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Monday, March 29, 2010

New Mexico Launches Campaign to End Child Homelessness at 2010 Summit

On Friday, March 26, service providers for the homeless, children’s advocates and officials from across New Mexico gathered to launch the New Mexico Campaign to End Child Homelessness. The goal of the New Mexico Campaign is to ensure that not one child is homeless for even one night, according to a statement released by the Campaign.

The Campaign will address child homelessness in New Mexico by increasing public awareness of the problem, strengthening state policies and plans to address the problem, and identifying and sharing solutions to the problem. Approximately 9,000 children in New Mexico are homeless each year. The constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experiences has profound effects on their development and ability to learn, ultimately affecting their success in life.

“The launch of the Campaign to End Child Homelessness is a critical step in New Mexico,” said Dr. Jaime Tamez, Executive Director of Cuidando los Niños, in a written statement. “If we truly believe that children are our hope for the future, and if we are truly sincere when we say that children are a priority in New Mexico, then we must end child homelessness in our state. I am extremely inspired by the commitment of Summit participants from throughout our state to the goals of ending child homelessness. I witnessed their energy, creativity and dedication, and I firmly believe that by working together we can end child homelessness in New Mexico.”

Dr. Tamez unveiled the official New Mexico Campaign Declaration of Commitment, signed by many individuals and organizations who are committed to ending child homelessness in New Mexico. The Declaration will be displayed in the New Mexico State Capitol following the Summit.

“Homelessness exists because of choices we make as a community – whether with intent or by default,” said Jennifer Metzler, Executive Director of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless. “Of course no child should experience homelessness. However, we create that reality through our collective choices. We know how to end child homelessness. We can end it, and that is why this Campaign is so crucial. It establishes the commitment and brings us together to make it happen.”

The New Mexico Campaign to End Child Homelessness launched during the 2010 Summit to End Child Homelessness on March 25 and 26 and was the result of several months of planning and organizing by a partnership of local and national organizations. The Summit marked the first time community leaders and advocates statewide have gathered to specifically address the issues facing New Mexico’s most vulnerable population—homeless children.

"When children are homeless, even for a short while, it disrupts their lives in ways that they may never fully recover from,” said Hank Hughes, Executive Director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. “Consider all the suffering that could be prevented by ending child homelessness. Consider all the opportunities that homeless children could gain with housing. The benefits to society far outweigh the costs of giving all children stable housing."

Secretary Dorian Dodson of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department delivered the keynote speech on March 26. The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department was the title sponsor for the Summit. The Summit featured speakers from the national and state level, as well as panel discussions with families who are formerly or currently experiencing homelessness.

“The National Center on Family Homelessness is pleased to join with our partners and friends launch the New Mexico Campaign to End Child Homelessness,” said Christina Jordan, Director of the national Campaign to End Child Homelessness, an initiative of The National Center on Family Homelessness. “Together we can make a difference in the lives of children and families who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness here in New Mexico and ensure that not one child is homeless for even one night.”

In a recent show of support for the New Mexico Campaign, the New Mexico House of Representatives unanimously passed House Memorial 7, sponsored by Representative William O’Neill. The bill directs the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department to report on child homelessness in New Mexico and make legislative recommendations to the Interim Health and Human Services Committee by November 2010. Moving forward, the New Mexico Campaign indicated they will work with the Children, Youth and Families Department and will continue to collaborate with partners across the state to end child homelessness.

Homeless Children in New Mexico: According to America’s Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness, there are almost 9,000 homeless children each year in New Mexico. When homeless, children experience high rates of acute and chronic health problems. Children experiencing homelessness are sick four times more often than other children. They go hungry at twice the rate of other children and have three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems. Children who are homeless struggle in school, with an average 16% lower proficiency in math and reading. For more information, please visit and

New Mexico Campaign to End Child Homelessness: Not One Child, Not One Night: The New Mexico Campaign to End Child Homelessness is an initiative of the national Campaign to End Child Homelessness which seeks to increase public awareness, inform state and federal policies, and improve services to prevent and end child homelessness. The New Mexico Campaign is composed of a coalition of organizations that includes Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, Center for Social Innovation, Cuidando Los Niños, The National Center on Family Homelessness, New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, New Mexico Voices for Children, St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, and many others. For more information, visit Homeless Children America - New Mexico and Family Homelessness - New Mexico.

