You asked, we answered — more Aamodt Community Meetings scheduled

Our prior series of community meetings on the Aamodt Settlement were filled to overflowing, and many of you emailed and called asking if we could schedule more to continue to help and answer your questions. And the answer is — yes!   We’re here to help.

Here’s the info for two additional meetings:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

6:00 — 8:00 pm

Tesuque Elementary School, 1555 Bishops Lodge Rd, Tesuque, NM 87574

Thursday , March 27, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Frank B Lopez Gym (Pojoaque Middle School), 1574 New Mexico State Road 502 West, Santa Fe, 87506

Everyone is welcome to attend one or both meetings.

HELP SPREAD THE WORD:

To be added to our Aamodt Mailing List, email us at info@CarlTrujillo.com, subject line: “Aamodt list”.

Filing Day!

Today, our Campaign for Change officially filed for re-election. We’re proud to have gathered over 600 signatures from our community in support of continuing our mission to make our legislative process here in northern New Mexico more democratic, more inclusive and more people-friendly.

square graphicFrom the start, our mission has been to put people before politics. To represent rather than to govern, because that’s the way a democracy ought to work. To create an atmosphere where everyone in our community can feel safe to express their point of view and their priorities.

And while we’re on the subject of the people, as a Democrat, I believe that “we the people” means ALL of the people — black, white, Native American, Hispanic, Latino, old, young, male, female, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, Progressive, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green Party, Socialist, Libertarian, Tea Party, Liberal or Conservative. We have always and will continue to welcome everyone’s ideas to make our community better. No political party has a monopoly on good ideas (or sometimes, bad ones!), which is why we’ve worked hard to make sure our voting record reflects the diversity of worldview that makes up our unique community.

To my mind, that’s what being a Democrat means—being open to new ideas even when we disagree, including every member of our community in the discussion and creating solutions that are based on our shared experience of living in this community together in peace.

As a citizen representative, I went to the legislature as one of you — a “people,” not a politician. During our first two sessions in the Roundhouse, our Campaign for Change has done our best to be guided by your priorities. Our votes have been shaped by you – your calls, your emails & letters, in-person town halls, committee events and meetings. We’ve built this Campaign for Change together, putting people over politics every time. Even when it was hard. Even when there was pressure. Even when there was disagreement.

During our first term, we’ve learned a lot. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that there are a lot of good people in our state legislature. Our Campaign for Change has had the privilege of working with many people of

integrity and principle on both sides of the aisle — people who genuinely want to do what’s right for the people they represent. Many of my colleagues in the Roundhouse have shared with us that these last two legislative sessions have been more open and more free of political pressure and intimidation than past sessions have been. Rep. Martinez, our newly elected Speaker of the House, has gone above and beyond to create an environment of respect, freedom and openness where people feel safe to vote for what’s right for their communities without fear of intimidation, reprisals or other strong-arm tactics.

We’re proud to be part of the movement that’s working together to make it happen.

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Carl and son Thomas at the courthouse for Filing Day

Of course, there’s lots more to do to make our government here in New Mexico truly open and democratic. And that

change doesn’t happen overnight. But it is happening. We know because we hear from all of you that it’s happening, one step, one day at a time.

We did this, working together. And over the next two years, just imagine what else we can do!

2014 Legislative Wrap Up

As many of you know, our second legislative session wrapped up last week — here’s an update on what we worked on.

Many of you wrote in to express your thoughts on some of our biggest and most divisive issues — things like driver’s licenses for undocumented workers, legalizing marijuana and same sex marriage.  However, since this legislative session was for the most part limited to bills related to budgetary items, these issues did not make it to the House floor for a vote.

For this session, our primary focus was on securing funding for a variety of projects that encourage high tech investment and job creation here in New Mexico.  As a materials science researcher, I’ve seen firsthand how high tech jobs and businesses can grow a sustainable, vibrant economy like almost nothing else.  High tech businesses tend to be cleaner and more respectful of our environment.  And the high tech jobs they create tend to pay higher salaries and have more promising career paths — all of which benefit all of us here in New Mexico and create opportunities for our brightest young people to stay here rather than having to move away to build their futures.

Among the high tech initiatives we worked on this session was HB36, which creates tax incentives for small high tech businesses who expand or start up in New Mexico.  HB36 in particular focuses on promoting home-grown high-tech business ideas developed right here in New Mexico.   HB36 was unanimously approved by the House, but did not make it through the Senate.

Carl on the House floor with Gifted Dual Language students from Salazar Elementary

Carl on the House floor with Gifted Dual Language students from Salazar Elementary

Of course, if we’re going to create more high tech jobs here in New Mexico, we need to prepare people to succeed at those jobs.  That’s why I also sponsored HB17 and HB21, both of which provide funding for programs that give our kids in high school and college additional access to programs that teach them about computers and science.  I’m happy to say that HB17 was approved by both House and Senate and is part of the overall budget currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Protecting our environment requires more than just high tech business development, so I also sponsored HB124, which offers tax credits for homeowners who want to expand or renovate their homes to make them more energy and water efficient.  Although HB124 was approved by all of the committees that heard it and had widespread support across multiple coalitions, it was not heard on the House floor due to time considerations.  A big thank you to BuildGreenNM and SF Community College Green Building and Energy Efficiency Center, who worked hard to get this bill passed — we’ll try again next session!

And speaking of water, water rights and conservation remain a big issue in our community.  This past session, we worked on preserving some of our oldest water right systems by funding to maintain the infrastructure of our local acequias. HB299, would also assist in providing funding to our “small mutual domestics” that help ensure that our small communities have a reliable clean water source.  However, due to some technicalities on which entities are considered “small mutual domestic water systems,” we pulled the bill for this session pending resubmission in 2015.

