A proposed rule change by the Trump administration may lead to thousands of New Mexico children not receiving health insurance and food assistance even though they're eligible -- all because of where their parents were born. Find out more about 'public charge' and what you can do to help stop these changes.
Many mental health experts think childhood trauma is one of the most urgent public health challenges in the country. Lori Martinez, executive director of Ngage New Mexico, said a recent lawsuit filed against the state's under-funded Children, Youth and Families Department demonstrates how dire the situation is for many children - and raising awareness is critical. "When we're talking about childhood trauma, we want to identify the ways that trauma affects us as individuals, and also as a society, on a daily basis,” Martinez said.
“Not all bad experiences can be prevented, but many ACEs can be. Local communities, with support from the state government, are best positioned to play a prevention role,” said James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children. “Mental health care, drug and alcohol addiction treatment, programs that help solve generational poverty, and parent coaching services like home visiting, all require state support in order to be available to those who need them.”
With election results in, it’s time to get to work. A new governor in office signals change on the horizon for New Mexico. We urge our new Governor, and our new and returning policymakers, to prioritize our hard-working families and their kids when they meet in January, 2019. Our Roadmap to a Stronger New Mexico outlines changes that are vital to improving child well-being in our state.
First, we recommend that the new governor work to make our tax system fairer and more stable. Thanks to 15 years of failed trickle-down tax cuts, New Mexico is now much too dependent on revenue from oil and natural gas extraction to fund our state services like education and public safety. But the amount of revenue we collect from oil production is based on prices that are set at the global level, so we’re stuck in a boom-or-bust cycle.
The Medicaid expansion, as part of the Affordable Care Act, has been very good for New Mexico. Not only are tens of thousands of New Mexicans able to access health care, the program has brought billions into the state that has created thousands of jobs, economic activity, and tax revenue. (Report; state-level data on the number of jobs created, economic activity, and tax revenue as a result of the expansion)
Election issues are at the very heart of the values that matter most to us and our families – educating our children; improving our communities; and protecting our rights, safety and the world around us.
This year’s conference Childhood Trauma: From Symptoms to Systems Change, will take a hard look at ACEs – what causes them, what can be done to prevent them, and how we can promote resiliency. We will look at the importance of building trauma-informed practices throughout our agencies and organizations.
This is a perilous moment for New Mexico’s children. There’s no getting around it. Yet the future is not predetermined for kids in New Mexico. This state’s leaders can be inspired by this moment to do better by its children. They can choose to collaborate inclusively and act boldly and swiftly. That’s what it will take — both to position the state well for the 2020 census and to give children a better chance to thrive.
James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, said state policymakers could address the inequity by embracing a more progressive tax system. "It's really a much fairer way of allocating tax responsibility to support the kinds of things that we need - good, strong schools and higher education, great infrastructure," he said. "Those are really the fundamental things that we need to figure out how to pay for in a fair way."