Jul 14 2015

We Need to Pay Attention

Fellow Democrats

The next Presidential election is not that far away.  It’s hard to keep up with all the Republicans that are jumping into the race.  But we need to pay attention, so let’s start.  I received this message from the factivists and I wanted to share it with you.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is running for president.

And that means it’s time for us to get up and get ready, too. Here are a few facts about this new Republican candidate to get you started.

Scott Walker:

  • Rolled back workers’ rights in his state, and gutted funding for education and health care
  • Doesn’t believe the minimum wage “serves a purpose”
  • Saw six of his associates be convicted, including one who embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from a veterans organization
  • Oversaw some of the worst job growth in the Midwest

You know what President Scott Walker would do to all of the progress we’ve made so far. We can’t afford to let him do to the whole country what he’s been working so hard to do to Wisconsin.

Today, we’re asking Factivists like you to spread the word about Scott Walker by forwarding this email and asking your friends to join you in holding the GOP field accountable:

http://my.democrats.org/Scott-Walker

Jul 26 2015

Please Join Us!

Believe it or not, summer break is almost over and some people are getting ready for school.  Even if you aren’t one of those folks, its time to end our break and resume our First Friday Lunches!  Join us on Friday, August 7 at the Range in Bernalillo at 11:30 AM to 1 PM.  We have lots to talk about!  We’ll count on you to comment on the first Republican Debate which occurs August 6.
Our guest this month is Pamelya Herndon, director of the Southwest Women’s Law Center.  She is a popular attorney and activist, Vice Chair for CD 1 and officer in the Democratic Party of New Mexico.  Pamelya will talk about the Fair Play for Women Act and Paid Parental Leave and answer your questions.  I hope you can join us to discuss these issues and show our support.  Please let me know if you can attend.
We are recruiting Voter Registrars for Sunday is Funday in Rio Rancho on August 16 and for the new Beer Fest in Bernalillo over Labor Day Weekend.  Let me know if you can help with these events.
I hope to see you soon.  Best, Marg

Jun 09 2015

Bipartisan State Senate Passes Strong Job Creation Package

During a one-day Special Session of the New Mexico Legislature, the Senate today passed a package of legislation that funds needed infrastructure construction projects – seniors centers, higher education facilities, and tribal infrastructure – worth nearly $300 million. Work on those projects will create jobs in communities across the state quickly. The overall legislative package consisted of three parts: capital outlay funds of infrastructure projects, funding to meet budget shortfalls for Magistrate Court operations and the State Department of Health, and a series of tax breaks.

“This legislative package was a strong compromise, a compromise between the Senate, House and the executive branch. All sides made concessions and negotiated in good faith. The Senate has fulfilled its part of the agreement,” said Senate Finance Chairman, Senator John Arthur Smith (D-35-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra).

Funding for a long list of infrastructure construction projects was contained in Senate Bill 1. The Senate passed it unanimously, restoring $10 million for repairs and improvements for many senior centers. Funds also will flow to infrastructure projects at institutions of higher education, public libraries, fire stations, elementary schools, at tribal entities as well as local projects throughout the state totaling $295 million.

“We came together and took action to kick-start jobs across the state by passing needed infrastructure construction projects. We also got some relief for individuals and families who have high unreimbursed medical expenses. I am pleased that we could forge a real compromise with Governor Susana Martinez and House Republicans to put progress before partisanship. I am proud of my fellow Senators from both parties for sticking to our principles to put the best interests of the people of our state first,” said Majority Leader Senator Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo and Valencia).

“Jobs are the number one concern of the people of New Mexico. Passage of today’s capital outlay bill will create up to 15,000 jobs over the next three years,” said Senator Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo).

House Bill 1, passed by the Senate today, includes $300,000 to meet shortfalls at the state’s magistrate courts, and $4 million for a nursing-related shortfall at the Department of Health.

Included in the tax-breaks portion of the legislative package was the restoration of an expired tax deduction for medical expenses that go unreimbursed by health insurers.

 

Jun 09 2015

New Mexico House Democrats Vote for Economic Opportunities for Us All!

House Democrats voted for a package of legislation that will bring a more secure future to all New Mexicans. House Democrats stood strong and voted for bills that will create jobs and fund critical projects in our schools, for our seniors and help families and communities all across the state.

“This is a victory for all New Mexicans – regardless of political party affiliation,” said House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf. “When we work together for the good of every New Mexican, great things can happen. This package of legislation will positively impact the everyday lives of New Mexican families.   We have been proud to fight for a more secure future for every New Mexican.  We hope that our colleagues across the aisle will continue this work with us and not revert to partisan politics, as we saw in the 60-day session. Every New Mexican deserves a chance to get ahead, and these jobs will help many get one step closer to success.”

