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Pat Davis

Pat Davis

Councilor-elect aims to boost tech economy

The recent municipal elections that took place on Oct. 6 produced the next representative of District 6, which UNM’s main campus partially comprises: Pat Davis, a former UNMPD officer who will take office on Dec. 1.

In addition to representing Nob Hill and southeastern Albuquerque, Davis said he looks forward to nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship between the University and the city.

“We have an obligation to be sure that as UNM and Albuquerque both grow, we grow together,” Davis said. “Clearly, we have a lot of great talent on campus that off-campus businesses and the city can benefit from through internships and intern-to-job programs that we should visit.”

Davis cited Innovate ABQ as one way that partnership is already flourishing, something that Student Regent Ryan Berryman said both the city and University are important stakeholders in.

“I have not yet met … Davis, but look forward to doing so. I hope we can work together in support of the UNM 2020 plan goal to advance economic development in our City,” Berryman said, citing Innovate ABQ as an example of that collaboration.

UNM President Bob Frank said that the University and the city work closely to advance not only education initiatives, but goals of economic development.

“We look forward to working with Councilor Davis and the rest of the city council members and the mayor on initiatives like Innovate ABQ that benefit our students and our community,” Frank said.

Davis also acknowledged his focus on continuous work with regard to safety in neighborhoods around South Campus to “ensure that we are all good neighbors.”

According to crime-mapping data provided by the APD, about 33 crimes of different types have been committed at or near South Campus between Aug. 1 and Monday, Oct. 19.

Though there were more crimes reported in and around the area between Lead Avenue and Central Avenue in that same time frame – of which there were over 100 – it is still a concern in an area where many students and citizens live and attend sporting events.

Davis said city collaboration with neighborhoods such as Clayton Heights and Victory Hills is strong, which will be pivotal for potential future projects in the area that could benefit students.

“Those relationships will be key as we move forward with planning around the rapid transit proposal, Girard Boulevard complete streets program and (taking) a new look at transit issues along Yale and University,” he said.

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One thing in particular that Davis said he would like to work more closely with University officials on, perhaps in response to the election in early October, is getting more students involved in local elections.

“Following our historical low voter turnout in the recent election, we have an opportunity to expand early voting and ensure that UNM always has a voting place for city elections,” he said. “On-campus voting places haven’t been consistent across every election.”

As a matter of fact, according to the city clerk’s office, this is the first time there was a polling location on UNM main campus for a municipal election, and 478 students voted.

Davis will take office in December, succeeding retiring City Council President Rey Garduño, who has represented the area since 2007.

“I've already been meeting with city departments and neighborhood leaders to get up to speed so that I can hit the ground running,” Davis said.

David Lynch is the news editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.

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