Friday, June 26, 2009

Minimum Standard for Educational Assistances in New Mexico

With the increasing need for a higher quality of education in the state of New Mexico I would hope that the state legislature would follow suit and provide guidelines to increase the skills levels and professional requirements of the staff that works with our children every day in the K-14 school system. This state needs minimum wage limits and minimum educational requirements for its educational assistances. These skilled instructional staff members are underpaid and undereducated because at present no one is attracted to a job which requires all the skills and none of the educational requirements or pay of any other skilled educational profession.

As a parent I want to see skilled professionals working with my child. I want to know that the state has thoroughly investigated every individual who works in a classroom with children. I want to know that the only thing on their mind is my child’s education and not where their next meal is coming from or how they plan to pay the rent this month. As a state we owe these individuals the same curtsey as any other professional who works with children. The following is a discussion draft of a bill that would set minimum educational levels and minimum pay for these individuals so that we can ensure professional staffing in our schools systems in the state of New Mexico.

Suggested: (Bill)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Values and Respect for Life Partners

Marriage is not always an easy path to follow because two people grow in different direction over many years. Beauty fades and personal tastes change over a life time. Marriage is something that takes hard work and commitment. It is putting the other person’s feelings first in your life and knowing that they will do the same. Commitment is not something to take lightly and there will be times when someone interesting comes along but a person must be willing to forgo any type of physical relationship with outside individuals. Friends should respect married couples during times of weakness and encourage them to recommit themselves to their relationship. It is not wrong for married individuals to have close friendships but limits should be defined early on to protect everyone involved. Any friendship should only make the other individual stronger and should never tear down a married person’s partner.

When it comes to politics it is very important for elected official and candidates to have close friends because these individuals face a great deal of attention and admiration from single individuals who want nothing more than to destroy their careers or to bask in the attention shown an elected official. Close friends are often the barrier between elected official and these sad individuals. A wife cannot always be with her husband or a husband cannot always be with his wife so friends must step in and provide a safety zone for married public figures. Never should a public figure be left on their own to deal with someone who clearly has stars in their eyes for that person.

We have all seen time and time again over the past few years the results of allowing public elected official to deal with these people for themselves. I have often acted as that physical barrier for a few of my close friends and think nothing of making it clear to a women that her attentions are unwelcome when it comes to my married friends. You don’t have to be rude or unkind but you do have to be very clear that the person in question is completely and totally happily married. Elected officials are not perfect and they have their times of weakness just like everyone so it is not hard to understand that as a friend you should be there to encourage them and to protect them so that they can continue to serve the public for the betterment of our country.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

“Democrat Elected Official” Just a Title or Backed By a Real Philosophy

Over the last few years in New Mexico the Democratic Party has attracted more than a few middle of the road democrats. Some of its elected officials are now leaning more than a little to the right rather than to the left of issues. They are all registered democrats but are they living up to the real democratic philosophy which our party is based on? Do they support our core values and beliefs or are they using the party name in order to get elected to office? Where is the line between being in the center left and just using the title to get elected?

The Democratic Party is the “Big Tent Party.” The Party welcomes people from every group and is open to ideas from every area. We have our own far right (Mayor Marty Chavez) as well as our far left members (State Senator Cisco McSorley). We support many different views and welcome debate about what is good for both our state and our country. We value options from every member of the party. To ignore even one individual option is a disservice to every member of our party.

The problems start only when candidates and elected officials of our own party refuse to spend time with the voting public and turn a blind eye to what our voters care most about in this state. The power of an elected position can often lead individuals to a false feeling of being above the very people who got them elected in the first place. As a party our elected officials must value the issues and the stands that our voting public takes on things that matter in their everyday life. They must value the same core values that our State Party platform values in order to represent the people that elected them to office not just in their own area or district but throughout the state and the nation. Public office is not a private privilege but a duty that must be kept close to the heart and treated as a trust as members like Senator Jeff Bingaman and Senator Tom Udall does with humility and quiet thoughtful respect.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Equal Pay and Fair Labor Standards Act of 2010

