Wednesday, September 25, 2013

VOTE Pete Dinelli for Mayor of Albuquerque

Pete at alvarado
Pete Dinelli-Leader. Problem Solver. Born & raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Pete's running for Mayor because he won’t stand on the sidelines while City Hall is engulfed in a public safety crisis & petty partisan politics. Pete knows our prosperity depends on creating the good-paying, long-lasting jobs of the future, providing a world-class education for our children & public safety that will make our city a model around the state & nation.

Pete has served as Chief Public Safety Officer, Deputy City Attorney, Director of the Safe City Strike Force, Chief Deputy District Attorney, 911 Interim Director, Workers’ Compensation Judge, Albuquerque City Councilor, Assistant District Attorney and Assistant Attorney General.

See where Mr. Dinelli stands on the issues by following this link.

Vote Pete Dinelli !

Energize abq

September 25, 2013 at 06:00 PM in 2013 Albuquerque Mayoral Race, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Renewed Faith in Santa Fe by Javier Gonzales

Javier_GonzalespicJavier Gonzales the former State of New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman issued the following heartfelt statement regarding his own coming to terms with his sexuality. Follow this link to the original article in Familia es Familia.

When a Bishop named Jorge from Buenos Aires took the name Francis, he made an immediate connection with Santa Fe. But when Pope Francis visited Brazil recently, he spoke directly to me, when he said, “who am I to judge?”

You see, when you come from a traditional family with deep roots in this community, the process of accepting that you are gay is complicated with fears about disappointing those you love, or becoming disconnected with a sense of place that is as much a part of me as my sexuality.

Growing up in this town, I felt myself fully embraced by la herencia, the traditional ways that defined the history of Santa Fe. Much of it is beautiful, a celebration of family, a spirit of community, a sense of obligation to those who came before us and responsibility to those who come after us. Knowing you are a part of a continuum gives a young person a sense of place and a sense of pride. These are all gifts I hope to pass on to my two daughters.

But along with that sense of pride also comes, real or perceived, the hint that those who step away from the expected path would be judged poorly, seen as unappreciative or disrespectful, or worse. As a kid, I never considered a lifestyle different from that of my parents and theirs before me. I thought I’d marry a local girl, have kids, and then grandkids. I tried my hardest not to be different, but the reality was I am, and I have a failed marriage to prove it.

Single again, I took steps towards accepting who I am. Yet I still worried about any embarrassment I would bring to my family, questioned whether being gay was a choice as many still believe it is, and whether I was right in the eyes of God.

So I gathered the courage to speak with my parents, who responded with a much needed abrazo. I spoke to my friends, who after an initial awkward silence, asked, where are we going for lunch? I spoke to my daughters, who like many in their generation, asked what the big deal was.

To have this sense of distance removed from those most important in my life is an incredible relief, and a reminder, that there is not true understanding without open, honest communication.

The life of St. Francis teaches us to discard the superficial and recognize the dignity in all of humanity. And in naming the cathedral in Santa Fe in his honor, our ancestors embraced that message. For over 400 years we have been a multi-cultural community that has thrived on our diversity.

It is that spirit that has made us the City Different, a town that can embrace all kinds of people, from the children of traditional, culturally conservative Hispanics to the kids of hippies, from businessmen to artists, from natives and the old families that built this town to newcomers who help keep the economy alive. Our very existence as a community is proof that we are better when we value and except one another for who we are without judgment.

Follow Javier on Twitter@Javiermgonzales

August 21, 2013 at 07:54 PM in Democrat, GLBT Rights, Javier Gonzales | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gay Marriage Licenses Being Issued in Dona Ana County New Mexico

The following was provided by the Democratic Party of Dona Ana County by Stephen Jones

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Photo above by Rep. Bill McCamley

Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins (D-Doña Ana County) has announced that his office is now issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples.

Photo to the right is Mr. Ellins taken by Stephen Jones.

EllinsEllins said that he has been considering issuing licenses since last June, when New Mexico Attorney General Gary King issued a position paper stating that New Mexico’s ban on issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples is unconstitutional. Since then, the Attorney General – in a legal brief to the New Supreme Court – has refused to defend the ban and has asked the Supreme Court to declare New Mexico’s prohibition of same-gender marriage unconstitutional under the state’s constitution.

