Candidate, NM House District 57
Do you agree with climate scientists that we are facing a climate emergency?
Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 12 years in order to achieve carbon neutrality in time to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees and to avoid catastrophic runaway climate disruption?
In your opinion, why do political leaders set benchmarks and timeframes for emissions reductions that do not comport with climate science mandates? If elected, what will you do differently than current leadership?
Some political leaders set deadlines based upon what sounds best, rather than what is most realistic or feasible. Our current state government has done a good job of promoting scientifically sound legislative goals. As such I may not do anything differently, because I will always promote sound, evidence-based policies.
If elected, what specific policies will you initiate in your first year of service to begin transitioning our economy to net zero carbon emissions in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?
I will support any and all legislation that transitions us away from carbon-based energy sources and to renewable energy sources.
What measures will you propose and advance to ensure that economic recovery and the transition to a green economy fosters equity and economic & racial justice?
I will support legislation that takes into account the needs of New Mexicans, including their economic and cultural needs - particularly with regard to Native lands that must be preserved.
If elected, will you support the creation of a Just Transition Study & Fund to identify alternative revenue sources for our state budget and invest in community-driven climate mitigation and adaptation strategies? Explain.
Yes. I think it's always a good idea to do thorough research around the best ways to diversify our economy and preserve our natural resources.
If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy for all of NM?
I think the best way to do this is to make space for those voices to be heard. There is no better expert that the one with the experience.
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
I rely on experts in this area - especially when it comes to water conservation. We are fortunate to have several organizations and individuals that have deep knowledge of these issues. The organizations that I would turn to would primarily be Sierra Club and your organization as well.
Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM.
Environmental racism is when an entity or individual "takes over" any environmental element from another group. A prime example is here in NM with uranium mining, which directly affects tribal water.
Do you believe climate action is an issue of intergenerational justice? What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations while in office? Explain.
Absolutely. My generation (Gen X) has a responsibility to future generations to leave behind a habitable environment.
A) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas development in the state of New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
Yes. Because we have plenty of production now - as is evidenced by the upside-down nature of the oil industry during the COVID-19 crisis.
B) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
Yes. For the same reason as above.
Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?
Yes, as long as it's carefully implemented. It's a resource for unlimited energy production.
Do you support a competitive energy market where Cities/Counties/Indigenous Nations are able to own, produce, and sell electricity to residents and keep energy dollars local?
Community Solar legislation has been brought up multiple times in the last few years. What is your position on community solar and what will you do to ensure that community solar is prioritized and passes?
I will always support legislation that increases our ability to fulfill clean power needs. Community solar does that.
What do you believe is the fossil fuel industry/utility’s responsibility for cleanup and how as an elected official in the public office for which you are running do you plan to hold industry accountable for pollution and cleanup?
The fossil fuel industry makes money off from production. If there is an issue that needs cleanup it falls squarely on their shoulders to do so.
Do you believe bonding rates for industry should cover the full cost of cleanup?
We have seen the oil industry collapse over the last month, with oil prices nosediving. Given our current situation and the danger our state’s budget is in, how do you see the role of oil and gas corporations in New Mexico’s future?
It will, unfortunately, play a role for a while. I think this is an opportunity to see how we can diversify our economy.
Do you support utility bill forgiveness for low-income New Mexicans who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis?
Some are saying that COVID-19 is the dress rehearsal for the climate crisis. In fact, in many places throughout the world, the two are compounding crises. What do you think we can learn from the COVID-19 crisis when addressing the climate crisis?
We have had a glimpse into what can happen if we utilize less fossil fuels - as seen in large cities that have seen a decrease in air pollution. I believe this is the impetus to get us to change.
Describe your previous experience working on social/health/environmental issues, do you have experience working with impacted communities to co-develop solutions? How will you use this experience to tackle the climate crisis?
I do not have direct experience with this, but I am always eager to work with others to find solutions to any problem.
What are your ideas to loosen the grip of industry on the state legislature and strengthen our democracy?
I would like to see Citizens United overturned. Additionally, I have committed to keeping a grassroots effort alive for both my campaign and my service in office.
Name specific alternative sources for state revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected.
Diversifying our economy includes renewable energy. We have tremendous potential to generate energy that could be sold to neighboring states. Additionally, we have opportunities in entertainment and manufacturing.
Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No
Will you take the #fossilfree pledge?