By Jessica Pollard, Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 23, 2021

Youth advocates at a New Mexico Voices for Children virtual conference expressed concern Thursday over financial gaps widened by the pandemic, calling for more investment in children from policymakers.

“Equality of opportunity is not something that just happens,” said the organization’s deputy director, Amber Wallin. “Moving forward, we have to pass policy that supports families, prioritizes children and … improves opportunities for women and communities of color in our state.”

Wallin, who will step into the director position at Voices for Children in December when James Jimenez retires, called for Medicaid expansions for families with newborns and for approval of tapping into the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood initiatives.

New Mexicans will vote in November 2022 on whether to amend the state constitution to authorize apportioning $180 million annually from the permanent fund.

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