That pretty much sums up the political year 2017 as it heads out into history. To get a better grip on 2018, it’s important to keep up with local and state politics. Here are a few suggestions regarding upcoming issues and people to keep up with—in order to get that grip on now and get your vote out later.
Buckle up buttercup, the important November 2018 campaign/election season is upon us and it’s gonna be a bronco ride. On the ballot, here in New Mexico, we have hundreds of key positions up for election: one US Senator (Martin Heinrich), all 3 US Representatives, Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Public Lands, 3 positions on the state Court of Appeals, 2 seats on the state supreme court, all 70 state representatives, 3 pubic regulation commissioners, 6 public education commissioners, the 11th Judicial District Attorney, 5 district judges.
All 33 counties have county commission, assessor and sheriff seats up for grabs, along with probate and magistrate judge positions. This includes the Albuquerque metropolitan area of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Valencia, Cibola and Torrance counties. Mid-term elections all around the country will be getting influenced by the national agenda and its attached campaign money. There is plenty of opportunity to get involved by finding a candidate to get behind, or maybe even becoming a candidate. Check out the the bureau of elections resources on the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.state.nm.us for all the info.
Air and water are of extreme importance, not only all over the globe but locally as well. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority handles our drinking water and its infrastructure for the greater metropolitan area. These are the folks pulling the water out of the aquifer or the Rio Grande river, cleaning it up and piping it into our homes to flow from our faucets. This body not only controls the water flow but has the power to guide growth and its sprawl when asked to approve a water application to business and housing developments. It is currently reviewing an application for Santolina, a proposed Westside development of 90,000 residents. This decision will impact area residents for many decades to come. To keep up with our precious agua and for other local water information, check out the water authority’s website, especially the latest news tab at—www.abcwua.org.
Another little talked about board that impacts residents with every breath we take is the city county Air Quality Board. This board is charged with implementing the federal Clean Air Act and the state Air Quality Control Act by adopting air quality regulations and standards. The board also approves, or declines, permits for industries like cement plants and gasoline tank farms in the South Valley and other businesses that release airborne toxins or dust. With federal environmental protections on shaky ground, it is up to local bodies like these to keep industries in check. And just as importantly, it is up to citizens to keep the local entities in sync with the community. A good place to keep up and get smart about local environment and political matters is www.nmpoliticalreport.com and www.kunm.org.
The upcoming 30-day state legislative session is a short session which is set by the New Mexico Constitution for budget issues and whatever the governor wants to bring forth. This will be governor Susana Martinez’s last session so expect her to try to push through legacy legislation like some tough as nails crime and DWI bills. The state supposedly has some extra bucks so we’ll see if the governor goes on a crime-fighting spending spree. The quick session precedes the state house November elections so there will be some jockeying for undecided voters with some Legislative posturing about the hot button issues across New Mexico. To keep up, find your state legislator by going to www.nmlegis.gov then let them know what you think.