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Despite social distancing, we are One Albuquerque

For all of us in the Duke City, these past weeks have changed our lives in ways we will never forget. Like me, it may even be hard to recall what daily life was like just days ago. In this short time, we have come to recognize so much that we had previously taken for granted. Shaking someone’s hand, kids and teachers filling our schools, hugging an ill loved one, gathering with friends at a local restaurant or cheering on our favorite teams at the stadium.

A slice of this hit home the other day as my young children jumped with joy as they saw trash trucks rolling down our street after having been cooped up at home. As a parent, this small moment nearly brought tears to my eyes. As your mayor, it was a potent reminder of just how much “keeping a city running” matters.

I know all of us are filled with some combination of anxiety, concern, and in some cases, fear or anger given all that we are going through. This challenge we face is serious and will test our strength. But with respect for all, and faith in each other, we will power through these difficult times and come out the other side stronger and even more resilient than we already are.

As this crisis unfolded, we have been faced with tough but necessary decisions about how to best support our residents and local businesses. There will be more difficult choices in the weeks and months ahead.

As we all now know, physical distancing is the backbone of how we will overcome this situation. The simple truth is that for most residents, staying home is now a necessity. At the same time, it’s important that we maintain connection with each other. Checking on friends, family and neighbors and taking care of ourselves as best we can, all contribute to our collective strength.

We also know that not everyone has the choice to stay home right now. That’s why we must also support an incredible group of people in Albuquerque – our first responders, health-care workers, child-care workers, grocery and pharmacy workers, food packers, delivery drivers, homeless providers, bus drivers, custodial workers, senior caregivers, electricians, plumbers, interpreters and more – who are putting themselves on the line each and every day for the safety and benefit of everyone.

As your mayor, my first responsibility is to fight for the safety of our community. For now, that means doing all we can to keep critical services for the most vulnerable among us up and running, and to provide for those who are newly challenged with job losses, school closures and the ongoing economic fallout as best we can. Know that we keep you in our hearts and in our actions, we stand in solidarity, we have your back, and will stand with you for the duration of this pandemic.

At City Hall, we are prioritizing resources to ensure that seniors and kids get the meals they need, that our first responders are out on the front lines keeping people safe, that buses are running on needed routes, and the children of those putting their lives on the line to protect us have safe and engaging places to be.

Albuquerque, we are no stranger to facing challenges, and we know that we’ve got to face them head on and get through it together, with kindness and humanity. I am inspired daily by the outpouring of compassion in our community to help those most in need, and how we have risen to this fight with courage, resolve and determination.

Our community is built on the united spirit of our diverse people, a spirit which implores us to come together in care and support, instead of splintering amongst fear and mistrust. We will get through this, and on the other side we are going to look back on how this made us better as a people, and how we shaped a better Burque.

We are strong. We are resilient. We are One Albuquerque.

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