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Thursday, April 30, 2009

ABC Poll: Most Americans Now Support Marriage Equality

That's right. The latest ABC News-Washington Post poll has Americans favoring same-sex marriage 49-46% and support growing across the board:

At its low, in 2004, just 32 percent of Americans favored gay marriage, with 62 percent opposed. Now 49 percent support it versus 46 percent opposed -- the first time in ABC/Post polls that supporters have outnumbered opponents.

More than half, moreover -- 53 percent -- say gay marriages held legally in another state should be recognized as legal in their states.

The surprise is that the shift has occurred across ideological groups. While conservatives are least apt to favor gay marriage, they've gone from 10 percent support in 2004 to 19 percent in 2006 and 30 percent now -- overall a 20-point, threefold increase, alongside a 13-point gain among liberals and 14 points among moderates. (Politically, support for gay marriage has risen sharply among Democrats and independents alike, while far more slightly among Republicans.)

The latest NY Times-CBS News poll taken 4/22-26 shows equally encouraging results, with 67% of Americans supporting either legal marriage or civil unions:

Which comes closest to your view? Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry. OR, Gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry. OR, There should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship.

Legal Marriage 42 (33)
Civil Unions 25 (27)
No Legal Recognition 28 (35)
(In parentheses: 3/12-16 results)

And it's an age thing:

31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.

Even within the evangelical Christian population, opinions are rapidly evolving:

Leaders of evangelical Christian organizations — the most vocal opponents of gay marriage as the issue polarized the electorate for much of this decade — now face a similar divide in their own ranks. In a survey last fall by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Inc., 58 percent of white evangelicals ages 18 to 29 said they support either civil unions or gay marriage; support dropped to 46 percent among white evangelicals who were older than that.

Take note New Mexico Democratic Legislators. Do you want to continue advocating second-class status for gay couples and be viewed as part of an intolerant and shrinking "fringe minority" made up mostly of right-wing Republicans?

April 30, 2009 at 05:47 PM in Civil Liberties, GLBT Rights, Legal Issues, Local Politics, NM Legislature 2009, Youth | Permalink | Comments (3)

Good Read: Former Senator Fred Harris Analyzes Today's Political Environment

David Alire Garcia has a fine interview at NMI with Albuquerque resident and former U.S. Senator Fred Harris that includes Harris' take on Sen. Arlen Specter's Party switch, today's political alignment in the Senate and what that means for Democrats. Well worth a read. It brought to mind a couple videos Mary Ellen shot last August with Fred Harris. In the first he talks about some of his impressive and varied political experience, including Democratic conventions past. In the second, he is prescient in predicting what will happen in the general election and the chances of turning New Mexico true blue. Enjoy.

April 30, 2009 at 02:31 PM in Democratic Party, NM Congressional Delegation, Obama Administration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday: Rep. Heinrich's Congress on Your Corner at Barelas Coffee House

MartinHeinrichU.S. Representative Martin Heinrich today announced he will be at Barelas Coffee House this Saturday, May 2, from 1:30 to 2:30 PM, to hear from constituents from New Mexico’s first congressional district. The Barelas Coffee House is located at 1502 4th Street SW in Albuquerque (map). “Congress on Your Corner” sessions are community outreach programs developed by Rep. Heinrich to give constituents an opportunity to talk directly with him about the issues most important to them. The public is invited to meet their Representative for coffee and to share their thoughts and concerns. All constituents are welcome to attend.

April 30, 2009 at 01:18 PM in Events, NM Congressional Delegation, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (1)

Environment & Community Groups Offer Building the Clean Energy Economy Town Hall with Cong. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Eric Griego

This sounds like one fabulous opportunity to learn more about the coming transformation to a green economy, what that means right here in New Mexico and how you can get more involved. Top-notch speakers, panelists and topics abound. Sign up now and tell your friends.

