Martin J Chavez, former Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Martin J Chavez
Former Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico

27 January 2008: Born in 1952, Albuquerque native Martin Chávez earned his degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his juris doctorate at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He was the founding Director of the Workers’ Compensation Administration in 1986, and from 1989 to 1993 served in the New Mexico State Senate, where he championed legislative initiatives from early voting and election and ethics reform to urban forestry and workers compensation.

Update 5 November 2009: In October 2009 Mayor Chavez was defeated by Republican Richard Berry in the city’s mayoral election and will leave office in January 2010. More

From 1993 through 1997 Chávez served as Mayor of Albuquerque in a term that featured a city-wide clean up, lower crime rates and the construction of the long-sought Montaño Bridge. Chávez also initiated a highly successful water conservation campaign and led the fight to protect Kirtland Air Force Base from closure. After his term as mayor he ran for Governor of New Mexico in 1998 against Republican Gary E. Johnson, but lost by 10 per cent.

Since returning to the Mayor’s Office in 2001, Chávez has restored fiscal discipline and supported well planned growth, rebuilt the public safety infrastructure and broken ground on an internationally acclaimed and historic surface water project that puts Albuquerque’s long range prospects on a par with those of every other major city in the country. 

Under the leadership of Chávez, Albuquerque has enjoyed a 17 per cent reduction in crime, a 33 per cent reduction in water use, and a job creation rate that is the envy of the rest of the state and most of the nation. The city has also begun enjoying national prominence in a number of studies and reports for factors ranging from business climate to cultural amenities.

Going forward, Chávez plans to make further improvements to public safety, build on environmental sustainability initiatives such as multi-modal transit, transform city pet shelters to ‘live exit’ for all adoptable animals and further support what has been described as one of the nation’s fastest urban revitalizations. He has also upgraded the Balloon and Bio Parks, restored historic Tingley Beach and brought the amazing Explora Museum to Old Town. Further, Chávez has expanded partnerships with public education and initiated social services reforms to more effectively serve the most vulnerable of our community, from the mentally ill and the homeless to those faced with the specter of domestic violence and substance abuse issues. 

Chávez is vice president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

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