This story is a staff report from The Paper.

The Paper. asks the candidates to explain why they are running for office and explain solutions to issues in our city in their own words. We have included their full responses, with very little editing. There are six City Council candidates running in District 7. Lori Robertson and Andres Patrick Valdez Sr. did not respond to the questionnaire.

To find your voting district for City Council visit https://www.cabq.gov/council/find-your-councilor

The Paper.: Please introduce yourself.

Emilie De Angelis: I led Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense four years, growing it into a statewide force that passed two landmark public safety bills in Santa Fe. I chair ABQ’s public art board and work professionally in the nonprofit sector. The top of my list: Growing violence intervention and prevention programs to address all forms of violence rather the “war on crime” approach. I also prioritize affordable housing, quality job growth, and capital projects for a healthier, water-smart, more sustainable city.

Tammy Fiebelkorn: I’m a native New Mexican and have lived in District 7 for 20 years. I’m running for City Council because I want to pass progressive policies to improve Albuquerque. I’m an environmental economist with 30+ years of experience in climate change mitigation and environmental justice. I founded a nonprofit that trains law enforcement on ways to reduce all forms of family violence. I have worked with City Councilors and city staff for the past 2 decades in Albuquerque and know how to get results.

Travis Kellerman: I came to Albuquerque almost twenty years ago. At UNM, I organized for and led multiple social+economic justice groups. I worked as a policy analyst for Martin Heinrich when he served on city council. I saw local government was where real dialogue and impact happen—and it’s why I’m running for City Council. I co-founded Lavu Inc. We proved a tech economy could exist here, and living wages could be paid to hire local people. We deserve an inclusive economy.

Mauro Montoya: As a lifelong community activist and Albuquerque native, I know and love the people of our great city and I understand the challenges we face as we emerge from the pandemic. As a local business owner and former President of the New Mexico Out Business Alliance I understand the needs of Albuquerque’s small businesses. I am running to bring my knowledge, work ethic and respect for Albuquerque to the City Council.

What are the root causes of crime and how would you address them?

De Angelis: A combination of substance abuse, trauma, and poverty substantially contribute to crime. I’ll grow our Violence Intervention Program; create a team in hospital ERs to stop shooting retaliations; test a street outreach program; prioritize 24-hour crisis services for youth to age 24; fund the Department of Community Safety; and expand and deepen community policing. We must increase services for mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and youth in crisis to see change.

Fiebelkorn: The root causes of crime in our city are economic inequity, poverty, mental health issues, drug addiction and hopelessness. As City Councilor, I will support paths out of poverty via job training, job creation, career path development and apprenticeships for young people. I’ll champion economic development activities to attract new sustainable businesses including small and micro-businesses that pay a living wage. I’ll also push to fully fund mental health and drug addiction recovery programs.

Kellerman: Poverty, inequality, addiction. Set specific goals and build data models + new collection and platform to measure progress. An inclusive economy refuses poverty: living wages, affordable housing towards home ownership, unionization, small business adaptation, entrepreneurs. I’ve proposed a Community Impact Fund to compensate for displacement. Addiction requires long-term investment and state/federal coordination + resources to disrupt cycles, systems, and build a new social infrastructure.

Montoya: Crime affects quality of life for citizens, business investment, and property values. We need a fully staffed APD, working in partnership with our community to make Albuquerque safer. Expanding the Community Safety Department to ease the burden on police, increasing officer recruitment and complying with the Justice Department are essential.

What policy would you change to end homelessness in Albuquerque?

De Angelis: We should connect the good plan for the Gateway Center to a larger one for affordable housing and communicate it broadly as the way we offer options and hope as a city. We should commit to additional shelters to ensure a functional, effective, accessible network of locations. Increasing services for mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, youth crisis, and workforce education programs is key. Safety net services prevent people from ending up on the street.

Fiebelkorn: Sadly, ending homelessness will require many policy changes and budget prioritization over many years. Immediately, I will push to fund as many substance abuse, behavioral health, job training, job placement and transitional housing programs as possible. I’ll add funding for more social workers and navigators to guide individuals into programs. I’d like to see public bathrooms and water fountains to allow unhoused people to live with dignity.

Kellerman: Declare Functional Zero homelessness. Invest in data infrastructure to measure ROI with every program/policy for accountability to Functional Zero impact and the budget. Scale an efficient tiny home model, shipping containers with dignified basics—water, power, wifi—as decentralized transition housing. Gateway Center as triage, long-term institutional care for those unable to transition—addiction and mental illness. “Needs of individual” as top data field in first responder reports.

Montoya: We need Guaranteed Basic Income in Albuquerque. Addressing income inequality will benefit us all. That is the only way to provide security to the unsheltered population in Albuquerque. The Gateway Center is a good start, but it is just a start. We will need many more facilities like the Gateway Center. It would be far more effective to create a Guaranteed Basic Income that will level the playing field and ensure all of Albuquerque’s citizens have a fighting chance.

Every district is unique. What is one challenge that you will tackle that will help the people living and working in your district?

De Angelis: We have neighborhoods in more than a dozen areas flooding due to outdated stormwater planning, climate change storms, and our district’s hardscaped grid design. Residents are against a city plan to create 10’ deep retention ponds in several parks as the remedy. We need more thoughtful solutions, both immediate and long-term, that don’t sacrifice our parks as monsoon storms intensify.

Fiebelkorn: Two areas of District 7 experience flooding with any substantial rain. I will prioritize implementation of the solutions developed in study currently underway by the city. I’d also push for infrastructure needed to make District 7 more walkable and bikeable, and for revitalization efforts in our business areas. These infrastructure projects are important because they all contribute to a sense of community which raises quality of life, community safety and equity in District 7.

Kellerman: District 7 needs a multi-generational center. Currently, there is no community center. After-schools programs thrive and support working families only when they have a central location, an established place of collaboration and support. Pre-apprenticeships and vocational training seeds the value of the trades and supports the critical need for new economy workers to build and rebuild our city’s future-ready infrastructure and realize the potential of the creative economy in Albuquerque.

Montoya: Lack of affordable housing is a ubiquitous problem and Albuquerque is no exception. Auxiliary units, properly regulated, would create additional affordable housing. With proper community input I fully support them. However, subsidizing mixed retail/residential properties, apartments above stores, can also be a great source of affordable housing. We need an “all of the above” approach to making Albuquerque an affordable, livable city that will attract new businesses and residents.

Will you vote for the proposal to bond $50M of public dollars to construct a multi-use stadium that the NM United USL soccer team will primarily use?

De Angelis: Yes.

Fiebelkorn: Yes.

Kellerman: No.

Montoya: No

Would you support repealing Albuquerque’s immigrant-friendly policy?

De Angelis: No.

Fiebelkorn: No.

Kellerman: No.

Montoya: No.

Would you support a repeal of the city’s ban on single-use plastic bags?

De Angelis: No.

Fiebelkorn: No.

Kellerman: No.

Montoya: No.

Do you support making fare-free transit permanent in Albuquerque?

De Angelis: Yes.

Fiebelkorn: Yes.

Kellerman: Yes.

Montoya: Yes.

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This story is a staff report from The Paper.