In the Las Cruces/Mesilla area, job creation should be our first priority. Without quality, decent paying jobs, citizens cannot provide for themselves and their families and young people will take their educations and move to more populated areas with more opportunities.
Local, State, and Federal governments must do a better job at focusing on specific economic opportunities and then building jobs around them through education/training programs, infrastructure development and targeted tax incentives.
Furthermore, the state should work to decrease government bureaucracy so that small businesses can spend more of their most precious resource, time, on their own businesses and not dealing with the state.
New Mexico can do a better job educating our young people, but improvements must be made with a balanced approach.
Schools that focus on targeted areas will allow students with specific interests to enter an environment that encourages them. Teacher evaluation programs should be expanded, but based on a comprehensive approach. Evaluations based mainly on testing handcuff teachers and encourage skills that don’t translate to real life. And we must find a way to encourage parents to take a bigger role in their kids’ learning.
New Mexico has too much sun, wind geothermal access, and land to not be a leader in the development of new types of energy for the nation. The State should continue to not only work on research and development of new resources, but should work with providers to make residential systems a reality for the majority of residents, and develop large scale transmission lanes so that companies that want to make energy here and export it can do so.
We can also do a better job at encouraging people to either construct or modify their buildings so that they are more energy efficient. Doing so would be better for everyone’s budgets, creation of construction jobs, and the environment.
In a democracy, if people don’t have trust in their government then the system cannot work. The state must do a better job reducing the amount of money necessary to run for office, increasing the transparency of both officeholders and campaign donors, and encouraging increased citizen participation.
New Mexico has one of the highest rates of uninsured citizens in the country. This year presents a unique opportunity to create a health insurance exchange that will allow for more businesses and individuals to get access to quality care. We should take that opportunity.
We can also look to smaller, yet equally effective ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency in the system. And example of this would be to require insurance companies to place contact information on cards to that providers do not have to type in information every time a patient checks in to a new office.
Everyone in our society should be treated with the same amount of respect and dignity, no matter what their sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. This means people should be allowed to marry whom they wish, be they hetero or homosexual couples.