Whether the city is focusing on health, education, workforce development or racial equity, the Mayor's Office, along with the Albuquerque public and private sectors, is committed to growing the city through investments in innovation, entrepreneurship and infrastructure.

Like other cities in New Mexico and across the U.S., Albuquerque faces challenges related to educational attainment and racial equity. In 2014, Albuquerque’s graduation rate fell 6.2% to 62.5%, but that’s not the whole story. The graduation rate for whites in New Mexico was 74.7%, while it dropped to 66.9% for Hispanic students and 62% for blacks. On the workforce side, there were more than 950 charges of workforce discrimination in 2014, with racial discrimination representing 21.2% of those charges.

Albuquerque has taken a multi-faceted approach to tackling these issues. Cross-sector teams across the city participate in a number of initiatives with Living Cities. Through these and other systems-level efforts, the city aims to eliminate municipal policies and practices that perpetuate racial inequities; adopt and embrace strategies that advance racial equity at the structural level; and help local communities take advantage of institutional changes.

Explore Our Work in Albuquerque

City Accelerator 

The City Accelerator, an initiative of Living Cities and the Citi Foundation, works within and across cities to advance and promote the spread of promising innovations that will have a significant impact in the lives of residents.

Innovation Teams 

We partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies to support a growing network of cities with dedicated innovation teams that developed and deployed bold ideas to tackle the biggest issues facing city governments.

The Project on Municipal Innovation 

We work with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center to convene and support a network of mayoral chiefs of staff and policy leaders who advance transformative change through innovation in city government to improve the lives of residents.

Blog Post Monique Woodard on Nov 6, 2019

3 Cities Using Capital to Build More Inclusive Ecosystems 

Eighteen months ago, in collaboration with Living Cities, Rockefeller and Surdna Foundations, we launched Start Up, Stay Up, Scale Up (SU)3 — an initiative designed to address the challenges in acces…

Blog Post Shannon Jordy on Oct 14, 2019

#WealthInColor: Red Planet Books and Comics [VIDEO] 

Red Planet Books and Comics owner Lee Francis tackles the perceptions of and narratives about Native Americans and their communities, and has important lessons for investors in New Mexico and beyon…

Resource on May 13, 2019

Racial Equity Here Learning Report: Lessons from 5 Cities Operationalizing Racial Equity 

This learning report highlights lessons learned from the work of five cities operationalizing racial equity, including Albuquerque, Austin, Grand Rapids, Louisville, and Philadelphia.

Person Innovation Academy

Robert DelCampo 

Dr. Robert G. (Rob) DelCampo, Executive Director of the Innovation Academy, has strong roots in New Mexico and the University of New Mexico Community. Rob has been recognized for his work and commitment to the community being named to Albuquerque Bu…


Community Engagement 


Resource on Mar 5, 2019

Getting Ready for Racial Equity Work: The Racial Equity Here Evaluation 

This evaluation of our Racial Equity Here initiative offers recommendations for other cities interested in applying a racial equity lens to their policies and operations.


Economic Development 

Reimagining what should be done with underinvested neighborhoods and finding new ways to connect low-income people to economic opportunities wherever they exist in a region.

Resource on Jul 6, 2018

A tool towards sustainability in cross-sector initiatives: Mayoral Transition 



Supporting the success of every child from cradle to career.

Blog Post Shannon Jordy on Sep 24, 2019

#WealthInColor: Honeymoon Brewery [VIDEO] 

In the first of our six-part #WealthInColor video series – featuring Black, Latinx and Native American founders – Ayla Bystrom-Williams of Honeymoon Brewery shares her entrepreneurial journey.






Disrupting disparate outcomes in income, wealth, and access to opportunity.

Blog Post Elizabeth Reynoso & Santiago Carrillo on Jun 11, 2019

Building Local Startup Ecosystems That Work for Entrepreneurs of Color 

Entrepreneurial hubs around the country are rethinking how they attract and support a group of business founders they’ve historically overlooked and underserved: entrepreneurs of color.


Small Business 


Blog Post Marlon Williams & Alyssa Smaldino on Jun 5, 2019

What Does Racial Equity & Inclusion Look Like for the Public Sector? 


Social Entrepreneurship 


Blog Post Robin Brule & Shanee Helfer on May 8, 2019

Navigating Collective Impact through a Mayoral Transition 

Lessons and resources from Albuquerque around sustaining cross-sector work through a mayoral transition.



Preparing Americans, especially low-income Americans, for quality 21st century jobs.

Blog Post Nadia Owusu & Ben Hecht on Mar 22, 2019

Beyond Counting Policies: Measuring Progress in Racial Equity 

Resource on Jul 14, 2017

Voicing Race: Racial Equity Here [PODCAST] 

In the second episode of our Voicing Race podcast, Living Cities speaks with mayors and city staff participating in the Racial Equity Here initiative, on their efforts to combat structural and institutional racism.

