by Bill Jordan
May 9, 2012

New Mexico politics will be getting an extreme makeover this year. It’s not just a presidential year. Four of the five members of our congressional delegation are being chosen and all 112 members of the state legislature are up for election. Nearly 20 current state legislators have chosen to give up their seat this year, and that alone will mean big changes are coming. We’ll have a new Speaker of the House and many new committee chairs. So, it’s an important time to ask, “What kind of country, what kind of state, do we want for our children and families? Which candidates are most likely to help us create that better tomorrow?  What will I do to help make that better tomorrow more likely?”

New Mexico Voices for Children can’t answer those questions for you and, as a nonprofit organization, we can’t endorse candidates. But we can suggest some issues and encourage you to discuss them with candidates. Here are a few questions we hope you’ll ask candidates this election cycle:

  • What will you do to assure that our youngest children (ages 0-5) get high quality early learning opportunities?
  • What will you do to assure that all of our children get a good education?
  • What will you do to assure that the Affordable Care Act is aggressively implemented in New Mexico so everyone has access to quality affordable health care, and the high cost of health care is reduced for our small businesses?
  • What will you do to assure that fairness and accountability are restored to our tax system, and that big corporations and the wealthiest pay their fair share?

We also urge you to ask candidates about the issues that are most important to you and your family. If you like what they stand for, consider volunteering to help them get elected. This is one of the best ways we can take back our democracy from the influence of big money!

Here are a few other things you can do to help NM Voices make a difference in this important election year:

  • Sign up for eVoices—our email updates and legislative alerts.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed on the issues important to New Mexico’s children and families.
  • Donate to NM Voices for Children so we can do more to educate candidates and elected officials about the unmet needs of children and families.
  • Consider hosting a VOICES House Party and invite your friends to learn more about the issues and how we can all make New Mexico a better place for our kids. (To host a party, contact Alicia Manzano at 505-244-9505 x 20 or

And most important of all, don’t forget to register and VOTE! The primary election is June 5 and the general election is November 6. For voter registration and election information, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

Like it or not, we’re in for a makeover. Let’s make sure that after November 6, we look more like the beautiful democracy we were meant to be.

Bill Jordan in NM Voices’ Policy Director.