WHY I WANT TO BE YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE- DISTRICT 59
Those of us who live in House District 59 need new representation in Santa Fe. District 59, the district you and I live in, includes the west half of Roswell, east to Capitan and Carrizozo, south to Alto, north to Corona, and includes all the rural communities in between. Our current District 59 Representative who has held that seat over recent years has not served the rural families in District 59 well. He is out of step with today’s march towards a better State Government. Time and time again, vote after vote on important legislation, our current District 59 Representative has failed to support all the good legislation – the new way of running government – the new focus on the needs of rural families and communities that has been occurring at the Round House in Santa Fe since January of 2019.
In November 2018, Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham of the Democratic Party was voted in, and most of the House districts throughout the State elected Democratic Party candidates to represent them. It was a “blue-wave” of government officials who place the needs of people over the desires of big corporations and wealthy donors. Everyone has marveled at the tremendous legislation passed in 2019 during the first congressional session by the Democratic Party led legislature and signed into law by Governor Michelle Grisham-Lujan. The new focus in Santa Fe has been on the ordinary, working people and innovative ideas to serve them better – not on outdated ideas and satisfying the desires of big corporations and wealthy donors.
Even Republicans have been in awe of the new way of conducting government that works for ordinary people. I currently serve on the Village Council in Capitan. In the spring of 2019, while all the landmark legislation was being signed into law, the Democratic Party State Senator for the Capitan area fulfilled her promise to bring State funds to our rural community. By May 2019, the Village of Capitan began receiving approval for grants to improve an outdated water system and roads. The Democrats in State Government also approved money to help Capitan build a museum which will help us bring in tourist dollars for many years to come. Understand that most of my fellow members on the Council are Republicans. At a meeting in June 2019, when our attention was brought to the State’s approval of funding for our sewer, roads, and library, one of the Councilpersons exclaimed, “Well, Mr. Mayor, how long have we been waiting for this capital outlay to be approved? For many years it seems. What do you suppose made State officials finally agree?” I didn’t wait for the Mayor to answer. I commented, “Have you not heard? We have a NEW government in Santa Fe, now.” My implication was clear. The new Democratic Party lead Government is more responsive to the needs of rural families and communities than the Government of years past.
My name if Kimble Kearns and I am a candidate for the Democratic Party nominee for New Mexico State Representative District 59. If the people in our District elect me in November, 2020 to be their representative, I will join with other Democratic Party representatives, who hold the majority in the House, in voting for legislation that will improve the lives of the rural families and communities in our part of the State. I will work to bring home funding for infrastructure and be a strong advocate for our concerns.
We hear people questioning, these days, about the best role for State Government, “Is the Government too intrusive? Isn’t government best that governs least?” While we should guard against government over-reach, I believe fervently that government should take an active role to better the lives of ordinary people. The issues I believe are important to rural families and communities in District 59 include;
IMPROVING PUBLIC EDUCATION, K-12;
IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH CARE;
IMPROVING WATER SYSTEMS AND ROADS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES;
PROCURING ECONOMIC INCENTIVES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, FARMS, AND RANCHES;
TRANSITIONING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES;
PROTECTING OUR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT;
PROTECTING WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE;
CLOSING LOOP-HOLES TO BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR COMMERCIAL GUN SALES.
The following is a discussion of my position on some of the issues that I believe are important to rural families and communities in District 59:
IMPROVING PUBLIC EDUCATION
I am a retired New Mexico High School Science/Math teacher and coach who taught in rural community schools. I earned a bachelor’s degree from UNM, Albuquerque is in Biology with an emphasis in Environmental Science. I earned a master’s degree at NMSU, Las Cruces in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum Development. My teaching career lead me to rural New Mexico schools. I have first-hand experience helping children from rural families to reach their educational goals.
As a career teacher, it was evident that our schools were under-funded. They lacked the facilities and resources to help maximize students’ fulfillment of their potential and dreams. Teacher salaries were too low and as a result I saw excellent teachers leave the profession for better paying jobs only to be replaced with teachers with less skill and enthusiasm. My experience confirms what research on our schools show, and what student test scores reveal: the children from rural families of District 59, and across New Mexico, are attending schools that can and must be improved.
