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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NM-1: Eric Griego Releases Women’s Issues Platform, “Women Are the Majority”

From Eric Griego for Congress campaign.

034Today, Eric Griego for Congress in NM-1 released Griego’s women’s issues platform, called “Women Are the Majority.”

“I was raised by a single working mother and I saw the struggles she faced,” said Eric Griego.  “My mom worked two jobs to support me and my siblings, keep us healthy, and teach us.  It’s because of her that I will do everything I can to help the women of New Mexico who face tough odds in this economy and protect their rights.”

Griego’s platform focuses on four issue areas affecting millions of women: paid family leave, reproductive rights, pay equity and Social Security.

Paid Family Leave

Eric Griego grew up watching his single mother struggle to balance work and family.  He believes that women and men should not have to choose between their jobs and their families in time of need.  That is why he led efforts as a state and city legislator and as the Executive Director for New Mexico Voices for Children to pass increased funding for early childhood, working families’ tax credit, higher minimum wage, and to protect Medicaid for working families.

In Congress, Eric will support families by working to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to give paid family leave for births and adoptions.

Reproductive Rights

As a State Senator, Eric Griego stood up to conservative anti-women forces and opposed punitive bills designed to gut family planning rights.  Eric sponsored the “Unintended Pregnancy Advisory Panel” in the State Senate, aimed at studying how to reduce unintended pregnancies while protecting women’s health and rights.  He also voted to give sexual assault victims access to emergency contraception.  He has been and will always continue to be a principled ally of health organizations such as Planned Parenthood to support comprehensive women’s health and family planning programs.

Eric not only supports Roe v. Wade, but also considers women’s rights essential to decisions on medical privacy.  As a State Senator, Eric stood up to conservative anti-women forces and opposed legislation designed to erode family planning rights (SB239), criminalize abortions (HB30, SB222), and force minor victims of even incest or rape to obtain parental permission before receiving care.

Pay Equity

As a State Senator, Eric Griego consistently voted for legislation to increase fair employment practices.  He also supported legislation to prevent health insurers from charging higher premiums to females (SB148).

Eric supports the Paycheck Fairness Act now before Congress.  He believes that the bill is a good start but does not go far enough.  Eric supports stronger legislation that would call for the disclosure of pay statistics.  This would prevent discrimination in the first place rather than putting the responsibility on women to fight it after the fact.  In addition, Eric will continue to help women- and minority-owned businesses by insisting that the set-asides for these businesses be enforced in federal contracting.

Social Security

Eric Griego knows how important Social Security benefits can be to retired and disabled Americans and opposes Republican and Blue Dog efforts to cut them.

However, Eric understands that the current system is not perfect – women often receive fewer benefits because they took time out of work to raise children or care for aging family members.  That is why he supports creating a caregiver credit in Social Security.  He believes that we must recognize the valuable work that caregivers do by awarding Social Security credit at least as high as the minimum wage.

Griego’s platform release follows his campaign’s announcement yesterday of support from prominent local women leaders, including:

  • Dr. Martha Burk, Director of the Corporate Accountability Project and former Chairwoman of the National Council of Women’s Organizations
  • State Senator Mary Jane Garcia, Majority Whip
  • State Senator Dede Feldman, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Public Affairs
  • State Senator Cynthia Nava, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Education
  • State Representative Mimi Stewart, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Health and Government Affairs
  • State Representative Eleanor Chavez, Vice Chair of the House Committee on Labor and Human Resources

February 28, 2012 at 05:15 PM in Candidates & Races, Children and Families, Eric Griego, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Women's Issues, Women's Right to Choose | Permalink


Its good to know prominent women still need to rely on men to fight for their rights.

Women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress. "We Are the Majority?"

Griego’s platform focuses on four issue areas affecting millions of women: paid family leave, reproductive rights, pay equity and Social Security.

WHAT ABOUT 51% IN CONGRESS?????? I guess politics is too tough for women. That is why we need a man to lead us to achieve "Pay Equity."

Posted by: Marry Morrow | Feb 29, 2012 11:50:42 AM

God’s perfect plan for the order and structure of authority, both in the church and the home, imbues men with authority to rule in love and righteousness, just as God rules. It would simply be inappropriate to refer to heavenly beings as anything other than masculine because of the authority God has granted to them to wield His power (2 Kings 19:35), carry His messages (Luke 2:10), and represent Him on earth.

Posted by: Charles Apodaca | Feb 29, 2012 12:19:49 PM

And you know this Charles, because... you're a man? What a bunch of hogwash. We live in a pluralistic society, not a theocracy. Take your dominionist bullcrap somewhere where people care... like your church.

