The MiABQ Project encourages the activity, citizenship and vision of Albuquerque's young professionals – particularly the Millennial generation – in contributing to the vibrancy and revitalization of Downtown as the locus of innovation, creativity and engagement in our City.
Drawn together through the MiABQ Downtown Millennials Summit in March 2014, our independent volunteer group of young professionals is committed to engaging balanced, supportive, community driven approaches and in making informed, concrete recommendations for how to improve the city we love.
In so doing, we aim to increase cultural stewardship, support economic development and facilitate the public-private partnerships that are so crucial to urban vitality.
MiABQ has presented three sets of recommendations to Mayor Richard J. Berry and the City of Albuquerque already, many of which are being or have been implemented, and we have been invited to continue our dialogue and work with our municipal leaders.
We are a 501(c)3 under the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation’s Sinc Nonprofit Incubator, and they serve as our fiscal sponsor.
How We Work
An independent volunteer group, MiABQ practices cooperative leadership. We have an organizing committee and a policy group (SPI Team), each of which meets monthly; an ad hoc committee that comes together around special projects (Green Team); a communications team that collaborates virtually; and a larger constituency that participates in quarterly meetups, petitions and endorsements, service days and special events.
Organizing Committee: Maintains continuity and cohesion of MiABQ's work / projects. Performs specific coordination roles for MiABQ at-large, including communications, quarterly meeting organization, liaison to CABQ, etc. Co-chairs: Matt Beck & Julia Mandeville
SPI Team: Explores the city's incentive, regulatory and policy structures – through balanced research- and community-driven approaches – in order to make informed, concrete recommendations for how to improve them. Organizing 2nd MiABQ Summit (citywide). Current Focus: 2nd MiABQ Summit and 3rd Set of Recommendations (dedicated attracting / retaining young people). Chair: Julia Mandeville
Green Team (ad hoc): Recommends actions, petitions for, and organizes service projects that contribute to our city environment, particularly energy efficiency, green space, walkability, sustainability. Current Focus: BRT - ART and ABQ 2030 District.
Core Members: Matt Beck, Israel Chavez, Alex Curtas, John Edwards, Jason Espinoza, Laurie Firor, Valerie Hermanson, Rebecca Hogue, Audrey Johnson, Dan Majewski, Rachael Maestas, Julia Mandeville, Ragan Matteson, Erin Muffoletto Baca, Leila Salim, Adam Silverman, David Silverman, Lorilynn Violanta, Charlie Wisoff, Kristen Woods, Brad Woodward, Julia Youngs, Nancy Zastudil
The Long View
It's fantastic to be part of this kind of collaboration and to see changes realized so quickly. However, we do not believe that we (or the City of Albuquerque, or the State of New Mexico) can affect meaningful long-term impact without addressing deeper policy, infrastructure, ecosystem issues.
As we move forward, we are very interested in identifying strategies / initiatives – and offering recommendations to our political leaders – that expressly support our contemporaries, and those coming up behind us, in choosing to live, work, play, stay here.
We have built a portfolio and figured out a sound approach through our efforts to-date, so we are excited about the prospect of this lofty, more expansive aim.
Next Recommendations + Citywide Summit
We will craft our next set of recommendations using the methodology we've developed to-date and work with a collaborating consultant – Taylor Jo Isenberg, a VP from Roosevelt Institute (see bio on page 4) – throughout the process.
For our collaborating consultant's visit, we will arrange a series of meetings including a second "summit" with our larger MiABQ group and city-wide collaborators (other groups of young professionals), as well as a private session with Mayor Berry and key officials. Insights gained through this process will be incorporated into the recommendations prior to final delivery to the city.
Our primary goal will be to examine – and support our elected and appointed representatives in examining – how to generate, implement and sustain policies that positively impact our cohort and contribute to the improvement of our larger underlying issues in New Mexico.
The summit will be held on Friday, April 29, 2016 at Hotel Andaluz.
MiABQ loved the level of engagement at the citywide mixer we co-hosted in April 2015. Hotel Andaluz was packed with 600+ young professionals, and the energy was palpable.
Yet we felt – and heard from many of the groups that partnered with us to present the event – like it left us wondering "what now?" and "how do we channel this fantastic energy to build lasting impact?" So, we are planning a second MiABQ summit. Our intention is to build upon the structure of the first summit, which brought us together initially almost two years ago and pointed towards the project and research-driven work model we've adopted / used since.
However, we want to create an opportunity for broader participation from young professionals around the city, for expanded dialogue with CABQ officials (our core group meets with them often), and for exchange with people who are working on these issues outside of our community.
Attendance & Participation
The MiABQ Citywide Young Professionals Summit is, as the name suggests, designed by and for Albuquerque’s young professional cohort (which we’re identifying as individuals 45 years or younger).
We aim for diverse, cross-sector participation from around the city in all of our program components. Towards this end, we invited a wide array of professional organizations and associations to (1) send a young professional “delegate” to represent them at the morning summit and or (2) co-present the evening mixer with us (see page 8).
To help cover costs, the morning summit is a ticketed event; the support of our sponsors (see page 9) allowed us to subsidize our prices, as we are committed to keeping costs low to encourage broad, citywide participation from young professionals – but want everyone to have a beautiful experience. The evening mixer is free and open to the public. Our attendance goals are:
∗ 8:30a - 1:30p // MiABQ Citywide Young Professionals Summit // Goal: 160 participants, registration-based
∗ 2:30p - 4:00p // CABQ + MiABQ Policy Deep Dive facilitated by Roosevelt Institute// Goal: 20 participants, invitation only
∗ 5:30p // MiABQ Citywide Young Professionals Mixer // Lead Co-Presenter: Young Professionals of Albuquerque (YPA) // Goal: 600+ attendees (let's beat our April 2015 record!), free and open to the public
We have invited and confirmed Taylor Jo Isenberg from Roosevelt Institute as our collaborating consultant on the development of both our summit and our next set of recommendations. We will work with Taylor leading up to and bring her out for the event. She has reverted her honorarium back to MiABQ in support of summit program costs.
Taylor Jo Isenberg is Vice President of Networks at the Roosevelt Institute. Taylor Jo leads strategy for a network of emerging thinkers and doers committed to re-imagining the rules. Under her leadership, Roosevelt’s national network was recognized with the 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. She is responsible for dramatically expanding the organization’s unique approach to civic participation while building the organization as a lifelong intellectual home for its members. She previously served as Roosevelt’s Network National Director and Deputy Director.
Prior to joining the Roosevelt Institute, Taylor Jo served as a Scoville Fellow at the Partnership for a Secure America, an organization dedicated to advancing bipartisanship on today’s critical national security and foreign policy challenges. Taylor Jo is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former Fellow with the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, she was a Forbes 30 under 30 for Law and Policy in 2015.