PNM has issued yet another amended bill after tremendous push back from environmentalists and others. Details on a day at the Roundhouse. And Susan Herrera announces her primary challenge of Rep. Debbie Rodella in District 41.
If you haven’t taken the Speak Up New Mexico! Legislative Priorities survey, please do so today to tell your legislators which bills you want to see become law. Click the blue button at left to take the survey.
The Roundhouse Advocacy Team meeting slated for Thursday, Feb 1, is being moved to Wednesday with time to be determined later today. If you are interested in receiving updates on meetings for the Roundhouse Advocacy Team, please write to me at paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org. We tend to meet on alternate Thursdays. This change is due to several members of the Roundhouse team wanting to attend the Susan Herrera kickoff on Thursday.
A Day at the Roundhouse Lobbying Against SB 47/HB 80. Sen. Conservation Hearing Slated for Today at 8:30am has been postponed. Things happen fast at the Roundhouse and the cancellation was only announced yesterday late morning. PNM has submitted an amended SB 47 / HB 80 and committee members need a day or two to absorb it. All delays such as this are good, as the bill has only 3 weeks to work through two committees in the Senate.
I will report tomorrow on plans in the House, but we would certainly hope that OUR Speaker Egolf would assign HB 80 to more than two committees, lessoning the time available and chances of passage. Yesterday, I joined Mary Ann Maestas (Earth Care) and Rebecca Sobel (Frack Off Chaco) on a blitz through the Roundhouse, visiting with dozens of legislative staff and delivering letters signed by 50 faith, environmental, and social service organizations, including Retake. The letters laid out in detail all the reasons for defeating PNM’s bills. And make no mistake about it, these are PNM bills — derived, written, amended, and pushed by PNM.
Thus far my Roundhouse advocacy had been limited to meeting with legislators between legislative sessions, attending hearings, and writing about the lobbying of others. But talking with legislative staff is an entirely different and far more educational experience, as they have time to lay out how the legislature really works, knowledge that will greatly inform our work in 2019 when we will be playing more offense, advocating for good bills to become law.
Tomorrow, I will be presenting an Open Letter to Senator Wirth and Speaker Egolf. They are the representatives for many Santa Feans; they are entirely ‘safe’ districts, and they are in key positions of leadership in the Roundhouse. Before I finalize that letter, I am interested in the views of our readers. Is this the time for Sen. Wirth and Speaker Egolf to spend time negotiating with PNM to try to coax some reasonable compromise or is it time to assign SB 47/HB 80 to 4 committees in each chamber, effectively killing the bills? I can tell you that many Roundhouse staffers are hoping that negotiations end and that death by committee is the fate of these terrible bills.
Susan Herrera Campaign Kickoff, 6pm Feb. 1, 2018
Rancho de Chimayo Restaurante, 300 Juan Medina Rd, Chimayo, NM. Susan Herrera, retired CEO of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, and former director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington, D.C., has announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the District 41 House of Representative seat in the New Mexico Legislature. District 41 covers most of Rio Arriba County and parts of Santa Fe and Taos counties.
She is running on a platform to improve public education, create good jobs, and build a better, sustainable health and behavioral health system. She supports an overhaul of the New Mexico tax system so that working families in New Mexico are the priority, not the interests of the well-connected and powerful.
“We can create a strong revenue stream for state education, health, and economic development by revamping the income tax, permanent fund, and gross receipts taxes. Depending upon oil and gas fees and playing the “Revenue Guessing Game” annually is not a smart way to sustain services to our citizens. I want to work with other legislators to change that,” Herrera said.
Susan serves on the statewide board of New Mexico Voices for Children and the boards of the Family Learning Center in Española and the Northwest First Born Program in Farmington and Gallup. She was instrumental in bringing $2 million in Kellogg Foundation grant money to New Mexico for early childhood development. Herrera left the LANL Foundation in 2016 having granted $51 million to Northern New Mexico school districts and community-based non-profits .Today the Foundation has an $84 million endowment. She volunteers at Dixon Elementary, where her grandson is a student.
Susan has extended family throughout New Mexico. Susan and her husband, Amalio Madueño, live in Embudo and are the parents of Andres Madueño, a Los Alamos firefighter.
Her public background includes serving on the campaign and legislative staff of Congressman Jim Lloyd (D-Calif.).from 1976 ti 1980. She was executive director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus when there were only six Hispanics in Congress. To address the need for Hispanic congressional staffers in D.C., she launched a Congressional Fellowship Program. Her husband, now a community economic development specialist and published poet who worked with UFW AFL-CIO president Cesar Chavez in the late 1970’s was in the 1981 class of those congressional fellows.
“This district is my home and my grandchildren’s future,” said Herrera, “how could I not want to follow in my father’s footsteps as a champion for children and families, working to offer more opportunities for work, education and health care to all?”
District 41 is larger than the state of Massachusetts and includes 31 precincts. It is has been represented since 1993 by Rep. Debbie Rodella.
I encourage Retake supporters to come on out to the kick-off event and show your support for Susan. We will be organizing house parties, canvassing and phone banks on her behalf, with some activity before the end of the Roundhouse session.
Paul & Roxanne