VISION: Pride in New Mexico

    • I envision New Mexicans proud of our home as a leader among states.  We have the talent, experience, and resources.  Working together, we can benefit District 20 residents and all New Mexicans.

I was honored last year to receive the “Spirit of Bipartisanship Award” from NM First for working across the aisle with members of both parties.

Here are some of the key issues facing New Mexico.  Click on each to learn more about my ideas to address them.

I set an example by refusing PAC and lobbyist money, gifts, and meals.  Among current New Mexico legislators, I remain unique in this position, but I continue to stand on principal.  I represent you, not PAC’s or lobbyists.  It’s a position that’s well received in front-door meetings with constituents.

Without citizen access to public information, government officials escape accountability.  Corruption is inevitable.  That is why I spent more than twenty years successfully fighting to keep state, county, and city government meetings open to the public.  As an example, I successfully tried cases which opened the hiring processes of government agencies.  That is why the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government honored me with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. 

New Mexicans have long favored an effective means of holding public officials accountable to ethical standards.  For twenty years, the Legislature debated the idea of an ethics commission.  In 2017, I co-sponsored an amendment to the New Mexico Constitution that will create a state Ethics Commission.  By working across party lines, I earned the support of a bipartisan coalition, and the measure is now in your hands on the November ballot.  All citizens—Republicans, Democrats, Independents—are getting past the talk and acting together for a better New Mexico.  I am proud of my role.

During 24 years as a small-business owner, we created jobs, hired high school students, met monthly payrolls, and paid taxes.  I understand the tough economic issues faced by small businesses and working people.  My approach to the economy and job creations as a Legislator:

  • Seek and promote thoughtful solutions rather than accept dictates from special interests.
  • Welcome business while balancing the needs of employers and employees.
  • Continue support for the New Mexico Fair Pay for Women Act.
  • Support job training and vocational education.
  • Support mentorships and training for New Mexicans who aspire to create businesses here.
  • Improve our public education to enable graduates to have satisfying careers and promote promising talent for businesses.
  • Apply all of the above to develop District 20’s East Central Corridor.

Residents I have met in our neighborhoods share a desire to provide our young people with a quality education.  Yet three out of ten New Mexico high-school students fail to graduate.  That alone tells us we need to do better with over 40% of our state’s budget that goes toward education.  Here are some thoughts for a better return on that huge investment.

  • Support early childhood development with a plan and accountability
  • Set reading at grade level as a goal for third graders, with interventions along the way. (A third grader behind in reading is 4 times more likely to become a high-school dropout.)
  • Re-establish training programs which will enable students to learn/acquire trades and crafts
  • Partner with parents, our students’ first teachers and role models.
  • Prioritize spending to enforce class size requirements.
  • Involve businesses in schools through mentoring programs like Junior Achievement.
  • Be alert to new ways to keep older students in school and on the path to success with career path options.
  • Recognize excellence and pave the way for excellence—both among teachers and administrators.
  • Treat teachers and administrators as professionals—both in the respect we give them and the performance we expect from them.

My own sons attended Albuquerque’s public schools from start to finish and went on to careers as educators overseas.  My wife, Nancy, is a former Albuquerque Public School Spanish/ English teacher and administrator at Rio Grande, Sandia, and West Mesa High Schools.  They inspire me as I take on the critical challenge to inspire our students.

House Military and Veterans’ Affairs Interim Committee

  • I am honored to serve on the House Military and Veterans’ Affairs Interim Committee, which addresses issues involving our active military men and women, our men and women veterans, and our military bases.  The Committee meets around the state between legislative sessions.  I put on the November 2015 Agenda a presentation by Jim Quick, Colonel, United States Air Force, Retired.  He discussed the success in New Mexico and nationally of the Folds of Honor program.  It provides scholarships for spouses and children of those killed or disabled in service to America.  On July 17, 2018, I placed on the agenda and participated in a presentation by the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center.  Take a trip to Tijeras to learn more about the family’s role in our military.  It is an impressive collection of personal effects.

Military and Veterans Day at the Legislature

  • It was wonderful to see so many participants and friends during the Military and Veterans Day at the Legislature.  This is a special day to honor our active-duty service members and veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much for our country.

Veterans Integration Center’s 10th Anniversary

  • I attended the celebration of the Center’s 10th Anniversary at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial.  Congratulations to the staff for doing a great job of assisting our male and female veterans.  The Center is located in our District 20 at 13032 Central Ave. SE.  Stop by and say “hi” to the staff.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park

  • Numerous legislators and I allocated some of our capital outlay dollars for much-needed capital improvements at the park.  My allocation was $10,000.  The Park, located near Angel Fire, is a historical site in New Mexico that keeps alive the memory of our Vietnam veterans.  It is inspirational to visit the site; please add it to your list while in the area..

District 20 Veterans Endorse Jim

  • For a list of District 20 veterans who have endorsed me, see News/Endorsements—District 20 Veterans Endorse Jim.  Contact me if you would like your name to be added to the list.

Veterans’ Assistance

If you have a question about veterans’ issues, call me.  During my first two terms in the Legislature I voted for and supported legislation aimed at helping veterans.