Common Cause New Mexico will honor three separate groups of citizens and elected officials with its Best in Government Awards at its annual luncheon in Albuquerque Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.
Common Cause New Mexico sponsors the lunch each fall to recognize individuals who have made the year a bright one for good government, fair elections and transparency. This year’s luncheon will be at the UNM Continuing Education Building, 1634 University Blvd. NW, at noon. Katy Duhigg, a former Common Cause New Mexico board member, who was recently appointed Albuquerque City Clerk, will receive a special board award.
Santa Fe City Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth and Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block will be honored with Best in Local Government Awards. On the job only since last fall, Romero-Wirth has moved swiftly on the council to revitalize the city’s public financing program and bring the city into compliance with the new consolidated local election act, passed by the state legislature earlier this year. Jay Block led a team of Sandoval County officials and citizens to enact the county’s first-ever ethics legislation and protect the public’s right to comment effectively at commission meetings.
NM In Depth’s Trip Jennings and Marjorie Childress will receive the 2018 Best Partner in Media Award. Trip Jennings’ continuing coverage of the legislature, ethics and campaign finance reform sets the pace for journalists around New Mexico. Trip and Marjorie take the time to analyze campaign finance reports filed by candidates and lobbyists to find issues of conflicts of interest, contribution violations and loopholes in our laws that may need to be addressed.
Marjorie Childress’s excellent coverage of money and politics has extended to the city level, with articles about the campaign to launch the ABQ Democracy Dollars program and the insider political jockeying that occurred throughout our process this summer and fall.
Organizers in the Land of Enchantment (OLÉ) and the New Mexico Working Families Party have been named Best Community Partners of 2018. Both groups were important members of the Democracy Dollars Steering Committee, which directed the effort to modernize public financing inAlbuquerque.
Andrea Serrano and Matthew Henderson, of OLÉ, Eric Griego and J.D. Matthews, of the Working Families Party, mobilized their members and organized canvassers to collect more than 28,000 signatures to put this measure on the ballot. They also worked with the media to educate the public and with sometime reluctant local officials to push the measure, now scheduled for a February special election, forward.
Albuquerque City Clerk Katy Duhigg is receiving a Special Board Recognition Award for her service as CCNM Vice-Chair and to congratulate her on her new position as the CABQ City Clerk. In her first month on the job, Katy has worked with us to ensure Democracy Dollars will be placed on the ballot in February 2019, along with a comprehensive “Election Reforms” package that will move Albuquerque’s elections to November to become part of the “consolidated” elections now required by state law. No small task for a new Clerk!