We must work at rebuilding and strengthening New Mexico’s economy after COVID-19. We must work at providing a livable wage for workers, supporting and growing small business, and diversifying New Mexico’s economy to reduce reliance on income from the oil and gas industry.
Safe, stable and affordable housing is the foundation on which successful, independent lives are built. Investments in housing create good-paying jobs, stimulate spending in the local economy, and increase state and local revenues. An adequate supply of affordable homes helps employees attract and retain qualified employees. Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties have a housing shortage which needs to be addressed to meet the housing demands.
Mutual Domestic and Acequias
We must continue to honor the legacy of our acequias in our communities and work closely with counties on ordinances that protect acequias and parciantes. It is important to support continued efforts to provide funding to the Office of the State Engineer 90/10 program for acequia infrastructure and revitalization.
New Mexico needs to value the work of our volunteer leadership in protecting and preserving clean drinking water. Mutual domestic water systems are run and staffed by a volunteer workforce and it’s getting harder to keep up and maintain quality water systems in the north. It’s time to fund a Rural Water Infrastructure Act like the Colonias Infrastructure Fund in the southern part of the state to provide needed sustained funding to rebuild the water systems in rural New Mexico.
As a former educator, I understand the importance of adequate funding for public schools and increasing teacher salaries (pre-k – 12) to ensure we keep certified teachers in the classroom while also building a career pipeline for Education Assistants (EAs).
Northern New Mexico is suffering from the loss of our agricultural heritage. Land values increase and many of our traditional farmers are no longer able to farm their land. Our agricultural heritage must be protected. We must ensure that the State will work closely with the Counties to support the protection and restoration of our agricultural heritage – our querencia and increase funding to explore new markets for our agricultural product.