From the Sierra Club:
New Mexicans stand to benefit tremendously from a vibrant clean energy economy in the Land of Enchantment. We can help end our nation's dependence on oil and protect the climate. But how?

Join our upcoming town hall event. Albuquerque-area residents and local leaders will discuss how solar, wind, and other renewable energies can create green-collar jobs and grow our economy. The event organizing committee includes Conservation Voters (CVNMEF), Greenpeace, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, New Mexico Youth Organized and Sierra Club. Sponsoring the event are Conservation Voters New Mexico, Environment New Mexico, Audubon Society, the Pew Environment Group, the National Wildlife Federation and Sierra Club. Click for POSTER (doc).

WHAT: Building the Clean Energy Economy: A Town Hall. A town hall panel with local leaders, including break-out sessions with local community groups.

WHO: Albuquerque-area residents and local leaders, including special guests Congressman Martin Heinrich and State Senator Eric Griego

WHEN: Saturday, May 9, 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM (Discussion/break-out sessions begin at 2:00 PM and Panel begins at 3:00 PM)

WHERE: Central New Mexico Community College - Smith Brasher Hall Auditorium, 717 University Blvd, SE, Albuquerque, NM (SW corner of University & Coal) Click to see map.

QUESTIONS or to GET INVOLVED: Contact Shrayas Jatkar at shrayas.jatkar@sierraclub.org or 505-243-7767

Click here to RSVP today.

See below the fold for THE AGENDA:

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Pre-Panel Discussions with Community Groups

Featured Discussion Topics:

  • The Potential for Green Jobs in New Mexico
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat in New Mexico
  • Cool Cities: Taking the Lead in Clean Energy & Climate Protection
  • Policy and Legislation: Clean Energy Solutions for our Climate and Economy
  • Moral and Ethical Implications of Climate Change Actions: Greening Congregations and Homes and Advocating for Justice and Creation Care in Policy Concerns

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM: Clean Energy & the Economy Town Hall

Featured speakers include:

  • Congressman Martin Heinrich, U.S. House of Representatives;
  • Brendan Miller, Green Economy Manager, NM Department of Economic Development;
  • Laura McCarthy, The Nature Conservancy;
  • Odes Armijo-Caster, President, Renewable Energy Industries Association of NM; and
  • Mary Lou Leonard, Associate Director, Albuquerque Environmental Health Department.

The Moderator will be Gene Grant, KNME/NM In Focus.

4:45 PM - 6:00 PM: Keynote Speaker & Reception 

Keynote address by State Senator Eric Griego followed by socializing.

Sign up today to participate in these lively discussions and to learn from many experts in the field. Click here: http://albuquerquetownhall.weebly.com/

See you there,
Shrayas Jatkar, Conservation Organizer
Sierra Club - NM Field Office

P.S. After you sign up, please forward this event info to friends and family!

April 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM in Energy, Environment, Events, Green Economy, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (0)

NM Wild: Victory on Otero Mesa

I'll let this email from the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance tell the story:

Tuesday morning, the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision invalidating the Bureau of Land Management’s oil and gas drilling plan for New Mexico’s Otero Mesa. The court ruled that the BLM’s original Resource Management Plan Amendment, which opened the vast majority of Otero Mesa to oil and gas leasing and limited protection for the desert grasslands, was fatally flawed due to its failure to consider protection for Otero Mesa and the Salt Basin Aquifer.

The court ruled that the BLM had to consider an alternative that closed Otero Mesa to oil and gas leasing, admonishing the agency that “[d]evelopment is a possible use, which BLM must weigh against other possible uses—including conservation to protect environmental values, which are best assessed through the NEPA process.”

“Today’s court ruling underscores what has been at the heart of the Otero Mesa debate for the past eight years,” said Nathan Newcomer, Associate Director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. “The BLM made oil and gas development in Otero Mesa the number one priority over the values of wilderness, wildlife and water, and it’s time now for the agency to own up to its responsibilities and do what is right for this special place.” The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance has inventoried Otero Mesa and found more than 500,000 acres suitable for wilderness designation.