Last week, Ellins said, the New Mexico Supreme Court declined to issue a ruling sought by attorneys for same-gender couples seeking marriage licenses from the county clerks in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties. Instead, the Supreme Court sent these matters back to the lower courts for an initial review on the merits.

“That means it could be many months or years before the matter is resolved,” Ellins said. “In the meantime, I am mindful that I took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the State of New Mexico as Doña Ana County Clerk. I am an attorney, and I have read the AG’s opinion, and I find it to be sound. After careful review of New Mexico’s laws it is clear that the state’s marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Doña Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act. Doña Ana County is upholding New Mexico law by issuing these marriage licenses, and I see no reason to make committed couples in Doña Ana County wait another minute to marry.”

Ellins said couples requesting marriage license will no longer be turned down, and starting today, licenses will be issued at the Doña Ana County Government Center for information about New Mexico marriage license requirements, call the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office at (575) 647-7421.

Follow this link to a KRQE article about the reaction from NM Politico's regarding this harmless celebration of a commitment of two people in love.

August 21, 2013 at 07:32 PM in Democrat, Dona Ana County, GLBT Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Congratulations New Dem State Chairman - Sam Bregman

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Picture above from Sam Bregman's FB page linked from the Dona Ana County Dems excellent website. See more about Sam and his appointments here.

Sam Bregman won the New Mexico State Democratic Chairman position this weekend. He will be the chair for the next 2 years. A very hard position it is. Many struggles are within the great state of NM, jobs and the economy being on the top of the list. Maybe dems can get the economy moving, but seeing the lack of movement on anything politically both with the feds and state politicians is very depressing.

Big kudos goes out to Roxanne Lara for stepping up and running for the state party chair. In the bigger scheme of things maybe it is better you were not victorious, it is a brutal job, imho.

A big thanks goes out to Javier Gonzales the exiting Dem party chair. Javier and his staff did the best they could, remember we are talking about the equivolent of herding cats.

Good luck Sam! We dems are counting on ya!

April 29, 2013 at 06:41 PM in Candidates & Races, Democrat, Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Roxanne Lara for NM Democratic Party State Chair

Images   Images sam b
It is that time again, for the Democrats of New Mexico to come together to elect their State Party Chair. The Meeting will be held in Las Cruces on April 27th. This is the meeting where the elected members of the state central committee come together and vote in a chair, this year there are two running Roxanne Lara from Eddy County, and Sam Bregman from Bern County.

Roxanne’s background and info can be seen at Lara4nm.com and her facebook page here. And here is a link to Sam’s facebook page. Much of his campaign info has been cross posted to his FB page as well as his very often newsletter "thoughts from sam."

Number one job for a state party chair is to help democrats get elected to offices up and down the ballot. I believe that a democrat should support a democrat running for an elected office, especially in these times of such division. Division on marriage equality, division on immigration, division on a woman’s right to choose, and gun control, division on energy matters, education and taxes. You name it the democrats and republicans are much divided on the issue.

While running for the HD 30 seat last year as a democrat one of the people running for state party chair was in the closet as a supporter of my campaign. He could not outwardly support my campaign because his alliance was with his law partner, and his law partner was a good friend of my republican opponent for HD30. At least that is what Sam told me was his reason he could not outwardly support me. I must admit Sam’s allegiance to his law partner was unwavering which is commendable. However when you are running for the position of State Party Chair all other promises, pledges, alliances must be trumped by your allegiance to help democratic candidates get into office. Period, and I ask - can Sam do that? Will Sam do that?

Now Sam is a nice enough guy for sure. He has done great things for the Dem Party. He loves to be generous to people. He is a brilliant lawyer, and I would hate to ever cross him. Probably so for other sitting elected officials that have endorsed him. His messaging regarding Gov. Martinez is very strong. But it is time to have a woman’s voice of reason be at the helm on the NM State Dem Party. A reasoned leader not someone who is like the big bad wolves; I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down.

Third strike for Sam is about money in politics. Now Sam has done well for himself and his family and that is fantastic. But I have heard from friends that Sam is “throwing money around” now I doubt that is true but I can see him being generous with some SCC members to persuade them he would be the better candidate. Like let’s say a night at his box suite for an Isotopes game. Or some other form of persuasion. All well and good but money in politics today is a huge problem. What politician would stand up against Bregman now when they are going to need a donation soon? Yuck. No more money in politics. It is obscene where we are as a country with money in politics and policy.

