A new initiative is bringing positivity back to Albuquerque, focusing on the good things our city has to offer.
‘Stop Bagging, Start Bragging’ is a move to get Albuquerque locals to stop focusing on any bad aspects of the city and, instead, talk about the great things we have to offer, spreading that pride to new visitors and even new businesses that may set up shop here.
“What we say and where we say it actually has an effect on whether talents wants to be here, wants to move here, whether companies want to invest here,“ said Annemarie Henton, one of the co-founders of the initiative. “They want to see that people want to be in the cities in which they’re evaluating. So we needed a way to demonstrate that. We needed to be able to say, look, people love living here. This is a great place and here’s why, and here’s proof.“
They’ve built a website highlighting all the good things happening in the city like making a top 10 list to the new conventions coming to the metro.
They’re then sharing this information on social media with a new Twitter account @StartBragging, as well as through the hashtag #StartBragging.
Henton co-founded the campaign with Alexis Tappan with AKT Communications and Emily Howard with Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
Early on, they did focus groups and a city-wide survey to collect data that would prove why people love or don’t love Albuquerque, what the love about it, why they’re here and more. One response stood above the rest.
“In a survey that we did where we got almost a thousand respondents, the overwhelming communication from that was we’re here for circumstance, but we stay for community,“ said Henton.
They hope it will inspire residents to show pride in their city, even in light of negative headlines or studies like one that found the most Googled question about New Mexico: ‘is it safe?’
“If we want our economy to grow, if we want forward-thinking people here, if we want access to really great amenities, we have to be communicating that to the world that we love it, we’re worthy of it, we care about it,“ said Henton. “The more we grow and the more we get excited about it, the more people are going to be interested.“
As a part of the initiative, the city is putting on ‘Art Fight: Land of Manana’ where the creative community can come out and see some of the city’s best artists paint live. Art Fight will be held June 9 at Marble Brewery downtown. For every drink you buy, you will get one vote ticket to put toward your favorite artists and piece.