Several cities across America are competing to host Amazon’s second headquarters. The company is looking for a city with a population of at least one million people, a strong university system and a stable and business-friendly environment. The winning city would see an investment from Amazon of $5 billion and 50,000 new jobs created. As much as I would love to see Albuquerque win this bid to have Amazon boost the New Mexico economy, I hate to admit we have a slim-to-none chance of having Amazon build their second headquarters here.

I grew up in Albuquerque, and I’m also a UNM alumnus. For as long as I can remember, Central has been in a perpetual state of construction chaos. Many businesses in the Nob Hill area have even complained about the ART construction; I’ve seen the news reports on KOAT 7. We have one of the highest crime rates in the nation. I avoid driving through Central as much as possible, because it doubles my commuting time. Not to mention I’m approached by panhandlers each time I go out to do errands. Albuquerque does not offer a stable or business-friendly environment to Amazon. Our population is around 900,000, not quite enough for Amazon.

My questions to the Albuquerque municipal government are twofold: what is the deadline for the ART project? And how much is this project going to cost taxpayers after it’s all done?

My questions to the Albuquerque mayor candidates are: what are you going to do to improve Albuquerque’s image? What are you going to do to reduce crime rates in our city? What will you do to get all these panhandlers off the streets? What are you going to do to stop these wasteful construction projects that make our city look like a third-world country?

Andres Saenz