Seeing how State Senator John A. Smith appears to think that educators in the state of New Mexico are being treated overly fairly and that their income and retirement benefits are acceptable to the voting pubic I would propose that he work hard to enact the same standards for all employees in the State of New Mexico. I therefore have taken the time to write a bill for him that would ensure that all employees both public and private are treated the same as every K-12 educator in this state. Equal Pay and Fair Labor Standards Act of 2010 The Albuquerque Journal would have everyone in this city believe that educators are rich and are being treated overly fairly so I would hope that they support the following bill to their fullest ability. Let’s see how the voting public feels about being treated the same as every educator in this state. Let’s show them that we value them as much as they value us. Let's start with Senator Smith's income shall we.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Democratic Party Chairman Brian Colón Caught Getting His Hands Dirty

No Brian was not doing anything illegal far from it he was showing his strong support for healthcare by getting down on his hands and knees to weed the garden at PB&J Family Services, Inc. While most republicans who are trying to block healthcare reform were hitting a few balls around on the local golf course our party chairman was showing how much he cares for the local communities by getting his hands dirty in the garden of a place that helps out children and their families in our local communities.

Volunteers washed windows, cleaned playground equipment and weeded the garden. Although the day was hot the volunteers, some 60 or more, were hard at work in three different locations around the city. We even had a cabinet secretary one Cindy Padilla on her hands and knees pulling weeds in order to provide a nice place for the children of families that use the services of PB&J. Big Bill should give that woman a pat on the back next time he sees her for a job well done.

County Party Chairwoman Ana Canales was also hard at work in the garden where she found a few friends, one praying mantis and two snails, which she took the time to show Brian Colón’s son. It is clear that many in the county and state party support healthcare reform and want to support our federal representatives when it comes to this issue. The party is known for it service to the community through out the year.

I also had a chance to interview Debbie Sanchez the director of this program and loaded the interview on to Youtube today.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Healthcare Service Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow will be a day of service for healthcare. The Democratic Party of Bernalillo County will be helping out in two locations tomorrow
PB&J Family Services
2-4pm on June 20th
1101 Lopez Rd SW
Albuquerque, NM
Cleaning, sanitizing toys, putting together packets of goods

Casa Esperanza
12-4pm on June 20th
UNMH Campus
1005 Yale NE
Albuquerque, NM
Cleaning, yard work, digging a drainage ditch (shovels needed!)

Looks like the Democratic Party is going to get to work for the community tomorrow so if you are interest in helping out then just go to the party website and volunteer for one of the events tomorrow.

While you are at the website don’t forget to find out about Politics and Pancakes where you can have a great breakfast served by wonderful members of the party while you get to know members of our court system this June 27. This is what you call caring elected officials who take the time to talk to the voting public.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sick of the Attacks from State Senator Smith

State Senator John Arthur Smith gets an “F” on education in this state because he take every opportunity he can find to attack educators in this state. You have to wonder if maybe he should change his party to republican because he clearly does not support public education in any meaningful way. If he wants quality educators in small towns in New Mexico maybe he should consider not attacking their retirements plans and maybe he should be supporting their pay increases. Smith has far too much power in this state and should be willing to work with not against educators to improve the system or maybe he should just stop spending all of his time with lobbyists.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unions Sues State Over Wage Tax of Teachers Paychecks

Being one of the 66,000 thousand employees that will see their paychecks fall by 1.5% this coming July, I agree with the measure to stop this law from going into effect. Why should educators have to pay the state for its poor management of our retirement fund when double dipping is only too common? Why in a time of difficult economic times should the state board’s mismanagement of the budget be balanced on the backs of educators in this state? When education is becoming more important and classroom sizes are being increased to meet demand why are we facing a wage tax? How does this support quality education and the people who work directly with students? If you plan a wage tax then enact it on administration which earns over $100,000 a year so that it gets to the heart of the problem and stop double dipping of our retirement funds. Also provide more transparency of how our income is invested and provide stricter controls of how that money is invested in the first place.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Violent Against Women in the City

When will the aggression against women in this city stop? I came home today to hear fighting and female screams in behind my home. The police showed up and broke up the fight. The people fighting were in their twenties and not very mature. Two of the young men took off before the police arrived to break up the fight. Mine is a quiet neighborhood and the police are called quickly when something like this happens. We don’t see this type of behavior very often but every once in a while someone moves into the apartment complexes on Ross Pl because the landlords on that street don’t care who they rent their apartments to and then the police have a time dealing with these people until they get the message and move out of the area.

