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Candidate, Santa Fe County Commission
District 4

Adam Fulton Johnson

Climate Science-Based Policy

  1. Do you agree with climate scientists that we are facing a climate emergency?

    1. Yes


  1. Do you agree with climate scientists that the brunt of the impacts we face due to climate change will be put on those who contributed the least emissions? (The global South, Indigenous, and low-income communities)

    1. Yes

  2. Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 6 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? - IPCC Report

    1. Yes

  3. If elected, what specific policies will you initiate in your first year of service to begin transitioning our state economy from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy within the timeframe set by the world's leading scientist?

    1. We need to decarbonize our economy right away. In my first year, I will work on renewable energy on a number of levels, calling for utility-scale solar in Santa Fe County, working to initiate electrification programs within new development projects, and initiating a bilingual training program so that consumers, installers, and businesses can make use of Inflation Reduction Act incentives for electification in the home (including steep discounts on efficient appliances like heat pumps).




Community Engagement Questions

  1. What are the current needs or issues you see across the state, city, or county and how do you plan on addressing those issues if you are elected?

    1. Water – Expand sustainable, surface water infrastructure through concerted action between the City & County. Modernize wastewater treatment plant. Complete of the return-flow pipeline. Build a water re-use infrastructure for our region.

    2. Fire – Help individual neighborhoods make fire preparedness plans and integrate them into a shared regional planning system, so firefighters know what individual neighborhood plans are and act accordingly. 

    3. Affordable Housing – Use transfer of development rights program to preserve open spaces while providing for more-sustainable (pocket) density tacked to affordability in new housing projects.

  2. What is your vision of the ideal relationship between communities and environmental/climate justice?

    1. All new Mexicans must have equal access to clean air, clean water, and open space — regardless of race, class, gender, or ability

  3. What role do you believe communities actively play in policy development? Especially when addressing issues that have been inherited and faced for generations?

    1. Community values are essential to policy development. We need to hear from citizens on important issues and provide accessible, multi-lingual ways to participate in democracy. Community values conversations around especially important in historically marginalized communities who face larger barriers to access. Engaging our citizens around issues, such as climate change resiliency, will ensure a more equitable future.

  4. What changes will you propose so that community driven solutions have equitable influence over policy-making, and are valued as much if not more than private profit driven solutions?

    1. We should invest in a community planning program in our Land Use Department, which would ensure that future growth aligns with diverse community values and that citizens are heard in development projects—and the future of the County—overall. Community representatives (and specialists such as tribal liaisons) can be incorporated into various departments to represent (and foreground) community interests.

  5. How do you plan on engaging communities and youth in policy development or proposals?

    1. While digital platforms are certain our future, we need a multi-pronged approach that emphasizes accessibility. Town hall events, community picnics, and other community-building events can be opportunities to (bilingually) introduce policy goals and hear feedback from constituents. For younger folks, we need a County-wide digital platform, connected to social media and maintained daily, to provide planned roadmaps for our County's future and gather feedback from our communities.

  6. Describe your previous experience working on social/health/environmental justice issues, do you have experience working with impacted communities to co-develop solutions?  How will you use this experience to tackle the climate crisis?

    1. I have been an advocate for affordable housing and quality of life issues in Santa Fe for the last several years through my work at my nonprofit. I have expanded our focus to incorporate community advocacy, heritage preservation and history education, and community service (such as maintaining historic cemeteries fallen into neglect). While I don't yet have specific experience on environmental justice issues, I am committed to working with environmental groups, including direct action outfits like YUCCA, to learn from their experience in this field and lend my own expertise for future action—actiona we all know we'll need to take NOW, sooner rather than later.





A Just Transition

  1. What connections do you believe exist between our state/local economy and budget and environmental and climate impacts? How will you work to ensure that the state/local budget fosters economic, environmental, and climate justice?

    1. We need to ensure that municipalities such as the County INVEST in renewable energy and sunset environmentally unfriendly programs or hazardous projects such as new mining or oil/gas leases.

  2. How do you see the role of oil and gas corporations in New Mexico’s future as a result of the climate crisis?

    1. I seem them as having a limited role, we must pivot to renewable energy immediately.

  3. Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM.

    1. Environmental racism is the consistent location of infrastructure that is associated with negative health outcomes in communities of color (and the enlistment of POC as front-line laborers in such projects). An example from our region would be the placement of uranium mines in Navajoland and use of Diné miners in the 1960s, causing higher cases of lung cancer. Another, or rather one that YUCCA was successful in preventing, was the proposed hot mix asphalt plant off of Airport Road that was going to be close to neighborhoods who were already not in compliance for air quality.

  4. How will you be playing a role in a just transition away from fossil fuels for NM?

    1. Prioritizing and spotlighting renewable energy projects and advocating for them widely.

  5. Do you believe climate action is an issue of intergenerational justice? What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations if elected? Explain.

