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Candidate, New Mexico State Senate
District 24

Veronica Krupnick

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. 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? - 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. In my first year & term of service, I will be fiercely dedicated to advocating for the urgent movement towards a just transition plan that is centered in the voices & experiences of our frontline youth, displaced or at-risk of being displaced communities, and historically excluded communities, including our tribal communities. I feel fortunate that I have established relationships with community organizations such as Tewa Women United, Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, and members of your organization, Y.U.C.C.A. I believe our environmental and climate solutions must come from our most directly impacted, young people, and centered in restoration and reclamation of indigenous knowledge and stewardship.

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. I am running to address 5 main issues: child welfare, affordable & accessible housing, environmental justice, re-establishing our behavioral healthcare system, and strengthening tribal sovereignty. I believe these areas are directly intersectional with the greater root causes of poverty, trauma, and systemic bias & racism, and these areas should be addressed with community partnership, lived expertise, and intentional urgency. The holistic well-being of our children and youth is a meter of where we are as a society. We are failing our younger & future generations. I plan to bring light to the barriers our young people and families are battling to get their basic human needs met, including access to clean air, water, energy and land.

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

    1. My ideal vision is that we are able to reverse our often “top-down” approach and truly center community-based solutions, built and vetted by our frontline youth and communities. I envision a future where these populations serve as central guidance and pillars for our elected leadership, and communication and partnership are centered in humility, respect, healing, and reciprocal and transparent communication and partnership. 

    2. We, as candidates, talk a lot about our visions and plans for the future, and I am steadfast in my advocacy that this future does not exist without our youth and young adults, now is the time to ensure these voices are at the table. I believe that populations who have the most at risk and have been on the receiving end of the most detrimental consequences of policy should be centered in our path forward including youth and young adults, low-income and working individuals and families, tribal communities, and communities of color.

  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. I believe in the value of co-governance, and that I have a responsibility to uplift community in any leadership position I hold. As an advocate, I have centered my efforts on interrupting harmful multi-generational cycles and addressing the systemic barriers that have been used to reinforce these cycles. I believe we need young and historically excluded voices in decision-making positions. We, and the generations to come after us, are the population who will be living with the consequences of the policy decisions being made today, yet, we do not have a voice in those decisions currently. I believe that impacted communities need to be consulted and partnered with along every step of the way when developing policy.

  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. We need more “people of the people” lawmakers to truly step into our full potential as a majority minority state, and I believe that is directly tied to modernization of our legislature. As an advocate, who has been on the other side of policy, I am strongly in support that we must proactively bring community to the table and ensure that their voices are consulted at all steps of the decision making process. There is a pride for many of being “citizen-led” and that our state capital is the “House of the People”, and I know we have room to grow to fully live into these values. I am a leader who has centered people over profit, and I will continue to stay true to this no matter the leadership position I hold. 

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

    1. My roots in advocacy began as a youth advocate, and I am committed to honoring these roots. As a young person of color, who has navigated policy and political spaces, I have a deep understanding of why it is important to center youth and community voices. We have the lived experience of the impact of policies and systems, and we know what will and will not work for our communities and future. I plan to ensure that youth and our historically excluded communities have a safe space to bring their ideas and solutions. I am committed to, and have a long history of, partnering with youth and community partners who are looking to address the many crisis areas of our state through a racial equity, lived experience centered, and social justice lens.

  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. I have served for nearly 6 years as a career advocate working directly with and advocating for children, youth, and families impacted by the foster care, juvenile justice, and incarceration systems. The largest advocacy battle that I was an active leader in was the national movement to protect the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act, as well as supporting the establishment of our Indian Family Protection Act here in New Mexico. I am proud to say we won that battle, and I am also aware it will not be the last. As a 28-year-old Indigenous woman and foster care alumni, I feel that I have an inherent community responsibility and heart calling to do better by those who are or may be impacted by systems. 

    2. I carried these social justice and racial equity roots forward with me, as I joined the legislature as the leadership analyst and child welfare specialist to House Majority Leader, Representative Gail Chasey. During my time in the legislature, I have used my position to advocate for impacted communities to be a central piece of our legislative process. During the legislative session, one of the many roles I carry is tracking and vetting our child welfare related legislation, and seeking out the feedback and consultation from organizations such as the ACLU, Bold Futures, NMCAN, and Equality New Mexico. As your next state senator, I would like to continue to build on these relationships, and expand into the environmental/climate centered groups such as your organization, YUCCA, and organizations representing our tribal areas. 

    3. I have a favorite quote from one of my personal sheroes, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, that I feel encapsulates my vision moving forward, “Like our ancestors who came before us, leaving the ladder down for you all to climb is one of my priorities”. That is the tradition that was shown to me to become the leader I am today, and that is the tradition that I will carry forward.