More needs to be done to fix up the International District in this area of the city so that problems like this are not drawn to our peaceful community. The store fronts on San Mateo between Zuni and Gibson are all empty now and this invites crime. The hospital is closed and only doctor’s offices remain. The local 7-Eleven sell liquor in large individual cans which only draws the wrong type of element into our area of the city. Police are always being called to the bus stop at the corner of San Mateo and Kathryn because someone is out cold most likely from the beer they purchased at that 7-Eleven. Women have been raped behind the building across the street from that 7-Eleven and sex offenders are too many to count in the large apartment complexes over on Madeira and Palomas.

When is the mayor going to do something when it comes to crime in this area of the city? Why is more not being done to put an end to crime? Laws should be pasted to limit the number of sex offenders who can live in one apartment complex so that they do not all end up in the same area and drive down the neighborhoods. Children have to cross San Mateo at Kathryn in order to reach the grade school during the fall.

While writing this piece I just had to stop and call the police once more because a young man who appeared drunk just started screaming “hay” behind those same apartments. When I called the police they said that they would send someone out to check on the problem. I have a feeling that this is going to be an on going issue for awhile until someone is arrested.

Republican Whiners

This morning while watching the morning news programs, I saw the republicans whining about the fact that democrats are now in control and how unfair it is that they can no longer run the government. Gee, I do believe this is a direct result of the past eight years of failed government and an election last year that would change the direction of this country before we don’t have a country. The republicans in the Senate and the U.S. House need to get real and start working with the democrats.

Healthcare for all is what President Obama is working on this week and they need to stop blocking this program because the voting public is sick of double digit increase in their healthcare cost that is if they can even afford to have healthcare.

Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a great pick for the Supreme Court and it is simply an insult to the Hispanic population for senators to try to slow down her appointment. We are not going to put a conservative on to the Supreme Court to replace a liberal justice. We elected President Obama so he could protect our constitution and our civil rights in this country. President Bush did everything he could to move the court to the right so why should our democratic president not do everything in his power to move our court system to the left now that he is in office. We don’t want or need a right wing court system that would take private right away from women or favor big business over women’s rights.

The Republican Party is just going to have to come to accept that their ways are no longer in favor any longer because of the direct results that everyone can see. They had their chance to prove that pure capitalism was a better way of life and it proved to be a complete failure for this country. Now it is the Democratic Party’s opportunity to prove that controlled capitalism is a far better process and will provide a stable country for all Americans.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mayoral Candidates Want an Issue Try Crimes Against Women and Children

Can’t go to the car wash without getting harassed by the homeless asking for money and get aggressive if you don’t fork it over. Having your front door kicked in during the day so drug addicted thieves can take your TV or DVD player. Having your laundry room broken into so that thieves can damage the washers just for quarters to feed their drug habit. Have your car taken from the church parking during the middle of the day. Finding missing women on the Westside of the city when no one in the police department had the desire or the time to pursue missing person cases even when the families were looking for theses women.

These are just a few of the problems facing our current city and they make the female voting public feel more then a little unsafe because of it. Safety is a major issue in a city this large and while most violent crimes are going down crimes against women in this city have been going up. The only answer we get from the police force is that more crimes are being reported. So what is the current mayor doing to help prevent these types of crimes? Where is the task forces to deal with car thieves and individuals who target women in this city? Where is the city outreach to provide protection for women? Why do the police tell women that only when you are dead and then only if they find your bones do you become important to the police in this city? This is an issue that all candidates should be addressing.

Note: Let's also ask our congressman to support Adam's Law to protect our children from harm.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mayor Sitting Pretty in Face of Difficult Economic Times

This is going to be one of those years when nothing goes wrong for the current mayor of the City of Albuquerque. Albuquerque was name in the top ten for best places to live and has managed not to layoff government employees up to present. This is making it very difficult for his opponents to find any type of foot hold that would bring voter over to their side. The mayor is being very careful to make all of the right moves before the October election and up to present has done a good job. You got to hand it to the mayor when he wants to he can be a very good mayor. The problem is what his actions will be once he reelected to office? Will the city still have all of the services it provides at present or are we just buying time with this election?

Any opponent is going to have to provide voters will a vision of change that would be temping to the voting public. They will have to be able to look into the future and come up with a reason not to keep the current mayor which at present will be a very difficult task for anyone.

