7-19-22 Alert

Greetings New Mexico Activists:

Some of you may wonder why we’re telling you about Interim Committee Meetings. Well, what we’ve learned over the last several years is that Interim Committee Meetings are where our legislators often get their first exposure to information on issues. We have to assume that many legislators are developing their stance on issues during these meetings. We have the opportunity to offer public comment at this earlier stage — either in person or by submitting written comment — and influence their thinking long before they vote on legislation. When public comment is not allowed, or the meeting is only available as a Webcast (no public participation), at least we can hear what our legislators are hearing and call or write to them later to discuss it or counter it. You’ll find info and links to upcoming Interim Committee Hearings below.

We want to remind you once more about our Zoominar on Weds., July 27, 6 – 7:30 p.m: Modernizing Our Legislature: Paid Staff, Longer Session, Paid Legislators. Why do we need to reform our legislature? We are the only state that doesn’t pay our legislators. That prevents working people in our state – most people — from representing us as a House or Senate member. Our current legislature is full of retirees, bankers, lawyers, realtors, and people from other high-paying occupations. Working people, young people, people with families and full-time jobs cannot afford to take time off without pay to serve in the legislature. And sessions need to be extended so they have time get things done! Without paid staff, legislators rely too often on industry-backed lobbyists for information. No other business, industry, department, or profession expects people to work for free with no staff! This needs to change.

Please join us on July 27 to hear from Representatives Angelica Rubio (Las Cruces) and Kristina Ortez (Taos), activist Ricann Bock of Indivisible Santa Fe, and Cara Lynch, co-founder of Legislative Momentum to learn why this reform is needed and how differently the legislature could function. They’ll tell us about legislation they plan to introduce in 2023 to transform our legislature.
Register here. You must register to attend.

Upcoming Interim Committee Hearings

  1. July 20-22, Legislative Finance Committee – Western NM University, 1000 W. College Ave., Silver City. The agenda includes Update on Forest Fires, Recovery Efforts, and Long-Term Impacts; Economic, Oil & Gas Outlook; Reducing Violent Crime; and more. Read the full agenda at this link. Watch the meeting via Webcast at this link or attend in person at the address above. It’s unclear if public comment will be taken – there is no public comment period on the agenda.
  2. July 25-26, Water & Natural Resources Committee – Event Center at Sandia Golf Club, 30 Rainbow Rd. NE, Albuquerque. The agenda includes Native American Water Rights and Use, Groundwater Depletions and Climate Change, Risk of Flooding from Wildfires, Strategic Water Reserve, Water Use in Cannabis Production, Compliance with the Rio Grande Compact, and more. Read the full agenda at this link. Public comment is scheduled on Monday, July 25, 4:30 – 5 p.m. Find the committee’s full work plan and meeting schedule through October at this link. There is no info posted about Zoom, so you’ll need to go in person or watch the Webcast at this link.
  3. July 25-27, Courts, Corrections & Justice Committee – Senate Chamber at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. On Tues., July 26, they will spend the day on gun violence prevention, including an Update on Natl. Gun Laws & States’ Ability to Regulate Guns, Update on the Effectiveness of Current Gun Violence Initiatives, Addressing Gun Violence in New Mexico, and Proposed Legislation to Combat Gun Violence in NM. Experts include a trauma surgeon from UNM, a Policy Advisor from Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, and a Forensic Psychologist from UNM. Read the full agenda at this link.  Public comment is scheduled on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. No word on whether they’ll Zoom this meeting, but you can show up in person or watch the Webcast here. (If you missed our Zoominar on Gun Violence Prevention last week, you’ll find the recording at this link.) Review the work plan and meeting schedule for the committee at this link.
  4. July 28-29, Rural Economic Opportunities Task Force – Fort Sumner Historic Site, Bosque Redondo memorial, 3647 Billy the Kid Dr., Fort Sumner. The agenda includes Development of Tourism in Rural New Mexico, Outdoor Recreation as a Selling Point for Rural Tourism, and State and Federal Fire Response, Recovery Plans and Burn Scar Flood Prevention. Read the full agenda at this link. Public comment is scheduled on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and Friday at noon. No Zoom info is available, but you can watch the Webcast here. Find the overall work plan and meeting schedule at this link.

You’ll find a list of all Interim Committee meetings to be scheduled over the next several months at this link. Check back regularly as meetings are added to the schedule every few weeks.

2022 General Election Endorsements

You can find all of our 2022 General Election Endorsements at this link on our website. You’ll also learn about key races for progressive candidates who really need help with canvassing, calling, and texting to make sure they win! Voting is good – yes, please vote – but if you have a little time or money to help candidates in other districts, please do. A particularly important race is in Congressional District 2, where Gabe Vasquez is aiming to unseat Yvette Herrell. Watch Paul’s recent interview with Gabe at this link. What a great guy! Let’s help Gabe get elected!

Thank you for being an active participant in our democracy. We need you more than ever!

In Solidarity & Hope,

Roxanne and Paul

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