My approach to policy is data driven. While many of the issues we are facing are easy to identify, such as economic opportunity, safety, access to health care, and education, too often the solutions that are proposed are based on hunches and beliefs that are not rooted in fact. If elected, I will always evaluate the details of these important, complex issues and make decisions not on opinion or ideology, but on what data and evidence show to be most effective, fair, and equitable solutions.
My legislative priorities include:
Abortion: I will always fight to protect abortion rights and to push back against efforts to put these decisions in the hands of government. While we are fortunate to have overturned the outdated and abhorrent ban on abortions - which outlawed abortion even in cases of rape and incest - it is still far too difficult for some to get the care they need, especially for people of color and underrepresented communities working to make ends meet. If elected, I will not only advocate for additional resources to increase access to reproductive health care, I will actively work to protect the right to abortion under our state constitution.
Crime & Homelessness: Increasing funding to prevent violent crime through programs such as Crime Reduction Grants, create new options to deal with urgent but non-violent situations, and support other programs that reduce the harm resulting from drug addiction. I will also work to pass legislation that creates safe housing services for the unsheltered in a coordinated manner.
Education: Ensuring our children have access to a quality education, from universal pre-K to tuition-free college and apprenticeship programs. I support the amendment to allocate money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to funding early childhood development. However, funding cannot only go to schools and government run childcare programs. It must include in home facilities. Programs must be multicultural and multilingual for all New Mexico’s children to benefit.
Economic Opportunity: I will always prioritize supporting our community’s small businesses, while looking for new opportunities to foster economic growth, whether that’s encouraging investment that brings new jobs to the district, or supporting programs that help our residents achieve their goals, including workforce development and child care programs. I will also push to restructure the regressive gross receipts tax which unfairly burdens too many in our community, while simplifying the tax code for our small businesses.
Diversifying New Mexico’s Economy: We must reduce our reliance on the boom-and-bust fossil fuel economy and support growing industries like film, eco-tourism, and cannabis.
Health Care: New Mexicans deserve the best care available, but skyrocketing costs for care and prescription drugs are out of reach for too many. Furthermore, we have a shortage of healthcare workers, which only exacerbates the problem. We must lower the cost of prescription drugs, ensure every New Mexican has access to affordable, quality health care, and offer healthcare workers competitive pay and benefits.
Climate Change: We are the caretakers of our environment for future generations and our policies must always reflect that truth. I support environmentally-conscious regulation statewide, including any legislation that furthers the state’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Transparency: New Mexicans deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent, and the process by which those decisions are made. I support making not only present capital outlay decisions open to the public, but past capital outlay as well. The public is entitled to know where and how its money has been spent.
Investing in Our District: It's no secret that our community is economically disadvantaged: One only needs to drive a few blocks to find empty storefronts and unused paved lots. If elected, I will not only push to simplify tax laws and use resources at my disposal to encourage small businesses to invest in our community, but I will work to transform our unused paved wastelands into green spaces that will better serve our district.
Gun Violence: While New Mexico has made great strides in recent years to curb the threat of gun violence, there is still more to do. It is still too easy for those who should not have access firearms to gain access to them. If elected, I will introduce legislation to create and fully fund a statewide mental health evaluation and commitment program for anyone who expresses a plot or plan to commit violence against innocent people. Whether that plan is posted to Facebook, Twitter, 4chan, or anywhere else, it will be investigated and properly addressed to ensure prohibited persons are not allowed to possess firearms. Anyone capable of plotting the disgusting, heart-wrenching, senseless violence we have seen in Texas, New York, Nevada, California, and even in New Mexico must not be allowed to own a firearm.
Veterans: Budgets are a reflection of one’s priorities, and while veterans and military families are often promised the world on the campaign trail, too often they are an afterthought (or worse, a political tool) when it comes to legislating. I will work to ensure that New Mexicans who have served are treated with the dignity they deserve and given the support they need. Supporting veterans is a priority for me. I will work diligently with my colleagues to ensure the programs and services that support our veterans and military families have the funding they need.
Policy Proposal: Youth Employment Policy Initiative - Increase Safety and Reduce Crime through Opportunity
As our state, in particular, our city, grapples with how to address its ongoing issues with crime, one solution that has been little discussed is the direct and ancillary benefits of offering summer employment programs for young people.
Research has shown that summer jobs save lives, cut crime, and strengthen communities. A 2021 study found that participation in New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program lowers participants’ chances of being arrested that summer by 17 percent 23 percent for felony arrests. Additional research has found that those same participants are significantly less likely to be incarcerated more than five years after their participation in the program.
While it’s stating the obvious that Albuquerque is not New York City and our funding is limited and our population is smaller, it doesn’t change the central premise: these programs work.
Currently, the City of Albuquerque offers a similar program for about 1,000 young people each year.
I believe we can do much more. And not just in Albuquerque, but across the state.
If elected, I propose creating state funding for expanded youth employment across a spectrum of employment. The goal must go beyond getting young people off the streets and into a job: It must be to get them a job that could foster a career. These jobs should include the opportunity to learn about, and experience, professions and industries that spark excitement and lead to meaningful futures.
More than just crime reduction, these programs can offer life-changing opportunities to our young people. Participants must have the chance to discover their passion, meet and build a relationship with a mentor, build confidence, and learn new skills.
Have questions or concerns? Please don't hesitate to reach out!