The court went on to write that, “applying the rule of reason, we [the court] agree with the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance that analysis of an alternative closing the Mesa to development is compelled.”

The court also rejected the BLM’s position that there were no significant risks to the Salt Basin Aquifer, which contains millions of acre-feet of potable water, from oil and gas, noting that the agency had not reviewed “relevant data” and characterized the information included in the agency’s own documentation as “point[ing] uniformly in the opposite direction from the agency’s determination, we cannot defer to that determination.”

Further, the court required the BLM to thoroughly examine the potential destruction of fragile desert grasslands from its proposed management approach, which was not included in the original draft provided to the public. In dismissing the agency’s claim that wildlife habitat would not be affected by a complete change in approach, the court analogized the BLM’s approach as claiming “that analyzing the likely impacts of building a dirt road along the edge of an ecosystem excuses an agency from analyzing the impacts of building a four-lane highway straight down the middle, simply because the type of impact—habitat disturbance—is the same under either scenario.”

“The BLM cannot simply decide to risk the utter destruction of irreplaceable resources like Otero Mesa and ignore public and scientific concerns,” said Nada Culver, Senior Counsel with The Wilderness Society’s BLM Action Center. “The 10th Circuit has sent a clear message to the BLM that the agency must protect all of our natural resources and ensure that any decisions are based on actual facts and science.”

The ruling came in connection with a lawsuit filed by a coalition of conservation organizations led by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, and a lawsuit filed by the State of New Mexico.

Also see this NM Wild post that discusses a recent independent study that concludes that "proposed energy development by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Otero Mesa would provide few economic benefits to Otero County, and that preserving this wild grassland would be a wiser investment for local communities."

April 30, 2009 at 09:19 AM in Energy, Environment, Government, Land Issues, Legal Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NMI to Liveblog-Webcast AFSCME's ABQ Mayoral Candidate Forum 6PM Tonight

Yep, Gwyneth Doland of NMI is doing it again. Liveblogging and webcasting that is. This time it's tonight's Albuquerque mayoral candidate forum hosted by AFSCME. Only union members and their families are supposed to attend, so here's another way to catch the action, starting at 6:00 PM. Click.

April 29, 2009 at 05:53 PM in 2009 Albuquerque Mayoral Race, Events, Labor, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

US House Passes Expanded Hate Crimes Legislation; Heinrich & Lujan Vote Yes, Teague Absent

H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed the U.S. House by a margin of 249-175. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-01) voted in favor of the legislation, which gives local law enforcement the tools and resources they need to prevent, investigate and prosecute hate crimes. Rep. Heinrich released the following statement following the vote:

“There’s no place and no excuse for violence that’s motivated by small mindedness. I remain committed to protecting the civil rights of all my constituents. My vote for this important legislation will give our local law enforcement officers the tools they need to keep New Mexicans safe.”

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) also voted for the bill and released this comment:

“Our shared values dictate that no person should be subject to violence because of intolerance,” said Rep. Luján. “This legislation will give local law enforcement the tools to protect all Americans while protecting our civil rights, civil liberties, and freedom of speech.”

Unfortunately, Congressman Harry Teague (NM-02) was absent for the vote. I contacted his DC office to find out why. I was told that, "Congressman Teague was unable to take votes this evening as he had previously committed to speak to the New Mexico Amigos in Detroit, Michigan today. The New Mexico Amigos is a nonprofit organization composed of business leaders from throughout the state. They were in Detroit to tour the Ford Motor Facilities on the 2009 Goodwill Trip. Congressman Harry Teague addressed the group about the implementation of the Recovery Act and what it means for New Mexico."

Rep. Lujan's statement also explained that more than 118,000 hate crimes have been documented by the FBI since 1991. In 2007 alone, there were 7,624 reported hate crimes. By providing local law enforcement with the tools and resources to prevent and prosecute hate crimes, this legislation will protect the rights of all Americans.

