had become a “migrant camp,” and said that would not happen to the United States under his leadership.

Speaking at the White House Trump said:

“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility. You look at what’s happening in Europe, and in other places, we cannot allow that to happen. Not on my watch.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/18/trump-attacks-germany-migration-policies-criticism-child-detention/

Trump then went on the offensive trying to say it was all the Democrats fault and he could not issue an executive order or do anything until the immigration laws were changed.

On June 21, 2018, the “Time” magazine on its cover featured a viral image of a two-year-old Honduran girl crying at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The crying child isn’t alone on the cover.

Time Magazine illustrators placed an image of President Donald Trump right beside the child looking down as the child looked up in tears and wailing.

The caption is “WELOME TO AMERICA”.

The Time Magazine cover image is so indicative of what President Trump really stands for and what the Republican Party has become under Trump.

On June 21, 2018, bowing to immense bi partisan pressure and public outcry, including former First Ladies Lara Bush and Michell Obama, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed himself and signed an executive order halting his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border.

President Richard Cohen with the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center said Trump’s executive order still does not go nearly far enough when he said:

“The administration still plans to criminalize families — including children — by holding them in prison-like detention facilities. There are workable alternatives” [but none has been offered].

https://www.abqjournal.com/1186956/homeland-security-drafts-plan-to-end-family-separation.html

Perhaps the Republican Congress out of sure desperation to hold on to their majorities in congress will finally enact comprehensive immigration reforms.

COMMENTARY

I wonder if Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump have ever read the bible verse:

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14)

Trump’s America Kingdom only belongs to him, as is a special place in hell.

The “no tolerance policy” and his treatment of children is nothing more than a continuation of Trump’s racists ways.

For more commentary see:

See “Steve Pearce Breaks Back Bending Over Backwards to Racist Defend Racist Trump:

http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/01/13/congressman-steve-pearce-breaks-back-bending-over-to-defend-racist-trump/

See “The Book of Trump Ten Commandments”

http://www.petedinelli.com/2018/06/18/the-book-of-trump-ten-commandments/

Race And Equity Profile Report Gives Economic Development Roadmap

On June 19, 2018, a report entitled “An Equity Profile of Albuquerque” was released by the Keller Administration.

The report is a racial profile of the city and the impact race has on the city economy.

The report is an interesting read and the entire report can be read here:

http://nationalequityatlas.org/sites/default/files/ABQ_Profile_Final.pdf

(DISCLAIMER NOTE: The entire “Equity Profile of Albuquerque” is over 100 pages long containing graphs and statistics. The report entitled “An Equity Profile of Albuquerque” was researched and prepared by PolicyLink and the University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity. Funding for the report came from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This blog article is based on the information gleaned from review of the report, should not be considered a total nor complete summary of the report, and quotes the report extensively with references to pages numbers.)

According to the Keller Administration, the report will serve as a guide for the city’s newly reorganized Office of Equity and Inclusion which was created by the previous administration last year.

The Equity Profile Report examined the indicators of economic and social inclusion and found that “equitable growth” leads to a stronger local economy.

In the report, and “equitable city” is defined as “when all residents – regardless of their race/ethnicity, nativity, gender, income, neighborhood of residence, or other characteristics – are fully able to participate in the city’s economic vitality, contribute to the region’s readiness for the future, and connect to the region’s assets and resources.” (See “An Equity Profile of Albuquerque”, page 11).

Not surprising, the report found persistent inequities by race and gender are holding the city back from having a stronger local economy.

POPULATION GROWTH DRIVEN BY PEOPLE OF COLOR

According to the report, the overall population of Albuquerque is growing, increasing from roughly 546,000 to 554,000 between 2010 and 2014.

Albuquerque’s population growth is being driven by communities of color.

The report found that forty-seven percent of the city’s residents identify as Latino or Hispanic.

Between 1980 and 2014, the White population grew but their share of the overall population shrank from 60 to 41 percent.

Between 1980 and 2014, the number of Whites increased from roughly 203,400 to 228,900.

During the same time period the number of people of color grew from 133,500 to about 324,700.

The vast majority of Latino and Hispanics in Albuquerque were reported born in the United States.

According to the report, in the year 2015, 6 out of 10 Albuquerque residents are people of color as compared to 1980 when 4 in 10 were reported as people of color.

The rapid demographic change created a large “racial generation gap” that can not be ignored.

74 percent of Albuquerque’s youth (under age 18) are people of color, compared with 37 percent of the region’s seniors (65 and older) who are people of color, a 38 percent difference.

The gap between youth and seniors red flags a serious problem educating Albuquerque’s future generations.

Studies show that the larger gap between the two age groups corresponds with lower investment in public education.

“In general, unemployment decreases as educational attainment increases.

However, Latinos in Albuquerque with some postsecondary education, but not a BA, face higher rates of joblessness than those with some college, but no degree.

On the other hand, Latinos with a BA degree or higher have very low unemployment – even lower than their White counterparts.