    1. Yes, older generations (those with most acquired means) should provide pathways for youth and future generations to imagine a sustainable, equitable future, and assist them in acting to realize such a future.

  6. How can pollution and contamination impact our youth and communities?

    1. Pollution and contaminants impact health and quality of life of all communities and are often located in areas with the lowest median incomes and insufficient levels of representation.

  7. How will you include Traditional Land Based Knowledge when developing policy?

    1. Land-based knowledge is PLACE specific -- we can learn from our indigenous and multi-generational families on best practices for land use and how we envision the future.

  8. If elected, will you support investing some of the money from oil and gas revenues to fund A) dedicated resources for a Just Transition Study to model alternative economic pathways for our state including oil and gas revenue replacement and phase-down          B) create a just transition fund to invest in community-driven climate planning for local economies to divest from harmful industries and build alternative economic visions and investments that effectively contribute to climate mitigation and community health?  Explain.

    1. I do support this idea, though as a Santa Fe County Commissioner I would have to speak with local groups to better understand what that would look like for Santa Fe County.

  9. Name specific alternative sources for state/local revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected

    1. Renewable energy, local businesses

  10. Do you support the development of Hydrogen energy, nuclear energy, and/or carbon capture and sequestration in NM? Why or Why Not?

    1. I am not convinced that these truly renewable energy sources and appear to actually contribute to net-positive emissions.

  11. Do you support community ownership of energy where Cities/Counties/Indigenous Nations are able to own, produce, and sell electricity to residents and keep energy dollars local?

    1. Yes

  12. 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?

    1. I believe fossil fuel producers are the primary responsible party for cleanup. Oversight—and calling out inadequate cleanup and corporations shirking responsibility—is essential.

  13. Do you support the State Land Office’s moratorium/prohibition on new oil and gas leasing on state trust lands within one mile of schools or other educational facilities? Would you support legislation to create  a public health buffer zone prohibiting oil and gas drilling within one mile of schools on ALL NM lands?

    1. Yes

  14. Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? 

    1. No

  15. Can you commit to not accepting donations or funds from fossil fuel companies if you are elected?

    1. Yes

  16. What are your ideas to loosen the grip of industry on the state legislature and strengthen our democracy?

    1. We need better reporting on the role of oil and gas at the very minimum, as well as citizen studies of financial disclosures to convey the percentage of contributions to legislators.


A disparity exists between services, infrastructure improvements, and quality of life amenities in the different parts of the City. Despite commitments to address inequities in investment and improve services, infrastructure, and amenities  in the area annexed by the City in the area north of Airport Rd, development has been limited to new housing developments. This area of town is already the most densely populated area of the city with the greatest number of households with children and yet there remains no library, no parks, no teen center, no senior center, no community center, no grocery stores, no commercial areas, no public spaces, no centers for arts and culture, no recreation centers. It also has the highest number of immigrants, Hispanics, Indigenous, African Americans and people living in poverty. It was also the most impacted community during the pandemic, having more infections and deaths than any other in Santa Fe. The lack of services and amenities contributed directly to those outcomes.

  1. What are your plans for bringing these needed services and amenities to the area?

    1. Santa Fe County needs to distribute the carrying capacity more equitably to all districts. We need to expand greenscapes and amenities on the city's Southside through master-planning rather than letting the free market decide development patterns.

  2. How can we ensure greater equity in development moving forward?

    1. Community planners, as mentioned before, and higher-level master plans that focus on equity for areas that are experiencing unchecked development.

  3. What level of services and amenities should be present before more housing is built, and how do you determine that?

    1. I would consult with community planning experts on this topic, but one starting point would be to match ratios of amenities on the east and north sides.


District 3 borders the industrial zone adjacent to Airport Road and 599, and as such is the most impacted by potential emissions and other toxic pollutants. The area north of Airport Rd, the most densely populated, most diverse and poorest, is the most directly impacted. As it is home to the majority of Santa Fe’s children and youth, as well as an area that is extremely underserved and consequently has higher pre-existing health conditions, the additional risks posed by the industrial zone and proposed expansion is of great concern. This is an Environmental Justice crisis.

  1. How do you propose to mitigate or eliminate these extra risks to our community?

    1. We need remediation immediately on identified wells/landscapes and then to initiate studies/inspections of contaminated wells or industrial outputs that spew contaminants into our air and water.

  2. Will you support a Cumulative Impacts rule so that proposed new or expanded operations must be reviewed taking into consideration the existing environmental, health and socioeconomic conditions of the impacted communities?

    1. Yes

  3. Will you support public investments in the area that help mitigate impacts, such as increasing the tree canopy, eliminating pavement and concrete, increasing open space and green areas?

    1. YES

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