The release also reported that several key law enforcement groups support the legislation including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Sheriffs’ Association, Police Executive Research Forum, Hispanic American Police Command Officers, Police Foundation, and National District Attorneys Association.

In addition, Lujan's statement said that a diverse group of faith organizations support the legislation including Alliance of Baptists, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ – Justice and Witness Ministries, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Conference, The Episcopal Church, B’nai B’rith International, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikh Coalition, and Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE).

Here's what the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has to say about passage of the bill, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, in the House:

Our country is on the cusp of recognizing and responding to the reality of hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is a national embarrassment that bigotry and ignorance have prevented enactment of substantive federal hate crimes legislation, but that goal is finally, truly, within our grasp.

Laws embody the values of our nation, and through this legislation the House is clearly and unequivocally saying that America rejects and condemns hate violence against its people. The importance of this cannot be overstated, particularly in light of the toxic misinformation campaign that has been waged against the bill by right-wing forces who would rather see anti-LGBT crimes go unaddressed than have the words 'sexual orientation' or 'gender identity' appear alongside other protected classes in federal law.

We thank all the House members who voted for this bill today. We urge the administration to help usher this critical legislation through the Senate, and for President Obama to then quickly sign the legislation, as he has signaled he will do."

Wikipedia provides a history of the effort to pass expanded federal hate crimes legislation, or what is also known as the Matthew Shepard Act

April 29, 2009 at 04:51 PM in Crime, GLBT Rights, Justice, NM Congressional Delegation, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (1)

State Senator Tim Keller: More Than $600K of Rugby Concession Stand Dollars Moved to APS

TimKeller1CRThink back to the Democratic state senate primary election in Albuquerque's District 17 in 2008. That's when progressive reform candidate Tim Keller (right) beat long-time incumbent Senator Shannon Robinson 66-34% for the nomination. As you know, Keller later went on to win the general election is his heavily Democratic district.

One of the issues that helped bring Robinson down last year was the revelation that the Senator was using devious means to get funding for projects connected to the UNM rugby club where he was a coach. Robinson got a lot of flack for ignoring the real needs of his district and his constituents in order to support his pet projects and those of his cronies.

RobinsonIn May of 2008, when it became apparent that Robinson (left) was likely to lose his primary election to Keller, he complained to AG Gary King's office that local nonprofit New Mexico Youth Organized had crossed the line into electioneering with a piece it sent out before the NM Legislature's special session about Robinson's voting record and campaign donors. (Targeted nonprofits have a pending suit against the state over this incident.) And when Robinson lost the primary to Keller, he initiated a lawsuit along with two other incumbent legislators who lost in the primary claiming an election fraud conspiracy was to blame. It was later tossed out. Unfortunately, the sort of vengeful and inaccurate attacks against nonprofits initiated by Robinson live on -- as I've described in many posts.

Sen. Keller: Putting the Money Where His Mouth Is
The good news is that Senator Tim Keller is doing just what he said he'd do when he ran for office -- work hard to meet the real needs of the neighborhoods he represents. As part of that effort, he's undoing some of the damage done by Robinson in terms of the allocation of capital outlay funds in Senate District 17. He's reauthorizing some of the misbegotten allocations made by former Sen. Shannon Robinson to better serve the community.

“I am proud to return these monies to the Southeast Heights Community, our schools and projects important to our district. These reauthorized funds will help fill the gap left by our budget shortfall and initiate revitalization efforts in the neighborhoods. Each one of these investments came directly from constituents and in cooperation with Albuquerque Public Schools,” said Senator Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo-17), sponsor of several capital outlay reauthorizations, in a statement released today.

“I have worked diligently with local elected officials, neighborhood leaders and APS to re-allocate roughly $1,000,000 of funds previously spent by the old senator that were either of tangential importance to our community, earmarked for special projects outside our district, no longer feasible or irresponsible,” Senator Keller concluded.