March 29, 2010 at 01:07 PM in Children and Families, NM Legislature 2010, Poverty | Permalink | Comments (1)

Photos and Video from Saturday's César Chávez Day Festival in Albuquerque

Click for larger version or photo album

The Recuerda a César Chávez Committee held a series of events this Friday and Saturday in Albuquerque, including a march to the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque and a festival there on Saturday with food, music, booths and more. The featured speaker was Liz Chávez Villarino, the daughter of César.

Liz Chávez Villarino comments on César Chávez Day at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque

More videos:

Liz Chávez Villarino discusses health insurance reform bill that passed last week

Lt. Gov. candidate Joe Campos talks about what César Chávez Day means to him

March 29, 2010 at 11:28 AM in Events, Hispanic Issues, History, Joe Campos, Labor, Minority Issues, Obama Health Care Reform | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today in Albuquerque: Civil Rights Rally and Call for Commissioner Wiener's Immediate Resignation

The Democratic Party of New Mexico and YWCA, as well as other groups including the Black Student Union, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Democratic Women of New Mexico, Young Adults of UNM and College Democrats of UNM, are holding a rally today to protest Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener's recent racist email, which he sent to county employees. Wiener admits that the deplorable email violated Bernalillo County rules.

Please join civil rights leaders and other activists in calling for Commissioner Wiener's resignation and show the world that Bernalillo County citizens will not tolerate displays of racism or homophobia by their elected officials:

1 Civic Plaza, North side of City/County Building
Monday, March 29, 2010 at 5:30 PM
Click for flyer (pdf)

March 29, 2010 at 10:15 AM in Bernalillo County, Democratic Party, Events, GLBT Rights, Minority Issues | Permalink | Comments (2)

Guest Blog: Open Letter to Rational Conservatives

DawnProvencherCr100 This is a guest blog by Dawn Provencher of La Luz, New Mexico, who chairs the Democratic Party of Otero County.

This is a letter to rational conservatives. I know you're out there.

What is the far right so afraid of? (I can only assume fear is the driving force in the recent actions of many. Something stronger than stupidity causes someone to shout 'nigger' or 'faggot' – hurl a brick through a window – leave death threats to a public servant and their family.) I sometimes trust the internet. So I Googled that question ... and got over 27 million hits!

I know lots of Republicans. I have friends who are Republican. I like a lot of Republicans. But my second question, why do you stand silent while others include you as being like-minded? Surely you don't all think Rush Limbaugh is right? But you let him, and others like him, spew venom and lie and distort statistics. David Frum, conservative journalist and former Reagan speech writer, said recently “(Republicans) followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.”

The two/multi party system is great. It works and makes us all think – until we start blindly accepting what our parties tell us to think. Frum also wrote about Fox and rabid talk radio whipping the conservative voting base into a frenzy – a rabid, angry mob. A mob led to believe the health care supporters wanted to murder their grandmothers. Just because something is reported ad naseum doesn't make it true. Remember the story from your childhood, “The Emperor's New Clothes”?

I teach the history of social policy at the college level. My students can tell you that policy (law) is based on values. And if one truly examines his or her values, they are fairly simple to identify. Do you value education? Then you support schools, libraries, and a culture of learning. Do you value the earth? Then you support legislation which represents good stewardship of nature. Do you value equality? Then you support legislation which provides for you ... and your neighbor. But values are across the board – a 'selective value' would hold true for some, but not others – in some situations, but not all. A 'selective value' is not a value. I think that's what we call a prejudice, hypocrisy, and double-speak.

