Candidate, Santa Fe County Commissioner District 5
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?
In my opinion SOME of the current political leadership prefers to focus on short-term issues which are easier to achieve and give a better chance for re-election. I would focus on ensuring that the climate crisis is taken seriously and policies are implemented quickly.
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?
The first step that I would be taking is to collaborate with City, State, Federal, and Private sector leaders to craft policies and actions which are in sync. This will ensure that organizations are working together to be as efficient and effective as possible.
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?
Again - my focus will be meeting with other leadership to ensure collaboration across organizations.
What are your ideas to reduce the County's dependence on state revenues derived from oil and gas development and to increase LOCAL revenue generation from sustainable sources?
The County should begin to work with innovative private sector organizations, while at the same time analyzing the efforts of other counties (both in NM and other states). We should then determine what initiatives are worth replicating in Santa Fe County.
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 - as I said in the previous response, I believe this is the first step that should be taken.
If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy for all of NM?
I would immediately meet with their leadership teams and work out a collaborative strategy that we can agree on. In addition to the overall strategy - I would ensure that we have agreement on attainable implementation steps.
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
My plan would be to appoint a team of community members who feel passionate about finding solutions to these issues.
Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM.
Environmental racism is the purposeful withholding of resources to certain geographic segments of the state.
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.
Yes - it should always be every generations responsibility to improve the environment, and to instill this same sense of responsibility in the next generation.
A) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas development in the state of New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
I support a careful and thoughtful analysis of the impacts of a moratorium. This should be used to create a detailed implementation plan to reduce development, while mitigating other negative consequences.
B) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
Again - I believe that a careful analysis should be conducted.
Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?
I believe that it should be at least considered as a piece of the overall energy strategy for the state. Whether short term or long term should also be determined by other factors in the plan.
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?
Again - I believe that local leadership should be involved in these discussions in order to create an overall strategy.
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 do believe in Community Solar and will work with community members to reach out to legislative leadership.
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?
I do believe that industries MUST be held responsible for cleanup, and I would work to create enforceable policies.
Do you believe bonding rates for industry should cover the full cost of cleanup?
I would have to conduct further research on this issue before deciding.
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?
I believe that oil and gas corporations have a definite role to plan in New Mexico's future. However, we must ensure that climate issues are addressed and kept at the forefront of all future activities.
Do you support utility bill forgiveness for low-income New Mexicans who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis?
Some folks 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?
I believe the key issue that we can learn is the CRITICAL importance of working together as a global society.
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?
My previous experience has been working with Public Charter Schools where I have fought to ensure that these issues are addressed.
Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No
Will you take the #fossilfree pledge? http://nofossilfuelmoney.org/politician-signup/