Blog Post Kien Lee on Mar 12, 2019

Getting Ready for Racial Equity Work: Community Engagement  

Community engagement is central to cities’ racial equity strategies. It's also where cities need a lot of support.

Person City of Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative

Robin Brule 

Robin Brule’ is a large-system service designer with a proven track record of mobilizing cross-sector partners to improve outcomes for New Mexicans.

Blog Post Michelle Melendez on Feb 26, 2019

How Albuquerque is Institutionalizing Racial Equity, One Contract at a Time 

How the City is lowering barriers for business owners of color and local businesses to compete for city contracts, and growing the economic pie for all residents.

Blog Post Frank Mirabal on Nov 29, 2018

Why the City of Albuquerque Now Buys Local 

Frank Mirabal of the Albuquerque Mayor's Office writes about local government contracting, and why Albuquerque is working to keep more money in the city.

Blog Post Kelli Cooper on Sep 11, 2018

Owning Our Future of “Tequity” in Albuquerque 

When entrepreneurs have a good idea, the skills to execute, and a strong work ethic, all arrows should point to success. Yet many entrepreneurs in Albuquerque—especially entrepreneurs of color from N…

Blog Post on Jun 19, 2018

Government, Civic And Business Leaders Launch "Racial Equity Here" Commitment T… 

Blog Post Robin Brule on Jan 3, 2018

How Albuquerque is Fighting Trickle-Down Economics  

In 2014, leaders from across sectors in Albuquerque gathered around a table and asked: How do we change the course of our economy? What will it take to truly adapt to new economic realities and creat…

Person Office of the Mayor, Albuquerque, NM

Frank Mirabal 

Dr. Frank Mirabal works with the Mayors Office to bring together cross-sector partners to creatively address the complex challenges the city of Albuquerque faces.

Blog Post Demetric Duckett on Oct 3, 2017

Capital as a Driver of Systemic Change: An Example from Albuquerque 

What do wolves and capital innovation have in common? Read this deep dive into Albuquerque’s InnovateABQ project as an example of multiple capital sources driving catalytic change.

Blog Post Nora Liu on May 11, 2017

Accelerating Racial Equity in Cities: Emerging Insights  

The five cities that make up Racial Equity Here are doing game-changing work to advance racial equity. At this midway point, we look at some emerging insights from their work.




Blog Post Ratna Gill on Apr 18, 2017

Radical Self-Care: Four Lessons from Our Meeting with City Leaders in Albuquerq… 

Burnout is all too common in organizations working for social change. How can the social sector put self-care into practice?

Blog Post Anne Price & Kien Lee on Mar 21, 2017

Racial Equity Here - Lessons from the Field  

Four lessons from our Racial Equity Here cohort on how to embed a racial equity lens in local government.

Person Albuquerque Community Foundation

Kelli Cooper 

As a 20-year executive of the Albuquerque Community Foundation, Kelli has been the creative mind behind many of the programs, projects and initiatives contributing to its success.

Blog Post Ben Hecht on Feb 23, 2017

#BensTake: Breaking Down Barriers for Entrepreneurs of Color 

People of color face a host of unique hurdles to starting businesses. Targeted solutions across the country are ensuring that everyone can participate in the full extent of the promise of entrepreneu…

Blog Post JaNay Queen Nazaire on Jan 20, 2017

What does it take to create opportunities for high-quality jobs? 

A new case study from StriveTogether offers some ideas on how to create good jobs for low-income people.

Blog Post Robert DelCampo on Nov 10, 2016

2 + 1 + 2 = A Pipeline for Education  

A new hope has emerged in Albuquerque on increasing college completion rates and providing opportunities for low-income students

Blog Post Frank Mirabal on Sep 29, 2016

Building a Platform Instead of a Wall 

Learn how Albuquerque is working to support immigrant entrepreneurs through the City Accelerator.

Blog Post Mark Funkhouser on Sep 15, 2016

#ThrowbackThursday - Reducing Economic Inequality: It's About Wealth, Not Jobs 

Increasing family wealth is a much better public policy goal than the standard economic development mantra of "jobs, jobs, jobs." And effective strategies won't come from Washington.

Blog Post Norris Williams on Jun 22, 2016

Measuring Progress on the Road to Innovation 

As cities double down on results, potential stumbling blocks lurk around every corner.

Blog Post Ben Hecht on May 25, 2016

Announcing Racial Equity Here 

Living Cities is launching Racial Equity Here, a new initiative that will support five U.S. cities committed to improving racial equity and advancing opportunity for all.

Person City of Albuquerque

Michelle Melendez 

Michelle Melendez is the Director of Equity and Inclusion for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Blog Post Owen Stone on May 10, 2016

How Innovation Teams Approach Stakeholder Management 

Key questions and insights from innovators on the cutting edge.

Blog Post Brittany Ramos DeBarros on Mar 24, 2016

Just Do It TOGETHER: Rapid Reflections from Day 2 of the Integration Initiative… 

The seven site teams in Living Cities' Integration Initiative convened in Washington, DC to explore how they can get dramatically better results for low-income people TOGETHER.

