Susana Martinez Can’t Help North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Governor

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Susana Martinez has two jobs: governor of New Mexico and fundraiser-in-chief for Republican governors across the country.

In the first one she’s not doing so hot. But in the second, she’s been pretty successful helping embattled Republicans raise millions of dollars to win reelection despite their agendas suppressing voter turnout, preserving lower pay and cutting back on healthcare options for women, and polluting our land, air and water at will.

But at least one GOP governor has finally done something so bad even Susana Martinez can’t save him.

But at least one GOP governor has finally done something so bad even Susana Martinez can’t save him.

The New Mexico Political Report and Santa Fe New Mexican report today that Governor Martinez unexpectedly cancelled a long-planned fundraising trip to help North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCory (R), the most vulnerable Republican governor, in the country raise much needed funds.

First, from NM Political Report:

Originally, the party scheduled Martinez to speak at the convention next month. Martinez is the head of the Republican Governors Association and frequently makes out-of-state trips. Recently, Martinez was the guest of honor at the New York Republican Party gala. She was largely ignored, however, and overshadowed by the three remaining Republican candidates for president who attended the gala.

A tweet announcing Martinez’s participation in the convention.

The North Carolina trip would have come at a time where the state is facing intense backlash after Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a law that barred transgender individuals from using any bathroom but that of their birth gender.

McCrory called the state legislature into a special session just to pass the bill so he could sign it into law; during the regular session, a filibuster by some Democrats meant the bill did not pass. The legislation passed in just a day.

Many call the law discriminatory and it has had an effect on the state’s bottom line. PayPal announced they would no longer put a global operations center in Charlotte because of the law. Multiple cities and states banned official travel to the state.

Martinez’s spokesperson says she wasn’t cancelling the big event as a protest of the North Carolina law. Instead he says she had a sudden scheduling conflict come up. No word on what that might be.

The New Mexican explains more:

For about two weeks, the North Carolina Republican Party touted plans by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to speak at its state convention next month. On Monday, however, a Martinez spokesman said she won’t be going to the Tar Heel State.

New Mexicans opposed to laws such as the one enacted in North Carolina reacted Monday to the idea that Martinez would accept a speaking engagement in that state.

“It is an offense to fair-minded New Mexicans that our governor would voluntarily participate in the GOP convention in North Carolina,” Amber Royster, executive director of Equality New Mexico, said Monday. “Regardless of her motivations, Gov. Martinez’s decision to attend this specific convention is an affront to our great state in which we deeply value equality and protecting the most vulnerable.”

Royster described the North Carolina law as “one of the most bigoted and hateful pieces of legislation in recent history.”

Royster described the North Carolina law as “one of the most bigoted and hateful pieces of legislation in recent history.”

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales — who recently prohibited non-essential travel for city employees to North Carolina and Mississippi, another state with a law that critics say allows discrimination against gay people — released a statement before word of Martinez’s cancellation got out.

Being a bigot is hard in the 21st century.


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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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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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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
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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
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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