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Less than six months after its inception to support and support the city’s priorities, the City of Albuquerque’s new foundation has raised nearly $ 250,000.
However, records show that most of the money does not come from individual citizens, but from a small cross-section of businesses, including some of the state’s best-known names.
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Comcast, Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico, New Mexico Gas Co., McDonald’s, and Netflix have each donated $ 10,000.
The largest single contribution to date – $ 50,000 – was from Garcia Subaru, according to records made available to the Journal as part of a public inquiry. The company is owned by the Garcia family, who also own several other local auto dealerships, a growing piece of real estate in downtown Albuquerque, and a stake in the New Mexico United professional football team.
Other great contributors are Golden Pride Chicken and Fresquez Concessions.
Golden Pride gave in $ 20,000 and its sister restaurant, Frontier Restaurant, put in $ 5,000.
Fresquez Concessions – which has an active agreement with the city to manage all of the food and beverage business at Albuquerque International Sunport – donated $ 20,000.
The real estate and development industries also poured in: construction company Bradbury Stamm and real estate management company RMCI Inc. each gave $ 10,000.
A total of 35 companies and individuals are responsible for all of $ 248,250 the fund has raised to date, records show.
And some contributions came in response to personal inquiries from Mayor Tim Keller himself.
Jessie Damazyn, a spokeswoman for the mayor, did not say exactly how many of the existing donors Keller met in person to solicit donations, but said he spoke “in contexts of” to “almost everyone” on the list, as well as many others have coffee to community events to lectures on how they can play a role, from volunteering to donating. “
Larry Rainosek, owner of Golden Pride and Frontier, said he donated after a meeting with Keller arranged by mayor’s office.
“We always try to do things that will benefit the city and the community,” said Rainosek, adding that his company has also supported the University of New Mexico.
According to a September press release, the city launched the One Albuquerque Fund last year to raise additional resources “to support and complement the city’s priorities” such as spending on police recruitment, housing vouchers and staff development. Keller said at the time that citizens wanted to help.
“Every day the people of Albuquerque ask themselves how they can approach and (be) the greatest challenges facing our city,” said Keller in a statement last fall.
According to the city list, only six people donated under their own names. These include Doug Brown, the President of the University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents, and Gary Goodman, the real estate developer behind Winrock Town Center. Each gave $ 5,000, records show. Nick Kapnison, a local businessman and restaurateur, contributed $ 3,350.
Damazyn said the foundation is still young and further citizen contributions are expected. The foundation’s board of directors has hired a member of staff to take care of public relations and fundraising, she added.
“This fund is still in its infancy and we expect more and more people to donate when they find out about it. That initiative started as the One Albuquerque Housing Fund, which raised over $ 74,000 from donors who believe housing is key, “Damazyn said in an email.
Rainosek said he believes the foundation has the potential to alleviate some of the city’s troubles – at a news conference last month, Keller raised the foundation’s spending of $ 20,000 on housing vouchers and $ 5,000 on recruiting Police emerge.
Rainosek said he didn’t think his contribution would affect the mayor, but said meeting through the foundation gave him the long-awaited opportunity to voice his grievances about Albuquerque Rapid Transit and some of the changes he’d like to see in the future .
“He had his agenda,” said Rainosek of the meeting with Keller, “and I had mine.”
Damazyn said the One Albuquerque Fund will have no control over how the city selects contractors, referring to the city’s competitive application process.
She noted that many other public institutions, including Albuquerque Public Schools and UNM, also have supporting foundations.
The city’s foundation will comply with the New Mexico Public Record Inspection Act, she said. Some others do not – the UNM Foundation, for example, has argued in court that it is not subject to the state’s public registry law.