Tuesday, January 01, 2013
New Year's Guest Blog by Roxanne Lara
I love New Year’s Day. It is nostalgic and hopeful all at the same time. When I was young, my parents went to New Year's Eve parties and I always went to sleep knowing that I would wake with a glittery paper hat and a noisemaker leftover from their night before. Then we would spend the day taking down decorations, watching the Rose Parade and making resolutions. As I grew older and earned my own glittery hat and noisemaker, some things didn't change. New Year's Day continued to be a day saved for family traditions and resolutions. A day to plan moving forward while remembering the past.
I spent most of 2012 working with my friends to get President Obama reelected and Senator-elect Heinrich moved from the House to the Senate. We spent hours in hard-fought races for congressional districts, legislative and judicial seats and local government positions. We called, we walked, we rallied and we put up signs. We registered voters and made food. Like many NM Democrats who took time off work, I took time away from my law practice to promote our candidates, not just in my home county of Eddy but all over the state. Then, in November, we celebrated, we laughed and we cried. And I would do it all again because I believe in our democracy. I believe in the strength we have in our state, the people of New Mexico and a brighter future. I believe in a future which does not rank NM near bottom in poverty and education; where our cultures and communities not only compliment but support each other; and where government leaders engage in constructive debate to reach the best result for all of us. So in planning for 2013, I am taking action on my beliefs and running for Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
I was born and raised in Carlsbad and I feel so fortunate that I have been able to build a successful small business as a lawyer in my hometown. But my passion is the work I have been able to do for my community. I just completed a term as County Commissioner and served this past year as Chair, representing Eddy County in many different venues. My experience in local government and grassroots politics has confirmed to me that politics really are local. Locally, Democrats are recruiting and encouraging candidates for every level of government. They are getting out the vote and digging deep to donate the financial resources needed for their candidates, causes and charities.
DPNM is the single entity that has the ability to lift, support and bring together the efforts of Democrats statewide. As chair, I will never forget that communicating our values positively as well as calling out the actions and inactions of those hurting NM are vital steps to improving the lives of New Mexicans all over the state. I will use my experience in fighting and standing up for constituents as an elected official to fight for all of us. Being from a rural community has taught me that we need to make our voices heard and not wait for someone to do it for us. We need to harness the power of every vehicle available to convey those messages, including mainstream and social medias. I will stand strong and confident for our values while working to strengthen our alliances with all groups and communities because I am firm in my belief of inclusivity of all Democrats—no matter who you are or where you live.
I have been listening to Democrats all over our state and I can feel their hunger for taking our party to the next level. I have heard great ideas and hopes for the future of the party. I know that we cannot implement many of those great ideas unless we can fund them. Yet, I know we cannot support the infrastructure and institution of our party unless there is money in our bank. That is why, as your chair, I will implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy, involving both traditional and innovative approaches. The state central committee is a team and every member of the team is a valuable player in advancing the party. I will seek strength and support from our team in establishing a long-range plan for our party.
As we look toward 2013 and the future of NM, I am excited about what we can do together as a team. Understanding the hard work ahead of us, I take off my glittery paper hat (but I hang onto the noisemaker) and roll up my sleeves because this year, I resolve to be an effective leader for the Democratic Party of New Mexico, setting and surpassing goals with our team.
That's what I hope to hear from anyone running for such an important job. After all, the big lesson of 2012 was for me and many others that we're stronger together. I hope that we learned it well enough to avoid the the divisiveness leading up to the 2010 election and its disastrous results.
Back in 2011 I had lunch with a GOP friend. I remember so well when she laughed and basically said, "You Democrats make it easy for us - always so busy tearing down and critisizing the people you elected."
That's why I like what you're saying and better yet I'd like to support what you're doing. How can I help?
Posted by: Suz | Jan 1, 2013 1:27:36 PM
Thanks for asking, Suz!
You can reach me at my personal email address firstname.lastname@example.org or cell phone 575-302-6667.
Posted by: Roxanne Lara | Jan 3, 2013 9:31:03 PM
I met Roxanne when I was campaigning for the SD 34 seat (Thanks, Chaparral!) and she is a friendly, dynamic woman. I think that it is important that she has actually run for, and been elected to, the Eddy county commission. She knows what campaigning means. She also knows that, after the campaigning, bipartisan cooperation is important. (This is something that Susana Martinez hasn't learned yet--she can't even get along with her own party!)
Posted by: Ellen Wedum | Jan 4, 2013 12:37:56 PM
Your posting here sounds nice. As a member of the Platform and Resolutions Committee I need to ask how you feel about our current platform. This is especially important since you come from CD-2. I believe that we need to learn how to get better educate the people in CD-2 so they can understand the benefit of voting for Democrats over Congressman Pearce who is not taking a more radical Tea Party position on politics.
Thank you for considering running for state chair.
Posted by: Terry Riley | Jan 14, 2013 6:12:45 AM
Thanks for your comment and question! Our current platform has been developed over years and years of Democrats working on issues that affect our entire state and should be a living, breathing document that is flexible for the times that we are living in. That is why I believe that SPARC is an essential and indispensible part of the DPNM because it is the first institutional place that we can take an issue for debate and discussion to be molded (or not) into a resolution that our entire body can approve or disapprove.
Messaging and education is a huge part of my vision for DPNM. I live in an area where there is constant and consistent Republican and Tea Party rhetoric. It is so strong that I know several Democrats that refuse to be public about their stances on positions because they fear retaliation at work or humiliation in public. It is only by education and messaging about why we are Democrats and the good things that Democrats do can we provide them with the needed ammunition to fight those battles or even just defend themselves.
Posted by: Roxanne Lara | Jan 14, 2013 6:03:36 PM
Miss Lara seems to be the type of party chair we have been lacking for the DPNM. She is a proven Atty and elected official who has been in the HARD battles working for her community. She has my support here in Las Cruces.
Posted by: Rico | Jan 16, 2013 2:03:51 PM