Monday, April 19, 2010
District 1 Bernalillo County Commission Candidate Loretta Naranjo Lopez Announces AFSCME Endorsement
Former AFSCME Local 3022 President, Loretta Naranjo Lopez was endorsed by AFSCME People Committee Wednesday, April 14, 2010. "I am so proud and honored to be endorsed by my brothers and sisters. Thank you,” Naranjo Lopez said to the members of AFSCME.
Naranjo, a Democrat, says her first exposure to a union was through her father, who was a Local 624 member who stood in the picket line for wages and decent equipment. In the 1980’s, Naranjo Lopez began her involvement with the union. In 2000, she was a union member that organized for a local.
“I was a President that worked on union grievances, negotiated a contract, was active in political campaigns and served as AFSCME’s volunteer coordinator for several elected officials," Naranjo Lopez said in a statement released by her campaign. "I was at the front line fighting to save jobs in 2001, when I was elected President of Local 3022. I stood with the State workers and organized to bring back their union in Las Vegas. I lobbied for the State Employees in Santa Fe. I was with Transit workers when they fought to be members of AFSCME. Most recently, I stood with my union brothers and sisters at the Council meeting on the City budget,” she continued.
As a former AFSCME Union President for Albuquerque City Management, Loretta said she understands and can directly relate to working family needs and issues.
“I was trained by the union to know that it takes unity and inclusion to get things accomplished. This is my background. I understand and know that everyone has a voice in County government,” she said.
“When I was with the union, I wish I would have had the same opportunity to have a City Councilor or Commissioner that could relate with the union background and experience that I have to offer," Naranjo Lopez continued. "This is an important historical election that is going to affect all of us which we need to seize. I will communicate directly with you and ask for your input. I will be a proactive Commissioner not a reactive.”
Loretta believes her union training and experience have trained her to be an effective County Commissioner.
Loretta Naranjo Lopez explained that she is a native of Albuquerque and being a life-long resident of District 1 inspired her passion to serve as County Commissioner. She said she brings direct experience and understanding as a community organizer/activist and planner on community issues. Naranjo Lopez pledges to provide accountability and openness on the Bernalillo County Commission.
"I will use my experience, education, leadership and vision to serve our families, neighborhoods and the District 1 community as a whole," she said.
Loretta emphasized she will bring to the job over 25 years of public service experience, including seven years working directly with the County Planning Commission for 7 years. “I know that persistence and hard work pay off and I plan to spend whatever time is necessary to do the job right,” she said.
Loretta's campaign pointed out that, as an elected member of the Public Employee Retirement Association, she oversaw $13 billion of assets and appointed members to the board. She has also dealt with million dollar projects on the Greater Albuquerque Housing Project board, and was a factor in appointing the current Executive Director. As a planner, she drafted and analyzed ordinances and resolutions and made recommendations on numerous land use cases that dealt with development in District 1. On the County Commission, she will oversee a budget for FY10 of over $217,000,000.
Naranjo Lopez explained that because she was a small business owner for several years she directly understands the issues people deal with when starting up a business and the regulations that are required of a small business owner.
“Residents of District 1 need someone to represent their best interests on the Bernalillo County Commission," Naranjo Lopez said. "I’ll be a strong voice for the people and I won’t be afraid to take on special interests. I will be a team builder who will use my leadership and experience to help District 1. I am retired and will serve District 1 as a full-time County Commissioner.”
Naranjo Lopez also said that, as a union leader, she provided alternatives to lay-offs and was instrumental in organizing support for the quarter-cent tax for Public Safety. For the first time in history, the Fire, Police and AFSCME successfully came together on an issue. The City unions negotiated with former Councilor Griego and organized to make sure this issue was passed.
Loretta encourages her union brothers and sisters to get involved in her campaign and those in District 1 to vote on June 1, 2010. “In the Spirit of Unity, together we can make history,” she said.