Roxanne can raise the money needed to have a strong Dem party and run strong elections. Roxanne will support every democrat across the state, period, regardless of colleague bonds and affiliations. Roxanne is "tough as nails" and she can take on the Governor more effectively than Sam. Roxanne spent the last four years fighting for what's right as a Democrat in a red county dominated by men in politics. Roxanne is assertive, she will not shrink from defending our democratic values, she will be firm and unwavering, and in my humble opinion she will be more effective and methodical which will achieve greater results.

Lastly, I believe more democratic woman should be in positions of leadership in our world, in our country and in the great state of NM.

So there you have it, I wholeheartedly endorse Roxanne Lara for State Party Chair. Let’s have a woman lead the Democratic Party for the next two years.

April 19, 2013 at 03:02 PM in Candidates & Races, Democrat, Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (4)

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Lovie McGee to Seek Election to Abq City Council

Mcgee headshotLong-time community volunteer and former Air Force civilian employee, Lovie McGee announced today that she will seek election to Albuquerque City Council, District 9.

Ms. McGee is currently a professional real estate broker, specializing in residential sales in the Northeast and Southeast Heights of Albuquerque.  Before becoming a broker, she worked for 20 years as a federal computer, finance and data specialist at Kirtland Air Force Base, Department of Defense.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computers and Information Systems degree (Cum Laude) from National College in Rapid City S.D.

Her long history of community involvement includes service as Chair of the New Mexico Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and working with the State Fair Commission to establish the African American Pavilion.   She currently serves on the Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent’s Council on Equity and has been the chair of her Neighborhood Association.  She previously served on the City of Albuquerque Human Rights Board and volunteers with Roadrunner Food Bank.

Ms. McGee will focus on ensuring that District 9 has responsive, energetic and fair leadership on the City Council.  Her priorities will be:

  • Reforming Albuquerque Police Department and devoting adequate public safety resources to keep our neighborhoods safe; 
  •  Cooperating with Albuquerque Public Schools so every child gets a great education;
  • Supporting firefighters and first responders.
  • Growing small, local businesses and making Albuquerque attractive to employers.
  • Building and maintaining city infrastructure throughout District 9

In announcing her bid for Council, Ms. McGee said:  “For too long, the needs of our neighbors in District 9 have been overlooked.  On City Council I will be a tireless advocate for safe, attractive neighborhoods where families can thrive.”

Ms. McGee firmly believes that the special interests who finance campaigns have too much power in our government.  Therefore, she has committed to seeking election under the City’s groundbreaking Public Financing System, which will require her to gather $5 contributions from hundreds of District 9 residents. 

“Alone we can do very little – Together We Can Move Mountains,” Ms. McGee said

April 7, 2013 at 06:12 PM in 2013 Albquerque City Council Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Help Pete Dinelli Qualify for Public Financing

From Pete Dinelli for Mayor Campaign:

Friends,

What a week!

With just 9 days to go until the deadline for qualifying for public finance our campaign is picking up tremendous momentum. But there is lots more work to be done to ensure that we meet our goal.

The special interests don't want me in City Hall because I won't represent them, I’ll represent YOU! Please click to chip in $5 or volunteer this week to help us qualify for public finance.

This week we also announced an incredible amount of endorsements for our campaign to move Albuquerque forward. I'm honored to have the support of so many important public officials from all across our city and state.

Remember to join us online on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest in campaign news.

Thank you for all you do,

-Pete

P.S. - We need volunteers to reach out to as many voters in the city as possible over the next few days. Please click to chip in a few hours of your time to support clean campaigns in Albuquerque.

March 22, 2013 at 06:45 PM in 2013 Albuquerque Mayoral Race, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pete Dinelli Is Marching Along to be the Next Abq Mayor

From Pete Dinelli for Mayor Campaign:
Majority Whip, Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas Headlines Even More Dinelli Endorsements

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, Albuquerque Mayoral Candidate Pete Dinelli continued his announcement of support from every corner of Albuquerque.

“It's time to move our city forward and I'm proud to stand with Albuquerque families as we work to recover our economy and restore faith in government,” said Dinelli. “I'm honored to have the support of so many important community leaders.”

Dinelli has assembled an incredibly broad coalition that includes current and former elected officials, public safety officials and community activists.

