Candidate, NM House District 20
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?
Political leaders are beholden to the large corporations and PACs that donate money to them. If a leader is influenced my these sources, they cannot act in the interest of the state and of their communities. I am committed to continuing to represent the people of my district and not special interests. I will not take money from PACs and large industry interests. As I have already proven in my community leadership, my constituents drive my agenda and they also hold my feet to the fire.
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?
New Mexico needs to incentivize alternative energy sources. By transitioning to alternative sources in automobiles alone, we can help build an industry that will help our economic recovery, provide jobs, stimulate education and move us into a zero carbon future.
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 am running because I feel that my district has not been accurately represented by leaders. Women, indigenous communities, people of color, etc. need a stronger voice and I can be that voice.
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. It is urgent that we transition form our reliance on the oil and gas industry while identifying alternative revenue sources. It is crucial to our recovery.
If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy for all of NM?
Our leaders must include the support of all communities in the development of our new sustainable economy. Currently, our leaders are not inclusive and do not listen to the voices of New Mexicans. I can be a unique voice for the underrepresented and the underserved.
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
My advice comes from experts and people who have dedicated their lives to climate issues. We have the best minds in the world in our state. As a community leader, my constituents drive my agenda.
Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM
Environmental racism is the exclusion of minorities and indigenous people in environmental policy making. It effects minorities by disproportionately putting them in harm’s way of industrial waste and other pollutants. And example in New Mexico would be the endangerment of indigenous people in order to transport and store nuclear waste.
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.
This generation has absolute responsibility to put forward measures to ensure that future generations have a hospitable world in which to thrive. We cannot turn a blind eye. We must act now.
A) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas development in the state of New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
I believe that all greenhouse gas emissions must be accounted for to ensure we meet our carbon reduction targets. The state must protecting public lands, establish robust environmental regulations and implement a moratorium on new extraction.
B) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
Yes. This will force innovation in renewable energy and help to create more alternative energy business opportunities.
Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?
Nuclear waste transport and storage puts New Mexico communities in danger.
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?
Yes. Wealthy corporations are able to influence law makers. I support communities and their energy self sufficiency.
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?
Community solar is an excellent step for our future innovation. Communities are ready to take on the challenge and make an impact.
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 oil and gas industry must make more of a financial investment and it must be more accountable for cleanup. With the budget crisis coupled with the COVID-19 crisis, the state cannot afford the environmental impact. I will aggressively move to hold the industry accountable for it’s carbon emissions and cleanup.
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?
The oil and gas industry must make more of a financial investment and it must be more accountable for cleanup. With the budget crisis coupled with the COVID-19 crisis, the state cannot afford the environmental impact.
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 must realize that a crisis situation can escalate out of control very quickly and cause unimaginable damage. On the positive side, we also have learned from COVID-19 that even one-month’s worth of drastic reduction in output can make a huge positive impact to the environment.
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?
During my career in biotech, I was an advocate for underserved patients and their providers. Daily, I saw the impact of poverty and systemic racism and the financial burdens it places on society. I actively brought large corporations together with the healthcare delivery system to help subsidize the treatment of preventable illness. The large industries have the ability to use their resources to partner with others for solutions.
What are your ideas to loosen the grip of industry on the state legislature and strengthen our democracy?
Legislators should pledge not to take money from the oil and gas industry and to truly represent their communities.
Name specific alternative sources for state revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected
We must aggressively incentivize other industries which use our intellectual resources such as technology industries and medical industries. If we develop new industries, we will be able to enhance our education, increase revenue, encourage professionals to NM and so much more.
Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No
Will you take the #fossilfree pledge?