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District 3

District 3 Newsletter, Edition #19


In This Edition:

Message from the Commissioner
Contact Information
BernCo at Work
Community Resources
Things to Do
Interesting Reads


Sept. 30 is the last day to complete the 2020 Census. If you haven’t completed it yet, stop reading this and go to https://my2020census.gov/ right now! If you know of anyone who still needs to complete the Census, please call and encourage them to complete the form online. Remember if you live in the United States, you are required by law to participate in the 2020 count.

An accurate census is critical because it is used to determine the distribution of federal dollars and political representation for the next ten years. New Mexico receives over $7 billion each year through federal programs which benefit the entire community: health care, nutrition, highways, education, housing, jobs and more that allocate funds on a per capita basis.

A few facts:

  • If there is an undercount in New Mexico of 1%, $780 million dollar will be lost.
  • Each New Mexican not counted equals a loss of approximately $3,745/per year.
  • Medicaid is the largest Census funded program, and the largest share, over $4 billion, of federal funding in New Mexico. We could lose $32 million every year for the next ten years in Medicaid funding, with just a 1% undercount.
  • States and communities that are not fully counted in the Census will not receive equal representation in Congress, the State Legislature, County Commissions or at City Hall.

According to Andrew Whitby, a data scientist and author, the decennial census in the United States is unique for two reasons -- first, the census is embedded in the Constitution—Article 1, Section 2; second, it is tied to a mathematical system of reapportionment. The idea of a regularly occurring census was a novel idea at the time. In other countries a census was done randomly, and "undesirable" people weren’t counted; but the U.S. census has occurred every ten years since 1790. Our census has its flaws, most notably and horrifically, the three-fifths compromise (which treated an enslaved person as three-fifths of a free person, for apportionment) but the idea was sound.

Over the years the core census—the set of questions asked of every household— has been shortened. This year it has only 9 questions. In 2005, the Census Bureau replaced the long form questionnaire sent to a random sample of households with the American Community Survey (ACS), which is administered continuously throughout the decade. Only 3.5 million households are asked to complete the ACS each year.

COVID19, the debate about the inclusion of a citizenship question and the abrupt shortening of the census response deadline have exacerbated the challenges to the census. There are also questions about whether it is even needed; many countries no longer perform a traditional count. But with its constitutional mandate, the U.S. Census is here to stay; responding to the census is the law and, as with voting, our responsibility. The quality of our life and our community depends on a complete count.

Take care, stay well, wash your hands frequently, always wear a face mask when out in public and Apply for an Absentee Ballot – Jim Collie

Contact Information:

Important Telephone Numbers to Keep Handy

COVID19 hotline

Non-health related COVID19 hotline

For an updated one-stop source of COVID19 information, click here.

To see the past newsletters, please go to https://www.bernco.gov/District-3/district-3-newsletter.aspx
For the latest edition of the BernCo at a Glance, click here
To complete the 2020 Census: https://my2020census.gov/
For information regarding the General Election, click here or here or call 234-VOTE, press option 1


County Commission

NM House of Representatives District 12 Vacancy
On a 3-2 vote (Commissioners Collie and O’Malley sought to delay the appointment until after the November General Election) the Commission voted to appoint Art De La Cruz to the State House District 12 seat. The seat is temporarily vacant due to the current Representative’s, Patricio Ruiloba, resignation. Voters will choose the long-term occupant for the seat in the November election.

Brittney Barreras, who also was an applicant for the vacancy, will be on the ballot as an independent; De La Cruz, a Democrat, is running as a write-in candidate.

CARES Grants

On a unanimous vote, the Commission approved the use of an additional $1 million of CARES money to provide financial support for qualifying small business in Bernalillo County. The grants will be up to $10,000 for qualifying small businesses located inside the city limits of Albuquerque as well as within the unincorporated areas of the county.

For a business to qualify, it must have a physical establishment located within Bernalillo County and have one-50 full-time employees, or equivalent part-time employees. Additionally, businesses and organizations must not have received more than $3 million in taxable receipts per annum. Priority will be given to businesses and organizations that did not receive funds from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), or small business assistance funds from the State of New Mexico or the City of Albuquerque. Reimbursement is not required for grant recipients.

For more information, including the application and required documents, click here. The application process will remain open until all funds are exhausted.

BernCo Community Services Division - Open Space

Celebrating 100 Years of Women Voting: A Portrait of Persistence
BernCo Open Space and the town of Bernalillo are sponsoring an Outdoor Exhibit and Scavenger Hunt in honor of the Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The exhibit also shares important and accurate voting information from the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office. These two resources provide a historical framework on voting rights, the importance of voting, and how to exercise the right to vote today. The full exhibit is on display outdoors at the historic Gutiérrez-Hubbell House in the South Valley. On-site parking is available from 3 p.m. to dusk for the duration of the exhibit.

