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Incumbent, New Mexico State Senate
District 18
Democrat

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Natalie Figueroa

Climate Science-Based Policy

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

    1. Yes

  2. 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. If 'brunt' means disproportionally more, then yes.

  3. 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? https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/ - IPCC Report

    1. Yes

  4. 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. Leverage incentives to use renewable energy; build the necessary infrastructure to do so, increase research into less common options like geothermal.

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. (Outside of climate?) Equitable and affordable access to education and to health care, including behavioral health care. Continue to build up the workforce in these areas by removing obstacles to training and licensing - financial, linguistic, etc

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

    1. Communities are integral stakeholders that need be have a voice at the table when decisions and policy are made

  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. Communities are the best source for solutions and a necessary voice in creating policy (see above).

  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. When policy is considered,  ensure that the cost/benefit analyses compare the long term and less tangible elements - health& wellness, sustainability,  - where the community driven solutions usually outrank the others! 

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

    1. I have an open door policy to groups and organizations, but I also reach out to them to ask their opinion on specific policies.

  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. As a State Representative, I have worked with community stakeholders on a wide range of issues - broadband, good government, health care - and I will continue to do so.

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. Leverage incentives and fund infrastructure.

  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. The will continue to be a an enormous part of the budge and energy supply for many years to come. Our job is to shorten that length of time!

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

    1. When we place industries that create pollution in low income areas populated by primarily people of color - it's environmental racism built on top of economic racism.

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

    1. By bringing stakeholders to the table.

  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. Because climate consequences build over time, climate action NOW determines consequences in the future. Our responsibility is to take action now toward a sustainable future.

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

    1. Pollution and contamination have a tremendous impact on health and wellness. They also have climate and economic consequences for the community.

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

    1. By  bringing the stakeholders with that Knowledge to the table.

  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. A) A study is valuable if we use the results to make change, so we would have to commit to that. B) I would want to know who is going to be in charge of the disbursements? Who will provide oversight? How will results be measured?

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

    1. Other than clean energy? I think the state can be most effective to support the innovation incubators and ideas that the communities bring forward.

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

    1. Hydrogen energy and nuclear energy could be fantastic sources of clean energy, but we haven't technologically solved the issue of safe, long term disposal/storage of their waste products.

  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; however, how it is implemented and who has oversight is important.

  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. Increasing their bonding responsibilities to actually cover clean up costs would be a good start.

  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? https://www.nmstatelands.org/2023/06/01/commissioner-garcia-richard-bans-new-oil-and-gas-leasing-within-one-mile-of-schools/ 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. Yes

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

    1. No

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

    1. Continually hold our elected officials to account for their votes. Increase transparency and timing of finance reports, so the public can see in a timely fashion who has received money from whom, and when. (McQueen's bill would have been great!)

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