“These projects represent critical needs across the state of New Mexico for seniors, families, students, and local communities.  On the final day of the legislative session, House Democrats stood united to ensure that projects for seniors, students and our Native communities would not be cut,” said House Democratic Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton, “The legislation we passed today restored those cuts and will create jobs for New Mexico’s families.”

“The changes to the capital outlay package reflect the majority of positive changes that House Democrats have been championing since the 60-day session,” said Caucus Chair Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, “Our seniors, our students and our Native communities faced serious cuts to critical projects.  This package restored those cuts, and now we can move forward with projects that will boost the health and security of our seniors, help our students learn in safe and modern classrooms, and improve the community facilities that New Mexicans families use every day.”

“I’m glad that we could come back to work to accomplish something that makes life better for New Mexicans every day.  Today we invested in jobs and the future of our state,” said Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard.

“When it comes to jobs and investing in the infrastructure of New Mexico, we can’t let politics get in the way.  Today we worked together to move New Mexico forward and help families – that’s the job we were elected to do.”

The legislation included $295 million in capital outlay projects in communities across the state, a little over $5 million in tax incentives for tech jobs, and special appropriations for the Department of Health and the courts.

May 21 2015

NM Congressional Delegation Introduces Bill to Expand Research on Rare Genetic Disease Affecting Hispanics

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján,Steve Pearce and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced they have introduced a bill to increase research, education and treatment for Cavernous Cerebral Malformations (CCM), an uncommon genetic blood vessel disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord, and affects people of Spanish descent, including many Hispanic New Mexicans. The lawmakers’ bill, the Cerebral Cavernous Malformations Clinical Awareness, Research and Education Act (CCM-CARE) would expand National Institutes of Health (NIH) research related to CCM through grants and programs to increase awareness, treatment and prevention of CCM.
The disease, also called Cavernous Angioma, was common among Spanish settlers in the Southwest, and the hereditary mutation that continues to cause it today has passed through 17 or more generations. CCM is characterized by vascular lesions that develop and grow within the brain and spinal cord. Individuals often are not aware they have the disease until they experience the onset of symptoms, which may include neurological deficits, seizures, stroke, or sudden death. An estimated 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from the disease, which is more prevalent among New Mexicans than any other population in the world, though other Southwestern states also have high rates of CCM. Due to limited research, there is currently little treatment for CCM besides surgery, which is an option only for some patients.
“Sadly Cerebral Cavernous Malformations is difficult to diagnose and has few treatment options, but this bill is an important step along the path toward developing a cure for the New Mexicans and their families who suffer from this disease,” said Udall, who has worked to raise awareness about CCM since he was a member of the House. “Boosting CCM research through expanded efforts and interagency collaboration will help to prevent, treat and ultimately cure this devastating disease.”
“Hispanics are disproportionately affected by Cavernous Angioma,” said Heinrich. “Expanding research and treatment centers across the country to identify, monitor, and treat individuals afflicted with this illness is an important step in improving the livelihoods of many New Mexicans and developing a cure.”
“This legislation takes critical steps to bolster research, education, and treatment of Cerebral Cavernous Malformations,” said Luján. “This devastating blood vessel disease is often inherited unknowingly, and New Mexico has the highest population density in the world. It’s time that we invest in research and programs to better understand this rare disease that continues to impact New Mexico families.”
“I am glad to work together with the New Mexico delegation to bring relief to the individuals and families afflicted by Cavernous Cerebral Malformations,” said Pearce. “This legislation is a great step forward in highlighting the debilitating effects of this disease, and one step closer to finding a cure.”
“I’m proud to stand with the delegation to invest in research and raise awareness about the devastating impact CCM has, particularly among native New Mexicans,” Lujan Grisham said. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to support efforts to find a cure for this disease.”
Specifically, CCM-CARE would direct the heads of NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement the following measures to further CCM research:
- Conduct basic, clinical and translational research on CCM; identify and support three national research centers’ collaboration on multi-site clinical drug trials; and integrate CCM within relevant existing clinical research networks to expand access to clinical drug trials to CCM patients.
- Establish a CCM education and information program under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand training for clinicians and scientists; establish a CCM Coordinating Committee at HHS to coordinate all federal CCM health efforts, facilitating the exchange of information and the effectiveness of research efforts; and award grants for CCM surveillance and epidemiology.
- Support appropriate investigational new drug applications and streamline the process from clinical drug trials to review for CCM treatment; and review appropriate request for designations for orphan drugs for CCM.
The proposed legislation is supported by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, the Angioma Alliance Board of Directors, the Angioma Alliance Scientific Advisory Board, and Cure HHT.

 

May 05 2015

Join the Fight to Lower Prescription Drug Costs!

