I was elected to the Taos Town Council on March 1, 2016. I have been the consistent voice for diversifying our economy, protecting the environment, defending human rights, and improving transparency and public process. Here's a list of my accomplishments.
Diversifying our economy
For years, I've said we need to create diverse economic opportunities for our citizens. Here's how I've been a leader on this issue:
- I have supported efforts to assist local small manufacturers expand their facilities to increase production and create new jobs.
- I have put entrepreneurs in contact with investors and town staff to explore funding options to get businesses off the ground.
- I have hosted economic forums to brainstorm opportunities for job growth in our community.
- I support small businesses every day, keeping money in our community, our citizens employed, and our services paid for.
Protecting the environment
Our land and water are sacred. We have survived here for generations by responsibly using the resources available to us. Our visitors to Taos are drawn here because of our breathtaking views. Our environment is our way of life. Here's how I've been the consistent voice on protecting it.
- I voted against irresponsible development proposals that would pave over our open spaces.
- I voted to protect our acequias and improve the water quality in our watershed.
- I authored and voted for town resolution 17-28, calling for the continued protection of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
- I voted for town resolution 17-42, which calls for us to examine a ban on plastic bags, reduce our energy consumption, and more. I also included language directing the town government to explore the use of electric vehicles.
- I have planted trees, cleaned acequias, and picked up trash in this community for decades, not just during my time on council.
Defending Human rights
We owe it to all of our community members to ensure that they feel safe here.
- I have worked with immigrant rights advocates to provide legal training to our immigrant population.
- I have held meetings with the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque to bring services up here for our immigrants from Mexico.
- I sponsored and voted for town resolution 17-56 calling for the continuation of the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect at-risk Dreamers who came to this country as children and serve our communities and country.
As a progressive, I believe people are best served when they know what their government is doing, and are able to easily interact with their elected officials. Here's how I've been the consistent voice on transparency and public process.
- I voted against the Couse Pasture rezoning proposal. This was a bad deal for Taos that was negotiated with the current leadership and a developer behind closed doors for two years, and with no prior discussions with the neighbors who would be affected.
- I voted against a measure to remove public input from Development Review Committee meetings. These meetings are held early in the development process and are a great opportunity for citizens to voice their concerns about a specific project early on.
- I voted against a rule change to reduce public speaking time from 5 to 3 minutes during the citizen's forum part of our meetings.
- I voted against town resolution 18-01 that keeps our meetings at a time that many people feel conflicts with work and school schedules.
I will create the most transparent administration in Taos' history. Here's how I'll do it:
- Our meeting agendas will be set and published two weeks in advance. We will advertise what's on the agenda in our local media outlets so people will know what's going on in government.
- We will survey the public to find a meeting time that works for our working class citizens, students, business owners, and everyone else who wants to be more involved in local government.
- We will restore citizen input in the Develop Review Committee meetings.
- We will restore the 5 minute speaking time for our citizens attending town meetings.
- We will require that all development proposals include public input from the beginning. No bad deals negotiated behind closed doors for two years, then pushed on the people.
- Our website will be updated, and a phone app created, to make it easy for people to find all information about our budget, and other information about the town.