About Us

Our History, Mission, and Vision

Originally called the Coalition for Children, New Mexico Voices for Children (NM Voices) was founded in 1987 by three pediatricians. Led by Dr. Robert Greenberg, the group sought a way to change the root causes of poor child well-being — causes like poverty, inadequate nutrition, violence, pollution, and homelessness. They knew that such entrenched problems would only be solved by changing the systems that perpetuated them. These systems include underfunded schools, the prevalence of low-wage jobs, wage theft by unscrupulous employers, unchecked predatory lending, substandard housing, and the criminalization of drug use, among others. Changing these systems requires educating lawmakers and other leaders about the problems and their solutions, and then holding them accountable.

Thirty-plus years later, NM Voices, a nonpartisan, statewide advocacy organization, still works to create systems-level sustainable change to improve the lives of New Mexico’s children.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the status, well-being and racial/ethnic equity of New Mexico’s children, families, and communities in the areas of health, education, and economic security by promoting public policies through credible research and effective advocacy.

Our Vision Statement

All New Mexico children and families have equitable opportunities to thrive and to achieve their full potential.

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Children’s Charter: Our vision for the next generation

  • All children and their families are economically secure.
  • All children and their families have a high-quality cradle-to-career system of care and education.
  • All children and their families have quality health care and supportive health programs.
  • All children and their families are free from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or country of origin.
  • All children and their families live in safe and supportive communities.
  • All children and their families’ interests and needs are adequately represented in all levels of government through effective civic participation and protection of voters’ rights.
  • All children and their families’ needs are a high priority in local, state, and federal budgets and benefit from a tax system that is fair, transparent, and that generates sufficient revenues.

Our Work

To accomplish our mission, we work with state and national lawmakers and officials to shape and implement public policies that are supportive of children and working families. Because we believe in evidence–based advocacy, we conduct rigorous research and data analysis. NM Voices is the only nonprofit child advocacy organization in the state examining tax and budget policy issues specific to the needs of the poor.

We use four main strategies in our work to move public policies that are beneficial to low-income children and their families and to block policies that would harm them:

  • Legislative Advocacy We educate lawmakers about the depth of the problem while introducing possible solutions (or in the case of policies we oppose, educating them about the negative impacts).
  • Public Advocacy We raise awareness among the public, opinion leaders, and other key stakeholders around the issue in order to apply political pressure.
  • Administrative Advocacy We directly influence agency administrators by advocating for needed changes in procedures and policies.
  • Judicial Advocacy We petition the court system for readdress of inequities caused by state laws, policies or procedures.

These strategies are supported by three main tactics:

  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Advocacy

These tactics rely on several activities:

  • We research and analyze data on the well-being and unmet needs of the state’s children, racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income families;
  • We research and analyze policies on taxation, budgeting, and other issues that would help meet those needs and improve child well-being, increase racial and ethnic equity, and help hard-working families get ahead;
  • We prepare and disseminate reports and other informational materials illustrating the barriers faced by these populations, the impact of current and proposed state policies on them, and evidence-based solutions;
  • We create messages for effectively communicating about these issues;
  • We educate policymakers through one-on-one meetings or as expert witnesses in committee hearings;
  • We work with agency administrators on improving the state’s policies and practices in how programs and services are designed and implemented;
  • We disseminate our information to the public via traditional and social media; and
  • We work in coalition with allies who have complementary skills.

Our Initiatives, Coalitions, and Networks

Our research, analysis, and advocacy work is conducted through several initiatives, coalitions, and nationwide networks. Among them are:

Our Funders and Supporters

Most of our funding comes from private foundations and generous individuals like you. We currently have no state or federal funding.