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. I believe that our state budget is reflective of our values. Unfortunately, as a state, we have tied ourselves and our budget to be dependent on the revenue from the oil and gas industry. As your next state senator, I will work to stop these ties from growing stronger, work with a variety of leaders and communities to find other revenue sources, and step away from our extractive industries. I would also like to push for cross-governmental collaboration and partnership in ensuring that we are funding, at every level, environmental research and testing, specifically of our land, air, and water.

  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. I see oil and gas corporations in New Mexico as being harmful and detrimental to our future. I strongly believe we need to return to Indigenous knowledge, stewardship, and values in order to make tangible steps forward in addressing the climate crisis. I have been taught that we, as native people, have a kincentric relationship to our environment. Meaning, we are relatives, or kin, and have a living relationship to air, water, land, animals. With that being said, we have an obligation to respect that relationship, and restore, not extract from, our environment. The oil and gas industry is also directly tied to land theft, pollution, and violence to our people. We live in a state with the highest rates of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives in the country, and I know this is tied to the hands of oil and gas. We must put people before profit, and I believe that means quickly transitioning away from oil and gas.

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

    1. To me, environmental racism is when the most detrimental effects of pollution and climate change are impacting Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color at a disproportionate rate than other populations. I feel as a majority minority state with one of the highest tribal populations in the country, we should be leading the country in tribal partnership, landback practices, and the well-being of  marginalized populations. I believe one of our greatest risk factors is Los Alamos National Labs, and I have seen the battle happening between a large governmental entity and our diverse community of Espanola. We need to give community the resources to protect themselves, and I believe in order to achieve this we need representation.

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

    1. My campaign is based on being a champion for community and a voice for our future, and I am fiercely committed to seeing this through. I will engage and listen to community, and vote down legislation that ignores environmental concerns, promises false solutions, and I will support efforts to move away from the oil and gas industry. I will partner with our advocates and organizations who are looking to lessen our state’s reliance on fossil fuels and extractive industries. I will be an advocate and partner in supporting a Just Transition Plan that is centered in racial equity, lived-experience, and interrupting systemic cycles impacting our BIPOC communities.

  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. Absolutely, 100%. I believe that no matter what generation, urgent climate action is needed. We must ensure that our youth are centered in this because the decisions being made today will be lived out by our youth. If elected, it will be my biggest goal to open a new door for our youth, young adults, working individuals, and system-impacted communities. As a 28 year-old candidate, I want nothing more than to ensure that I am not the sole representation and voice of our younger generation. Nearly 45% of our state’s population is under the age of 34, and currently has zero representation in the decision being made today. The time is now, our youth and younger populations need the barrier of modernization addressed.

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

    1. Pollution and contamination impact our youth and communities in one of the most personal ways, our physical health. Our bodies are constantly under attack and fighting invisible battles daily, and for many of our marginalized and rural communities this is much worse. If we look at the rates of cancer, liver disease, childhood health issues, much of this can be tied back to the environmental risk exposure our children and youth are experiencing. We are living in an era where we completely know and understand that we have contaminates such as PFAS in our most vital resource, water. Yet, we still do not have the answers and research we need to make tangible steps forward with addressing this and protecting our youth and communities.

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

    1. I have been and will continue to be an advocate for returning to our traditional and tribal knowledge, practice, and methods that are centered in relationship to the land. I will be proactive in bringing community leaders and partners who have vast knowledge in this area to the table to hear their solutions moving forward. I believe a big step in addressing our climate and environmental crisis is the return to traditional practice.

  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) Yes, I believe in divesting from the harmful pathways we are currently on, and investing in alternative economic paths forward, outside of extractive industries. 

    2. B) Yes, I believe investment in community-driven climate planning is an investment in the safety and survival of our future. We need to take the necessary steps now to prepare and/or change course to clean and green options before we are in irreversible emergencies. Again, at the center of this belief is community and our communities on the frontline being most directly impacted.

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

    1. If elected, I believe a strong state/local revenue source would be solar energy. I would also like to see tribal economies and communities bolstered with the transition from oil and gas to solar, through establishing tribally owned utilities. Of course, I would take the needed steps of consulting and partnering with our tribal communities to ensure their consent, but I believe this is beneficial to both our state climate and environmental crisis, and supporting the financial stability and future of our tribal communities.

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

    1. No, I do not support the development of hydrogen energy, nuclear energy, and/or carbon capture and sequestration in New Mexico. I do not support hydrogen because of the reliance on fossil fuels, the astronomical costs of infrastructure to transport and store, high water usage during a time of immense drought, high carbon dioxide emissions, and risk to the community. I do not support nuclear energy because of the catastrophic safety concerns. We have seen what happens when nuclear energy accidents or mistakes happen, and the result is that those communities tied to this never recover. In addition, nuclear energy comes in a package with radioactive waste, with a lifespan of thousands of years, often stored in our marginalized communities without thought to the health risk we are exposing these communities to. I am less familiar with carbon capture, and I do not want to misrepresent myself as more knowledgeable in an area where I would be seeking the guidance and partnership of organizations centered in a Just Transition and Indigenous Knowledge and Stewardship to guide me on educating myself further. From these established relationships, and understanding where they are, I am not behind carbon capture and sequestration due to the potential risk that it holds, should, again, something go wrong. We run the risk of leaking stored carbon dioxide back into the air and atmosphere, which would essentially undermine the usage of this approach.

