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District 2 Accomplishments - 2009 – 2015 (April)

  • Responsive, timely constituent support in person, phone and email | over 1200 constituents served
  • Created "Hand-in-Hand" event introducing county officials and bringing government to the people
    • Commissioner De La Cruz developed the Hand-in-Hand concept, the idea of taking county government to District 2 neighborhoods to give constituents direct access to senior level county managers and elected officials.  The first Hand-in-Hand was held at the Westside Community Center in 2009. In 2010, a second Hand-in-Hand event was held at the South Valley Multipurpose Center. Tables and booths were set up to allow residents the opportunity to talk with county employees one-on-one to obtain useful information about programs and services that benefit the community. Residents could also share their comments and concerns with key decision-makers, including the county sheriff, assessor, clerk, treasurer and probate judge.  ​

“This is way to take county government to meet the people in their community and let them know their concerns are being listened to and acted on,” says Commissioner De La Cruz.

  • Established working relationships with city councilors, state and elected officials and federal delegation
    • Government works best when elected officials can work together, crossing political and jurisdictional boundaries. Commissioner De La Cruz has worked with city, state and federal officials in an effort to leverage resources to solve problems and to work collaboratively to support meaningful projects that improve the quality of life for District 2 residents and mutual constituents throughout Bernalillo County.
  • Participate in multiple community meetings and events
    • Commissioner Art De La Cruz regularly schedules community meetings in District 2. So far this year, he has held three community listening sessions at Adobe Acres Elementary School, Herman Sanchez Community Center and Alamosa Community Center.

In 2009, he hosted two public safety forums where community members were able to ask questions of representatives from the Bernalillo County Fire Department, the Sheriff’s Office, the Metropolitan Detention Center, the Youth Services Center, Animal Care Services and the Metropolitan Assessment and Treatment Center.

Commissioner De La Cruz is also present at many neighborhood association meetings around the entire district.

“These are all examples of our continuing effort to take government to the people,” says Commissioner De La Cruz. “We always invite residents to come to these meetings to let us know how we can make government work better for them.”

  • Honor individuals and groups with county proclamations and recognitions
    • The hard work and altruistic efforts of many people go unnoticed. Commissioner De La Cruz has made an effort to change that. Through official proclamations, and certificates of recognition and appreciation, the commissioner has made public the numerous stories of many everyday people who have done extraordinary things to make our community better.  
  • Created award-winning county and city-wide neighborhood association grants program | $100k
    • This initiative was introduced by Commissioner De La Cruz and passed unanimously by the Board of County Commissioners. The Board approved $100,000 for the Neighborhood Outreach Grant Program.

The grant program was created to assist neighborhood groups with continuing their participation and outreach to residents of Bernalillo County. Neighborhood Coordination is responsible for the administration of the grant. Projects must demonstrate broad community support and provide a public benefit. Work performed must occur within Bernalillo County. 

Recognized neighborhood associations and coalitions within Bernalillo County, both city and county, are eligible to apply for funding. Grant applications are received twice during a fiscal year. Applicants may submit only one proposal per fiscal year.                                                 

There are four levels of funding from $500 - $10,000. Neighborhood associations are automatically notified about deadlines to submit proposals.       

  • Established burials of unclaimed veteran remains at Santa Fe National Cemetery in collaboration with State of New Mexico
    • Commissioner De La Cruz initiated the program that allows Bernalillo County to assist with providing burials to indigent veterans at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. The new Forgotten Heroes Burial Program is a joint effort by Bernalillo County, the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, and the Missing in America Project, a non-profit organization that attempts to locate unclaimed cremated remains of veterans for proper military burial with full military honors. A memorial service interring the remains of the first 13 unclaimed veterans in New Mexico was held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in June 2010. The Forgotten Heroes Burial Program is the first of its kind in the nation.                                

“Every veteran deserves a proper and honorable military burial,” says Commissioner De La Cruz. “Bernalillo County has had an indigent burial program in place for many years but now, with the help of New Mexico Department of Veterans Services and the Missing in America Project, the county and these partners have created a process whereby this can occur and the remains of our veterans will no longer sit unclaimed, unrecognized and forgotten as what happened in the past. It is our hope that this program will be mimicked in other counties across America to the benefit of veterans who do not have family to claim their remains.”