Traditionally, capital outlay funds are used for community projects, schools, roads in a legislator’s respective district and other projects the legislator deems important. However, upon investigation of historical District 17 capital outlay funding, approximately $1,057,000 was deemed not in line with community priorities. Included in the funds shifted to public schools in Senator Keller’s district was more than half a million dollars ($656,000) previously allocated to a rugby field concession stand in Santa Fe, according to the Senator.

Projects funded by Senator Keller’s reauthorization include: a Kindergarten building at Emerson Elementary; playground and patio equipment at Hawthorne Elementary; library books at Highland High school, La Mesa, Tomasita and Manzano Mesa Elementary; a sports field at Wherry Elementary; alley improvements and lighting in Trumbull; Elder Homestead and South San Pedro neighborhoods; NM Veterans Integration Center; the East Central Gateway Revitalization Plan and an International District Early Childhood Development Center.

An APS spokesperson and several members of the communities represented by Sen. Keller also weighed in on the reallocations.

“East Central Redevelopment is a goal that is important to all who live, work or own businesses in the area. It is great that Senator Keller is working with City leaders in a collaborative fashion to help find real solutions, for the benefit of everyone,” noted Don Harris (Councilor District 9).

Rey Garduno (Councilor District 6) added, "the southeast heights is fortunate to have a very productive partnership between city, state and county. Senator Keller's efforts to coordinate state funds will help kick start some of our revitalization efforts, something this vibrant part of the city needs.”

Joseph Escobedo of APS Government Relations commented, “Senator Keller has a commitment to education and improving education for all students. He worked hard at ensuring that as many appropriations as possible went to education facilities. We look forward to continuing to work with him to continue to improve lives of kids in our community.”

At a recent town hall at Caesar Chavez Community Center, Sen. Keller summed it up saying, “These decisions are about listening to the community, being responsive to the district's evolving needs, prioritizing and taking action. I am looking forward to continued cooperation with APS, Commissioner Archuleta, Councilors Rey Garduno and Don Harris and Mayor Chavez to implement these projects for our public schools and help stimulate our economy.”

Go Senator Keller. And when you think about the continuing attacks on nonprofits in New Mexico, remember that the genesis of the onslaught can be traced right to the door of the unsavory Shannon Robinson.

April 29, 2009 at 02:34 PM in Children and Families, Education, Ethics & Campaign Reform, NM Legislature 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1)

ABQ Journal Caught in the Act Twisting Charter Review Task Force Story to Bash Nonprofits

DistortThere they go again. The Albuquerque Journal's coverage of the work of the City of Albuquerque's Charter Review Task Force was dismal, to say the least. As Eli Lee, who served on the Task Force, explained in his convincing and alarming post yesterday on Clearly New Mexico, the Journal reported on the formation of the Task Force in August 2008, but failed to cover any of its work until late in the game. That's when real estate developer Chuck Gara made a last-minute pitch for a problematical, almost certainly unconstitutional amendment aimed at making it harder for educational and advocacy nonprofits to communicate freely about the actions of officeholders and government entities. As Lee writes:

Based on the Albuquerque Journal’s story and editorial this week, you’d think all we did over the past eight months, consisting of 17 full Task Force meetings and numerous subcommittee meetings, was argue over the issue of nonprofits – the topic with which the Journal is so clearly obsessed.

Yes, after eight months of work, the Journal finally published material on the work of the Task Force -- but it was all centered on the attack on the free speech rights of nonprofits. Of course their coverage didn't frame the issue that way -- they characterized the Gara proposal, which was backed by Task Force members Steve Gallegos and Dan Silva, as a kind of crusade for transparency and good government. If you've been following this issue, you know that nothing could be farther from the truth. Lee comments on the Journal's coverage this way:

The first (April 19) bore a front page headline, the nonprofit “fight moves to ABQ”, which was then followed by the ... second story (April 24) suggesting that the Task Force voted to recommend City Council take action on the nonprofit issue. And that was followed by a third, the “official” editorial (April 27) beating the anti-nonprofit drum one more time.

