From the Desk of the President

My name is Suzi Alexander and I am the current President of Albuquerque Pride. I am making a personal statement as the President pertaining to recent decisions made from our board that has split the LGBTIQ+ community and some residents of the city of Albuquerque.  
As president of this organization I wanted to make it clear, Abq Pride is not against the police and I am not against the police. I completely support all law enforcement organizations.  
I have been a part of ABQ pride for eight years and volunteered for two years before I joined the board, and I feel that this is one of the best organizations I have ever been involved with.   The decision that was made yesterday did not come lightly. The Albuquerque Police Department did not request to have a float in the pride parade, or a vendor booth at Pridefest this year. The participation of APD in the Pride Parade has always been for traffic control and public safety in which with our permits overtime is paid.  
Officer Jewel attended two meetings last year, and I as well as a few of the board members were excited that the department wanted to create the ambassador program. I was excited that they wanted to create something to start helping to heal the community. I was saddened that after the election the communication ended as we had reached out multiple times to meet.  
As a non-profit organization we let Albuquerqueans know about our annual general meeting. Albuquerque Pride welcomes the public to attend and voice their concerns. APD said they would stay in touch with us after Pridefest last year and yet we did not hear back. Furthermore, Abq Pride has a board member that agreed to be a liaison with the APD ambassador program in which we have made multiple attempts to keep this communication open. APD has not responded until now after the news coverage.  I personally fought to support APD to have a vendor booth last year. ABQ Pride did get a little bit of push back from the community but for the most part people were excited to see the police there and were excited to see that they cared.   Our decision was not about hate, or banning anyone. ABQ Pride did not ban anyone. The word “ban” was not used by anyone associated with our organization.
 Our decision was based on the consideration and compassion for some of the LGBTIQ community members’ concerns with senseless shootings, beatings, and bullying of LGBTIQ people.
The mission statement of ABQ Pride is to strengthen and affirm the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer/questioning community by offering education, outreach and advocacy through production of quality events. It is our goal to continue to provide a safe space for the LGBTIQ community to express themselves.
I am saddened that some of the members of my LBGTIQ community feel that they can’t call or trust the police. I want to change that. I am not naïve in any of this, I understand that education needs to take place from all factions involved and it is going to take a lot of patience and healing, and work. I am prepared to do that work.
Along with my secretary Joshua Lucero-Martinez will continue to reach out to APD and work with Officer Jewel, the ambassador program and to try and heal the relationship between not just APD but all law enforcement organizations and the LGBTIQ community.
It is with my own compassion for all that I joined the board. I have seen firsthand a group of volunteers that want to continue to create equality across-the-board, to continue to provide a safe space, and continue to heal the damage that there is between police officers and the LGBTIQ community.   
If you have any questions or concerns you can come to our board meetings the 3rd Sunday of every month at one o’clock at MCCA church located on Lomas and Texas. You can also email me directly [email protected].

Have a prideful day,
Suzi Alexander