We have people among us who aren't content with their Constitutional right to bear arms. They want to carry their weapons everywhere. Just what we need - angry, frenzied gun-toters at the fair, at the courthouse, at the movie theatre. Where has responsible, rational thought gone?

If you continue to give credence to the loudest and most irate, the possibility of compromise and mutual forbearance will be gone. Conservatives, is this really the group of people you want to define what you stand for? I don't think so – or at least I hope not, for the sake of all of us.

This is a guest blog by Dawn Provencher. To submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.

March 29, 2010 at 08:32 AM in Guest Blogger, Obama Health Care Reform, Republican Party, Right Wing | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rasmussen Poll: Denish Leads All GOP Governor Candidates by 10-22 Points

In a Rasmussen Reports phone survey of 500 likely voters on the New Mexico gubernatorial race, Democrat leads all of her possible Republican challengers by margins of 10 to 22 percentage points. She tops 50% in match-ups with three of the Republican candidates:

  • Diane Denish 52% - Janice Arnold-Jones 30%,
  • Diane Denish 51% - Susana Martinez 32%
  • Diane Denish 52% - Pete Domenici JUNIOR 35%

According to the poll, Denish’s closest competitors for now are:

  • Diane Denish 43% - Doug Turner 34%
  • Diane Denish 45% - Allen Weh 35%

None of the GOP primary contenders draws more than 35% support against the two-term lieutenant governor, who is uncontested for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. About 7% of those polled prefer some other candidate in all of the match-ups, while undecideds range from 6%-16%.

As for New Mexico's current Governor, 39% approve of how Bill Richardson is doing his job, with 12% who Strongly Approve. But 58% disapprove of his performance, including 33% who Strongly Disapprove.

The telephone survey was conducted Wednesday night, three days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the national health care plan. A total of 53% of New Mexico respondents favor the plan, with 32% who Strongly Favor it. A total of 44% oppose the plan, including 40% who Strongly Oppose it.

Rasmussen reported additional results about candidate favorability, as well as attitudes about various aspects of the health insurance reform legislation and voters' views of incumbents. Click to see the results to all the questions asked of New Mexicans in the telephone survey. The cross tabs are available only to premium subscribers to Rasmussen Reports.

March 27, 2010 at 04:09 PM in 2008 Democratic Convention, 2010 NM Governor's Race, Gov. Bill Richardson, Healthcare, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, Obama Health Care Reform, Polling, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (0)

4/9: Fundraiser & Fun-Raising Party for Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Gov.

Jerry at DPNM Pre-Primary Convention

From Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor:
You're invited to a Fundraiser and Fun-Raising Party to benefit the campaign of Democrat Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lt. Governor on Friday, April 9, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM at Jerry's Office at Winrock Center in Albuquerque.

There will be music, poetry/spoken word performances, a dinner and a drawing for prizes -- all for $25 at the door or $20 in advance. See this FLYER for more information. If you have questions, please call 554-2571.

Photo by M.E. Broderick.

March 27, 2010 at 01:20 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Events, Jerry Otiz y Pino | Permalink | Comments (0)

USDA Provides Financing to Expand Electric Infrastructure In 5 New Mexico Counties

USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner was in Hernandez, New Mexico yesterday to help Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative celebrate its approval of a $28.9-million loan package to upgrade its electric delivery system.

During the celebration Brunner told the Jemez Mountain Board of Directors, “This project demonstrates USDA RD’s commitment to rural communities by improving its infrastructure, generating business opportunities, and provides a better quality of life to our rural residents.”

The loan to Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative is provided under USDA Rural Development’s Electric Loan Program. The program funds will be used to update the electric delivery system in Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Sandoval, San Juan and McKinley counties. The money will also be used to connect 1200 new consumers over a four-year period of time throughout the system, according to a statement released by Rural Development.

Additionally, Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative will also increase and upgrade its system by building 120 miles of new distribution line throughout the five-county electric service area. The system will also see two new distribution substations. which will be built in Gallina and Cuyamungue.