The report suggests that many of the differences in unemployment by race/ethnicity are partly explained by differences in education.

The report suggests that the difference in unemployment by race/ethnicity among people with the same education level tended to be smaller.” (See “An Equity Profile of Albuquerque”, page 41.)

The report found that unemployment has decreased steadily since 2011, but the economic recovery in Bernalillo County has occurred at a slower rate than the nation as whole.

By 2015, the overall unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, which is higher than the national average, but still lower than the rate for the state of New Mexico at 6.6 percent.

CITY’S MIDDLE CLASS IS SHRINKING, LOWER INCOME CLASS INCREASING

Albuquerque’s middle class is shrinking while the lower-income class is increasing.

“Since 1979, the share of households with middle-class incomes decreased from 40 to 35 percent.

The share of upper-income households also declined, from 30 to 28 percent, while the share of lower-income households grew from 30 to 37 percent.

According to the reports analysis, middle-income households are defined as having incomes in the middle 40 percent of household income distribution.

In 1979, those household incomes ranged from $33,130 to $78,276.

To assess change in the middle class and the other income ranges, the report calculated what the income range would be today if incomes had increased at the same rate as average household income growth.

Today’s middle-class incomes would be $34,890 to $82,435, and 35 percent of households fall within that range.” (“An Equity Profile of Albuquerque”, page 34.)

“POVERTY” AND “WORKING POVERTY”

One of the most troubling findings of the report is that “poverty” and “working poverty” is on the rise in Albuquerque. (“An Equity Profile of Albuquerque” page 38.)

The poverty rate in Albuquerque was similar to the national average between 1980 and 2000.

However, since 2000 the share of residents in the city living in poverty has spiked.

Today, nearly 19 percent of Albuquerqueans live below the federal poverty line, which is just $24,000 a year for a family of four.

Working poverty, defined as working full-time with an income below 200 percent of the poverty level (roughly $48,000 for a family of four), has also risen.

In 2014, about 10 percent of the city’s 25 to 64-year-olds were working poor.” (“An Equity Profile of Albuquerque”, page 38)

It has been consistently found that communities of color are the one that are always the most impacted by the lack of economic opportunity.

EDUCATION, WAGE AND INCOME DISPARITY

26 percent of Native American women, 18 percent of Latino and Native American men, and 15 percent of Latina women are working full-time but earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level which is $48,000 for a family of four.

It is common knowledge that wages tend to increase with higher educational attainment.

The report found that women of color consistently earn the lowest wages at every level of education.

“White men have among the highest unemployment rates among the population with a high school diploma but no college, but those who are employed make $2 an hour more on average than men of color and $5 an hour more than women of color.

The wage gaps persist even among those with high levels of education.

“Albuquerque ranks 34th of the largest 100 cities in the share of residents with an Associate’s degree or higher.

Compared to other cities in neighboring states, Albuquerque’s education levels are relatively high.

Albuquerque’s 44 percent of residents with an Associate’s Degree or higher is greater than Tucson, Arizona and El Paso, Texas – both of which are at 32 percent.” (See page 64.)

Women of color with a Bachelor’s degree or higher earn about $10.50 an hour, less than White men and about $4 an hour less than White women.” (“An Equity Profile of Albuquerque” page 43.)

Notwithstanding, the report found that people of color have lower median hourly wages at virtually every educational level compared to their White counterparts.

“White workers with some college but no degree earns more than workers of color with an Associate’s degree.

The racial wage gap persists even at the highest education levels.

The median wage of Albuquerque people of color with a BA degree or higher is $25 an hour compared with $29 an hour for their White peers. (An Equity Profile of Albuquerque, Page 42)

“According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, in 2020, 36 percent of New Mexico’s jobs will require an Associate’s degree or higher.

While many of the region’s workers currently have that level of education, there are large differences in educational attainment by race and ethnicity.

Only 14 percent of Latino immigrants, 31 percent of U.S.-born Latinos, and 32 percent of Native Americans have an Associate’s degree or higher.” (See “An Equity Profile of Albuquerque” Page 63.)

ALBUQUERQUE JOB GROWTH RATES

The report found that wage growth in Bernalillo County has been positive across all industries, with the exception of mining and arts, entertainment, and recreation.

Administrative and support, and waste management and remediation services, finance and insurance, and real estate have the highest growth in earnings since 1990.

Among low-wage industries, all sectors except arts, entertainment, and recreation experienced 20 percent or higher changes in earnings compared to 1990.” (An Equity Profile of Albuquerque, page 45, 46 and 48.)

According to the report’s industry strength index, the region’s strongest industries are health care and professional services.

Health care had a 34 percent increase in employment between 2005 and 2015.

Professional services rank second due to its high average annual wage and relatively strong concentration of jobs in the region. (“An Equity Profile of Albuquerque”, Page 49.)