Sadly, the coverage by New Mexico's so-called paper of record distorted how the Task Force dealt with Gara's proposed Charter amendment, framing it as a win for the anti-free speech forces. Eli Lee again:

Amazingly, the Journal failed to mention – in both its news story and its editorial – that the Task Force actually killed the proposed nonprofit amendment to the City Charter sponsored by Chuck Gara for lack of support and because of gaping holes in its application and constitutionality.

That’s right. Gara’s amendment was withdrawn. Only after the amendment’s withdrawal did the Task Force cast a symbolic vote to request the City Council look at the nonprofit issue, just as the Council will consider the tens, if not hundreds of governance issues, when it takes up the Charter next month. But if the Journal is your only news source, you could hardly be blamed for believing that the Task Force’s sole accomplishment over these past eight months was sending this nonprofit issue up to the Council for “action” — even though the amendment was killed.

Failing to report comprehensively on the work of an important City Task Force, mixing news with the publisher's editorial slant and twisting the facts on the final outcome of the nonprofit attack proposal -- not exactly what the citizens of Albuquerque deserve in terms of journalism from its only daily newspaper. As Lee writes:

From this coverage you would never know that over the past eight months the Task Force passed numerous other critical recommendations, usually unanimously, such as creating more independence for the City Clerk’s office, clarifying the much-disputed budget process, and strengthening the City’s planning process. These are no small acts and will make City Government more responsive to its citizens.

The Journal’s news department should be ashamed of itself. The Journal’s editorial driven news has become a joke. By intentionally masking the real, substantive work of the Task Force, the Journal just moves closer to irrelevancy.

You can say that again.

Read our previous coverage of the attack on nonprofits by members of the Charter Review Task Force appointed by Mayor Martin Chavez and Councilor Sally Mayer here, here and here.

April 29, 2009 at 11:05 AM in City of Albuquerque, Civil Liberties, Corporatism, Ethics & Campaign Reform, Government, Legal Issues, Media | Permalink | Comments (8)

Rep. Heinrich Calls for Closing Wage Gap Between Women and Men

As the country marked Equal Pay Day yesterday, Rep. Martin Heinrich called upon Americans to work together to secure equal pay for equal work, crucial for our families' resilience. In this economic climate, the need for concrete and immediate action to improve the economic security of working families is critical.

“Forty-six years have passed since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act,” said Rep. Heinrich in a statement released yesterday. “And yet, men out-earn women in nearly every occupation for which data are available.”

In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed, women who worked full-time, year round made 59 cents on average for every dollar earned by men. In 2007, women earned 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. That is progress – but it is slow progress. It means that the wage gap has narrowed by less than half a cent per year.

In his first full day as a Congressman, Rep. Heinrich co-sponsored two pieces of legislation to bring equity and fairness to all working women: H.R. 11, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, and H.R. 12, the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“The enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Act was a major victory for America’s women,” said Rep. Heinrich. “However, it is now critical that the Senate pass and send to the President’s desk the Paycheck Fairness Act, which the House passed on January 9. The Lilly Ledbetter Act restores the right to seek legal redress; however the Paycheck Fairness Act is equally important – it provides the tools necessary to give new teeth to the Equal Pay Act and provide incentives for businesses to follow the law in the first place.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act is a comprehensive update to the 46-year-old Equal Pay Act that brings equal pay laws in line with other civil rights laws. This bill would take real steps to deter wage discrimination by empowering women to negotiate for equal pay, creating stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, and strengthen federal enforcement efforts.

“Especially in this economic climate, we need concrete and immediate action to improve the economic security of working families,” said Rep. Heinrich.

