A new New Mexico movement to pass smart gun laws starts now

Earlier this week, I asked our staff “Can ProgressNow help to  build a new coalition of progressive voters who actually asked candidates about their plans to keep guns out of the hands of children and bad people, and will those voters share that info with their friends and family before election day?” They thought so and they built a campaign to test that idea with a few key supporters. Our test got a good response, but then something unexpected happened in DC that made it even bigger: Congress did something! Just as we launched our new campaign, Senator Heinrich joined a bi-partisan group of Senators to announce a new Senate bill to prevent terrorists from buying firearms.
Then Cong. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham joined the #SitIn to demand a vote on a similar bill in the House (Sen. Udall even joined them!)

 
 

 
WATCH/UPDATE: Sen. Heinrich cited for working
over weekend to craft new anti-terrorist gun access bill
ProgressNowNM | June 23, 2016

 
READ MORE: NM Dems take part in
‘#NoFlyNoBuy’ sit-in
NM Political Report | June 23, 2016 

New Mexicans love seeing our elected leaders take a stand and that’s just what our new campaign is encouraging our state legislators to do.

New Mexicans tell GOP Senators to #DoYourJob

Dozens of New Mexicans descended on UNM’s Main Campus in Albuquerque Thursday with a simple message to Republican Senators in Congress:  Do Your Job. Members of Organizers for Action’s New Mexico chapter set up cutouts of Supreme Court justices, letting attendees take selfies and post their own message to Senate Republicans and thank you messages to New Mexico’s Senators, both Democrats, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich. “The American people deserve a judicial system that works — and the Senate must stop the obstruction, do their job and keep the Supreme Court fully functional. With over 300 days remaining in President Obama’s term, there is more than enough time for the Senate to hold hearings and give an up or down vote,” co-organizer Judy Smith said.  “Thank you New Mexico Senators!”

Udall & Heinrich to legislators: Pass the damn amendment

For as many years as anyone can remember, legislators come to the session promising to do something dynamic enough to make Mississippi jealous. That’s because each year, reports say that our children are last in child wellbeing, poverty or some combination of both. This year, New Mexico’s Senators are weighing in, urging their legislators back home to stop talking and start doing to fix the problem. In a letter released just minutes before the governor’s State of the State address, Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich published a letter to legislative leaders outlining their efforts on the federal level to help our children and asking state legislators to send a Constitutional Amendment to voters to open just 1% of the state’s $17 billion ($17,000,000,000) Land Grant Permanent Fund to provide early childhood education programs to every child, statewide. “New Mexico is at a critical juncture,” the Udall/Heinrich letter begins.

Obama orders action on gun violence, GOPers freak

“Just because it’s hard, that’s no excuse not to try” – President Obama

 

Following President Obama’s impassioned speech earlier today on reducing gun violence by enacting a series of Executive Orders, some of New Mexico’s federal congressional delegation is weighing in. Unsurprisingly, Republican Rep. Steve Pearce continued his NRA-tainted rhetoric filled with fear mongering about Americans “not feeling safe in our homes.” (Read Pearce’s statement HERE.)

Pearce is one of the top ten recipients of money from the NRA and other pro-gun lobby groups. He has collected nearly $113,000 from pro-gun groups during his time in Congress. (Read our report on Pearce’s silence on gun violence issues while taking loads of money from the gun lobby HERE.) Unsurprisingly again, Pearce has an “A” rating from the NRA. Though out-of-touch politicians like Pearce may be fuming today, President Obama’s orders are very much in line with what polling suggests Americans want in terms of common sense gun legislations.

ACTION: Stand with Planned Parenthood, and ask our Senators and Congresspersons to stand with them too

On Tuesday, a shady anti-abortion group, deceivingly named “Center for Medical Progress,” released a second video that—like the video released last week— manipulates footage to falsely portray a Planned Parenthood official discussing the price of fetal tissue. Don’t believe the lies. These videos are part of a long-term, concerted campaign to undermine safe and legal abortion care and target abortion providers. Anti-abortion radicals are hurling these false accusations and attacks against Planned Parenthood in an attempt to discredit, harass, and stigmatize women and their doctors. If you haven’t seen the response from Cecile Richards at Planned Parenthood, you should.  We posted the video here on Facebook for you to view and share.

John Boehner just gave up. United Dem front defeats Tea Party insurgents in battle over immigration funding

It’s official. John Boehner gave up today. Roll Call, the DC-based newspaper reporting on Congress, reports that Republican House Speaker Boehner will allow his members to vote in a full DHS funding bill later today. It contains no restrictions on President Obama’s executive action covering immigration, and it is expected to pass. “Democrats stayed united and blocked our bill, and our Republican colleagues in the Senate never found a way to win this fight,” Boehner said…

Education Issues Dominate Media This Week

It’s been quite a week for education policy and politics in New Mexico…and it’s only Wednesday. So far this week we’ve seen Santa Fe public school students stage walkouts in protest of high-stakes standardized tests, NM House Democrats attempt to amend the state budget proposal to include more local control of school funding, and yet another member of our federal congressional delegation throw their weight behind tapping the Permanent Fund for state early childhood education funding. Look below to catch up on some of these stories. And stay tuned throughout the week (and throughout the legislative session). Something tells me these debates are just getting started.

The Fight for Reproductive Rights in NM

MAUREEN SANDERS is a practicing attorney, a former professor at the UNM School of Law, and serves on the volunteer legal panel of the ACLU-NM. Ms. Sanders also successfully argued the marriage equality case in front of the NM Supreme Court in 2013. This speech was given by Ms. Sanders at the Planned Parenthood New Mexico Breakfast of Champions on JANUARY 29, 2015, in Santa Fe, NM.  

Good morning!  Thanks for inviting me to share a few thoughts with you this morning. I know in these days of constant attack against the reproductive rights of women in this country, a sense of sadness and helplessness can creep into to our collective consciousness.  I don’t think we need or should go there.  If we do, the attackers will have won by wearing us down.  I could say “I have a dream” but somebody else already used that line—and much more eloquently than I ever could.

Udall, Heinrich, Lujan, Lujan Grisham: right-to-work legislation matters to working families

New Mexico’s Democratic Congressional delegation waded into the fight over so-called, ‘right-to-work’ legislation this weekend, penning this op-ed which ran in today’s Santa Fe New Mexican. Commentary: Right-to-work legislation matters to working families

By Congressmen Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham |

As the national economy shows signs of real improvement, New Mexico’s recovery has been challenging and slow. Working families want to know when we will see more jobs, higher salaries and access to quality education at every level. The state Legislature has an opportunity to put New Mexico in a position to provide that economic security and rebuild the middle class. Unfortunately, the first bill to gain traction at the Roundhouse is a divisive plan backed by out-of-state political operatives designed to divide working families.

New Mexico is getting a new National Park

The most significant expansion of national parks in decades includes a new park and greater protection for one of New Mexico’s most unique wild places. In one of its final votes of 2014, Congress approved the creation of new public lands for New Mexico. the Valles Caldera preserve will be transferred from its current quasi-public management model as a national preserve to the National Park Service and New Mexico will join Washington and Tennessee in creating the tri-state Manhattan Project National Park to tell the story of the birth of the atomic age. From the Los Alamos Monitor:

With today’s Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress has approved the most significant expansion of the National Park System in nearly three decades. The legislation includes the approval of Valles Caldera National Preserve and the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Las Alamos as well as Hanford, Wash., and Oak Ridge, Tenn.