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Foreign Policy Analysis
Bringing the 2018 New Mexico State Legislature to the Wild Friends

Bringing the 2018 New Mexico State Legislature to the Wild Friends

Good morning Wild Friends! We are here at the New Mexico State Legislature also known as the Roundhouse. I’m Sue George I’m the director of the Wild Friends program and with me here today, Hi I’m
Sara Van Note and I am an educator with Wild Friends and I’m Barbara Garrity I’m also an educator with Wild Friends So today we wanted to show you around the Roundhouse and tell you a little bit about what happens here during the legislative session and you’re going to meet some of our legislators that support Wild Friends and find out about what’s going on this year. And we’ll see you inside Hi, I’m Representative Jane Powdrell-Culbert and I represent District 44 Sandoval County which is Rio Rancho,
Corrales, and the town of Bernalillo. We’d like to thank you for speaking with
us today so this video will be for the Wild Friends students who aren’t able to
come to the legislature this year so they’ll be watching it and learning more about
what goes on to the legislature and meeting you this way. So our first
question is how did you decide to become a legislator? It was totally an accident.
I mean I hadn’t planned on it I’ve always been involved in politics gosh since I was a kid
my mom was involved as a community activist and making things happen. You
know in our community we didn’t have infrastructure, period. You know, we had
outhouses and we had dirt roads And her and a bunch of the ladies decided they were gonna get signatures then it gave me and a bunch of little kids the opportunity
to roam the community from Central all the way to Gibson to get signatures
and I learned as an adult I’ve been involved in politics a long time but I didn’t know that’s what they were called. Hi thank you for this opportunity. I represent Senate District 11 and that is in the southwest quadrant of Bernalillo County there in Albuquerque.
Why did you decide to become a legislator? I decided to become a
legislator back in 1995 when I decided to run for the New Mexico State Senate
primarily because I didn’t see anyone who looked like me in the New Mexico
State Senate. I didn’t see very many women much less even any Hispanic women
there were a few but nobody else that looked like me and I thought why not
let’s challenge the gentleman who was representing us at the time. I’m from
district 4 which is the northwest corner of the state
and borders Arizona Utah and Colorado I’m right there in the corner so that’s
that’s district 4 and that’s the district I represent I’ve wanted to be a
legislator I guess you could say all my life and my family, I come from a
political family so a lot of the influence on me to go into politics is
due to my background I went into it because I have a district that there
are so many needs in district 4, basic needs like infrastructure that is
something I want to get there. Water, electricity, sewer, broadband, so
that we’re up to the times with what’s going on outside of my district. I’m Barbara with Wild Friends and I want to show you that this is where the Speaker of the House sits and here’s the beautiful crest of the state of NM and the important dignitaries sit up here in front. And this whole room the House chamber floor is where all the decision-makers, the legislators, representatives sit, they discuss, they
debate, and they vote on the bills. Some of them are here chatting in the off
time. One of the great things when Wild
Friends always comes up here is you start to learn that you really have a
powerful voice in the legislature lawmakers pay attention they listen and
most times the bills get passed. A couple of years ago there was some controversy
with the bee bill as far as what was causing it and some of the farmers and
ranchers didn’t like that you guys were pointing out very correctly I think the
nicotinoids that were responsible for it but in general you have a very
powerful voice and students in general have a powerful voice, more so than you
know. Stay involved because the future of New Mexico really belongs to you and we’re just up here trying to set a good course for your future. Be knowledgeable whether you decide to be a D or an R be knowledgeable about
what’s going on in your environment because I think that’s a big issue in
our country right now is it doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re
on, it’s really having some insight to what’s going on and how it affects you
personally, how it affects your family life, or affects your community. Everybody brings something to this. The kids when they come up here with their memorials and I tell them the whole point of this is you know a lot about your bill here or Memorial, your job is to educate me as a
legislator because I’ve got a lot of stuff I got a look at so if you come up
and sit down and say here’s what this memorial does, that helps me a lot. I
don’t have to try to figure it out you’re here to tell me about it and explain the reasons why we should do it. So that’s there’s a real benefit to that. People can come and go, they can walk
onto the gallery they can walk up here to our offices. I hope that never changes.
I don’t think people can understand and appreciate, cause they’re always surprised when they come in and then they find the office they walk right in
they sit down and they can talk to us. And they’re surprised by that and that’s
the way it should be, we should be accessible but there’s nothing wrong
with coming up here and you know being very vocal and a lot of times folks
gather outside the building here and express their concerns and that’s just
part of the process. Democracy isn’t always neat and clean, that’s the way it works and at the end of the day the result whatever comes out of this is better for
it. Well this session is called a short
session it’s only 30 days long and by law we’re only supposed to deal with the
budget or revenue and also We will deal with a message from the governor. The governor can also give us a message. So it’s a short session we have
a lot to do in 30 days but mostly we have to get the budget right and we have
to put more money into education because we have been cutting education for too
many years we have not had any new revenue and this year we do we have
about 200 million dollars so almost half of that is going to go into the
education budget both in the public schools and in higher education I know Wild Friends in particular One of my other committees is conservation and part of what makes New Mexico so special is our open lands, our wildlife,
and we don’t want to lose that Wild Friends really always has recognized that that also is the future of New Mexico. We lose those things, they’re gone forever. I just want to say keep up the good work,
stay involved, you’re gonna be here one of these
days some of you are gonna be standing where I am and protecting our
natural resources and protecting your kids and stuff so stay involved and
contact me. If you can, come up and visit me I’d love to have you come up
here, if your parents can bring you. If you come with your school. You
can call me you can email me, I melt for kids. First of all I want to say that
I’ll miss you Every year we have the turquoise
shirts that are around here, I’ve carried legislation, put in funding for
Wild Friends in the past and I look forward to doing the same this year so I’m
definitely gonna miss them around the around the Roundhouse
but hopefully that the work that they do continues and that we will see them back up here next year I’ll do all I can to add some additional
resources and funding in this year so we can assist with the program but just
keep on researching keep on learning and keep on having fun and keep on being a
voice because I always say, One of the most powerful lobbyist groups that we have in the state of New Mexico are our Wild Friends. In relationship to the Wild Friends, I have
just had a great time working with them over the years you know I’m on
transportation and I’m on business and industry and each year that they’ve come up here they’ve presented to one of my committees so
I’ve seen them in my committees over the past 16 years and I think it’s
great that you guys have a program like that. They are prepared to just
present. Do you have any message you’d like to send to the Wild Friends? I’ll miss the
friends this year! It’s always wonderful to see those turquoise shirts roaming
down the hall so if you happen to be up here for other reasons you should stop
by and say hello to me Room 120 in the basement but I’m very
proud of what they’re doing with the pollinator plants and our garden is
wonderful and thank you so much for this year deciding to work on the nurseries with the signage for pollinator plants that’s very important to educate the
public. So you’re doing good public service with your work. I want you to
keep it up and I’ll be here next year and so will you. Yes I have seen the pollinator
garden it’s beautiful very cool and I’ve even seen our little bee friends they’re
taking sips it’s very awesome. My name is Anthony CDeVaca and I’m the ground supervisor here at the State Capitol. Tell us about what’s special about
this garden. This garden is special because it’s a
pollinator garden and it also attracts we noticed we had a lot of hummingbird
action throughout the summer and there’s a variety of color and contrast and it’s all native New Mexican plants also. I didn’t get to see it in the summer, what was it like? It was really colorful, there’s some pinks and blues some rich reds and yellows It was beautiful.

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