Blog Post Jeff Raderstrong on Mar 23, 2016

Just Do It TOGETHER: Rapid Reflections from Day 1 of the Integration Initiative… 

The seven site teams in Living Cities' Integration Initiative convened in Washington, DC to explore how they can get dramatically better results for low-income people TOGETHER.

Blog Post Robin Brule on Jan 27, 2016

Aligning Allies and Contributions: Using Results Based Accountability to Create… 

Albuquerque Integration Initiative partners value Results Based Accountability as a roadmap to take action, and join together in responsibility, ownership and results.

Blog Post Tynesia Boyea-Robinson on Jan 20, 2016

Lessons on Supporting Cohorts to Get Low-Income Youth into Good Jobs 

This blog outlines how funders can support collective impact initiatives in defining workforce development outcomes, and support people on a path to employment.

Blog Post Kevin Paul on Nov 25, 2015

Lightning Round: The i-teams Give Thanks 

This week, we bring you another edition of the i-teams Lightning Round shared by the Innovation Teams (i-teams), a cohort of in-house innovation consultants in cities across the United States and Isr…

Blog Post Eric Gordon on Nov 18, 2015

Improving Public Engagement: 5 Cities Get to Work 

At the end of October, leaders from five cities convened in Baltimore with representatives from Living Cities, the Citi Foundation and Governing to share learnings from their respective City Accelera…

Blog Post Jeff Raderstrong & Kaci Roach on Nov 16, 2015

How to Get All Students on a Path to Self-Sufficiency 

The Prepare Learning Circle in the StriveTogether Network developed an outcome recommendation for collective impact collaborative initiatives. This blog has four lessons from their journey.

Blog Post Robin Brule on Jul 30, 2015

Access to Capital: One of the Keys to Prosperity 

Access to capital is key for entrepreneurs to start or grow businesses. Now, a new financial product piloted in Albuquerque, NM may help lower barriers to accessing capital for historically marginali…

Blog Post Ron Littlefield on Jul 2, 2015

From Popsicles to Pop Music: Albuquerque Bets on Small-Scale Entrepreneurs 

Supporting diverse businesses is the cornerstone of the city’s plan to spark economic mobility.

Blog Post Ron Littlefield on Jun 23, 2015

From Civic Engagement to Meaningful Engagement 

With the launch of Cohort 2 of the City Accelerator, we have an opportunity to examine how cities work in terms of social interaction in a very unique and powerful way.

Blog Post Robin Brule on Apr 28, 2015

Entrepreneurship for Social Change: Foresight, Courage and Persistence 

Harnessing social entrepreneurship can change inefficient systems and create large-scale change.

Blog Post Jeff Raderstrong on Mar 6, 2015

Four Lessons from Three Years of Building a New Urban Practice in American Citi… 

Lessons from Living Cities' nine-city Integration Initiative that aims to dramatically improve the lives of low-income people in America's cities.

Blog Post Juan Sebastian Arias & Frank Mirabal on Feb 18, 2015

Unmuting the Voice of Youth of Color to Help Lead Social Change 

We spoke with Dr. Frank Mirabal from the Office of Mayor Berry to learn about Albuquerque’s efforts to engage young men of color as participants in local efforts to improve life outcomes for all yout…

Blog Post Jeff Raderstrong on Jan 22, 2015

Learn about the New Economic Realities from Albuquerque 

As part of the planning grant year for The Integration Initiative, Albuquerque's Initiative Director, Robin Brulé, shares her reflections on what the site has learned about using entrepreneurship to …

Blog Post Jeff Raderstrong on Jan 20, 2015

Watch Albuquerque's Mayor on the Value of a Collaborative Approach 

We interviewed Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry about his city’s involvement in[The Integration Initiative and his work listening to local enterpreneurs to improve government services, scaling up l…

Blog Post Juan Sebastian Arias & Katy Silliman on Oct 2, 2014

Announcing the Launch of a Collective Impact Workforce Initiative 

Living Cities and StriveTogether are supporting 5 communities in their Collective Impact efforts to address local workforce challenges.

Blog Post Ben Hecht on Sep 11, 2014

Announcing the Next Round of Living Cities Integration Initiative 

The pace of social change is simply too slow; the scale, too small. In 2010, Living Cities created the Integration Initiative (TII) to try to change that. Now, in 2014, we're expanding the Initiative…

Blog Post Ron Littlefield on Jul 9, 2014

Innovation Profiles: Louisville and Albuquerque 

Albuquerque and Louisville are both committed to using an enhanced spirit of innovation to aid the whole community – with a special emphasis on those with the greatest need.

Blog Post on Jul 3, 2014

Innovation Needed to Finally Win War on Poverty 

The City Accelerator offers an opportunity for new thinking that could not come at a better time. Six cities – Albuquerque, Denver, Louisville, Nashville, Philadelphia and San Jose – have stepped up…