Greetings West Side Democrats!

We did it. We did it! WE DID IT!!! Last week was without a doubt the longest year of my life. But on Saturday we accomplished what we wanted to do since the nightmare began: we sent Donald Trump packing! There was a lot of emotions for me on Saturday... I cried as I told my daughters the news. Character was on the ballot and character won. America won.

We also were able to bring a blue wave to our West Side Community. Special congratulations to our new West Side legislators: Katy Duhigg and Harold Pope, Jr. Both candidates ran fantastic races and it certainly paid off. We also will be sending quite a few legislators back to the roundhouse. Truly good work to those candidates.

But for this message, I just wanted to say: thank you! These results would not have been possible without all the wonderful work you’ve done here. Phone banking. Literature Drops. Donations. Letter writing. Simply awesome work Westsiders! We got a lot of good democrats elected and we would not have been able to do it without you.

Just as the election brought a collective sigh of relief, it also brought a lot of questions. Where are we going as a party? What do we need to push for now? How can we bring dissatisfied voters back into the democratic tent? So many questions. But that’s a discussion for another day. For now, let’s just enjoy this win.
You’ve earned it.

Ken Scott
Chair, West Side Democrats
November 18 West Side Dems Meeting
2021 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW and CELEBRATION

6 p.m.

Join us for a very special event to celebrate the Westside’s newly elected New Mexico Legislative Representatives and Senators and find out their priorities for the 2021 legislative session which starts on January 19. This will be a crucial session for addressing the state’s budget crisis and how to balance the state’s needs. Legislative topics expected to be considered include the legalization of recreational cannabis, the permanent land grant fund and early childhood education, keeping abortion legal, and the future of public banking in New Mexico.

Help us celebrate the West Side Blue Tidal Wave!

Panelists:
  • Senator-Elect Harold Pope, Jr.
  • Senator-Elect Katy Duhigg
  • Representative Joy Garratt
  • Representative Karen Bash

Invited:
  • Senator Linda Lopez
  • Senator Jacob Candelaria
  • Senator Bill O’Neill
  • Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero
  • Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas
  • Representative Daymon Ely

Register in advance for this webinar:
West Side Blue Tidal Wave
The November 3 statewide election results had some highs and lows. Some of our strongest candidates were not able to celebrate a victory but they accepted the results graciously and we know we won’t hear the last of them as they have so much more to bring to our communities. Congratulations to Wende Schwingendorf who ran for County Commission District 4, Claudia Risner who ran for Senate in District 19, Jessica Velasquez, who ran for the House of Representatives in District 22, Pam Cordova who ran for the Senate in District 30, Athena Ann Christodoulou who ran for Senate in District 21, Julie Brenning who ran for House District 31, and Billie Helean who ran for House District 57. One of the state’s biggest losses was Xochitl Torres Small, who will not be heading back to Washington, DC as the U.S. Representative from District 2. All of these fantastic women ran top-notch campaigns that embodied integrity, compassion, and commitment to our Democratic values. You are all leaders and we have the highest regard for the love you brought to your campaigns and our state!

The Westside had a tidal wave of blue as two Senate seats flipped and all of our esteemed Westside legislators were re-elected. Congratulations to Senator-Elect Katy Duhigg of District 10 and Senator-Elect Harold Pope, Jr., of District 23. Harold made history as the first Black senator to be elected to the New Mexico State Senate. And welcome back to State Senators Linda Lopez, Jacob Candelaria, and Bill O’Neill. Also returning to Santa Fe will be Representatives Joy Garratt, Karen Bash, Patricia Roybal Caballero, Antonio “Moe” Maestas, and Daymon Ely. We are fortunate to have your leadership and look forward to all that you will bring to our democracy in the coming years!
Westside City Councilor
Lan Sena:
Addressing the Root Causes of Inequity in Albuquerque
Westside City Councilor Lan Sena’s priority is addressing the root causes of the inequities present in her native city. These historic inequities have been magnified by the coronavirus pandemic and persons of color have been disproportionately affected. She is more than aware of these inequities as she is a person of color, and because she has been fighting cancer for several years, she is very aware of the health care impacts of the pandemic.

As a city councilor, Sena has a platform from which she can address the root causes of these inequities. Sena knows that low income families suffer from a lack of access to good health care, paid leave and equal access to the internet. The latter has become crucial because our children attend school remotely. In addition, winter is approaching and low-income families face a constant struggle to pay their heating bill.

Sena hopes to address all these issues. She is already addressing the paid leave issue, teaming with City Councilor Pat Davis to introduce the “Healthy Families and Workplace Ordinance.” Albuquerque employers with at least three employees will be required to provide paid leave to those who work at least 56 hours a year. Leave will be accrued at the rate of one hour earned for every 32 hours worked. Further details on this proposed legislation can be found on the City of Albuquerque website.

Sena also hopes to address the internet issue, perhaps through city-provided wi-fi connections for low income households, so parents and children do not have to search the city for places to connect. A program establishing free community clinics at local schools, which has started in other areas of the city but has yet to arrive on the Westside, may begin to address the lack of health care for low-income people - especially children.

In line with her desire to address inequities in Albuquerque, she supports Mayor Keller’s plan to create a new city department which would provide an alternative public-health based response to people in crisis and free up overworked police and fire department personnel. The new department would employ social workers, public health workers and behavioral health workers to respond in situations where they can provide more appropriate treatment than a police officer, paramedic or fire fighter. Sena has gone out multiple times with first responders in order to understand how these issues are currently handled and how the new department might change the ways in which they are settled.

Sena believes social workers, whom she described as “phenomenal people,” will be prime agents of this change. Their jobs involve routinely finding community-based solutions to problems of addiction, mental and physical health. In addition to social workers, Sena wants trained public health workers and behavioral health workers available to provide common-sense help to families and individuals experiencing serious issues. In our current structure, these issues are often a matter for the police or EMT’s.

The Council has only recently addressed the mayor’s initial plan for the department. Changes were made, including a provision for city funding of additional related education for employees of the new department, added by Councilor Sena. She hopes by doing so, to create a pathway for those in public health, social work, or mental and behavioral health to join the new department.

Sena also discussed Westside residents’ concerns about the effects of the city planning regulations adopted in 2016, the Integrated Development Ordinance, (IDO), and the ABC-Z Comprehensive Plan, on our side of the river. Sena wants to hear about concerns citizens have with current city planning and any changes citizens think should be made to deal with those concerns. In fact, several of the IDO updates she has proposed were ideas that originated with Westsiders. She has also been trying to widely communicate information about the city planning process through regular webinars for citizens which involve the city planning staff. Information about these can be obtained by calling her office.

She understands that the Westside will be a prime area for new development, and she pledges to ensure that there are clear rules for development supported by citizens and those rules are strictly enforced. She added that City Council as a body is constantly thinking about the future of Albuquerque and seeking to shape a better city for all. In addition, she commented that the three Westside city councilors are strong champions for the Westside. Councilor Sena closed with this comment; “I absolutely love the Westside.”
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