By the way, two can play at your game. My Goddess gave birth to your God. I'm sure that means nothing to you, just as your interpretation of your book means nothing to me.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | Feb 29, 2012 2:51:27 PM

It is disheartening to see Dr. Martha Burk participating in her own oppression.

Paulo Freire wrote,"Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly."

In any oppressive situation, there need be two parties: the one who does the oppressing, and the one who willingly allows it to occur.

An area for each of us to examine is how we support the status quo, because the status quo has never worked for women.

Women are more effective working for our issues. Would we support a male holding the title of Chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations?

If a strong progressive woman is running for office, she alone is the candidate with the capacity to understand a woman's struggle.

A man can speak to issues that impact women, but he can never empathize.

Posted by: Carolyn Luna | Feb 29, 2012 4:28:19 PM

I take issue with this statement - "If a strong progressive woman is running for office, she alone is the candidate with the capacity to understand a woman's struggle."

1) Depends on how one defines "Progressive" -- I'm a woman who supports Eric Griego for Congress because his "progressive" values and accomplishments outshine his opponents' by a long shot.

2) Understanding a woman's struggle doesn't depend on the gender of the candidate, but on the ability to "see", "listen" and "appreciate" the struggle --- and then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Eric's platform on women's issues confirms what I already knew about him --- and he's got my vote.

Posted by: Lora Lucero | Feb 29, 2012 4:58:26 PM

I apologize if you were offended by my comment. I think it is important to review a person's entire record. Can you please list the legislation he has passed so I can see what he has done about woman's issues.

The Memorial he listed on this blog post titled, “Unintended Pregnancy Advisory Panel” did not pass. I am sorry, but I would not call failing to form an advisory panel, doing something about women's issues.

I do fundamentally disagree with one of your comments. It is imperative to be a woman to fully understand women's issues.

I care and will work for marriage equality, but I will never understand what it is like to come out to my family. I know people who have been abandoned by their family after coming out. That is something I cannot fathom.

Eric might care and work for women's issues, but he will never understand NEEDING, not supporting, access to contraception and abortion. He will never know what it is like to be paid 78 cents on the dollar. He will never fully understand why Emerge New Mexico is vitally important to increase the number of women in New Mexico politics.

Posted by: Carolyn Luna | Feb 29, 2012 6:04:02 PM

Let's be fair about this. Griego and Chavez, the two male candidates in the race, have both been strong advocates for issues important to ALL people - jobs, healthcare, environment, childcare, pay equity, education, rights to one's own determination - just as Lujan Grisham has. Let's give credit where credit is due to any male candidate who does right, not discourage them with politics of victimhood. Marty Chavez deserves credit for picking up the support of Lily Ledbetter, just as Eric Griego deserves credit for support from Martha Burk and others. We should evaluate whom to vote for based on a comprehensive set of issues and their record, not just gender.

Posted by: Dem on the Fence | Feb 29, 2012 8:44:38 PM

Dem on the Fence ----

Very well-stated.

I am 110% behind the goal of getting more women elected at all levels of government. But at the same time, I will weigh many factors in my decision about who to support and vote for.

Gender is not going to trump other important factors.

If it really took a female to understand female issues, could men argue that females are incapable of understanding "male" issues?

Of course not.

Posted by: Lora Lucero | Feb 29, 2012 9:13:59 PM

It seems counterproductive to the cause of equal rights to attack a male public servant who speaks out for women's rights and pushes legislation to protect those rights. Just because a person is a woman doesn't mean she can be counted on to defend pay equity, tax fairness, choice, etc. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Susanna Martinez come to mind. I have never been really poor and I'm not a person of color but I don't think anyone would say I haven't the right to speak out against unfair treatment of those who are. Injustice for some means freedom for none. Eric Griego understands that and so does Dr. Burk.

Posted by: Laura Stokes | Mar 1, 2012 8:04:02 AM

I'm currently undecided in the race between the three candidates, as I feel that each bring something different for the voters to choose from. I also feel that the three are each electable or unelectable for different reasons.

I like Marty Chavez because he seems the most experienced of the three and a problem solver. He's also very articulate. The biggest problem we're facing in our country today is creating jobs to put people to work, and I like his record of doing that as mayor. His moderate political views also may help with moderate voters in the general election, although I'm beginning to question if he can attract strong support from the progressive base of the Democratic base. I'm also concerned about his electability because of his ethics scandals.