Our mayor knows that in order to draw businesses to this city services must be provided to the public. Cultural activities must be provided to the public. Ones that enrich the lives of both adults and children draw families to this city. Quality educational services must be available for all levels which includes after school programs around the city. Police must provide a safe place for families to work and play. Neighborhoods have to be cleaned up and the police have to be seen by middle class and upper class families as family friendly. Too much enforcement of traffic laws would only raise questions as to why the police are not dealing with more serious crimes in the city. Streets and the environment need to be managed in such way as to provide a quality environment. As long as all of this is taken care of then voters usually stay happy with the current elected officials. For a city the size of Albuquerque this management is no easy task and takes up a great deal of anyone’s time and energy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Senator Kennedy in the Battle of his life for Healthcare

Even brain cancer cannot stop Senator Kennedy from a two front fight to bring about healthcare for all Americans and survive cancer at the same time. He will need the support of all democrats to bring this bill through both the U.S. House and the Senate. If he is willing to make the fight then how can Main Street voters not help this senator who is one of our leaders in this country?

I for one am willing to support healthcare and encourage the voting public to call their congressmen and senators to encourage them to also support Senator Kennedy’s draft of this bill. Americans cannot continue to deal with double digit increases in the cost of their health insurance.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Permanent Fund Reform

In just the past year my ERB fund has lost everything it gained over the past eight years according to the State Treasury James B. Lewis. The deals that cost the fund $90 million and caused an increase of 1.5% payments by employees (nothing for employers no matter how much money that was given to the school systems to build new buildings) were made before Lewis took office. The questions are about third party marketers and their influence when it comes to how past members of that board decided to make investments. Why is the fund management not more transparent to the voting public and who is influencing how those decisions are being made in the first place? This is not just a large investments funds for the state but this is the retirement of every past, present, and future educator in this state. I most certainly have a big dog in this fight as they say in this state.

State Senator Tim Keller is concerned about this issue and is working with voters to try and provide a system that would support open and honest government. He has over the last few weeks spoken to the voting public and this has been a major concern for educators in this city. The following has resulted from working with investment field experts. It also will help that Senator Keller himself has experience in the field of investments and oversight.

“On Monday in the Investment Oversight Committee Senator Keller will submit recommendations to work with the executive branch, legislature leadership, state funds and the broader finance community to preserve the sanctity of our state funds and work to restore public faith in our investment process. After discussions with numerous individuals in the investment field in and out of our state and legislative council services Senator Keller has consolidated potential solutions to consider for the interim committee on investment oversight including:Redesign the governance structure of the state investment funds based on the separation of stakeholders, experts and staff.

  • Creating formal committee structures and requiring investment qualifications to reduce conflict of interested, improve oversight, effectiveness and accountability.
  • Require a public fund “prospectus” similar to other fund that outlines allocations, goals, and processes for each fund each year.
  • Determine the right balance of diversification of financial advisors (i.e. having a different advisor and fund partners vs consolidating advisors into a few relationships with full service financial institution)
  • Specify clear delegation of authority to oversight boards (approval requirements) for staff and advisors based on investment size, liquidation preference and other risk factors to create clear lines of accountability for any investments
  • Require tracking of not just benchmarks but allocation and performance comparables for a basket of “peer” funds (Endowments, other states etc)
  • Consider writing down Private Equity investments based on implied market value to ensure ‘real value’ of the fund for expected returns and planning purposes
  • Discontinue allowing individuals and entities from playing the role of advisors and fund managers, and across funds by to reduce conflict of interest and reduce risk
  • Specify and “arm’s length” for all transactions, meaning the market would determine all related fees and associated advisors and all relationships would disclosed in advance of any decision

Further details will be outlined in an Investment Policy Considerations Memo distributed at Monday’s Investment Oversight Committee meeting in Santa Fe. Senator Keller carried HB876 (M. Garcia) in the Senate this year which made it a felony for 3rd Party marketers not to disclose fees. After signage by the Governor, this legislation has enabled the state, and the public, to uncover fees charged. Senator Keller has professional experience in corporate governance, securities and alternative investments.”

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Healthcare for All Americans

Thursday I was personally reminded why it is vital to have healthcare in this country. I now am a diabetic which was not good news but still because of my history of cancer I have always found the money to have health insurance. I have to wonder how many Americans are unable to see a doctor to find out any type of medical condition they might not know about and yet these same issues will most likely shorten their lives. Healthcare should be a basic human right for all Americans not just the few that can afford the very high price of health insurance. Politicians who stand up against President Obama’s healthcare plan should be voted out of office at the earliest possible time no matter which party they belong to in this country. Basic needs of life should not be withheld just because people are either middle class or economically deprived in a country with the riches that we have in this country. To do so is a crime against every man, woman, and child in this country which is unforgivable and simple inhumane.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Judge Happy on the Bench

District Court Judge Alan Malott has just spent the last 90 days as the newest civil court judge for the second district court and could not be more happier in his position. In the last 90 days he has had the privilege to marry 102 couples here in Bernalillo County. While judges deal with disputes on day to day bases and see the harder side of the court system, it is always a happy moment in their day to be able to provide this kind of serve to the voting public. The judges in the second district court system have a never ending stream of cases and find little time to spend with friends and family due to the large case load. It is only those first few days that they find themselves with time to spend with the general voting public.