New Mexico ranks among the lowest of all states in public school education. Our poorly funded education system has gotten so bad that New Mexico Courts have recently ruled that New Mexico is violating its own constitution by not sufficiently educating at-risk, low-income and Native American students. Our District 59 rural families have relatively high rates of poverty, so it is our children who are among those that are suffering the most from poorly funded schools.
The current District 59 Representative consistently votes against legislation that would improve New Mexico schools. In January of 2019, Democratic Party House Representatives from other parts of the state worked together to pass the important Senate Bill 1 which addressed many of the problems in public schools. The current District 59 Representative, however, voted against the bill. One must wonder, “Why would our current representative not join the other representatives to vote for and pass a bill that will improve our children’s education? What, to our current representative, is more important than providing a good education for the children of rural families in District 59?” I believe the answer can be found in the list of his top campaign donors. Our current representative is more concerned with satisfying the desires of oil and gas corporations and of wealthy donors. It may be that he views improvements to public education an unnecessary expenditure!
PROCURING ECONOMIC INCENTIVES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, FARMS, AND RANCHES
Having lived all my life in rural communities, I understand the desire for independence one finds in the people in our District. Rural folks like me want to be their own boss. That is why my wife and I own and operate our own business. Farmers and ranchers are the same way. I understand them. I grew up doctoring cows and building fence with my family. The farms and ranches in our rural District are small businesses, and as such it is up to the owners to be strong willed and work hard to “make it or break it.”
The government in Santa Fe can do a better job creating an economic environment to encourage small businesses, farms, and ranches. For example, we have to drive long distances for goods and services, and improved rural roads would increase the economic life of our vehicles and save us money with that considerable business expense. I also want to see incentives for start-ups to help young families.
The current District 59 Representative is not doing a good job for us. He is more concerned with providing large tax breaks and economic incentives for the large oil and gas corporations operating in Eastern New Mexico oil fields, who provide him with large campaign donations, than giving the hard working folks in our rural District meaningful representation.
CLOSING LOOP-HOLES TO BACKGROUND CHECKS BEFORE COMMERCIAL GUN SALES
I support the 2ndAmendment to the US Constitution. I am a responsible gun owner. I have a gun I keep for home protection, and a deer rifle I use for sport. My second amendment rights are NOT THREATENED by closing the loop-holes to background checks, or by banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Gun violence is leaving lives shattered and is detrimental to the sense of security and well-being of all Americans. Reasonable gun owners agree that background checks are necessary.
TRANSITIONING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
For 40 years (which is back in the day when I was attending UNM earning a B.A. in Biology with an emphasis in Environmental Science), climatologist and experts within the fossil fuel (oil, gas, and coal burning) energy industries have known that the carbon dioxide and methane gasses produced by the burning of fossil fuels for power has increased the concentration of these “carbon gasses” in Earth’s atmosphere. This has been going on since the Industrial Revolution of the 1880s. Since that time, these “carbon gasses” have increasingly acted as a blanket, or green-house glass ceiling, by allowing sun light energy to reach the ground, heating it. Before fossil fuels were burned, the heat from the ground would radiate back into space. Now, instead, the heat is trapped by the “carbon gasses” in the atmosphere; raising its temperature and causing climate changes. On this point, there has never been a debate among bona-fide scientists.
Today this green-house effect has caused significant climate change. If the “carbon gasses” are not drastically reduced to the point where there is net “zero carbon” gas released into the air, the heating of the Earth will change life as we know it. The situation is very serious. According to The Center for Climate and Security, Since January 2017, 18 senior officials at the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) have raised concerns about, and recommended actions to address, the security implications of climate change, both due to its effect on military infrastructure, readiness and operations, and its broader geostrategic implications for the United States.
The good news is the New Mexico State Government is taking steps to help solve climate change. Since January 2019, after Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham of the Democratic Party was voted in, and after most of the House districts throughout the State elected Democratic Party candidates, legislation has been passed to help New Mexico become more environmentally responsible. The “blue-wave” of government officials, who place the needs of Earth and its people over the desires of big corporations and wealthy donors, passed the Energy Transition Act (ETA) which mandates that New Mexico will replace the fossil fuel energy industry with renewable sources of energy. The Act says New Mexico will gradually become less dependent on coal, oil, and gas, and will turn instead to renewable sources of energy (e.g., wind and solar). In 47 years, by 2045, we will have zero carbon output.
