In a recent study conducted by “U.S. News,” New Mexico ranked 44th in the country in economic health. New Mexico’s neighboring states finished in the top ten in the same study. Two states, Utah, and Colorado ranked #1 and #2, respectively. New Mexico has identical natural resources and geography when compared to its neighbors. New Mexico’s resources remain untapped. This includes science, military, commerce, and much more. The state of New Mexico continuously flounders economically.
Within the past two years, we have witnessed the economy weaken at an alarming rate, with the nation reaching unimagined debt burden, and small businesses having unsustainable and overbearing regulations forced on them resulting in many having to close their doors.
We need to completely change our approach and create as many incentives as possible, while limiting the level of tax burden, in order to realize our state’s potential. The removal of overbearing regulations, paired with an incremental decrease in taxes, will accomplish the same goal in alleviating unnecessary expenses for businesses. Ultimately, this will allow for financial flexibility to contribute to the state’s economy organically, while simultaneously increasing wages for employees.
My main approach to crime is taking the mistake of “defunding the police,” and reversing this course immediately. To eliminate resources from the police, while at the same time, expecting them to provide a better outcome is an unreasonable contradiction. Police officers must have better cadet training and tactical training in hostile environments. Financial investment in instructor time and facilities will aid in preempting and mitigating tragedy.
Criminals are not victims. These people are using some of the most powerful pieces of weaponry. Criminals need to understand that their choices have consequences and enforcement will be upheld.
We see the most pervasive example of crime on our southern border in New Mexico, where foreign cartel’s estimated $100 million in weekly human smuggling,” according to “The Center Square.” Furthermore, the problem is exacerbated through an unprecedented amount of fentanyl being smuggled across the porous border.
I hold our environment and resources very close to my heart, as they bring joy, abundance, growth, cultural identity, and sustainability to our communities. Rivers are the lifeline, success, and well-being of our state. Without water, we have nothing. Without the stewardship of our natural resources, we cannot have sustainable economic growth. Without beautiful rivers, we cannot have a thriving tourism industry. Without a reliable supply and clean water, we cannot have a healthy community, and without updated infrastructure, we cannot continue to sustain and eventually grow.
The three points I want to focus on are:
Stewardship: Because there are so many stakeholders in the health of our water, New Mexico cannot grow without water; therefore, water management and policy that sustains growth are critical. There is a growing concern for drought and fires throughout our community. As these issues continue to steepen, it is essential to pay close attention to ensuring sustainable natural resource management, water security, and resources for public and private lands. I want to emphasize conservation, sustainability, and strong relationships with private and public, local, state, and federal agencies.
Outdoor Recreation and Tourism: New Mexico’s greatest assets are its natural beauty. I want to ensure clean rivers for outdoor recreation, careful water management, reuse projects, and updated infrastructure so that our bosque and parks remain a place to enjoy for our community and the beautiful animals and insects that live in and around it.
Education, Culture, and Community: New Mexico has a vast history of rivers and agriculture. We all rely on our groundwater and surface water, and therefore everyone is a vital stakeholder in its preservation and use. Because the cities aren’t the only population in our district, I believe it is essential to emphasize cohesive natural resource education, cultural practices, and community involvement in the city, pueblos, and rural communities.
On March 11, 2020, New Mexico recorded its first case of Covid 19. In thirty years of providing medical care, I have never experienced such devastation. The suffering of those afflicted is palpable and I have shared the grief with so many of my patients. Sadly, this suffering continues, in large part, because of the ongoing politization of this viral infection.
I am grateful that we live in a time where vaccinations are available, and we can protect those who choose to be vaccinated. Individual health decisions should be with the advice of family members and health care providers. Politics has no place in the decisions of an individual and their health. Leadership exists by offering clear information based on scientific research. Leadership guides with truthfulness, alternatives, and support. Leadership in healthcare deflects political agendas and policies whose purpose is to control, mandate, or restrict individuals, workers, and business owners. Now is the time to examine the other devastating casualties of covid 19 in New Mexico and to lead with strength and purpose.
Covid has led to further nurse and teacher shortages. Key, formative years of students have been lost and unrecoverable. This has only widened the educational disparity in our state. The mental health of our masked children is a health crisis. There is no apparent regard for businesses who have lost everything with forced closures. New Mexico’s economy cannot endure present policies with arbitrary restrictions as other states are open for business. New Mexico’s recovery from this pandemic will be measured on its leadership.
The impact on our state’s existing poor standards of health, disparities in education, and dwindling economy continue to devastate our state. What New Mexico has learned about this virus along with its devastating impact on our state continues to.
There are many factors that influence the health of New Mexicans. My work and dedication to providing medical care to New Mexicans, in urban and rural areas, have shown that the challenges and Failures of Current Policies and Programs continue to negatively impact the physical and mental health of families.
Physical Environment: NM policy failures have led to the highest increase in homelessness in the nation at 27%. Of these, the most vulnerable include children, veterans, and those who suffer from mental illness.
Social and Economic Factors: NM policy failures have led to a ranking of 50th in education, 49th in economic opportunity, 50th in crime, and 49th in poverty. Addressing these social determinants are outlined in subsequent and pages.
Clinical Care: Even prior to the Covid 19 pandemic, the shortage of doctors and nurses was predicted. An aging population, combined with the mass exodus of retiring health care providers, has led to a crisis in our state. Piecemeal proposals and lack of comprehensive legislative bills have created a gap in primary care access and have failed our front-line healthcare providers. Solutions will require strong leadership and coordination in increasing interest in the fields of medicine while increasing funding in faculty development and residency training in primary care.
Health Behaviors: The devastating effect of the opioid crisis exists in our urban and rural communities. New Mexican from all walks have been touched or impacted by this and other substance use disorders. It has further added to the healthcare crisis in our state. Our southern borders are wide open to drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and active Covid 19 cases.
There is a Storm Coming