Our community is still struggling; we can change this with new leadership in Santa Fe. Our Youth, Families, Seniors and Veterans of Albuquerque’s Westside deserve better and that’s why I will fight to improve these areas:
We must invest in Early Childhood Education (PreK) throughout our state and provide adequate funding resources for K-12 and Higher education. The last legislative session was good start but we must do more to ensure that we are providing an opportunity for all students to get a high-quality education that not only prepares them for college but a future career. Teacher’s salaries must also be increased to help recruit and retain the best. We can longer allow our children and teachers to suffer because we are unwilling to make the proper investments in education.
Economy & Jobs:
New Mexico must make more investments in economic development so that we are not reliant on oil and gas revenue to fund a majority of our state’s budget. We must provide better incentives to small businesses, renewable energy companies (solar, wind, etc.), entrepreneurs, and technology firms, and we must work with small businesses on Albuquerque’s Westside . These new businesses should provide jobs that will provide a living wage as well as support the rights of workers. Making these types of investments and creating jobs will diversify our economy, provide a better way of life for New Mexicans and also provide the funding needed to pay for education, infrastructure, healthcare, and public safety needs.
Every New Mexican should have access to affordable high-quality healthcare. The rising costs of insurance premiums and copays are hurting consumers and our small businesses. We must ensure that all of our state’s citizens have access to preventive care, mental and behavioral health services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and access to the VA if they qualify. We must also provide incentives and enact legislation that increases the number of medical providers in our state, especially in the rural areas. No one should have to make a choice between seeing a doctor or paying their rent or risk losing everything to a catastrophic illness. We can do more at the state level to ensure New Mexicans don’t have to make these choices.
Every New Mexican deserves to feel safe in their community. The drug and crime epidemic in Albuquerque and the entire state are out of control and not only impacts our communities but hurts our local businesses and stifles economic development. To counter this reality, we must provide the resources and funding to recruit, retain, and train the best law enforcement personnel throughout the state. Proven strategies must also be implemented like community and neighborhood policing, drug treatment, neighborhood watches, justice system reform, and restorative justice practices to hold offenders accountable, decrease recidivism, and decrease the school to prison pipeline. We must also be willing to address gun violence, which is the major contributor to our crime and murder epidemic and hurts the most vulnerable amongst us.
Our water, air, and land must be protected at all costs and private industry should not be able to profit off of their destruction. We must transition from oil and gas to renewable energy sources to protect our water, land and air for current and future generations. Water is already scarce in our state and with climate change already having an impact we must do all we can to ensure our sources are not polluted, while at the same time we must implement protection and resilience measures. We must also hold our energy companies accountable while working with them to transition to clean sources of energy in order to protect consumers, our economy, and state revenue.
The state’s infrastructure is in need of serious repair and improvement, including our roads, bridges, water systems, and utility systems. Upgrades in infrastructure are required in order to make improvements in education, the economy, healthcare, and public safety. Infrastructure provides for better education, powers businesses, provide more access to healthcare, and improves the quality, accuracy, and availability of public safety. For example, there is strong evidence that quality infrastructure provides better instruction, improves student outcomes, and reduces dropout rates, as well as other benefits. We must also make sure that these infrastructure investments are done in an equitable way ensuring that all communities within the state are given these vital resources.