Adding their names to the growing coalition of supporters today is House Majority Whip Representative Antonio "Moe" Maestas, Representative Edward Sandoval, Representative Sheryl WIlliams Stapleton, Albuquerque City Councilor Issac Benton, former Bernalillo County District Attorney Jeff Romero and former Mayor of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Harry Stowers.

In endorsing Dinelli, Maestas said, “Albuquerque needs to move forward again and I believe in Pete Dinelli's vision for our city's future.  Pete will get our families back to work by investing in important public infrastructure and make sure our kids get the education they deserve.  Pete has the backbone to restore the broken trust and confidence in our city’s leadership and that's why he has my support.”

Below is a complete list of announced endorsements:

State Auditor Hector Balderas
Fmr. NM Attorney General Patricia Madrid
Albuquerque City Councilor Issac Benton
Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño
Fmr. Albuquerque City Councilor, Michael Cadigan
Fmr. Albuquerque City Councilor, Steve Gallegos
Fmr. Albuquerque City Councilor, Miguel Gómez
State Representative Rick Miera, Majority Leader
State Representative Moe Maestas, Majority Whip
State Representative Ernest H. Chavez
State Representative Miguel P. Garcia
State Representative Emily Kane
State Representative Edward Sandoval
State Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton

State Representative Christine Trujillo
State Representative Luciano “Lucky” Varela
State Senator Michael Padilla
State Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto
State Senator Gerald Ortiz Y Pino
Fmr. State Senator Dede Feldman
Fmr. State Senate Candidate Bill Tallman

Fmr. Public Regulations Commissioner, Jason Marks
Fmr. Bernalillo County District Attorney Jeff Romero
Bob Stover, Fmr. Chief, ABQ Police Department
Robert Ortega, Fmr. Chief, ABQ Fire Department
Ross Aranda, Fmr. Deputy Chief, ABQ Fire Department
Fmr. Mayor of Española, Joseph Maestas
Fmr. Mayor of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Harry Stowers
John Wertheim, Fmr. Chairman of Democratic Party of NM
Linda Stover, Fmr. President of Democratic Women of NM
Cynthia D. Borrego, MPA, Fmr. State PERA Chair

BACKGROUND: Leader. Problem Solver. Born & raised in Albuquerque. Pete Dinelli is running for Mayor because he won’t stand on the sidelines while City Hall is engulfed in a public safety crisis & petty partisan politics. Pete knows our prosperity depends on creating the good-paying, long-lasting jobs of the future, providing a world-class education for our children & public safety that will make our city a model around the state & nation. Pete has served as Chief Public Safety Officer, Deputy City Attorney, Director of the Safe City Strike Force, Chief Deputy District Attorney, 911 Interim Director, Workers’ Compensation Judge, Albuquerque City Councilor, Assistant District Attorney and Assistant Attorney General.

March 21, 2013 at 06:08 PM in 2013 Albuquerque Mayoral Race, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Diane Gibson for City Council District 7

Diane gibsonFollowing is from the Diane Gibson for Abq District 7 campaign:

She has worked as a Sandia National Laboratories prototype machinist and an Environmental, Safety and Health Coordinator and a Tax Professional. Now Diane Gibson is seeking election to Albuquerque City Council for near-northeast heights District 7.

A long-time resident of the area, Diane’s priorities on City Council will be reforming Albuquerque Police Department, growing jobs by supporting local, home-grown businesses, expanding Albuquerque’s high-tech and tourism industries, and partnering with Albuquerque Public Schools and CNM to build a highly trained, well educated work force.

Photo diane gibsonDiane’s background is varied and particularly well suited for bringing jobs to Albuquerque. In 1985, Diane became just the third female to graduate from Sandia National Laboratories’ Journeyman Machinists program. She worked at Sandia for 17 years as a machinist. After leaving the labs, Diane became a tax advisor for H&R Block, where she currently prepares tax returns for individuals and small businesses.

Diane is a dedicated volunteer in several community organizations. She has served as an Ombudsman for the New Mexico Agency for Aging and Long term Services. She is active in the District 7 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations and the Jerry Cline Park Neighborhood Association. In addition she has been a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and is a member of Animal Protection of New Mexico.

