Image description: llustration of a Black mother wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. She is holding hands with her young daughter, who is smiling with a raised fist.

Forward Together Action Statement on Pat Davis

August 3, 2020

It has become clear that Pat Davis, Albuquerque City Councilor, can no longer be a decision-maker in New Mexico. The recent reports about the shooting of a young Black man, Moses Bell,  while Davis was a member of the DC Police Department, followed by multiple allegations of civil rights violations while a member of the UNM Police Department in Albuquerque have made it clear that Pat Davis has his own historic pattern of racism and violence against our communities, a past for which he has refused to apologize or even address.

Having learned of his past racist actions from our partners at ProgressNow New Mexico, Forward Together Action is in solidarity with our organizational allies, Albuquerque communities, and the broader communities fighting for Black lives across the country, in calling for the resignation of Pat Davis. Forward Together Action is founded on the values that will help our communities thrive: centering the voices of those most impacted when having policy conversations, providing resources for our communities to live lives with dignity, and deconstructing systems of oppression – which includes dismantling systems that over-criminalize our communities. 

Beyond these initial reports, our affiliate partner organization Forward Together/Strong Families New Mexico has its own experiences with Pat Davis.  Forward Together was a steering committee member of the 2013 campaign to defeat Albuquerque’s anti-abortion ballot measure: Respect ABQ Women. As a member of this steering committee, Forward Together centered the voices of women of color and other “unlikely voters” so that this battle to protect access to reproductive health care in Albuquerque wasn’t waged without those who would be most impacted by its outcome. Respect ABQ Women defeated the ballot initiative, and was proud to do so working with great allied organizations. 

After the campaign was won, Pat Davis in his role at the time as Executive Director of ProgressNow NM, took credit for the work of multiple organizations including those led by and for women of color.  This is one act in a pattern of behavior that disrespects and delegitimizes the lives and work of People of Color, especially black and indigenous women.   When Davis ran for US Congress in 2018, he sent campaign emails claiming credit again for the defeat of this ballot initiative.  Members of the steering committee, including Forward Together, met with Davis to ask him to apologize publicly and admit that the majority of the work for this campaign was in fact led and done by women of color. He refused.

Forward Together has worked with Davis on multiple occasions, and each time we have seen first-hand the way he treats women of color and communities of color. We have worked with Davis to shape policy, and we will no longer be complicit. Whether it was his role leading the Governor’s task force on cannabis legalization – which allowed him to center the voices of law enforcement over communities of color, being appointed to the nominating commission for potential district and appellate court judges, or continuing to serve the role of President of the City Council – we believe the time has come for Pat Davis to resign. We are calling on Davis to resign his position on the Albuquerque City Council and finally make room for the voices he has worked so long to silence – those of communities of color who have suffered the consequences of his policing and policy decisions. We also call on Governor Lujan Grisham and others to refuse to appoint Davis to any new commissions, boards, or committees. Instead those in power should make room for the voices who have been silenced and hurt by Davis and others, putting them at the center of policy change.