  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, absolutely! I believe that this is an essential step forward to strengthening tribal sovereignty and supporting our local communities.

  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. Yes, I believe that our greatest polluters & extractors have a responsibility to clean up and restore the harm done to our environment. I believe we need stronger ramifications for violating the parameters of emissions and pollution. At the right moment, I do know we have fines for these violations, but that also provides leniency because this industry has the pockets and ability to pay their way out of consequences. I do not want our state ties to get deeper with the fossil fuel industry, but I do believe they should be an active participant in the cleanup of the environmental consequences directly tied to their industry.

  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? 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. No

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

    1. Yes

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

    1. As I mentioned earlier, we need more “people of the people” elected officials in office, who are prioritizing people over profit and special interest groups. Our current structure of being a citizen-led legislature, I believe, is another large barrier that must be tackled to move the scale. I am committing to be a reminder to our state and elected leaders that we need to protect people, especially our foundation for our future, our children and youth. I can promise that I will be accessible, and have a long history of exhibiting this, and that I will be available to listen to the community about the issues that are impacting them directly, as well as their solutions.


A disparity exists between services, infrastructure improvements, and quality of life amenities in the different parts of the City. Despite commitments to address inequities in investment and improve services, infrastructure, and amenities  in the area annexed by the City in the area north of Airport Rd, development has been limited to new housing developments. This area of town is already the most densely populated area of the city with the greatest number of households with children and yet there remains no library, no parks, no teen center, no senior center, no community center, no grocery stores, no commercial areas, no public spaces, no centers for arts and culture, no recreation centers. It also has the highest number of immigrants, Hispanics, Indigenous, African Americans and people living in poverty. It was also the most impacted community during the pandemic, having more infections and deaths than any other in Santa Fe. The lack of services and amenities contributed directly to those outcomes.

  1. What are your plans for bringing these needed services and amenities to the area?

    1. I believe that we need to work and provide funding across our governmental offices to address this, from city and county to state and congressional, and in partnership with our community leaders and partners.

  2. How can we ensure greater equity in development moving forward?

    1. I believe that we need to actually ask our community for its needs, instead of assuming we know. Again, I also see this as an “all hands on deck” collaboration including city, county, state, and congressional, and community leadership. Our Southside community is the most densely populated side of Santa Fe, made up of mostly families, working and low-income individuals, yet this area of town has the least access to infrastructure needed to support a healthy community. We need to listen to community needs, and then we need to back this up with concrete action and funding to address the disparities happening in Santa Fe.

  3. What level of services and amenities should be present before more housing is built, and how do you determine that?

    1. I believe we need to increase access to services and facilities including parks, schools, community centers, urgent care, and grocery stores. These are all areas that I believe would support our population of the Southside to not have to leave their area to address basic needs. Again, I would also want to ensure I am not assuming and would like to see community needs assessments lead by community-based organizations, supported by the state, to determine what will work best for the Southside community. The need to address this is there, I want to ensure the how is done in and with community.


District 3 borders the industrial zone adjacent to Airport Road and 599, and as such is the most impacted by potential emissions and other toxic pollutants. The area north of Airport Rd, the most densely populated, most diverse and poorest, is the most directly impacted. As it is home to the majority of Santa Fe’s children and youth, as well as an area that is extremely underserved and consequently has higher pre-existing health conditions, the additional risks posed by the industrial zone and proposed expansion is of great concern. This is an Environmental Justice crisis.

  1. How do you propose to mitigate or eliminate these extra risks to our community?

    1. I believe that a step forward is to provide the resources needed to be able to actively record, monitor and collect data in real-time in this area. We need to know exactly what risk is, in order to address it intentionally. I would also seek the partnership and guidance of our community partners to move forward with solutions and how this data collection would work in the community.

  2. Will you support a Cumulative Impacts rule so that proposed new or expanded operations must be reviewed taking into consideration the existing environmental, health and socioeconomic conditions of the impacted communities?

    1. Yes, I would be in support of this.

  3. Will you support public investments in the area that help mitigate impacts, such as increasing the tree canopy, eliminating pavement and concrete, increasing open space and green areas?

    1. YES

  4. If YES, How?*

    1. Yes, I will support working with investors and community partners to intentionally increase open space, green areas, and tree canopy, and looking for alternatives for our heavy usage of pavement and concrete. Again, I believe that this will be a cross governmental entity effort and will need to be done in direct partnership with the community most directly impacted.

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