Name: Cynthia D. Borrego
Political party: Democratic
Education: Master’s of public administration; Bachelor of Science in education; hours toward second master’s in community and regional planning. Certified: real estate; siting wireless communications antennas and towers; international investing and emerging markets.
Occupation: Owner – Cybas and Assoc., LLC, 11 years; current City Council president; councilor for 3.8 years.
Family: Spouse – deceased; 1 godson, 7 nephews, 5 nieces, 2 furbabies
Relevant experience: President, Albuquerque City Council representing District 5; AMAFCA Board of Directors; owner-Cybas’s & Assoc. LLC; immediate past president, Rio Grande Credit Union Board of Directors; urban planning/economic development COA/Co Bernalillo 28+ years; New Mexico PERA board, 8 years, 2 years-chair; NMSPA; former chair/board
Campaign website: cynthiaborrego.com
What is the biggest issue facing your district right now, and how would you address it?
There are many issues that I’ll continue to address for our city but public safety rises to the top. I have strengthened public safety by hiring more officers and expanding community policing programs and funding mental health programs, including adding mental health professionals as first responders.
What, if anything, can the Council do legislatively to reduce crime?
I am currently working with the Legislature to reduce recidivism and strengthening laws for crimes against children. I am working on funding our APD communications system. Furthermore, I will continue to work with our federal delegation to obtain more public safety grants and support community events recognizing our officers.
APD continues operating under a U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement that outlines reforms, policy changes, and mandatory training that police need to complete over several years. Should the city continue with that agreement or try to modify it? If so, how should the city try to modify it?
The federal CASA (Court Approved Settlement Agreement) mandate is implemented by the DOJ, and the city is obligated to meet the terms and conditions. There are several parts that the COA can still challenge in court — so it’s essential to work with attorneys and our officers to find solutions.
About 31% of all the city’s general fund spending currently goes to the police department. Is that the right amount? If not, should it be higher or lower and why?
The City Council raised the budget for the police department for FY 22 — and I believe that it struck the right balance of securing resources that they needed while investing in other areas that give support to officers and community programs. I am open to increasing it in the future.
What else in the city’s current budget, if anything, do you believe should have more or less funding and why?
We need to focus on economic recovery after the pandemic. I am most interested in how we can build economic development (jobs) in conjunction with the American Rescue Plan by investing in apprenticeship and training programs. We can also build our community’s opportunities through public private partnerships.
Under what circumstances, if any, would you support raising taxes?
No. I do not support raising taxes, especially during a pandemic. I have a record of voting against raising taxes. I recently voted against the proposed gasoline tax. Albuquerque does not need any regressive taxes.
What is your top idea for boosting the city’s economy?
We need to take a multifaceted approach to continuing building the economy — all focused around new jobs. We should continue building the tech industry, expanding apprenticeship programs, support small business incentives, and invest in our natural resources. Investments in future generations will also help curb crime, and further economic development.
If city voters approve a $50 million gross receipts tax bond for a new multipurpose soccer stadium, where do you think it should be built?
I believe a comprehensive analysis of opportunity sites. The analysis should include transportation, access, economic impact, cultural impact; and the impact on fragile neighborhood fabrics. The decision will ultimately go to the voters, and there may be more pressing issues we need to prioritize including crime and homelessness.
What specific strategies do you have for reducing homelessness?
We need to create a stronger network between social service providers. Competition should not be a driving force for these providers for funding. We need to do a complete analysis of who is the homeless population and network to assist addressing the root causes and ensure programs are available.
What should the city do to ensure the success of its first Gateway Center?
We must work cooperatively with the community and adjacent neighborhoods to make this work. Furthermore, we need organizations such as UNM, federal, state and county programs, non-profits, the VA Hospital and Sandia to provide that necessary programs are available to address root causes to the most vulnerable populations.
What, if anything, should the city do for people living on the streets who do not want to stay in a shelter?
First, we can provide more outreach programs by working with non-profits, churches, coalitions, neighborhood associations. We can expand the outreach and staff of our skilled professionals that are on the front lines that are trying to reach these individuals to obtain the help they need.
What large infrastructure projects would you push for in the city’s next capital implementation program?
I have already secured over $19.5 million for Paseo, $13.5 million for Unser, and $10 million for Westside Boulevard. I intend to finish all of these projects in conjunction with the state Legislature and federal government.
What plans do you have to raise the quality of life for Albuquerque residents?
Quality of life is synonymous with creating a healthy community. Giving everyone the opportunity to succeed in the changing economy is critical. We need to invest in our youth, our outdoor recreation, community programs and apprenticeship programs to make Albuquerque the best city in the country.
What differentiates you from your opponents?
I’m in office to help our community, not to use it to gain higher office. I prioritized infrastructure and the well-being of citizens by obtaining over $55 million for improvements to our infrastructure, which has provided new jobs. I prioritized building a budget to expand our police force while prioritizing community outreach.
Name one issue not mentioned in the questions above that you would plan to tackle as a councilor?
Prioritizing our youth, educational system and building future generations will be critical to our city’s future. Economic development and public education are directly tied to each other. We need to train the next generation and create a strong labor force that will help us compete in the national market.
1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state?