  • Secured funding for Manuel Mora and Pete Padilla Vietnam War Memorial
  • Annual South Valley Veterans Appreciation Dinner | Fifth annual, $3.7k
  • Hosted cleanup events to help two elderly South Valley residents to avoid zoning violations  (w/volunteers; roll off dumpsters donated by two businesses)
  • Established the Bernalillo County "Forgotten Heroes Burial Program"  which has received national award
  • South Valley MainStreet Grant
    1. Formation of non-profit with board of directors (allows to receive grant funding for projects)
    2. Gateway Growers Market, end of May through end of October at Gateway Park (2015 season: Thursday evenings starting May 14).  Received $1,500 grant from New Mexico Farmers Market Association to provide music, purchase tents/tables, and for marketing.  Also, the market will now accept WIC and SNAP, including the double up program.
    3. Saturday movie nights during summer
    4. Chile Fiesta (approximately 2000 participants) chile/salsa cook-off, arts and crafts vendors, beer garden, food trucks, live music | $15k,  2015 Chile Fiesta will be held on August 29
    5. Holiday Celebration, (December, approximately 300 participants) luminarias, live music and refreshments | $2.7k
    6. Façade improvements, two buildings in 800 block of Bridge Boulevard | $15k PNM grant, project scheduled May 21
    7. Marketing: newsletter, restaurant dining rack card, event fliers and banners, website
  • Neighborhood Outreach Grants throughout Bernalillo County | $400K county-wide since September 2010
  • South Valley MainStreet Listening Sessions Series ($75k National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant, Cultural Services), will produce a report recommending art projects for Bridge Boulevard
  • Friday Night Live Community Town Hall
  • Neighborhood Association Workshop at NHCC | $7k
  • Anti-bullying banners for all elementary schools in District 2 | $1.6k toward school banners
  • MDC Volunteer Recognition Event | BernCo district-directed funds, entire cost maintained by Commissioner’s Office
  • Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Conference (sponsorship support) | $70k/year approx. from general fund
  • MVNA Black and White Gala (sponsorship support) | $2.5k in 2012, $1k in 2015
  • Filipino American National Historical Society National Conference (sponsorship support)
  • Isshin Ryu Club (sponsorship support) | $1k in 2014
  • NM Sports / Kids First (sponsorship support) | $5k in 2014
  • Public Allies/Hubbell House (sponsorship support) | $450 in 2013, $12.3k in 2014, $1.5k in 2015
  • Working Classroom / Local Theatre Dreamland Production (sponsorship support) | $2.5k in 2014
  • VFW/Jazz organization for veterans (sponsorship support) | $1k in 2015
  • 516 Arts (local art series) (sponsorship support) | $5k in 2014
  • Dia De Los Muertos community cultural event | $10k per year)
  • South Valley Elementary and Middle School Principals conference | $369.75 lunch & two awards
  • Early Childhood Health/Development Stakeholders meeting
  • Dolores Gonzales Elementary Student Bike Program (sponsorship support) | $2.5k in 2014
  • Adobe Acres and Valle Vista Student Literacy (sponsorship support) | Approximately $4k in 2013-2015
  • Neighborhood Association Community Planning meeting (sponsorship support) | $600
  • Hispano Round Table (sponsorship support) | $600 in 2014
  • Grant Chapel African Methodist Church / 18th Annual MLK Commemorative event (sponsorship support) | $125 in 2014; $2k in 2015
  • SW Culture Annual Cesar Chavez Day event (sponsorship support) | $5k in 2014
  • Wolf Pack Youth Wrestling Team (sponsorship support) | $357 in 2013, $503 in 2015
  • Albuquerque Film Media Experience (sponsorship support) | $2k in 2014
  • Homeless Veterans Hot Dog Event (sponsorship support) | $500
  • Barelas Fall Festival (sponsorship support) | $700 in 2015
  • Hideout Boxing (sponsorship support) | $10k in 2015
  • Spanish Colonial Arts Society / Spanish Winter Market (sponsorship support) | $8k
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