Senator-Elect Harold Pope, Jr. – The Responsibility
by Ellen Coplen

Harold Pope, Jr. made history on November 3 when he was elected as the first African American to the New Mexico state senate. And his win – not surprising to him because he had an army of community support and always credits his campaign staff, volunteers, and donors for helping him defeat a three-term Republican senator – was not something he would have ever dreamed about in high school. Nor would his high school counselor.

COVID Relief for New Mexico Families and Small Businesses

On November 24, New Mexico lawmakers passed a bipartisan coronavirus relief bill that will deliver a one-time $1,200 check to all types of unemployed workers and up to $50,000 for certain businesses. The bill also provides smaller stimulus checks to immigrants without legal status in the country and dependents, as well as additional funds for food banks, virus testing and contact tracing efforts.

Efforts to provide assistance to low income essential workers did not pass as the Department of Workforce Solutions stated it would not be possible to identify the population and issues checks to them in a timely manner. Lawmakers vowed to revisit the issue when they meet for the 2021 session which begins on January 19.

City of Albuquerque Opens South Valley COVID Testing Site

The South Valley is home to one of largest outbreaks of COVID-19 cases in the state. To address this, the City of Albuquerque and the New Mexico Department of Health opened a new COVID-19 testing site in the Southwest Mesa on November 21.

Free testing can be found at the Ted M. Gallegos (Alamosa) Community Center located at 6900 Gonzales Rd. SW.

“By providing an accessible COVID-19 testing site to the residents of District 3, we will be better equipped to flatten the curve,” stated City Councilor Klarissa Peña. “Anyone in our community who needs a test should take advantage of how close and accessible the new location is. With the new site, they won’t have to travel far to get the medical attention necessary for those who have not been able to gain access to a test.”

Testing will be run daily for seven days from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Testing is open to anyone who desires to be tested, whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Anyone seeking a test must pre-register at, where they can select a general appointment time. Those being tested should bring the printed voucher that will be emailed to them after registering. If they do not have access to a printer, they should bring the information on the confirmation screen with them. Spanish-speaking personnel will be on hand for anyone in need of language assistance.

The Department of Health recommends individuals stay home after testing to await their results so as not to inadvertently spread the virus. For information on testing and isolation guidelines visit

The West Side Democrats of Bernalillo County is a membership organization that helps to educate, mobilize, and educate voters about campaigns and issues pertinent to Albuquerque’s west side. Anyone can join for $10 per year. Your membership fee helps to pay for costs of organizing events that bring West Side voters together.

We are so grateful for everyone who is currently a member. As our mission continues, it is time to begin collecting dues for 2021. Those who have paid dues in October and November have been credited for 2021. Everyone else can either pay via our website ( or send a check to West Side Democrats, PO Box 67154, Albuquerque NM 87193.

If you have any questions, please email Thank you for your support.
Dues are $10.00 per calendar year.
You may donate any amount.