Conservation & Environmental Justice
I have been a lifetime advocate of environmental justice. Early in my career, I worked to help secure federal resources for community members in our colonias — communities where residents lack access to clean drinking water, wastewater services, lighting, and paved roads. This experience drives my understanding of every person’s right to have access to clean air, land, and water and my commitment to make real change. This is not a matter of rhetoric to me, this is a matter of basic human rights that I will not stop fighting for.
As the political director of Conservation Voters New Mexico, I helped defeat an onslaught of legislation introduced by the Republican-controlled New Mexico House of Representatives that would have gutted environmental protections and set the state’s progress back by decades.
As a top legislative aide in the Lujan Grisham Administration, I led the state’s efforts to pass legislation to address climate change and help ensure a just transition away from polluting industries. I also championed legislation to expand electric vehicle infrastructure, expand transmission infrastructure, and worked with the state’s energy and environmental departments to start the rule-making process for policy that will reduce methane emissions and prevent waste from new and existing sources.
There is no excuse for communities across our country not having access to clean drinking water. In our own backyard, the communities of To'Hajiilee and Pajarito Mesa lack access to clean drinking water. The decades-old Kirtland jet fuel spill continues to leave a legacy of contamination in Southeast Albuquerque that the Air Force has refused to adequately address. Environmental injustices like these will take bold action from bold leaders.
I am committed to taking the bold action necessary to protect our public lands, save our planet, and transform our economy. This isn’t just an existential crisis anymore. It’s a health care crisis and an economic disaster. It’s a daily source of fear for the millions of families that can’t access clean water or air on a regular basis. And it’s been a lifelong struggle for communities across New Mexico, from tribal communities and Pueblos, to farmers and agricultural workers, and to workers who hope for more environmental protections in their workplaces. We cannot turn a blind eye to the unimaginable numbers of those that suffer from respiratory diseases to cancer to pregnancy loss and not see the connection to the burden that our communities of color carry because of lack of environmental justice.
In Congress, New Mexico can count on me to:
Co-sponsor the Green New Deal
Work to increase funding for New Mexico conservation projects on public lands, preserve our acequias and traditional land uses, and prohibit oil and gas extraction leases on the federal land
Fight for tribal communities and Pueblos in New Mexico and across the country who are battling the fossil fuel industry in their backyards
Support investment in a bold green infrastructure that prioritizes frontline communities advances clean renewable energy and public transit, fixes roads and bridges, provides job training and re-training, and rebuilds communities with new and better schools, water and sanitation systems, and universal broadband
Work to dramatically curtail air, water, land, and climate pollution, and promote a just worker transition so that no New Mexico worker is left without a job, and
Support efforts to renegotiate and negotiate fair trade policies that protect environmental protections