Candidate, US House of Representatives, NM CD1
Francisco Fernández https://www.franciscofornm.com
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 10 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?
Yes, if not sooner!
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?
Most politicians need money to back up their campaigns or fall in line with lobbyists. In Congress I would work to limit the amount of dollars in lobbying to create a more fair playing field for all groups. Small organizations deserve as much time and say with Congress as multi-billion dollar organizations. I'd also push to pass legislation that enforces a window of at least 5 years before any individual in the federal government could work with lobbying firms to reduce conflict of interest.
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?
Aside from the Green New Deal, which may take time given the make up of the Senate and Pres. Biden already stating he wouldn't sign it into law, I'd do the following: Pass the Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Act introduced by Rep Bobby Rush.
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
Do you pledge to co-sponsor the Green New Deal? Why or Why Not?
Yes, despite some flaws, FDR's original New Deal sparked innovation and financial growth for millions of Americans. The Green New Deal has the ability to do the same while protecting our planet for future generations. Win-win situations, for people, our economies, and Mother Earth, are possible when we put our hearts and minds together.
Do you support the Biden administration's Pause on Fracking and do you think New Mexico should adhere to the pause just like all other states? Why or Why Not?
Yes, we cannot afford to continue poisoning our water, land, and air. Our resources are already limited in New Mexico. The last thing we need is to waste them on fracking while risking sacred areas like Chaco Canyon. We must also ensure that the federal government picks up the tab for lost revenues that would go towards education.
Do you support the THRIVE Agenda? Why or Why Not?
Yes, the THRIVE Agenda is a holistic approach to ensuring justice for marginalized communities and Mother Earth. It only makes sense to support uplifting agendas that allow us to thrive!
Do you support the FRAC pack? Why or Why Not?
Yes, water is life. We should do anything we can to protect it, including standing up to big oil and gas. There's no reason the EPA should make exceptions should make exceptions for them and it must stop!
Do you support a moratorium on utility shut-offs and utility debt forgiveness? Why or Why Not?
Yes, Even before COVID, millions of people struggled to make ends meet and the crisis compounded their situations further. We should not punish people, especially Black, brown, and indigenous communities that took the brunt of hardship by removing access to utilities and expecting them to figure out how pay off the difference.
What are your ideas to Build Back Better?
Yes, To build back better, we need to pass legislation like the We the People Act to drive more folks to the ballot box, cancel student loan debt for those who need it most, pass a Green New Deal, legalize cannabis while expunging the records of millions and allowing mom and pop shops to have access to this economy before the big venture capitalists.
If elected, what other specific policies will you initiate and support in your first year of service to transition our economy to net zero carbon emissions in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?
In addition to what was mentioned, I'd push for a review of the Paris Climate Agreement to strengthen it and determine how our nations can work better together, after all, we have four years to make up for given Trump's earlier withdraw. We need to empower the EPA to regulate polluters and create legislation that creates incentive for reducing carbon emissions across industries. We also need to support other countries with their transition to renewables to ensure this is a global effort.