INDUSTRIES EXPECTED TO GROW

The industries that are expected to grow over the 10-year period from 2014 to 2024 are as follows:

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
Mining, Quarrying & Oil & Gas Extraction
Construction
Manufacturing
Wholesale Trade
Retail Trade
Transportation & Warehousing
Information
Finance & Insurance
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Management of Companies & Enterprises
Administrative & Support & Waste Management & Remediation Services
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation
Accommodation & Food Services
Other Services (Ex. Public Administration)
Federal Government
State Government, Excl. Education & Hospitals
Local Government, Excl. Education & Hospitals
Self-Employment & Unpaid Family Workers

(“An Equity Profile of Albuquerque,” page 46.)

OCCUPATIONS EXPECTED TO GROW

The occupations that are expected to grow over the 10-year period from 2014 to 2024 are:

Management Occupations
Business & Financial Operations Occupations
Computer & Mathematical Occupations
Architecture & Engineering Occupations
Life, Physical & Social Science Occupations
Community & Social Service Occupations
Legal Occupations
Education, Training & Library Occupations
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports & Media Occupations
Healthcare Practitioners & Technical Occupations
Healthcare Support Occupations
Protective Service Occupations
Food Preparation & Serving Related Occupations
Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance Occupations
Personal Care & Service Occupations
Sales & Related Occupations
Office & Administrative Support Occupations
Farming, Fishing & Forestry Occupations
Construction & Extraction Occupations
Installation, Maintenance & Repair Occupations
Production Occupations
Transportation & Material Moving Occupations

(“An Equity Profile of Albuquerque,” page 47.)

SUMMARY CONTAINED IN REPORT:

“While the nation is projected to become a people-of-color majority by the year 2044, Albuquerque reached that milestone in the 2000s. Since 1990, Albuquerque has experienced dramatic demographic growth and transformation – driven mostly by an increase in the Latino and Asian or Pacific Islander population. Today, these demographic shifts – including a decrease in the percentage of White residents – persist.”

“Albuquerque’s diversity is a major asset in the global economy, but inequities and disparities are holding the region back. Albuquerque is the 59th most unequal among the largest 100 metro regions. Since 2000, poverty and working-poverty rates in the region have been consistently higher than the national averages.”
“Racial and gender wage gaps persist in the labor market. Closing racial gaps in economic opportunity and outcomes will be key to the region’s future. Equitable growth is the path to sustained economic prosperity in Albuquerque.”

“The region’s economy could have been more than $10 billion stronger in 2014 if its racial gaps in income had been closed: a nearly 20 percent increase. By growing good jobs, connecting younger generations with older ones, integrating immigrants into the economy, building communities of opportunity, and ensuring educational and career pathways to good jobs for all, Albuquerque can put all residents on the path toward reaching their full potential, and secure a bright future for the city and region.” (“An Equity Profile of Albuquerque”, page 4.)

COMMENTARY

Albuquerque has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

For the last 8 years, the prior administration failed to attract a single major corporation or company to relocate to Albuquerque.

Further, very little if any progress was made to create economic based jobs.

The Keller Administration approved budget of $3.9 million for the Economic Development is so a meager as to be an embarrassment given the fact that the city has a total operating revenue and approved budget of at almost a billion dollars at $955,300,000 for fiscal year 2018-2019.

The City Council enacted a one-eighth of a cent tax increase that will generate an additional $55 million a year.

Gross receipts tax revenues from the state are now being reported in excess of what was projected.

The city is seeing a 4% to 6.8% increase in gross receipts tax revenues compared to last year from the state as a result of increase in business activity.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1178079/abq-sees-bump-in-gross-receipts-revenue.html

Candidate for Mayor Tim Keller proposed as a “big idea” creating personal or individual Tax Increment Districts (TIDS), more use of industrial revenue bonds and tax incentives to attract new industry to Albuquerque and create jobs.

As Mayor, Keller proposed no major increased appropriation for economic development in the approved 2018-2019 budget.

As far as “economic based jobs”, or jobs that are created by a business that exports goods or services thereby expanding the economy intake and that provide higher wage jobs, the Keller Administration has yet to announce anything different, nor fund anything different, than what has been going on at city hall for the last 8 years.

Albuquerque can and must expand and find better ways to use financial incentives for economic development in the growth industries.

Tax increment districts (TIDS), industrial revenue bonds, and economic development investment programs such as initial startup funding with claw back provisions has always been the traditional approach.

The city’s Economic Development Department needs to find a better way.

A good start would have been funding a $20 million initial startup fund for new businesses with claw back provisions with the program administered by the Economic Development Department.

Albuquerque needs to pursue with a vengeance real growth industry like healthcare, transportation and manufacturing, the film industry to diversify our economy,especially those industries and occupations that are identified in the “Equity Profile of Albuquerque”.

Public-private partnerships in the growth industries where ever possible should be encouraged and developed.

Albuquerque’s taxpayers must be convinced by Mayor Keller and the City Council of the importance of economic development in the growth industries and not the service industries.