Dear Sandoval County Democrat:

This editorial in today’s (May 5, 2015) New York Times made my blood boil. It’s about runaway drug prices. What’s most irritating about pricing is the reasons for increases — for they have little to do with increased costs and a lot to do about windfall profits for Big Pharma. Read the editorial here:

The Opinion Pages: Runaway Drug Prices, NYT 5/5/2015

Since the inception of Medicare Part D in 2003, the law has prohibited price negotiations between Medicare and pharmaceutical companies. Although Medicaid and the VA are allowed to negotiate (and are saving patients up to 40% on some prescriptions), Medicare is not, and this has got to change. As more and more boomers reach Medicare age, current law is guaranteeing a huge windfall at our expense.

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has sponsored S.31 Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015. Her bill will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices starting on 1/1/2016. She needs our help getting this passed.

I’ve started a petition at Change.org to voice support for this bill and I need your help to get it off the ground.

Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:

http://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-harry-reid-tom-udall-amy-klobuchar-pass-senate-bill-31-medicare-prescription-drug-price-negotiation-act-of-2015

This bill is currently stuck in the Senate Finance Committee where it can languish and die unless we tell our Senators to support it by co-sponsoring it and helping get it out of committee.

I have a very personal stake in this.  I’m taking one medication, Esbriet, for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). This drug costs $94,000 per year, and could easily bankrupt me. This price is ludicrously high and out of reach for most people who have IPF.  There are many other examples of prohibitive pricing for other medications.  This issue affects a lot of retired people on fixed incomes and it’s just bad public policy.

We need to fix this problem and it should be a non-partisan issue.   Big Pharma will complain that lower prices eat into their Research and Development budgets, but the facts are they spend more on advertising than they do on research.

Please restore sanity to Medicare Part D prescription medication costs by helping get this bill passed.

Copy and paste the link to this petition, and Email it to as many friends as possible … especially those in other states. Share it on FaceBook and other social media. We need to start a groundswell of support across the country at the grassroots level.

Thanks!

Paul Mansfield

 

Apr 27 2015

Sandoval County Treasurer Montoya Elected to National Leadership Post

 Sandoval County Treasurer Laura M. Montoya was recently elected Treasurer of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Next Generation Network, a group of approximately 300 county officials and staff dedicated to professional development and community service.

“It’s an honor to serve as a leader in NACo’s Next Generation Network. This will give our County the opportunity to share our expertise and continue our work of advocacy for sound policies at the national level, Montoya said.  “We share a passion for public service and strengthening leadership skills in counties across the country.”

The Next Generation Network provides a forum for young county officials nationwide to network, become engaged in NACo and develop a new generation of leaders.  It identifies and supports the educational and professional development needs of leaders and draws on their talents, ideas and expertise to inform NACo’s work.

The Next Generation Network is planning a service project as part of NACo’s 2015 Annual Conference & Exposition in Mecklenburg County, N.C.  This year’s project will benefit the Safe Alliance Domestic Violence Shelter, a local program whose mission is to provide hope and healing for people in crisis through comprehensive programs and services.

Montoya has been active in NACo since 2013 as a member of its Finance and Intergovernmental Affairs  Committee.  She currently was appointed by President Riki Hokama as a vice chair on NACo’s Programs and Services Committee and by NACo members as the subcommittee vice chair for Fiscal Policy and Pensions on NACo’s Finance, Pensions & Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States.  Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,069 counties.  NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public’s understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.  For more information about NACo, visit www.naco.org.

 

 

Apr 20 2015

First Friday Luncheon May 1st

Join us on May Day, May 1, 2015 for the Sandoval County Democrats First Friday Lunch at the Range in Bernalillo.  Lunch starts at 11L30.   Nothing less than the future of our Democratic Party is on the agenda.  I hope to see you on the firstFriday or out registering voters.  Please let me know if you will be able to attend.   RSVP to margelliston@comcast.net.

Apr 07 2015

Rand Paul Announces for President – What You Need to Know

 

Senator Rand Paul just announced that he’s seeking the Republican nomination for President in 2016.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • He led the 2013 government shutdown that cost the U.S. $24 billion
  • He’s voiced opposition to the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act
  • He said businesses have the “right to discriminate”
  • He opposes immigration reform and marriage equality

Right now, we need your help to spread the word about just who this guy is. Become a Factivist, and join the group of dedicated supporters who are getting out the truth about Republicans:

http://my.democrats.org/Rand-Paul-2016

Thanks so much for taking this first step towards victory in 2016, Margaret. Let’s go win!

2016 DNC Factivists

Mar 30 2015

Important April Dates

There will NOT be a First Friday lunch in April.   Enjoy your time with your family and religious observances.

Do come to the Sandoval County Convention on April 11 if you are a delegate.  Doors open at 9 AM and the meeting starts at 10 AM in the Cafeteria of Bernalillo High School.

 

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