As always, we’re proud to represent the very large part of our community that cares deeply about animal welfare.  To help protect our animal companions, we sponsored HB20, which allocates $250,000 for statewide spay/neuter programs.  There are places here in our state where the pet euthanasia rate is over 80% — we can and should do much better in preventing the tragedy of pet overpopulation and stopping the cruelty of euthanizing healthy, adoptable pets just because there are no homes for them.  Unfortunately, HB20 was hung up in House Appropriations, but the good news is that the team at Animal Protection Voters with the help of Sen. Richard Martinez, was able to put $100,000 in the budget for spay/neuter programs.  We’re still hard at work figuring out more ways to protect the animals that are an important part of our community.  Thank you to Animal Protection Voters for their hard work on this one.

We also sponsored several bills designed to strengthen our communities.  HM17 and HB356 seek to address the issue of electrical right-of-way fees that are excessive and mandate that these fees be set at fair, just, and reasonable - a measure designed to keep everyone’s energy rates fair and equitable. HM17 was approved by the House and now goes to the PRC for study.  And due to a heroic, bipartisan effort on the part of so many of you, HB356 made it through all of its committees — further than anyone expected it to.  And given how important this issue is to so many in our community, we’re not going to give up on this one.

Finally, to address the continuing epidemic of drunk driving & alcohol abuse here in our community, HB16 increases the percentage of existing liquor tax revenue to DWI Grant Fund, which assists counties with DWI education, prevention and intervention — because those businesses who make a profit from selling alcohol need to be paying their fair share for the damage that drunk driving does to our communities. I’m happy to report that HB16 was approved by both House and Senate and is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Funding for education was a big issue this session as well.  Many of you already know that I voted to table HB67 out of concern that it was unfair to our most experienced teachers.  (For more on HB67, click here).  While I continue to have concerns about the specific pay structure advocated in HB67,  I’m happy to have voted to include an across-the-board 3% pay raise for all of our teachers.  Education is and has always been a big priority for our community, and I share the belief I’ve heard over and over from educators that raising teacher salaries and prestige has to be a big part of any education reform we undertake.

As a citizen legislator, my priority is to be your voice in the Roundhouse.  I can only do that if concerned citizens like you share your thoughts with me on issues that matter to you- – so I hope you’ll continue to communicate with us about them as we prepare for the 2015 session.

Yours truly,

Carl Trujillo, Citizen Legislator
State Representative, District 46

Behind-the-scenes on HB356

For those of you wondering about the behind-the-scenes activity on HB356 (which would have required that electrical right away fees be fair and reasonable), the El Rancho Community Center newsletter published the following article (note: this is their summary not ours, but it’s a good one). And a true “across the aisle” effort to protect our community, and a good example of how our legislative process does not yet put people before politics. We have more work to do!

HB 356 was on the agenda to be voted on by the House floor but was not presented by House Speaker W. Ken Martinez. In the final hours of the 2014 Legislative session, apparently there were a few very important bills still pending such as the Lottery Fund and the Indigent Fund Sole Provider which took much time to debate.

We like to remind everyone that participated, either by attending the meetings or by emailing Representatives, what a difference their voice made and how important it is to get involved. This started as a Memorial which is only recognition that a problem exists, to a Bill that went through two key legislative committees with much support and recognition by many Representatives as being a very important and complex issue that needs to be addressed.

… Representative W Ken Martinez was elected to his seat as Speaker of the House because the Democratic Party is currently the majority in the House. It is the Speaker who assigns house bills to committees and it is the Speaker who decides which bills get presented to the House floor for debate and a vote.  HB359 was first assigned to the Health, Government, and Indian Affairs committee.  In this committee, Chair Roger Madalena (D) gave the opposing side the opportunity to speak for a total of 1 hour between Tuesday and Thursday on their opposition of HB356, yet gave the taxpayers, who were the majority attending, only 10 minutes! Thankfully, Nate Gentry (R) disagreed with the Chair, and demanded he give the committee members a voice after Madalena attempted to table the bill with no input from the committee. Alonzo Baldonado (R) seconded the motion and HB356 passed to the next committee. Yvette Herrell (R) not only supported this bill, but after Memorial 17 was presented, co-wrote HB356. Twice, Donald Bratton (R) stood up to those opposed to this bill and asked how such unfair business tactics could even be allowed to take advantage of any consumer. Rep. Bratton spoke the words our community was not allowed to speak!

These are Republican Representatives who crossed party lines to help support our State Representative Carl Trujillo (D) in an attempt to pass legislation for fairness to ALL people of our community! They, along with Rep. Trujillo, did not stand up for special interest groups but against unfair business practices that punished innocent people for something the federal government created with a law (25CFR169.12) that gives no limits to what Sovereign nations can charge for utility easements.

 This is not an attempt to promote any political party, this is a plea for our community to become informed and know who we are electing to our Legislation. Remember, taxpayers in our community are almost 90% of the voting power. We have the power to help decide who is running our government – let’s choose wisely regardless of party affiliation!

source: El Rancho Community Email Newsletter, 2/24/14

Aamodt Water Settlement Community Meetings

If you feel your questions weren’t answered as to all your options available with the Aamodt Water Settlement Agreement, please join Representative Carl Trujillo and representatives of the county and state government for a Q&A session so you can make an informed decision!

NOTE: These meetings are not the same as the workshops being held by the County in which Darcy Bushnell and staff will help you fill out your Aamodt settlement forms.

Everyone is welcome to attend any and all of the scheduled meetings:

Nambe Community
Location: Nambe Community Center
Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Time: 6:00pm

Pojoaque Community
Location: Frank B Lopez Gym
Sixth Grade Academy Conference Room
Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Time: 6:00pm

El Rancho Community
Location: El Rancho Community Center
Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014
Time: 6:00pm

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