Mayor Tim Keller used his State of the City address June 25 to celebrate, saying “The Burque is back.” The mayor doesn’t seem to know what city he is living in. Albuquerque is “murder city,” and lawlessness is back.
Albuquerque is hurting more than ever. The city streets are filled with illegal homeless tent encampments, drug abuse, trash, graffiti and rampant crime. Needles and graffiti fill public parks. The city is dirtier than ever and riddled with more crime than ever. There are fewer officers on the streets responding to calls than one year ago and even five years ago.
The mayor’s State of the City address ignored the crisis we are in and was filled with excuses and blame for his failure to enforce our laws and keep our city safe and clean.
The City Council has funded his administration with over $60 million per year for homeless services, including funding for 369 vacant beds in compassionate shelters every night. The council increased housing vouchers by 70% this year. The council continues to fund 1,100 police officers, yet this administration after five years only has 850 officers, with just 360 responding to calls. The council continues to fund and offer solutions for the challenges we face, but this administration fails to lead.
The mayor continues to make excuses and blame the federal courts, the City Council, the pandemic, state government and previous administrations rather than stepping up and owning Albuquerque’s problems.
To keep Downtown safe, the mayor proposed that small businesses foot the bill for more officers. To clean up after illegal tent encampments, the mayor increased trash rates for every resident. The mayor was given a record amount of new revenue this year and continues to increase the burden on the taxpayers of Albuquerque with no results.
This mayor does not prioritize keeping our city safe or enforcing our laws, and the people of our great city are paying greatly for it.
The “Burque” will not be back until its leaders listen to the people of our city and have the courage to lead.