City: Las Cruces
Would you vote for the creation of an Independent Ethics Commission to provide oversight of the executive and legislative branches of government in New Mexico? Yes
What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? This issue is very important to me and the issue that will get New Mexico back on track if we take it seriously. For the past 10 years, efforts have been made to bring better reforms to the state and yet so must more must be done. I support campaign finance reform in an effort to level the playing field and to take money out of politics, the creation of an independent ethics commission, and a requirement for registered lobbyists to make public the bills or issues they have been hired to advocate so that voters know who is lobbying on certain issues in New Mexico.
Would you give permission to the Legislative Council Service to make publicly available the final amounts you personally allocate to various capital outlay projects? Yes
If you think reform of the capital outlay system is needed, how would you reform it? If you don't think reform is needed, give us your reasons. "Yes. NM is the only state in which elected officials divide money for public works. NM was recently ranked among the top five most corrupt states in the nation and just one in every eight capital outlay projects is actually funded, resulting in nearly 800 million in public money sitting idle. As a known convener, I am ready to bring the right people together to bring forth such reforms needed and to make long-term and sustainable reforms to this process. It is the one issue many New Mexican's can all agree on and we must engage in local efforts to change the system at the local level. Many communities are beginning to discuss public financing for municipal races and I am in support of that."
Does New Mexico need to invest more in early childhood development? If you think it does, in your opinion what is the best way to invest? If you don't think New Mexico needs to invest more, tell us why. Yes. I believe NM needs to invest in early childhood development. Zero to 3 years old (even as early as pre-natal) is when most brain development occurs. There has been discussion the last few years on using funding from permanent fund to invest in early childhood development, which I support. However, the debate has become very politicized, creating a standstill at the legislative level. The good news is that there are many local organizations and allies working on this issue at the local level to identify alternatives, in which I am a part of.
What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? A measure I would take is to invest in our small businesses and/or micro-enterprises at the local level. There is a growing sector in entrepreneurship--mom and pop businesses, who work morning to night. They struggle to find strategies for income generation and localized network support, and this is an area in which I would like to focus on. Our current system mainly works for those who already have money, time and/or a network (usually political connections). The same opportunities should be accessible to small businesses and as someone whose strength is as a convener, I am working to bring bold and risk-takers together, who understand that we can no longer continue to do the same thing and expect different results. I believe we must invest in homegrown businesses for long-term sustainability.
Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? Yes. I support legalization in an effort to remove the criminalization of those who posses and use it. I also support legalization in order to diversify our economy, as well as to provide additional health care options for individuals suffering from painful medical conditions.