Candidate, NM House of Representatives, 24

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  • If elected, what specific policies will you pursue in 2023 to begin rapidly transitioning our economy to achieve carbon neutrality in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?

I support all such policies that are science based on good policy. I was a co-sponsor on the Green Amendment. I tend to "stay in my lane" about which Bills I am primary sponsor. Many of my colleagues are excellent in these areas so I mostly focus on healthcare and education and follow the lead of others I respect.

  • 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)

Yes 

  • Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 8 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

  • In your opinion, why do political leaders set benchmarks and timeframes for emissions reductions that do not comport with climate science mandates?

Sometimes concessions must be mad to get any forward movement, but I think mostly fear. Fear-of voters and perhaps even more so, of contributors.

  • If elected, what will you do differently than current leadership?

I can say I've never had oil and gas as a client, and never would. From the beginning I have refused to take contributions from oil and gas (not that they have been trying hard to give it to me). I think as a Caucus, we need to work hard on finding other sources for our financial stability. Also, as a state. The boom and bust cycles of oil and gas prevent us form fully investing in our future-education, healthcare, and everything else, because we don't know how long the money will continue.

  • 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?

Retraining is a must. We must figure out how to ensure that those communities have jobs and a strong economy. This is a bit out of my wheelhouse so I probably won't propose but will work hard with my colleagues who are much more expert. I strongly support making oil and gas, mining, logging, etc. to pay for the damage they have done. I am not a lawyer but the abandoned wells, mines, etc. are so expensive, I would favor any avenue where the responsible parties can be held liable.

  • If elected, will you support the creation of a Just Transition Study & Fund to identify alternative revenue sources for our state budget and allocate funds from oil and gas directly into community-driven climate mitigation and adaptation strategies? Explain.

Absolutely. I, as well as many of my colleagues, really want to help, but are not expert enough to determine what the best solutions might be.

  • If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy for all of NM?

As much as possible. I grew up in Crownpoint, and watched the uranium industry come in and destroy so much beauty. And ruin what had been some of the best water ever. I worked for many years in Laguna, and saw the devastation to the land and the horrible effects on the people. Many friends from high school worked in the mines and paid a price with their health.

  • Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?

I will talk with anyone, mostly to learn. I trust Conservation Voters, The Sierra Club and Rep. Ferrary, Rubio, and many others. As far as community consultation, being in Albuquerque, I believe many groups are hearing from the big city, although it is not a monolith. My cell phone number is public, as are my e-mail and address. I do hear from some folks about environmental issues but I am not known as a major player.

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

Environmental racism is allowing way to much of the negative effects of "industry" to be forced upon communities of color, and frequently impoverished areas, while not allowing them to enjoy any benefits. MY above examples of Crownpoint and Laguna are sad and prime examples.

  • What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations while in office? Explain.

My professional career has been dedicated to children. I believe we owe all children a Herculean effort to undue the damage that has been done and prevent further damage. For too long, there has been unfairness to people and to our environment. We must do huge things now or there may not be much future.

  • A) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas development in the state of New Mexico? Why or Why Not?

Yes. We must figure out and embrace ways to do things differently, even through our fear and "discomfort".

  • B) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?

Yes. We cannot easily solve the current problems. We do not need to make that even harder by continuing in the ways that led us here.

  • Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?

No. The danger and incredibly long half lives for "safe" storage is not fathomable.

  • Do you support the development of Hydrogen Production Hubs here in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?

No. Let's not continue down these bad paths.

  • 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?

Yes. 

  • 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 believe they should pay the full costs and penalties. I would encourage the AG and other governmental agencies to use every trick in the book to make it so. I will support legislation that has a way to make them be more responsible.

  • Do you support utility bill forgiveness for low-income New Mexicans who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis?

Yes

  • 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 learn that we are no where near prepared for the climate crisis. We need to stop contributing to climate change, at the same time we look for ways to deal with what we cannot stop in time. The forest fires in NM right now are proof that we must do things very differently.

  • 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?

I worked in schools and early intervention in many different impacted communities from Bluewater to Jemez Pueblo, Laguna, Acoma and many more. I worked with them on solutions for kids in social and health issues but not much environmental. All issues within communities are very much intertwined with health, social and educational issues.

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

Bring in and develop clean industries. Get their money out of our politics. A less "adoring" press would be helpful. Education of the voters is key..

  • Name specific alternative sources for state revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected

I think cannabis is a good start. We should not let the tech developed at the labs leave the state so easily. Ecotourism to go along with tourism.

  • Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No

No

Will you take the #fossilfree pledge? http://nofossilfuelmoney.org/politician-signup/

Yes