“Working families have a hard time getting ahead, even when we do everything right. As the head of ProgressNowNM and as an Albuquerque City Councilor, I’ve been fighting to level the playing field and hold corporations and bad politicians accountable. Now, I’m ready to take our fight to Washington…” – Pat Davis
Six year ago, Pat traded in his badge as a police officer to begin working on public policy to make our criminal justice system work better. Pretty soon, he’d built one of New Mexico’s largest advocacy organizations fighting right-wing fake news and helping to elect progressive champions to school boards, city councils and the state legislature.
Today, he’s a city councilor where he’s pioneering a new citywide solar energy project to fight climate change and keep our children and grandchildren here in clean energy jobs, instead of having to leave New Mexico for work.
As a councilor, he helped protect immigrant families as a co-sponsor of the city’s new “Immigrant and Refugee-Friendly” bill and he’s put his community policing experience to work passing changes to the police oversight ordinance, advocating for gun violence prevention legislation and as a co-sponsor of new programs to prioritize property crime investigations.
With so much going on, we need Pat Davis fighting for us in Congress.
I was born into a pretty average middle-class family. My dad worked summers in our family’s well drilling business to put himself through college. He met my mother there and they married before she finished college.
A few years ago, they retired after almost 30 years of working. A postal worker by day, my dad took on side jobs as a volunteer firefighter and working our small family farm. My mom was an educator for almost 30 years, first as a kindergarten teacher and later as a principal with a knack for turning around bad schools.
Along the way, they saved a little and bought a house. They borrowed against it to send my brother and me to college. And they had put aside what they thought they’d need to retire.
My brother and I tried to follow their lead, but that middle-class dream doesn’t work for our generation like it did for theirs.
My brother received his Ph.D. and worked at Sandia Labs on solar and renewable energy technology in the early 2000s. Today he works on clean energy and troubleshooting programs for GE.
After college, I joined the US Capitol Police protecting members of Congress, and later the DC Metropolitan Police where I loved my job as a bicycle officer and walking a foot beat in some of DC’s toughest Anacostia neighborhoods.
For a few months, I was assigned to a local DEA Task Force and it changed my whole perspective on the war on drugs. As an officer, I too often arrested the same people over and over and I responded to more shootings than I can count. It was dangerous work and it seemed that we never solved much of the problem. That’s why I pledged to go back to school to learn how I could change the system.
In 2004, UNM Police hired me as a Lieutenant then sent me to the FBI National Academy where I lived for three months working alongside innovative police leaders and the FBI, looking for ways to address terrorism, rising community violence and rebuilt community-police relations.
In 2009, I received a Master’s in Criminal Justice from New Mexico State University and joined the Albuquerque District Attorney’s Office as a public information officer.
“Susana Martinez’s harshest critic”
In 2009, Pat ran for Sheriff in Bernalillo County. He received a lot of attention for running as an openly-gay man, but a Tea Party wave swept Gov. Martinez into office along with a new dynamic for New Mexico politics.
“I realized we had to do more to elect better candidates, so I joined the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund’s Campaign Board to help elect more LGBT candidates nationwide, then set off to start a new organization to help New Mexico’s progressive leaders win elections.”
As the executive director of ProgressNowNM, Pat traveled around the state talking to small groups of frustrated Democrats and progressives and got them involved in local actions to fact-check conservative fake news and get trained to win elections.
The Santa Fe New Mexican called him “Susana Martinez’s harshest critic” for taking on fights no one else would, but his community organizing work started making the most difference.
Pat led ProgressNowNM to partner with the Drug Policy Alliance to give Santa Fe and Albuquerque voters their first votes to decriminalize marijuana (it won in both places!), joined the Respect ABQ Women campaign to defeat a dangerous anti-abortion ballot initiative in Albuquerque and started a PAC to fight Rep. Steve Pearce’s PAC spending hundreds-of-thousands of dollars to defeat rising progressive stars.
Today, ProgressNowNM is New Mexico’s largest progressive advocacy organization and helps to train candidates and activists statewide to run for office.
A progressive champion on the city council
In 2015, City Council President Rey Garduño announced his retirement and endorsed pat to take that seat.
After choosing to run with public financing, Pat was invited, along with Eric Griego and Alan Webber, to join Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s first class of state and local candidate training run by the Progressive Change Congressional Campaign (PCCC). That training helped Pat win on progressive values and put them into action.
The seat, once held by now-US Senator Martin Heinrich, has always been a place for progressive leadership in the city.
On the city council, Pat is serving his second term as chair of the City’s Finance & Government Operations Committee where he provides oversight for city policy and spending. In that role, he successfully stopped the police department from giving a contract to officers already working in the department and led inquiries into allegations of video tampering within the department.
A regular voice for progressive values, Davis successfully passed a bill to bring a new ART transit stop the the International District where most residents rely on transit for work (the original plan bypassed this area, leaving thousands of low-income residents without access to the multi-million dollar project) and passed a bill to set aside funds to make improvements to the route Nob Hill business owners complained were ignored.
He passed a bill to restore bicycle patrols to Southeast Albuquerque, co-sponsored and passed updates to the police oversight ordinance giving civilian oversight members greater access to police investigations and used his councilor discretionary funds to buy new firearms testing equipment to expedite the investigation of gun crimes and initiate construction of a new community policing area command for APD.
One of his first project on the city council was passing a new renewable energy standard for Albuquerque (25% by 2025), then he initiated a citywide solar project to put $51 million in solar panels on city buildings to fight climate change.
In 2017, Pat announced his run for Congress after current Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her run for governor in 2018.
There are just six openly gay members of the US House of Representatives. Pat will be the seventh member of that caucus.
Pat lives in Albuquerque with his partner Christopher, their dogs Jack & Okra, and their cat Gus.