Q&A: Bernalillo County Commission District 1 Democratic candidate Barbara Baca - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: Bernalillo County Commission District 1 Democratic candidate Barbara Baca

Barbara Baca

NAME: Barbara Baca




RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: I am a lifelong resident of Albuquerque’s West Side where my husband and I raised our family. I have devoted my professional career to public service and have over 33 years of experience in natural resource conservation, planning, and land management. I have worked at the national level and for local governments. I worked for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., and worked at the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Senior Affairs, helping seniors stay active, engaged and living in their homes as long as safely possible. I retired as the City’s Director of Parks and Recreation in 2014 and currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.

EDUCATION: B.A. in recreation from the University of New Mexico; M.S. in recreation administration University of Colorado, Boulder.

AGE: 61



1. What is the top priority in your District and how would you address it as a county commissioner?

My first priority is to improve public safety throughout Bernalillo County. The city and county can work better together to address crime. The Albuquerque Police Department and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office can improve communications through the development of a combined dispatch to reduce emergency response time. I will advocate for additional resources for this effort.

2. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a tax increase? And what types, if any, would you support?

We must address public safety and homelessness. If elected, I will evaluate the budgets of the Behavioral Health Initiative, the BCSO and the Metropolitan Detention Center to determine if efficiencies can be found to improve these programs. We must engage the community in solutions. If additional public funding is warranted, I would support it.

3. What do you think should be the county’s top three capital project priorities?

We must prioritize roadway improvements that support existing neighborhoods, while participating in long-term regional planning for infrastructure. This approach allows for a cooperative effort to seek funds from local, state and federal governments. My priorities are the Atrisco Vista extension, Paseo del Norte/Unser and a West Side city/county multigenerational center.

4. What, if anything, do you think the county should be doing differently with regard to how it manages and uses the behavioral health tax?

There is the need to establish a comprehensive evaluation of these programs and prioritize programs that are effective. The city and county should pool resources and invest in common programs that are accessible and impactful. A structure should be established for the state to become a partner in this effort.

5. What role, if any, should the county commission play in advising the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office on matters related to public safety?

My hope is that with a new sheriff, relationships will improve. The commission provides funding for BCSO and both answer to the public on issues of public safety. The two must work cooperatively so appropriate resources are made available; neighborhoods are safer; and residents know that they are being heard.

6. What are your ideas for improving conditions for both employees and inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center?

We need to improve conditions at MDC for the employees and inmates. MDC is understaffed and I would support increasing pay to retain employees so we are more competitive with surrounding communities.

7. How would you work to improve the economy in Bernalillo County?

As a community, we must create an environment where local business can thrive and create long term, better paying jobs. As a responsible government, the county can encourage new businesses or expand local business through awarding Industrial Revenue Bonds for qualifying, homegrown companies.

8. What specific strategies do you have for reducing homelessness?

Bernalillo County must expand mental and behavioral health programs and facilities to reduce addiction and homelessness. The city and county can coordinate better and invest in a common Community Safety Department which includes trained professionals with backgrounds in behavioral and mental health to respond to nonviolent calls.

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?


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? If so, explain.


Home » 2022 election » Q&A: Bernalillo County Commission District 1 Democratic candidate Barbara Baca

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

NM Democrats weigh law protecting abortion rights
2022 election
'Our hearts, our clinics and our ... 'Our hearts, our clinics and our communities will remain open to those coming here for the care they want and need,' says one state ...
Calling NM 'lawless,' Ronchetti unveils public safety priorities
2022 election
Republican candidate for governor says he ... Republican candidate for governor says he will push to stiffen criminal penalties, make it easier to hold defendants in jail awaiting trial
Lawmakers weigh fallout of NM election certification drama
2022 election
Jeers of 'cowards,' 'traitors' are hurled ... Jeers of 'cowards,' 'traitors' are hurled at some commissioners casting votes
New attack ad targets governor's spending
2022 election
Ad says Lujan Grisham used money ... Ad says Lujan Grisham used money out of a discretionary fund intended for social and diplomatic events
NM Supreme Court orders Otero County Commission to certify ...
2022 election
GOP commissioners have refused to certify ... GOP commissioners have refused to certify primary election tally
Lujan Grisham fires back at Ronchetti
2022 election
New TV ad criticizes GOP candidate’s ... New TV ad criticizes GOP candidate’s inexperience
NM county wants to ditch vote-count machines
2022 election
Ballots from the statewide primary election ... Ballots from the statewide primary election will be recounted by hand
2022 election
2022 election
Welcome to the Journal's coverage of ... Welcome to the Journal's coverage of the 2022 election.
Here you will find stories, key voting dates, endorsements and Q&As from candidates who responded to ...
NM set for competitive governor's race
2022 election
President's party has lost in each ... President's party has lost in each of the past 32 years