In addition to years of professional and vocational training, Diane is a graduate of the College of Santa Fe where she received a Master of Business Administration. She also attended UNM University of Colorado and CNM and has personally rehabilitated two dilapidated homes, one of which is her current home. She enjoys gardening, fishing, travelling and community work.

Diane feels that District 7 needs strong representation and a responsive Councilor. Her life experience, work history and professional education make her the best choice for City Council District 7. Diane believes that big campaign donors have too much power in local politics and will be seeking public financing of her campaign under Albuquerque’s Open and Ethical Elections Code.

March 7, 2013 at 08:53 AM in 2013 Albquerque City Council Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez Delivers Democratic State of the State Response: 2013

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez delivered the following Dem response to the Gov State of the State speech. This was delivered on January 15, 2013, the first day of the 2013 Legislature. Note, video of speech is at the end of post. Thank you to NMinFocus for video.

New Mexico just concluded our Centennial year – 100 years of statehood in the United States of America. In fact, today marks the inauguration of our first governor as a state.

Then, like now, New Mexicans chose a divided government, though at the time the tables were turned. The new Democratic governor faced a Republican-controlled legislature; yet, they came together to grow New Mexico far beyond what anyone at the time could have imagined.

In his first inaugural address, our first Democratic governor outlined a vision for our new state where fair taxation and quality public education would bring prosperity to its citizens.[1] Coming together, Republicans and Democrats laid a foundation for a new state. We are challenged to finish the work they began. For most of the past 100 years, we have succeeded in living up to that challenge.

But few of us were in the mood to celebrate in the past year. New Mexicans are hurting.While our neighbors in states like Nevada and Colorado are getting back to work, our family and friends in New Mexico continue to lose their jobs. In the past year alone, more than 4800 New Mexican workers – almost 100 a week - lost their jobs[2], along with the dignity that comes from working.

By the time this new legislative session ends 60 days from now, more than 700 more New Mexico families will have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

The legislature’s attempt to stimulate our economy and create jobs was frustrated by the governor last year when she vetoed more than 190 local projects – and the jobs that come with them - from a bi-partisan capital outlay bill.

But avoiding a veto is no guarantee that signed legislation will be implemented. This administration has stalled the construction of a much-needed substance abuse treatment center for women and children that the legislature appropriated last year. Although the project was not vetoed with the other capital outlay projects, the administration has refused to authorize the sale of $5 million in bonds for the project. We encourage the governor to show her commitment to the serious issue of alcohol and substance abuse by moving this project forward.

Her actions and inactions have failed to provide opportunities to address a devastating problem and generate support for the comprehensive middle-class job growth New Mexico needs.

A comprehensive approach to putting people back to work must focus on the majority of everyday New Mexicans who have not and will not benefit from corporate tax breaks. That’s why Democrats are proposing a comprehensive jobs package that raises the statewide minimum wage, expands tax credits for Working Families, and ensures that it is never cheaper for an out-of-state company to do business in New Mexico than it is for our neighbors who built our Main Streets.

Any plan to put people back to work cannot begin and end with tax breaks that benefit non-New Mexican companies more than our homegrown Mom and Pop shops.

In the last session, the legislature passed a bi-partisan bill that lowered the corporate tax rate and leveled the playing field for New Mexico small businesses. Under the bill, all out-of-state corporations would pay the same taxes as their New Mexico competitors. It eliminated the loophole that allowed “big box” out-of-state companies to avoid paying New Mexican taxes.

Sadly, the governor vetoed that legislation as well. But we will not give up. Democrats will continue to try to get the governor’s signature so that local businesses are better able to compete with national corporations.

But building a more attractive business climate for New Mexico takes more than tax breaks. It takes providing sufficient water to meet the demands of a growing economy. Water has always been a scarce resource in our state. With the most recent lawsuit filed by Texas, we must work together to preserve our agricultural traditions while allowing us to grow into the future. This is not a partisan issue. It is a New Mexican issue that affects all of us and future generations.

In addition to having adequate resources, CEOs considering to relocate here look at the ability of our schools to teach their children and train future workers. The owners of homegrown businesses expect nothing less.

Democrats understand that there is a connection between tax cuts for the rich and low performing schools for the poor. The choice to expand tax giveaways for the rich comes at the expense of funding our schools and training tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

Every student should have the opportunity to succeed in a New Mexico school. But educating our children does not begin on their first day in a classroom. Studies have proven that the first five years of a child’s life are critical in their development. So we will again sponsor legislation to fully fund Pre-K education from the state’s permanent school fund so that we don’t wait on our children to reach third grade before we provide them help.