Judges are not allow to speak to individual issues before the court in public and most times must stick to the basic fact of their personal life and educational history in order to provide the voting public with a view of what type of judge they will be in the future. Yet with their limited free time I have found that most of our second district court judges force time into their schedules in order to support local community activities which show their caring side. These judges need support from the local communities when it comes to running for that first contested race. They go through a very careful selection process and must meet strict requirements before their name is sent on a list to the Governor for consideration. After being chosen by the governor judges must run in a partisan race in order to keep their seat on the bench. The process is long and often forces individual not accustom to public life into the spotlight so it is with great care and understand that we should approach our newest judges.

Presidents Steals Success Credit from Instructors and their Support Staff

Now just think for one minute. What is a college or university in the business to do? Teach student right! Now who does that in a college or university? That would be the instructors and their instructional support staff. It is great when they are doing a good job and people are getting a good education. Now think for just one minute who is getting all of the credit for the great job that instructors and their instructional staff are doing for the students? That would be the presidents of the colleges and universities in this state who are failing to support the very people who are making them look good.

When the people working directly with the students tell the boards and regents that their management is a failure they get pushed aside as if their views have no real value to those same boards and regents. Management continues to fail in its main goal to provide an environment in which instructors can deliver a quality education to New Mexicans. Yet those same boards and regents send lobbyists to Santa Fe every year in order to control the state legislature so that they can continue to encourage management in it failed policies and then give them even greater salaries increases while holding down the earnings of the people who work directly with the students. How much can one system take before it breaks? Does anyone in this state truly care about it system of education?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fix the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Jury Duty System

The Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court System needs a new system for how they do jury duty. At present the system is tedious, a waste of time and a waste of taxpayer’s dollars. The system has people show up early in the morning just as the court is opening and does not call anyone for a jury until around noon. People have to wait the entire morning on the county dime just to find out that they will not be needed for a jury pool. They should have orientation and then only call the number of people needed for a jury pool after the judge decides that one is needed. I saw where after the individuals were picked for a pool they were told to come back after lunch to be picked for a jury.

If the court system demands on making people show up to do their civic duty and forcing them to wait all morning before selecting 21 people for a jury pool then devise a system which educates the public on how the system works and what their civil rights are while they wait to be picked for a jury pool? Answer basic questions about how the court system works, some basic points of law and show them what a real courtroom looks like during orientation.

I have always supported the courts and believe that the judges do a great job when it comes to justice in this city but this is one area of the court system which badly needs fixing. The court system has had to borrow money just to pay juries so why have people waiting if they are not going to be used for a jury. The common sense approach would be to call individuals to come down either in the afternoon or the following morning once it is determined that a jury is needed. The system as it is at present is a failure which is only costing the taxpayers far too much money which could be better used to help support the needs of the courts.

GM is Now in Chapter 11 Bankrupts

President Obama yesterday was forced to invest taxpayer money into yet another one of our major industries to keep our economy from dropping even further then it already has to this point. Still New Mexicans will loss jobs because of this bankrupts proceedings. The American people now have a 60% share in this automaker. President Obama says that he has no interest in running an auto company.

Shareholders for the most part do not run a company but they elect the board members that then will hire the president that does run the company. It would not be unwise for the federal government to take care to see that those board members are interested in making sure that GM is run in such a way as to product the best profit for the future and for the shareholders. The people who now run GM must understand that this is not business as usual. The America people will be demanding results from their investment as would any smart shareholder in a company.

Business executives far too often only look at the short range health of a company and sometimes make poor decisions based on that short sighted view. The American people will expect a leader that is more interest on the long term health of GM. We want a company that can stand on its own without the support of the federal government to emerge out of this chapter 11 bankrupts. We want a company that will be able to provide future jobs for America’s autoworkers. GM should understand that the American people are watching.