I am in favor of this bold action to save the planet. The current District 59 Representative voted against the Energy Transition Act. It would seem that our current representative cares less about the future of our children and grandchildren than he does about satisfying the desires of oil and gas corporations and wealthy donors who are invested in the oil and gas industry.
We should anticipate changes as we adapt to new energy sources. I know the rural families and communities in our District 59 will need State help in our effort to make this energy transition. Wind and solar energy technologies must be made readily available, job training for these new industries will be necessary, and our rural roads must be improved to support the energy efficient automobiles which are in our future. If the people of our District 59 elect me as their representative, I will work to bring the State Government money we will need to do our part in energy transition.
PROTECTING WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE
I am not for abortions. I am for protecting a woman’s right to decide if her pregnancy needs to be terminated. That right must be respected in our democratic society. I believe government has a role in limiting by law some instances, particularly with respect to late term abortions. An abortion within the first trimester of pregnancy, and those before the time of viability, are very different from a late term abortion. Instances when the mother’s life is in danger, and when pregnancies are a result of rape should be given special consideration. I would like to see abortions legal, safe, and rare. I believe human life is precious and considerable deliberation should be taken by women in good conscience and in consultation with their doctors if they find themselves confronting the reality of their right to choose.
A New Mexico law passed in 1969 criminalizes abortions. This was before the Federal Supreme Court case Roe V Wade established in 1973 a woman’s legal right to an abortion. The Court ruled, in a 7-2 decision, that a woman’s right to choose an abortion was protected by the privacy rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Today there are Supreme Court Justices who threaten to overturn Roe V Wade.
New Mexico should prepare for the possibility that Roe V Wade may be overturned by repealing the outdated 1969 New Mexico Law. During the first congressional session of 2019, House Bill 51 was introduced and passed the House but was voted down in the Senate by a slim margin. Today, therefore, women in New Mexico have to fear that their right to choose could be taken away. We all should fear that if abortions are criminalized that abortions will be conducted in hidden and unsafe conditions, unnecessarily putting the lives of women at risk.
The current District 59 Representative voted against House Bill 51. He apparently wants to make abortions illegal. If the people in our House District 59 elect me to be their representative I will support legislation that protects a women’s right to choose.
I also believe that health care insurance should provide coverage for contraception. This was made into law when House Bill 89 was introduced and passed by the Democratic Party members of the legislature and signed by Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham in 2019. This law is important to women who want to protect themselves against an unplanned pregnancy, but cannot afford contraceptives. Our current District 59 Representative voted against House Bill 89.
MAY I HAVE YOUR VOTE IN NOVEMBER, 2020 TO BE YOUR DISTRICT 59 STATE REPRESENTATIVE?
I have lived in the Capitan area since I was a young man. I moved here over forty years ago because I enjoy the mountains and the hunting, fishing, and hiking, and I because I enjoy the diverse culture of New Mexico. I am a patriot and I love and care about the land and the hardworking people of District 59. You can’t say you love New Mexico if you don’t love its land and people!
The current District 59 Representative has voted against legislation that would help rural families and communities. He votes instead for legislation that helps the wealthy oil and gas investors. I will vote for legislation that improves the lives of rural families. I will work within State Government to bring money to District 59 for improvements to water systems, roads, and other infrastructure in our rural communities.
I believe that every New Mexican matters and we should have an equal voice in our government in Santa Fe. I stand against the influence on government by the fortunate few and powerful special interest groups. I stand for the 99%- people like me.
I affirm the ties that bind New Mexicans together. We are not to be divided along cultural lines. I envision a New Mexico in which every person is treated with respect and is provided the opportunity to live a life of dignity with:
1.) A secure, decent-paying job;
2.) Not-for-profit healthcare;
3.) Quality public schools;
4.) Access to training for jobs in renewable energy technology;
5.) Affordable college;
6.) Incentives to start or grow a small business, farm, or ranch;
7.) Time to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of our land; mountains, deserts, & streams.
I hold these basic rights to be the natural heritage of all New Mexicans. We should band together to claim that heritage for every member of our diverse community. Together we stand. Divided we fall.
Please vote for me in November 2020 to be your State Representative from our District 59 and give me the opportunity to represent the concerns of the rural families who live here.
Paid for by the Committee to Elect K L Kearns
Kimble Kearns, Treasurer