I like Eric Griego because he seems genuinely and passionately interested in doing what's right for ordinary people. He also seems the most believable when he talks about his interest in workers and the environment, and cleaning up government. His supporters also seem very passionate. But I have reservations about whether if he's too progressive to win against the Republican in November.

I like Michelle Lujan Grisham because she was very likable and friendly when I met her once at a recent event, and also seemed very energetic. I also like that she is a woman who would probably best understand what it's like to be a woman in representation, although gender alone does not affect my support. The problem that I have with her is her lackluster campaign in comparison to Chavez and Griego. I see lots of activity by both Chavez and Griego but her campaign seems very disorganized in comparison. I'll reserve final judgment until at least after the Pre-Primary, but right now the way she's running her campaign makes me feel like she won't do a good job running her congressional office if she's elected.

Posted by: Dem on the Fence | Mar 1, 2012 11:08:39 AM

It seams counter productive to use Palin's tactics in a discussion about which candidate would be a more effective women's rights advocate.

Other posters did not attack Griego. They only gave reasons why they believe a woman is the best person to lead on women's issues.

I think it is impossible to imagine a Civil Rights movement lead by a person who is not a person of color.

This does not mean people of color do not acknowledged and welcome support, but the efforts need to be lead by a person of color.

I wholehearted believe women are more effective fighting for women's issues, because it is personal.

I would like someone to ask Eric Griego if he believes the National Farm Workers Association would have as successful if lead by someone named Jones. No, I am asking Griego if he believes Dolores Huerta's and Cesar Chavez's ethnicity did not impact the National Farm Workers Association.

Posted by: Jim Pullman | Mar 1, 2012 11:20:21 AM

"If a strong progressive woman is running for office, she alone is the candidate with the capacity to understand a woman's struggle. "

Speaking as a short fat old white guy with a poodle, I look around at the candidates and I say to myself "I don't see a single short fat old white guy with a poodle! Who will represent ME? I think I'll just stay home and not vote."

So I can totally empathize with females who won't support a male (no matter what the other qualifications) and will always support the female (no matter what other drawbacks). After all, I'll only support short fat old white guys with poodles. Only they can truly empathize with me.

If you really think Michelle Lujan-Grisham is a strong progressive and a leader on women's issues, why didn't you put uyp a list of her accomplishments rather than simply pointing to her lack of a prostate?

Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Mar 1, 2012 12:23:43 PM

I could not agree more the the short fat guy with a poodle. I am tired if women casting ballots because if plumbing. Haven't we moved beyond that? I do not understand the need for organizations like Emerge New Mexico or Emily's List. Where is the Emerge for men? It is difficult for anyone to run for office. Why do women get an advantage?

Posted by: Mike Anthony | Mar 1, 2012 2:04:55 PM

Mr. Schneider has a point. I feel that some of the comments are too focused on Michelle Lujan Grisham's gender, as if that is the single most important factor that must be weighed by all female voters. On that basis, all males should vote for one of the other two male candidates only because males would presumably only be able to trust another male to stand up for them. I believe Michelle Lujan Grisham will be able to represent not only women well, but also men equally well. Just as I believe that Eric Griego and Marty Chavez will be able to represent not only men well, but also women equally well. They have each proven that. And I find strong objection to the comment, "It is disheartening to see Dr. Martha Burk participating in her own oppression." That sort of politics of victimhood really should stop, as it adds little to the debate. If that is how Michelle Lujan Grisham sees her candidacy as reflected in the sentiments expressed here by what appears to be her supporters, then it's frankly turned me off from her candidacy. These commenters' sentiments can be applied equally to Patricia Madrid, Lily Ledbetter, or Dolores Huerta for supporting Marty Chavez, and that would be equally wrong.

Posted by: Dem on the Fence | Mar 1, 2012 2:16:19 PM

Dem on the Fence, gender was brought into this post by Eric Griego with the title, "Eric Griego Releases Women’s Issues Platform, 'Women Are the Majority.'"

He used the support of Burk to give his campaign credibility with regard to women's issues. I only contend that a woman can better address women's issues.

I never said I supported Grisham. I am disappointed in Griego, because I believe Griego is pandering to women. When he ran for State Senate his campaign focused on healthcare, education, and ethics laws. Women's issues were not anywhere near the top of the list. I find it difficult to believe he would have released a women's issues platform if it Grisham stayed out of the race. Women's issues never came up in his bid to become senator when he ran against James Tayor.

I have not made up my mind, but I hate when a candidate panders for votes. I want a Representative who will be authentic. I do not want them to tell me what they think I want to hear for a vote.

All the candidates support the issues in his Women's Issue Platform. When he rolls out a platform, he is telling people the platform will be a priority. I do not expect a Representative to push every issue I would push, but I do not want them to blow smoke up my skirt to get a vote.