The path to success also includes training and preparing the teachers who will instill in our children the knowledge to succeed. New Mexico will need 2400 more teachers by 2020.[3] But we can’t recruit those teachers if we continue to insist they spend more time testing than teaching and blame them for all of our problems.

My wife, Lynn, is a public school teacher. Let me tell you, it is no easy task being a teacher. It is no fun to clean up after a sick child nor is it easy to counsel the victim of a bus stop bully. The challenges of our students are as unique as they are, and our teachers need the flexibility and resources to address each and every one properly.

Unfortunately, we have cut millions from our classrooms, resulting in fewer teachers, lower salaries and larger classes – none of which are a part of any formula for success. A recent report by New Mexico Voices for Children showed that cuts to education have been among the deepest in the country since 2011 – yet another list New Mexico should never be on.

While the governor’s budget returns some money to education, little of this new money will end up in our classrooms where it belongs. We propose a different direction that protects a parent’s right to have a voice in their children’s education and a teacher's opportunity to teach to the student, not to the test. That’s why in previous years we have resisted plans to let out-of-state consultants and appointed political bureaucrats interject their judgment for that of parents and professional educators.

We also know that our children can’t succeed if they are too sick to learn. Today, more than 150,000 New Mexicans –including 50,000 children- go without affordable access to the most basic health care. But last week, the governor took an important step towards closing that gap by granting conditional approval for an expansion of Medicaid to cover our poorest neighbors.

Expanding Medicaid was the right decision for New Mexico. In addition to ensuring access to health care for our most vulnerable neighbors, the new health care jobs generated are equivalent to adding an entirely new national lab – not an insignificant fact as federal investment in our labs continues to shrink. But those who will rely on Medicaid cannot count on conditional healthcare. Nor can the new health care workers we will train. The federal government has made a commitment to fund the expansion and we should do the same for those who will soon count on it.

The political climate in Santa Fe today is much different than 101 years ago today. Though Republicans and Democrats had spent decades fighting over statehood, once achieved, the Republican legislature and Democratic governor came together to do what was right for the new-New Mexico.

New Mexico has grown impatient with partisan battles in both Washington and Santa Fe. Last year was the least productive session since 1976[4]. Just 77 bills were passed, and 13 of those were vetoed. New Mexico has spent the past two years marred down in the political back-and-forth that has also enveloped Washington. Predictably, the results are the same. We challenge the governor and our legislative colleagues on the right to set aside partisan attitudes and move quickly to put New Mexicans back to work.

For two years we have made numerous attempts to compromise to reform our drivers’ license system. No doubt, there are those who will continue to prefer playing politics with the issue instead of fixing it. Democrats are not among them and will, once again, offer a hand in compromise to resolve this issue. While many have argued for years that New Mexico was alone, or nearly so, in issuing licenses to non-citizens, the tide is turning – in no small part to DREAM Act-type legislation by President Obama permitting undocumented children to come out of the shadows without fear of deportation to a country they have never known. To date, at least a half-dozen states have announced plans to do so and many more are considering it. It is time to settle this issue in New Mexico once and for all and Democrats are prepared to do it.

Focusing on divisive wedge issues does nothing to address the serious challenges we face, including job creation, pension solvency and school safety.

The heroic sacrifices of educators in Newtown can never be repaid, but it shows just why no investment in education yields bad returns. But our teachers should never be asked to be soldiers in our schools.

Our state has a proud heritage of gun ownership but that heritage has always included a duty for those who choose to own a firearm to do so responsibly. There will, no doubt, be spirited debate on this issue in the coming weeks, and there are some common sense proposals which deserve consideration by those on both sides of the issue. But, each conversation should begin and end with a consideration for how it will prevent the tragedies we have seen in Aurora, Virginia Tech and, now, Newtown, from occurring in Los Lunas, Jal or NMSU.

Finally, no one goes into public service with the goal of getting rich. However, no one should expect that their salaries will decrease. For the last five years, public servants have suffered cuts in their take-home pay to balance the budget. Now as we recover, we need to stop that trend.

