Q&A Albuquerque City Council District 7 Tammy Fiebelkorn - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A Albuquerque City Council District 7 Tammy Fiebelkorn

Tammy Fiebelkorn

Name: Tammy Fiebelkorn

Political party: Democratic

Age: 51

Education: M.A., natural resource economics, Colorado State University, 1994; B.B.A., economics, B.B.A., finance, Northeast Louisiana University, 1992

Occupation: New Mexico representative, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, 16 years; owner, eSolved, Inc., 24 years; founder and (volunteer) director, Positive Links, 10 years

Family: Partner Paul and our furry and feathered kids

Relevant experience: I own eSolved, an environmental and business consulting firm that provides economic and environmental analyses and have been the New Mexico representative for Southwest Energy Efficiency Project for many years. I founded Positive Links, a nonprofit which trains law enforcement and social workers to notice the signs of family violence and serve as board president. I’ve successfully advocated for numerous projects, programs and policies at the city over the past 20 years. …

Campaign website: tammyforalbuquerque.com

What is the biggest issue facing your district right now, and how would you address it?

My district needs safety and sustainability. I will fight for more mental health and addiction recovery programs, more social workers, community policing and more focus on climate resilience to deal with the flooding, extreme weather events and the severe drought that are impacting District 7.

What, if anything, can the Council do legislatively to reduce crime?

To reduce crime, we need to address the root causes. Council should support paths out of poverty via job training, job creation and career path development for young people while attracting new businesses including small and micro-businesses. We also need to fully fund drug addiction and mental health services.

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?

APD should continue operating under the agreement, which is a necessary step toward changing the culture within the police department. Equity and social justice should be prioritized within APD and all other city departments.

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 better question is how public safety dollars are being used. Almost all city departments have a direct effect on crime: the Economic Development Office, and the Family & Community Services Department, for example. We need a comprehensive approach to public safety, not a siloed approach.

What else in the city’s current budget, if anything, do you believe should have more or less funding and why?

We must invest in the people of Albuquerque: better services for people experiencing homelessness, mental health services, drug action recovery, assistance for people living in poverty and job training and career path development for young people should be prioritized in the city budget.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support raising taxes?

To pay for community priorities like mental health services, community policing, low-income services, and environmental protection, it may become necessary to raise taxes. However, I would always work to minimize wasteful spending and maximize state and federal resources before supporting any sort of tax increase.

What is your top idea for boosting the city’s economy?

The best way to boost our economy is to help existing businesses rebound from COVID, while attracting new diverse businesses that offer better paying jobs, careers that are attractive to our youth and support a sustainable future for Albuquerque: clean energy, energy efficiency, film, cannabis, technology/software, outdoor recreation, etc.

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 support a new stadium where the community selected negotiates a community benefits agreement that ensures things like locally sourced jobs, affordable housing and community access to the stadium. Barelas, South Broadway, and 12th and I-40 would all be great, if the neighborhood has a strong community benefits agreement.

What specific strategies do you have for reducing homelessness?

In the short-term, we desperately need more substance abuse, behavioral health, job training, job placement and transitional housing programs. We also need more teams of social workers and navigators to guide individuals into programs. In the long-term, we need stronger early childhood education and real job opportunities.

What should the city do to ensure the success of its first Gateway Center?

Programs are successful because of adequate funding and metrics. The Gateway Center must be funded to complete its enormous task. And we need actionable metrics that provide data for the Gateway Center to course correct its approach to homelessness if progress is not being made.

What, if anything, should the city do for people living on the streets who do not want to stay in a shelter?

Let’s open some public restrooms and water fountains. Services including mental health, drug addiction recovery, medical services and food provision should be made available to this population. Social workers are needed to help them navigate the system. Programs to assist unhoused residents with proper care of companion animals are needed.

What large infrastructure projects would you push for in the city’s next capital implementation program?

Two areas of District 7 experience flooding with any substantial rain. I will prioritize implementation of the solutions developed in a 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.

What plans do you have to raise the quality of life for Albuquerque residents?

We can improve the quality of life for all Albuquerque residents by making sure we create a sustainable future that attracts diverse businesses that offer better paying jobs, making sure everyone in our community is safe and prioritizing equity in all our policy decisions.

What differentiates you from your opponents?

I have deep and broad experience in policy development. I have a proven track record of getting results on a variety of projects, programs and policies over the past two decades. I’m running a clean, people-powered campaign as the only woman in District 7 to qualify for public financing.

Name one issue not mentioned in the questions above that you would plan to tackle as a councilor?

All members of a family — children, elders, adults and animals — deserve to be safe. That’s why I train law enforcement, social workers and animal control officers on the link between animal abuse and human violence. Everyone deserves to be safe in their own home.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No.

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No.

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?

No.

 


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