Cosponsored by the West Side Dems of Bernalillo County

Dems of New Mexico! The first legislative session of 2021 beginning on January 19 holds out a new promise of progress in our state. What issues do people care about and what actions will unfold? You can find out (and also provide feedback) at the Legislative Action Expo 2021 – an important virtual gathering of Democratic legislators, issues-based organizations, and engaged citizens like yourself.


More than 30 legislators will be participating in concurrent virtual Town Halls and some 50 organizations will be educating participants on their important legislative wish list for 2021 . See below for a sampling of who and what to expect:

• Speaker of the House Brian Egolf
• Senator Linda Lopez
• Senator Elect Harold Pope, Jr.
• Senator Elect Katy Duhigg
• Senator Antoinette Lopez
• Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino
• Senator Michael Padilla
• Representative Joy Garratt
• Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero
• Representative Karen Bash
• Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas
• Representative Miguel Garcia
• Representative Daymon Ely
• Representative Melanie Stansbury
• Representative Liz Thompson

 DPNM Veterans and Military Families Caucus
Westside Legislative Town Hall January 23
We invite you to join us for a Facebook live Legislative Town Hall on Saturday, January 23rd from 10am - 12pm focused on the 2021 Legislative Session (which begins on Tuesday, January 19, at noon). Legislators from NW Bernalillo County and Southern Sandoval County will be participating.

Representative Joy Garratt will be streaming this at https://www.facebook.com/Joy4NewMexico
The Year in Review, Looking Ahead,
and the NM Health Security Act

Saturday, January 9
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
6:00-6:45 pm
Now that we’ve voted Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into the White House and swept the westside state legislature blue, what’s next? Help us look back and our accomplishments and start to plan for the future. WSD Organization and Development Chair Sue Wolinsky will lead us through the year in review.

6:45-7:30 pm
The Health Security Act – Improving Mental Health and Drug Treatment in NM
The bill will be introduced in the 2021 State Legislative Session.
Drug abuse tops the NM Department of Health’s list of diseases that cause death or disability in our state. Depression is #6.

Please join Dana Millen with Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign and learn how this legislation will help to relieve the suffering and disability caused by untreated mental health and substance abuse problems in our state.

The bill promises:

• More behavioral health providers in New Mexico
• Access to mental health and substance abuse care in rural communities
• Less expensive medications for psychiatric conditions
• More robust coverage for substance abuse and mental health

To learn more about the NM Health Security Act, Click Here

To register for the January 27 WSD zoom meeting, Register Here
Sheriff Aligns with Constitutional Sheriff & Police Officers Assn. to Decry
Public Health Orders
By Philip Hughes-Luing

According to Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III, a Democrat, “Some elected office holders have prioritized turning everyday citizens into villains for simply attempting to live their lives in the pursuit of happiness.”

In a 2 minute and 33 second video posted on YouTube on December 18, 2020, reported upon by news outlets including KOB4, KRQE, and Fox News, Gonzales says he sympathizes with the individuals and entities “who believe their civil liberties are being compromised.”

He goes on to state that in his opinion the resources of the Sheriff’s Office “should be focused on making our community safe and more prosperous for everyday citizens.” Therefore, he says, he has chosen “to direct this office’s resources to enforcing the laws deemed to keep the people free of crime.”

“Over-reaching restrictions will only hurt our community, “he continues. “For that reason, we will not follow along with any orders that subvert their constitutional rights.” On YouTube, Gonzales’ video is labeled “COVID-19 Sheriff's Stay at Home Statement” and is reported in the news media as a refusal to enforce safety mandates from the State of New Mexico if Gonzales, as the county sheriff, determines them to be unconstitutional.

This stance is in line with the philosophy of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Police Officers Association, a group described in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s article, “Line in the Sand.” According to that article: The group says it is part of “a growing movement of public officials who are drawing a line in the sand” by “interposing themselves between the sometimes overreaching Federal Government and your constitutionally guaranteed rights.” The group claims that local county sheriffs can stop outside law enforcement officials from enforcing laws the group deems unconstitutional. “The sheriff,’ it says, “is the highest elected official in the county and has the authority to stop this insanity.”

Last July, KOAT reported that Gonzales confirmed he is “definitely very serious” about running for mayor in Albuquerque in 2021. That interview followed his having met with President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr to bring federal resources to Albuquerque as a part of Operation Legend. Albuquerque became one of seven cities nationwide to be targeted by Operation Relentless Pursuit, a move decried by Senator Martin Heinrich, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Albuquerque’s mayor, police chief, and city attorney along with numerous others among New Mexico’s Democratic leaders. He has also defied a bill signed by Governor Lujan requiring the use of body cams by public safety officers, proposing instead the use of smartphones.

TIME TO PAY YOUR DUES!

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 (https://westsidedems.org/pay-using-paypal-or-a-credit-card/) or send a check to West Side Democrats, PO Box 67154, Albuquerque NM 87193.

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