For more information about the exhibit and a map pf the scavenger hunt locations, click here.

BernCo Animal Care & Resource Center

Bernalillo County Animal Care Services is proud to announce and share on social media their new Paw’d Cast in an effort to help highlight pets that the community can adopt through our facility. This visual approach makes it easy to promote our pets every two –weeks while social distancing but still engage with our constituents through social media.

Animal Care Services is hosting adoptions through an interest card process with adoptions by appointment. The Paw’d cast allows us to show the public our adoptable pets, their, provide education about animal enrichment and expand our community presence. We were pleased that KRQE saw our Paw’s’d cast on our Facebook page and decided to share on their page plus air a promo on their newscast.

For more information, click here

BernCo General Service Division

Bernalillo County and Daniels Family Funeral Services will honor the county’s unclaimed and indigent residents with a Memorial Burial Service on Thursday, October 1st, at Fairview Cemetery, 700 Yale SE. Due to public health restrictions, this year’s service will not be open to the public.

For more information about the program and to find out if a deceased person is on the unclaimed indigent list, click here. To obtain the cremains of one of the deceased persons on the unclaimed indigent list, call 1-505-468-7777 by 5:00pm, Tuesday, September 15th.

BernCo Fire Department

Fill the Boot Campaign
Bernalillo County and Albuquerque firefighters moved their annual “Fill the Boot” campaign online this year due to COVID19. In past years, firefighters would raise money for Muscular Dystrophy Association outside stores and on street corners.

The virtual event was supposed to end on Monday, September 7th, but has been extended until the end of year. To donate click here.


New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Business Alliance
Outdoor Recreation (OR) contributes to New Mexico’s quality of life and millions of dollars to our economy. Are you interested in promoting outdoor recreation in New Mexico? Click here to see how you can help.

New Mexico Finance Authority
On Aug. 5, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund for New Mexico small businesses.

The Small Business Recovery Act of 2020 allocates $400 million in funds from the New Mexico State Severance Tax Fund to provide loans to New Mexico businesses and nonprofits that have experienced financial hardship due to the public health order resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.

The PNM Home Energy Analyzer is FREE, online, and takes just minutes to complete! Find out how to lower your energy bills, make your home more efficient, and possibly qualify for money saving rebates.

PNM customers who own their homes may request info and/or schedule a virtual or, in-person (COVID-Safe) energy check-up by calling 1-855-775-6491. Customers may also visit www.PNM.com/checkup. Renters, may also be ELIGIBLE.

Check-ups are FREE for income-qualified individuals. Call for more details. Regular program costs are $15 or $20 (depending on the type of energy package chosen):

If you/someone you know is struggling with their bills, CLICK HERE for more bill help information.

Visit www.pnm.com/business-events for energy solutions and information about power outage preparedness, electric vehicles and electrification of the grid, and more. Past events are archived and available


2nd Annual Prickly Pear Festival, Saturday, September 14, learn everything prickly pear in a virtual format. For more information and a schedule of events, click here. Proceeds will benefit Three sisters Kitchen and COVID19 relief for indigenous communities.

New Mexico State Fair, September 14th – 20th, will be entirely online this year. As in years past, the Fair will highlight friendly competition, support New Mexico 4-H & FFA members and highlight vendors & entertainers. For more information, click here

The 38th Annual Animal Humane NM Doggie Dash & Dawdle has gone virtual! Click here for more information and to register.


The Albuquerque Museum is reopening on Tuesday, September 15th. Visitors must purchase tickets online in advance and facemasks will be required.

Other Museums Reopening at 25% capacity with all public health regulations enforced. Check their websites for more information:

  • The Museum of Nuclear Science & History opened August 31st with daily hours of 9am-5 pm, website
  • The NM Holocaust Museum in downtown reopened on September 5th, website
  • The Balloon Museum will open September 16th, website

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad will begin service out of Chama, NM, on Monday, September 21st. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was ranked number 1 “Best Scenic Train Ride” by USA Today last month.

For more information and reservations, visit their website


19th Amendment History, compiled by the Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/history/

How the Census Changed America, from the New Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/how-the-census-changed-america

More About Pandemics
A History Lesson from Governing Daily
A Sad Lesson that We should Never Forget -- How the Warsaw Ghetto Beat Back an Epidemic, from NPR
James Monroe and the Pandemic You Don’t Know About, from Governing Daily
The Ancient Greeks has a Word for what We are Feeling, from INC.
The 6 foot social distancing rule might not be enough, from Business Insider
How to deal with Uncertain Times, from The Atlantic
Benefits Offered for Those Working at Home (but we are not getting from BernCo), from INC.

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