Running for the state House of Representatives has given me a crash course in how New Mexicans view our government as well as politics in general. During the past months, I’ve had conversations with thousands of citizens throughout District 43. I listened as they voiced their concerns about our state and its future direction.
Leaving a positive legacy for our children is a central part of the American Dream. New Mexico parents are no different. They want to make sure their kids will have opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families.
However, many New Mexicans are worried about the condition of our state. Decades of piecemeal policymaking have left New Mexico ranked at the bottom in many crucial indicators. Our state is perceived as being unfriendly to business. We lag behind neighboring states in private sector economic development. New Mexico’s educational system is in turmoil. Our children are leaving to pursue opportunities elsewhere.
As I traveled the district, I saw many citizens frustrated with the current political process. The influence of super PACs, single-interest advocacy groups, and their related armies of social media mercenaries have tarnished the concept of “one person, one vote.” They have spent piles of money focusing on wedge issues designed to divert attention from the subjects that really matter. The rules of engagement in today’s process have little to do with civility, truth, or solutions and have everything to do with winning at any cost. It’s hard for average voters to make their voices heard above the noise created by these well-funded political machines.
We must take back the political process and amplify the voices of citizens. The challenges confronting New Mexico are tied to the fundamental issues of building a strong economy and improving the state’s education system. Addressing both, in coordination, will move the state forward for us and for our children.
I have spent my life building communities, first at my parents’ restaurant in Pojoaque, and later as a parent, volunteer, and elected official in Los Alamos. I have the experience, knowledge, and skills to negotiate needed change for New Mexico. I’ve built programs, balanced budgets, and developed bipartisan relationships across our state. Throughout my career, I have collaborated with competing stakeholders to build consensus on solutions. I will use these skills and connections to advocate for meaningful legislation to better our state.
New Mexico has many strengths to build upon, including our national laboratories. We must work to ensure the continued health of these two institutions and enhance the connections between them and our communities.
The residents of our district are innovative. For example, the Los Alamos Public Schools are constantly exploring new approaches to improving the educational experience for students. Our Juvenile Justice Advisory Board has become a model for other communities in the state. As a legislator, I will spread these good ideas and many others to the rest of New Mexico.
We also have a golden opportunity to capitalize on the three national parks located within the District 43. Our district can become a hub for cultural tourism, outdoor recreation, and economic vitality. I will work with local, state, and federal officials to turn this vision into a reality.
I entered this race because residents of our district felt disconnected from the discussion and decisions about New Mexico and its future. Our district will play an important role in helping to solve our state’s problems. As your State Representative, I will ensure that the voices of District 43 are heard in Santa Fe. Together, we will make New Mexico a place of optimism and opportunity.