April 29, 2009 at 10:04 AM in Labor, NM Congressional Delegation, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

4/30: Health Action NM Hosts National Health Care Reform Discussion

Reminder from Health Action New Mexico:
First Unitarian Church
3701 Carlisle Boulevard NE, Albuquerque

Interested in health care issues such as: Medicare; Medicaid; Indian Health Services and plans for comprehensive health care reform at the federal level? Join Health Action New Mexico for an interactive discussion of these important issues.

Representatives for our Congressional Delegates will attend:
Senator Jeff Bingaman - Jessica Perez
Senator Tom Udall - Sarah Cobb
Representative Martin Heinrich - Heather Brewer
Representative Ben Ray Lujan - Tracy West
Representative Harry Teague - Mike Davis

We will present our policy recommendations and capture your input and feedback. The outcomes from this session will be given to our Congressional Delegation, other legislators, and partners at the federal level as specific reform concepts and legislative proposals emerge.

Sponsored by Health Action New Mexico. For more information call 505-867-1095 or 505-206-8785 or visit our website: www.healthactionnm.org.

April 29, 2009 at 09:51 AM in Events, Healthcare, NM Congressional Delegation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Guest Blog by Judith Espinosa: Can I Have Your Support for Appointment to Bernalillo County Commission?

This is a guest blog from Judith Espinosa regarding her interest in being appointed by Gov. Bill Richardson to fill the seat on the Bernalillo County Commission being vacated by Deanna Archuleta. If you agree that Judith would make an excellent Commissioner, please let the Governor know ASAP by calling his office at (505) 476-2200 or sending him an email here.



I have submitted my name to Governor Richardson for the appointment to the District 3 Bernalillo County Commission seat being vacated by Deanna Archuleta. Needless to say, it will be a tough act to follow, whoever is chosen, because she has worked long and hard for this District and to improve the quality of life for all Bernalillo County residents. I publicly thank Deanna for her service to our County and our State, particularly when there were controversial votes and it got tough to do the right thing. Deanna you will make us proud in the Department of Interior.

Thanks to Barbara for allowing me this personal note so that those of you who have never met me get an idea of who I am. Of course, I ask for your support and if you do support my appointment, I would ask that you please send an email or call the Governor to let him know I am your choice for the position.

I grew up in District 3 in the SE on Southern and Georgia, the South San Pedro neighborhood, along with much of my extended family, many of whom still reside in the District. In fact, I think that Cisco McSorley probably remembers being in the same grade at Holy Ghost School with my sister, Consuelo. I have lived in the SE UNM District and now reside in the North Campus area of UNM, and practiced nursing in the former Lovelace (Bataan Memorial Hospital) on Gibson SE. So I believe that over the years I have become well familiarized with the District, its needs, the opportunities for sustainable growth, and the economic advantages of the newly formed International District.

Having worked in the community/public health and environmental arenas for over 35 years, I understand the importance of hearing community voices and being responsive to community needs. When there are conflicting agendas, I believe that my work as NM Secretary of Environment and my years as an environmentalist have proven that I am ready to take on tough issues and work toward mutually beneficial solutions.

I began working with sustainable transportation solutions to urban and rural redevelopment on a national level as a national Board member with the Surface Transportation Policy Project, so I understand the key role that public transportation plays in economic growth and quality of life. As an appointee by Governor Richardson to the Interstate Stream Commission and former Chair of the NM Water Quality Control Commission, I am well prepared to protect the County’s and our future generations’ most precious resource -- water.

I love this State of New Mexico and its people, and I believe that my career as a public servant shows that I have tackled my jobs with integrity, honesty and the sincere desire to do the best for improving the quality of lives of workers and all who live in our State and reside within our Counties.

It is with this background that I ask for your backing for the appointment by Governor Richardson to the District 3 County Commission seat. Thank you.

This is a guest blog by Judith Espinosa. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, please contact me by clicking on the Email Me link on the upper left-hand corner of the page.

April 28, 2009 at 03:51 PM in Bernalillo County, Government, Guest Blogger | Permalink | Comments (8)