Progressives Make Movement In New Mexico

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Alissa
 Barnes
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While the uncertainty of the outcome of the Presidential race remains, one thing is clear, New Mexico will continue to be a beacon of progress.

Biden is the clear winner for New Mexico’s electoral votes, and while we all hold our breath for final counts across the country, Biden remains in a strong position.

Last night, communities across our state made their values clear by voting for a slate of progressive state legislators. Not only that, we came out in record numbers, despite many failed attempts of voter suppression by the Republican Party. Let’s take a look!

Voter Turnout in New Mexico

  • 2008: 830,000 voters in New Mexico voted
  • 2016: 805,000 voters in New Mexico voted
  • 2020: Over 912,000 voters turned out for this election, making it the highest turnout in recent memory!

Guess that’s what happens after living under a national dictatorship of fear and lies for the past four years. (shrug) 

The Highlights

So how did these record numbers play out  in who we voted for in New Mexico? We’re so glad you asked.

While the breakdown of Dem/Rep make up of the House and Senate remained relatively the same, the movement of the Democrats is decidedly towards the left.

We’re beyond tickled that the Republican Party’s failed attempt to rebrand themselves as “Respect” fell flat on its face. Sorry GOP, our communities can see right through you!

While all of the seats Democrats won are important for future progress, we’d like to call your attention to a few seats in particular. Take a trip down memory lane with us if you will.

During the NM State primaries in June 2020, progressive candidates beat out five conservative Democrats. Many of us were holding our breath, waiting to see how our new candidates would fare in the general election.

So far, we know that Siah Correa-Hemphill (SD28), Leo Jaramillo (SD5), and  Carrie Hamblen (SD38) all won their races.

While Neomi Martinez Parra (SD35) lost her general race, her historic win for our movement was ousting a long time conservative, John Arthur Smith, who was really a Democrat in name only.

New progressives in our state legislature will help secure a path forward for policies that are right for ALL New Mexicans.

In addition to replacing three of five conservative Democrats with progressive electeds, we had some MAJOR wins in a more diverse slate of legislators working for our communities. Let’s cover the highlights.

  • Brittney Barrares (HD12) is the first openly queer woman of color elected to the State Legislature
  • Harold Pope (HD23) is the first Black American elected to the NM State Senate 
  • Despite the political breakdown of the wins, New Mexico made history with our first ever, all women congressional delegation
  • Teresa Leger Fernandez is the first woman to hold New Mexico’s third congressional seat

These are just a few of the wins that our state and movement saw last night. Congratulations to making history! 

New Mexican Values Made Clear

Let’s take these last few minutes to talk about what the real message is here. New Mexicans came out in record numbers to ensure their voices were heard. Our voices made it clear that we value equal access for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals, access to reproductive health, clean environment, and fair and safe democracy. For four years, we have shown our resilience in the face of hate. We will continue to unite and fight back against bigotry, racism, sexism and xenophobia because it’s the right thing to do.

Yesterday’s state votes are dedicated to YOU! You who voted, You who protested, You who would not be silenced. New Mexico and the US were and are on the brink, but today we see what change a movement can really make. Today, we see a New Mexico that can stand strong for its communities, regardless of the outcome of the Presidential race.

Today we rest. Tomorrow, we continue to fight.

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OUR TEAM

ALISSA BARNES

Executive Director 

Marianna Anaya

Deputy Director 

Lucas Herndon

Energy and Policy Director 

Josette Arvizu

Communications Director 

Jackie Aguirre

Communications Specialist 

Edgar Cruz

Communications Specialist 

Alissa Barnes :: Executive Director
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you should know

Alissa Barnes is Executive Director at ProgessNow New Mexico where she leads a team that works on message development, issue and voter education, and amplification of progressive messages and values. She leads the organization in strategy development, fundraising, and organizational growth and sustainability.

Alissa’s background includes nearly 12 years at Roadrunner Food Bank where Alissa led the development and creation of multiple programs that are now national models, invested in community building and collaborations, and worked closely with elected officials, educating about hunger and why policies would either benefit or hurt clients in food lines. She has a BA from the University of New Mexico and various non-profit certifications.
  • If she followed her childhood dream, she would be a Broadway tap dancing star
  • Has seen Frozen 1 and 2 over 100 times
  • Loves heavy metal concerts
Marianna Anaya :: Deputy Director
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you should know

Marianna oversees strategic messaging and creative implementation tactics for issue-based and political campaigns. She leads the team’s digital and earned media programs, bringing a New Mexico values-based approach to her work. 

Marianna’s background includes race and ethnic studies in education as a focus at UT Austin and UCLA, political campaign work, staffing former Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as leading organizing and communications work for the Albuquerque Teachers Federation.

  • She currently serves as the Board President of Emerge NM. 
  • Her hobbies include getting more women, queer folks and BIPOC elected to office.
  • She has three cuddle-worthy dogs at home
Lucas Herndon :: Energy and Policy Director
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you should know

Lucas’ focus is on all things energy and environment, election integrity projects and general messaging strategy. He is often the front facing voice for PNNM when it comes to issues surrounding methane, renewable energy, oil industry accountability, and public lands issues. 

Lucas has an extensive background in public lands and solar energy. He was instrumental in the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in 2014 and has participated in every local election since 2012 through phone banking, online organizing, and poll watching. Lucas is a lifelong resident of Las Cruces where he has served in various capacities of leadership including as President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, District Director for the Dona Ana County Democratic Party, and attending and completing the inaugural classes of the Las Cruces Neighborhood Leadership Academy and the Las Cruces Tree Stewards. 

  • Owned a tattoo shop called Omega Tattoo & Supply 
  • Once got a chin bump “what’s up” from James Harden on an airplane when Harden saw Lucas’ beard 
  • Has a minor in Medieval and Early Modern History
Josette Arvizu :: Communications Director
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you should know

Josette Arvizu is the Communications Director at ProgressNow New Mexico where she oversees the development and implementation of systems that further the external and internal communications of the organization.

Josette’s background in marketing includes copywriting, paid media, SEO and content strategy for businesses and nonprofits, including convention and visitor bureaus from Bermuda to Anaheim. She began her career teaching writing to college students while in New Mexico State University’s MFA in creative writing program. Her previous work promoting diversity and inclusion includes coordination of writing and traditional arts workshops for Native American youth at the Tucson Indian Center.
  • Is a cat mom to an obstinate orange tabby named Quasimodo and a restless grey cat named Squirrel
  • Hasn’t heard a pun she didn’t like
  • Minored in dance in college and is an avid follower of ballet on Instagram
Jackie Aguirre :: Communications Specialist
just the facts

you should know

Jackie’s focus is on graphics and social media marketing that promote progressive issues across our state. 

Jackie’s background includes work in the Reproductive Justice space focusing on Latinx, Chicanx and Mexican-American communities.

  • She is a co-owner of a community art gallery celebrating BIPOC artists
  • She is a long-time volunteer for Planned Parenthood and works with college students to provide condoms/dental dams, menstrual products & other resources
  • She is a part of a group of women who love craft beer and hosts monthly beer shares with beer from all over the country
Edgar Cruz :: Communications Specialist
just the facts

you should know

Edgar Cruz is a Communications Specialist at ProgressNow New Mexico where he focuses on video creation and research that promotes progressive issues across our state.

Edgar has a background producing multimedia initiatives. With over five years of radio production experience, he is a movement agent who believes in exploring all avenues of media to inform and engage community.

  • Is a host of Espejos de Aztlan on KUNM
  • Is a member of Generation Justice
  • First discovered his passion for organizing as a high school student after joining the Youth Alliance in 2009