Our teachers have also answered our call to help ride out the economic downturn. It is not too much to expect that teachers who taught and tended to our children for 25 or 30 years will receive the pension we promised them when they first signed on. That was the contract and we have a responsibility to keep it. That’s why we will make pension solvency a top priority of this legislature for all of our public servants, be they educators who teach our children, police officers who protect our homes or license clerks in the MVD.

That first governor, speaking in his first inaugural address 101 years ago said this of the politics of the time and of times to come: “As we look into the future, bright hopes of promise appear to some, and dark forebodings may dim the horizon of others. The past is history; the present is the dawn of the future. It is to the future we look and that future will be what we make it.”

We could not agree more. The present is the dawn of the future. Like our predecessors a century before us, we have weathered hard times and are ready for a more prosperous future. Where some see a bleak future for growth and revitalization, we see a chance to reinvest in our middle class and Main Streets. When our grandchildren’s children look back on us a 100 years from now, let us be sure that they see this year as the one where we recommitted to the vision of fair taxes, equal opportunity and strong public education on which our state was founded a century ago.

[1] http://www.newmexicohistory.org/filedetails.php?fileID=460
[2
] https://www.jobs.state.nm.us/admin/gsipub/htmlarea/uploads/lmrnov12.pdf , p.12
[3] https://www.jobs.state.nm.us/admin/gsipub/htmlarea/uploads/lmrnov12.pdf , p. 9
[4] http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2012/02/21/news/legislature-passed-77-bills-least-since-1976.htm

Video above is from NMinFocus Youtube Channel. Thank you NM in Focus!

January 16, 2013 at 09:35 PM in Democrat, Economy, Populism, Education, NM Legislature 2013, Susana Martinez | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year's Guest Blog by Roxanne Lara

Rocky2012Excellent Guest blog by Roxanne Lara; Candidate for NM Democratic State Party Chair.

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.

2013-new-year-wallpaperI 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.

January 1, 2013 at 12:51 PM in Candidates & Races, Democrat, Democratic Party, Guest Blogger | Permalink | Comments (6)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Emerge Victories Across the Country and Plenty to Cheer for in NM!

EmergeNewMexico had this to say about their great success training women to run for political office here in the state of New Mexico, Emerge has much to be excited about indeed for this 2012 election cycle:

We Did It! SEVEN Emerge Graduates have won their elections!  We are so proud of you!  5 will serve in the New Mexico House of Representatives- strengthening what had been a slim majority for Democrats.  From the Supreme Court to District Court to the House of Representatives, these 7 women will join the other 6 Emerge women who currently hold office!

Below is more great inspiring news from EmergeAmerica regarding women running for office for every level of government across the country.

This week, we made a difference. 172 Emerge women ran this year, and 120 of them were on the ballot on Tuesday. We want to thank each and every one of those women for stepping up and running for office.

We are still awaiting final results in several key races, but overall, we saw great success.

Here is a rundown:
Emerge Arizona- 2 women won State House seats with a total of 4 wins across the state!
Emerge California- 17 women won across the bay area!
Emerge Kentucky- With an 82% win rate, 9 out of 11 women won!
Emerge Maine- 14 women won with 9 all in the State House!
Emerge Massachusetts- With 6 women on the ballot they had 4 great wins!
Emerge Nevada- 4 Emerge Nevada won!
Emerge New Mexico- 7 wins with 5 to serve in the State House!
Emerge Oregon- With 7 women on the ballot, Oregon had a 100% success rate!
Emerge Wisconsin- 10 wins with 7 in the State House alone!

Together, we had 76 victories on Election Day.

In addition, Emerge Nevada's Woman to Woman Vote Program was enormously successful. They contacted more than 43,000 women voters (and still counting) in key districts that led to Democrats winning key seats and President Obama won Nevada.

Beyond our own victories, we are so proud of all the women who ran and won their key races across the United States: Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie Hirano, Claire McCaskill, Tulsi Gabbard, Ann Kirkpatrick, Dina Titus, Michelle Lujan-Grisham, Maggie Hassan, Tammy Duckworth and many many more.

Please join us in thanking each and every one of our candidates who gave up countless hours to represent the issues that matter to their communities and have inspired all those around them. These fabulous women, whether they have won or lost this particular campaign, sit on the front line of our movement and we are proud to have them as part of our Emerge family.

November 14, 2012 at 09:10 AM in 2012 General Election, Candidates & Races, Democrat, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (1)