A Political Cartoon Is Worth A Thousand Words

There are many times politicians say and do things that they just have no idea what visions are evoked in the general public’s mind.

At times, the actions and comments by politicians are treated with such irreverence by political cartoonist even with such serious subjects as the homeless.

On July 21, 2018, Mayor Tim Keller announced a program created by the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County to rid local parks of used needles and syringes.

The program is called S.H.A.R.P.

People who spot needles or syringes in a park are asked to call 311, 505-768-2000, or report it on the city’s app.

You can view the full story here:


On August 26, 27 and 28 the Albuquerque Journal published three front page and very lengthy news stories on the homeless that no doubt took hours to research and write.

You can read all three Albuquerque Journal articles here:




Within a week of the 3 front-page Journal stories, Mayor Keller announced the city’ plans to address the homeless.

You can read the Journal story at the below link:


On September 9, 2018, the Albuquerque Journal published on page A-12 of its editorial page a John Trevor cartoon.

The left panel shows a serious Mayor using familiar “buzz words” often used by politicians and the right panel makes political commentary and observations by two children looking down on used syringes at the feet of homeless.

The left panel of the cartoon has Mayor Keller standing behind a podium with his finger in the air as if pontificating and holding a paper saying “Homeless Plan” with Keller accurately quoted and proclaiming “We intend to move the needle on this Issue”.

The adjacent panel had two young boys walking down the street with one having a back pack as if going home from school with the boys looking down an ally way strewn with used syringe needles and the feet of two ostensibly homeless people stretched out and a grocery store cart full personal belonging including a bedroll.

The cartoon is very poignant and yet funny at the same time.

With just two separate panels, John Trevor was able to make a point without being mean spirited and hateful and was very poignant and yet funny at the same time.

With just two cartoon panels, John Trevor was able to convey the very same message as four very lengthy published stories that took hours to write and one TV news story.

I think it is likely that Mayor Keller will never use the term “We intend to move the needle on this issue” ever again especially when talking about the homeless.

Most elected officials would say they considered it an honor to be the subject of a John Trever political cartoon.

Often, the cartoons are framed so do not be surprised if the cartoon winds up on Keller’s office wall.

For more on John Trevor’s cartoons see:

Political Cartoons Done The Right Way

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.