BY CHRISTINE CHANDLER
Democratic Candidate For House District 43
It’s amazing what you learn about your neighbors after knocking on thousands of doors throughout Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Sandoval, and Rio Arriba. You find that most families are more affected by local leaders’ decisions than what is happening nationally and are looking for solutions right here in New Mexico to end the vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Our state has continued to have among the highest unemployment rates and has participated little in the national recovery from the 2008 recession.
Year after year, we provide tax incentives to attract out-of-state corporations but fail to raise the minimum wage or invest in the Working Families Tax Credit. The burdens of under-funding and over-testing in our schools have hindered our children’s ability to get the education they need to be successful.
We’ve swept away critical infrastructure funding for our schools, courts and social services only to watch them falter. Every year we are reminded that our state is only economically viable if oil and gas prices are high. We can and should become national leaders in renewable energy and help provide the next generation of New Mexicans good paying long term jobs.
We need leaders who will fight to make healthcare more affordable and work to expand programs like Medicaid, especially for working adults. Cuts to mental health services a few years ago have had extreme consequences and we must prioritize mental health and drug treatment facilities in this state.
The Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories are important economic resources as well as sources of valuable talent to address many of the problems facing our state. Like any business, the labs pay taxes and in return the state and the communities that host the laboratories provide the infrastructure and amenities that support the work of the lab and attract the talent that is so critical to their function.
We must restore critical funding that was stripped from acequias, ditches, and water treatment facilities, hurting some of our most vulnerable communities. This, coupled with an increase in restoration funds to mitigate the damages caused by wildfires and restore arroyos damaged by the floods that follow, will go a long way to resurrecting the agricultural and grazing economies that support the rural areas of New Mexico and make our state a great place to live and visit.
We must bring businesses to the table and collaborate in job training and vocational education programs to train a sustainable workforce that keeps companies in New Mexico. When thinking of long-term economic returns, it is crucial that we stop ignoring the fact that early childhood education has the greatest return on investment and the time is now to pass the constitutional amendment that will fund these programs.
We must remove any restrictions on a person’s individual rights and that starts with making sure women are allowed to make their own medical decisions without the government interfering.
I’m running to be the next Representative of House District 43 because I believe in the resiliency of our people and our state. I know that when we work together we can accomplish anything.