The USDA Rural Development electric program has financed similar projects throughout the nation for the last 60 years. The program provides funds to be used to expand or improve electric service, support renewable energy efforts and establish energy conservation programs.

The loan is part of USDA Rural Development’s annual budget and is not funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

To celebrate the commitment of the funds from USDA Rural Development, Mr. Brunner presented a certificate of funding obligation to the Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative board at its monthly board meeting which was held on March 26, 2010, at 1:30 PM at its offices located at 19365 SR 84/285 in Hernandez, New Mexico.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at

March 27, 2010 at 11:34 AM in Economy, Populism, Energy, Rural Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

TypePad Comment Feature Not Working

If you've tried to leave a comment on any thread here, you know that this feature isn't working at the moment. The problem started early yesterday when TypePad made changes to its application software. When I filed a help ticket, they responded that the problem had been fixed, saying, "We had made some changes to the application which resulted in this issue, but it has now been resolved and you shouldn't see this problem any longer."

Turns out the problem wasn't resolved at all, so I pointed that out to them. They then responded, "Thanks for following up and we apologize for the continued issue. Our engineers are looking into this further. We apologize for the inconvenience." Let's hope they get things up to snuff quickly. This is not a free software application and users shouldn't have to put up with this kind of snafu for long. We'll see.

March 27, 2010 at 10:25 AM in Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Upcoming Events Supporting Karen Montoya for Bernalillo County Assessor

Karenmontoya From the Campaign to Re-Elect Karen Montoya as Bernalillo County Assessor:

3/27 and 3/28: Join Karen Montoya and the Campaign Team for a Sign-Making Good Time! on Saturday, March 27, at 8:30 AM to 12 PM and Sunday, March 28, at 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Meet at 1504 Clancy NE, or call 559-0482 for more information.

3/28: Come to a fundraiser for Karen Montoya on Sunday, March 28, from 6 PM to 8 PM at the home of Patty Montoya and John Tansey, 4224 Indian Springs Dr. NE. RSVP to Patty at 235-1079. Suggested donation is $25.

4/1: Fundraiser, Thursday, April 1, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at the home of Lorrie and Jim Griffin, 1035 Cottonwood Dr., Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Join hosts Attorney General Gary King, Ambassador Ed Romero and Sra. Cayetana Romero, Turner and Margaret Branch, Bill Baldwin, Pawan Dhinsha, Pete Dinelli, Steve Garcia, Vince Murphy, Julian Padilla, Nestor Romero, Ruther Romero Sneddon. For more information, contact Michelle Chavez at 275-9485 or RSVP at Suggested contribution $50--and all contributions welcome!

March 26, 2010 at 02:25 PM in 2010 Bernaillo County Assessor Race, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Watch the Video: Comedy Cutups Udall & Luján Plug Think BIG Farmington

Watch larger version

Wow, top-notch performances by New Mexico's Senator Tom Udall and Rep. Ben Ray Luján. Yes, it's a spoof, but its message is a serious one -- Think BIG Farmington is a great candidate to become a Google test site for ultra-high speed broadband Internet. Turns out Minnesota Sen. Al Franken submitted a video to advocate for Duluth's chances to be a test site. Yeah, it's funny. He used to be a famous comedian. But I think you'll agree that the Udall-Lujan comedy team is no slouch in the Google giggles department (ouch).

Both Udall and Luján have appealed to Google CEO Eric Schmidt in support of Think BIG Farmington’s collaborative effort to win participation in the company’s experiment. You can read about it here . The is an experiment to test new ways to make broadband Internet connections faster and more accessible in municipalities around America. Farmington seems perfectly suited to be a test site -- it's the economic hub for a huge part of the Four Corners area, including a big swath of the Navajo Nation, where communication tools today are often weak or nonexistent. Let's hope Google agrees.

March 26, 2010 at 12:34 PM in Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, Sen. Tom Udall, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

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