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? People's faith in their public officials and the operational integrity of their government is immensely important to a healthy democracy. That being said, even more important than punitive measures, I believe we need to foster a culture of active engagement legislators and their constituents.
What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? I would separate this into two spheres of action: My own individual actions as a legislator, and the mechanisms I work to implement in the way of increasing access and transparency. Regarding my conduct as a legislator, I firmly believe developing a relationship with one's community is the most important element of any legislator's conduct. And to do this I plan to actively host events at my home so constituents can have consistent opportunities to engage with me one-on-one. In addition to this, I have already begun to familiarize constituents with my website which I intend to use to keep voters informed about various issues that affect the district and state, and also take digital polls on constituent’s opinions regarding those issues. Regarding other mechanisms, I would support initiatives to get the legislators truly engaged with their communities. That means knocking on doors to check in with constituents during the campaign off-season.
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. This is important for transparency, and in addition to this, HB2JR already makes those expenditures public record.
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. At this point, I do not believe we need to put the time and energy into reforming the capital outlay system before we work on more pressing issues like our education system and the welfare of our homeless and impoverished population. That being said, I would say that we should work to fine tune capital outlay in such a way to prioritize the use of funds on safety, health, and welfare related infrastructural initiatives.
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. NM is lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of how we develop our next generation. Early childhood education is a priority in numerous other states where the education is far better suited to prepare children for higher education and work in an ever-changing world. That being said I do believe we need to invest more in our children's early education. And arguably the best way to accomplish this would be through the provision of categorical grants.
What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? New Mexico has a unique context: we have a tremendously diverse population, resource scarcity issues, and a shared sense of the delicacy of the balance in which our state exists. We can't simply increase our economy through industrial growth and we can't expect generations of students to stay where there are no opportunities for growth. This is why I've developed a Five-Point strategy for revitalizing the state's economy by taking advantage of the unique opportunities presented by New Mexico's rich cultural heritage while maintaining a sustainable population/resource balance. This plan Consists of: 1. A small business support program, 2. A strategy to connect New Mexican families to free internet, 3. A strategy to strengthen NM's police force and make our communities safer, 4. A plan to improve the effectiveness of our education system from K-12, and finally, A strategy to utilize NM's reputation as a culture hub to create a sustainable and booming tourist industry. Each of these points is informed by a detailed philosophy and multifaceted analysis. Therefore, it would take an entire policy statement to describe all elements of my plan, so I will leave you with just the summary. Please feel free to inquire about any details.
Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? Yes, because 1. it have a positive effect on the economy, and 2. it would cease serving as a function by which huge minority ethnic groups are disenfranchised.