Posted by: Carolyn Luna | Mar 1, 2012 3:15:43 PM

" ... gender was brought into this post by Eric Griego with the title ... "


He is saying "here is where I stand on an issue that is of particular importance to one group of voters (whether than group is women, or Muslims, or swarthy people, or small business owners, or whatever)"

You were the one who turned that into "...a woman can better address women's issues."

It's entirely proper for a candidate to publicly take a stand on issues, whether those issues personally affect them (mandatory coverage of PSA screening, for example) or not. I don't think it's proper to argue, as you do, that a person is less qualified as a candidate because they belong to a different sub-group than the voter and therefore can't empathize with the voter.

We're all different, this country is a seething mess of different sub-groups with different agendas and different needs. If we can't look past a candidate's personal attributes and consider where that candidate stands on issues affecting others, we're sunk.

Now if it's true that Griego only recently discovered women's issues and has a history of not caring about those issues, you've got a point. But I'd like to see a bit more evidence - has he voted to limit abortion? Has he voted against Planned Parenthood? Has he voted against equal pay? Those sorts of things are fair questions. There's a difference between saying "Mitt Romney ha shown by his comments (insert comments here) that he totally doesn't understand the economic concerns of ordinary Americans" and saying that "because Mitt Romney is rich he can't possibly understand." After all, FDR was rich, too.

Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Mar 1, 2012 3:40:50 PM

I have to strongly disagree that expressing one's positions and stances on a set of issues of importance to a group of people is somehow "pandering". By that basis, any time a candidate talks about how that person would approach issues of importance to say, senior citizens, must mean pandering to them. I've heard plenty of statements made by all three of the candidates, including Lujan Grisham, that talk about their positions on Social Security and Medicare. Was she pandering to senior citizens, which make up most of the voters in a typical election? I'm of the opinion that she was simply expressing her position on those issues as they relate to an audience, in that case, mostly to senior citizens. Would you see that as her pandering to senior citizens? I wouldn't. How about when Marty Chavez talks about his positions on how he would go about creating jobs while surrounded by people looking for one. Would that be pandering? No. He would simply be outlining his positions on an issue that is affecting unemployed people. Let's please give credit where credit is due. Griego is not a woman, but he has as excellent of a record and reputation in the Roundhouse as any women in terms of voting correctly each time on issues that affected women, such as choice, but not limited to it - including Medicaid, education, and jobs. We should be celebrating men who publicly take up the cause, not berating them. I would also like to see a more public commitment and platform from Marty Chavez.

Posted by: Dem on the Fence | Mar 1, 2012 6:15:06 PM

I want to see every candidate running for Congress (for every elected office actually) sign The 99 Pledge. Check it out here at www.occupysantafenm.org/?page_id=434

As a delegate to the State Democratic Convention next Saturday, I think I'll call each candidate and ask him/her about signing the 99 Pledge.

I know Eric Griego has signed it.

Posted by: Lora Lucero | Mar 1, 2012 10:43:33 PM

I think Carolyn has a point. Watch Griego's candidacy announcement. It focuses on Republicans assaulting education, healthcare, and the elderly. According to previous posts, two of the same issues were part of his platform when he ran four years ago. Women's issues were not mentioned in the video. I do not think he would have rolled out a four point plan if a woman was not in the race.


The candidates state their position about issues that involve HIV in the following link. The candidates did not roll out a platform to express their position on HIV. I wonder if all candidates would roll out an LGBT platform if a candidate was lesbian, gay, bisexual. or transgender?


As anyone would expect, all of the candidates were very supportive of the LGBT community.

Posted by: Tony Arellano | Mar 1, 2012 10:46:07 PM

Ah, if it was only as simple as women voting only for women instead of men. That’s what this boils down to, no? Or is it that Sen. Griego has no right to women’s support? From a field of pretty good Democrats, I’ve chosen Eric because I believe he is the best candidate, based on what he has done, on a variety of issues.

As the Chair of Senate Committee on Public Affairs with primary jurisdiction for women’s health issues, I have seen how hard Eric Griego works to support women’s health and defend reproductive rights. He joined me time and time again to stand up to conservative anti-women forces and oppose legislation designed to erode family planning rights, sometimes in opposition to women Senators who were not pro-choice, or pro-civil union.

Posted by: Senator Dede Feldman | Mar 2, 2012 10:24:16 AM

Thank you, Senator Feldman, for answering those questions.

I'm going to miss having you as my senator.

Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Mar 2, 2012 7:33:56 PM