Lawmakers across the aisle agree – there’s no downside to pre-K. We just need more of it.
We just sent this email out to all our members. Please follow the links below and contact your legislator NOW! Dear Friend,
Today, a major piece of education legislation is being heard at the Roundhouse. HB 5 and companion bill SB 1, aim to make sweeping changes to the way public education is funding in New Mexico. These bills make significant strides toward improving our public education system particularly after years of our schools being neglected by those in power.
Today ProgressNow New Mexico joined with almost 30 (29!) New Mexico organizations in congratulating Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham in a full-page ad in the Santa Fe New Mexican and in thanking her for her commitment to fighting methane waste in the state through comprehensive statewide rules. As noted in the ad, New Mexico oil and gas producers waste as much as $240 MILLION EVERY YEAR in natural gas (mostly made up of methane) that is either leaked or purposely flared or vented during production. That’s enough natural gas to heat EVERY home in New Mexico for a year. But, besides the actual loss of our valuable resources, that waste is also hurting our families in the state in more ways than one:
Wasted methane means wasted money- All that natural gas that producers aren’t capturing or are purposefully burning is costing the tax-payers of New Mexico over $27 MILLION every year in lost royalties. The oil and gas lobby loves to talk about how much they contribute back to the state, so why are they sending literal millions of dollar up in smoke every year?
So much winning! New Mexico is sending an ALL Democrat delegation to Congress, elected women up and down the ballot
There were record numbers of New Mexicans voting in this midterm election compared to 2014 and many of the races turned out in the ways that families needed them to- there were 163,347 more voters this midterm than in 2014, with 54% of eligible voters casting their ballots. What’s more, people who are truly representative of New Mexico’s diversity won last night. Women from all different backgrounds ran in record numbers and won: state House races, judge seats, and the governor’s mansion. The state has its first female Land Commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, and is sending one of two of the first Native American women to Congress, Deb Haaland, elected the first openly gay sheriff, Kim Stewart, in state history, and after a grueling recount, Xochitl Torress Small managed to flip the NM’s 2nd District and become the first woman to represent that area in Congress!
The Blue (and pink) Wave in New Mexico
Common sense was on the ballot yesterday. There were House races all over the state we watched closely and last night Progressive candidates were swept into office.
There’s plenty of reasons people use to excuse themselves from not voting. But in case you need a reminder of why every vote, and especially your vote is important, we simply need to look at our state’s national rankings on everything from education to healthcare. That’s right, we are last in everything! In fact, New Mexico was recently ranked 51st in the nation in terms of our level of political engagement.
A highly engaged electorate that participates in the democratic process and holds our elected officials accountable is critical to having a well-functioning democracy.
Justice for NM students! Gov. Martinez loses education funding lawsuit, forced to sufficiently fund schools [UPDATED]
[UPDATE: Gov. Martinez’s Public Education Department has said they will appeal the judge’s decision that the state is required to provide more funding to students in NM. Gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she will halt any appeal of the decision Gov. Martinez makes if she’s elected Governor. Steve Pearce has yet to make a similar determination. Read about it at NM In Depth.]
In a devastating rebuke to the failed education and funding policies of Gov. Susana Martinez (along with her conservative allies like the Rio Grande Foundation and conservative Democrats like Sen. John Arthur Smith), First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah Singleton handed down a huge win for New Mexico’s students Friday. You can’t put it more succinctly than the first line of the ABQ Journal’s article: “New Mexico is violating the constitutional rights of at-risk students by failing to provide them with a sufficient education.”
Once again Governor Martinez and her administration are prioritizing their big oil and gas donors’ interests while putting New Mexicans at risk from increased methane pollution. Last week, the New Mexico Environment Department approved permits that do NOT require oil and gas wells to check for leaks of methane or other pollutants. This once again places New Mexico on the bottom of a an important list as these new rules, or really lack of any rules, are among the weakest environmental protections in the nation. Oh, and remember how leaked methane wastes taxpayers’ money to the tune of $244 MILLION every year?
So what do the new permits and “regulations” do? Well, not much in terms of regulating anything. Of course, that’s just what groups like the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association spend so much money on every year lobbying in Santa Fe for.
ProgressNow New Mexico will be looking at some top-level races more in-depth over the next few weeks to bring our perspective to the key races we’re expecting to see in New Mexico this year. New Mexico is in the national spotlight as one of the “most likely to flip” states in terms of our governor’s race. Our series will focus on the offices that New Mexicans can vote for statewide. This is the fourth piece in our series. The New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) is first and foremost charged with managing the vast amounts of land within our state’s borders, managing leases and sales to entities who use the land, and collecting monies from those sales and leases to fund education in the state.
High quality education leads to better jobs and more opportunity for families in New Mexico to better themselves. It’s a simple equation that, sadly, many legislators in New Mexico fail to understand.
This weekend, the Albuquerque Journal reported that the New Mexico Public Education Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski pointed to the racist concept of “Manifest Destiny” as a “fundamental principle” of United States history, and utilized it to promote controversial plans to close public schools in favor of more charter schools in the state. “This is a country built over the last 250 years on things like freedom, choice, competition, options, going west, Manifest Destiny – these are the fundamental principles of this country,” he said.” That’s why charter schools make so much sense – high-quality options – in the context of where we are as a country.” Here is the historical definition and explanation of Manifest Destiny:
“Manifest Destiny is a term for the attitude prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast. This attitude helped fuel western settlement, Native American removal and war with Mexico.
Get ready for some more hot air from the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) and the Martinez administration in today’s Water and Natural Resources Committee hearing. New Mexico is living under the most concentrated cloud of methane pollution in the country and, since methane is the primary component of the natural gas we use to heat our homes, this waste is costing New Mexicans tens of millions in tax revenue and royalties every year. But the NMOGA is trying to argue “it’s the price we have to pay” to have a functioning oil and gas industry. The facts tell a far different story. Last week, NMOGA made a Chicken Little “sky is falling” attack against Sen. Tom Udall, who has been a longtime leader on ending natural gas waste on behalf of New Mexico’s taxpayers and schools.