New Report Card From Retake Our Democracy Reveals Who Has Real Power In State Legislature

Courtesy/Retake Our Democracy

From Retake Our Democracy:

SANTA FE – We can no longer tolerate New Mexico’s 49th or 50th place on so many social and economic indicators.

We did well in the 2019 Legislative Session, but we can do much better.

The 2019 New Mexico Legislative Report Card from Retake Our Democracy reveals the inner workings of our state’s legislature––the good, the bad, and the mind-boggling. This report will inspire people to show up, speak up, and take action to make the changes we need in our state. Read the full report here.

Retake Our Democracy volunteers tracked 46 bills during the 2019 Session, compiling and distributing researched talking points, showing up at hearings, taking detailed notes, and talking to legislators. Thousands of constituents around the state used Retake’s daily Action Alerts to educate themselves about the issues, understand the bills, and advocate with their legislators by email and phone.

Sixty-five percent of House and Senate Democrats voted 100 percdnet in support of our 46 bills, yet more than half the bills died in committee without ever being heard.

How can the Senate Finance Committee kill 179 bills (42 percent of all bills sent to the committee) without scheduling any of them for a single hearing? How can the House Appropriations & Finance Committee kill 138 bills (55 percent of all bills sent to the committee) without scheduling any of them for a single hearing?

The Report Card uncovers the undemocratic power of several committee chairs and how the system status quo perpetuates and reinforces that power.

We also put a spotlight on eight Senate Democrats who too often side with Republicans in their attempt to kill valuable legislation, even though research shows that the majority of New Mexicans support decriminalizing abortion, legalizing recreational marijuana, restricting hydraulic fracturing, and promoting community solar and local choice energy.

This Report Card is an example of what a community of determined and dedicated volunteers can do by organizing, showing up, paying attention, and sharing what they learn with others.

New Mexico Working Families Party Executive Director and former State Sen. Eric Griego said, For democracy to work, it’s up to all of us to educate ourselves, to engage in the democratic process, and to take action. Read the Report Card today. This Report Card does an excellent job of going beyond the political theater and on-the-record votes to begin to unearth how lobbyists, political insiders and powerful elected officials orchestrate our legislative process.

Common Cause New Mexico State Operations Director Viki Harrison said, Retake Our Democracy has put out a comprehensive report card that goes beyond typical report cards and delves into the legislative process and inner-workings in New Mexico.

About Retake Our Democracy

Retake Our Democracy is a volunteer-based non-profit organization committed to making personal and collective activism easier and more effective. Our goal is to build grassroots power to successfully advocate for social, racial, environmental, and economic justice at local and state levels.