Friday, July 31, 2009

The International District a Planned Community of Diverse Cultures

City planning and The City of Albuquerque, New Mexico are not terms that you normal think of going together. Our city is known for its urban sprawl thanks in part to the encouragmet of local city government. Last evening was a remarkable evening at Pearl Hall on the campus of UNM because it was a coming together of college students and community members in order to support planned development of East Central in the International District between San Pedro and Louisiana.

Old Route 66 which is called central had its hay day during the fifties and the sixties when Americans were expanding west and the car on small two lane roads was where it was at for most Americans. Car motels were the thing and route 66 was the mother road for America. In the seventies and the eighties those car motels became run down dives attracting the drug trade, prostitution, and crime as our country moved on to larger flat highways like I-40. And the communities around this area were given the name “War Zone” because of the high crime rate. In the nineties and up until present day Mayor Martin Chavez has condemned and torn down many of those old car motels leaving empty lots in their place and a community made up of a diversity of cultures because of that road is now trying hard to reclaim their communities and revitalize those old neighborhoods without driving out current working class families or doing away with the diversity that they are so proud of in their local communities.

These communities has strong support for this revitalization from individuals and groups such as State Senator Tim Keller, City Councilman Rey Garduno, Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins, City of Albuquerque, OED, Talin International Market, District 6 Neighborhood Associations, Asian-American Association of NM, Southeast Heights Health Coalition, The Loan Fund, STEPS and The National Dance Institute of New Mexico just to name a few.

State Senator Tim Keller a native New Mexican who grew up in that area of the city is working closely with residents and business leaders of his district to improve the quality of life for what is now renamed the International District. Senator Keller grew up in that area of the city in a middle class republican family. He attended private schools and got his college degree from Harvard University before going off to Cambodia where he spent threes year learning that change happens from the ground up while he worked with the disadvantaged creating 500 plus jobs. Coming home to spend time with his parents also required him to live in the area where he became a community activist before running for the state senate as a strong grassroots progressive democrat.

The college students presented the communities residents with plans that included upgraded sidewalk improvements, a lane for city buses only, improvements to crosswalks, more city parks, exercises pathways, lighting, at some point moving businesses closer to the street with out large parking lots, colors and street markers that would let people know they had entered the International District. The feedback from community leaders was positive and encouraging. Senator Keller expressed a desire to get more input from local business leaders before making any changes. One woman wanted the improvements to be not only health friendly but family friendly. Another female resident expressed a desire to keep low income families in the neighborhood. In the end it was agreed that due to the short summer term that more work needs to be done to fully plan such a large neighborhood. It is strongly encouraged that local business leaders contact community leaders such as Enrique Cardiel and Reyna Juarez Officers of the South San Pedro NA, Nancy Bearce president of La Mesa NA, Steve Whitman from STEPs (southeast heights team for entrepreneurs) and a founder of the Abq international business district association or State Senator Keller to provide input and share their desires and views of the future for the International District.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Number One Hunk on the Hill and Dad is kind of Cute Too

It would appear that the women in Washington find our congressman Martin Heinrich to be the hottest in congress. What they don’t know that makes him even hotter is the fact that he is a loving father of two cute little boys and a devoted husband to his wife Julie. Now the women in New Mexico know that we have some of the hottest elected officials in the country so maybe we don’t tell them often enough but we are very pleased and proud of our congressman.

It is also nice that our congressman does not let little things like this go to his head. His major priorities in Washington at this point are healthcare reform and protecting our environment. These are two issues that are difficult to work through and will keep him busy until the end of this year. I hope everyone is calling his office and writing him to lend their support and give their input on these two very important issues.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

PRC Chairwoman Carol Sloan Turned Herself in Today

Sloan is accused of attacking the other woman. Now I know that physical violents is not the answer but what self respecting woman who has ever been cheated on by her husband does not greatly admire her for what she is accused of doing. Too many less than respectful women think it is perfectly fine to go after married men and some even brag about it. This is the one case where the other women should face felony charges for the damages they do to the wives of these men and their families. They also end up costing public elected officials their positions because of the harm they do to married couples.

Marriage is a commitment that is sometimes hard to process through but outside individuals should never take advantage of a couple who is going through difficult times. Women should be ashamed of ever taking advantage of other women when their marriage is less then perfect. Life is hard enough without having to deal with the pain caused when your husband cheats on you. If Carol Sloan is guilty of this crime honestly I hope that the judge in charge of her case is understanding about the emotional toll that was placed on her when she found out about the other woman. I also hope this gives the other women in this state a reason to think twice before they go after another married man.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obesity- Fault Overweight Americans and Charge Them More Even if It does Cause More Deaths

Never has one group of individuals been blamed and demonized more for their health problems then overweight individuals in this country. Currently the new healthcare reform bill will charge those individuals more for the same coverage then the very thin. What type of message is this sending to our young people when the federal government says either get thin or be charged more for every pound? What will happen to handicapped individuals who can't lose weight because of their handicap? Who will say what is thin enough and what is considered normal weight? Will they charge people more for being underweight next or maybe for having cancer since it is such a costly disease to treat?

What happens to the people who cannot afford their insurance right now when companies charge more for every pound? How many people will have to loss their insurance or even worst die from lack of healthcare? Will this new money go to the bottom line of companies who are already making record profits at the cost of human lives? Is this the type of healthcare reform we want in this country? And yet at the same time no blame goes to the companies who specialize in selling food that causes people to become obese after all according to our own Senator Bingaman people should take responsible for their own actions.

New Ward Chair for Democratic Party Ward 19A

Congratulation are in order for Ward 19A in the Southeast Heights part of Albuquerque. The new ward chair is no other then Blair Kaufman. Mr. Kaufman is currently principle at Sandia Base Elementary School so the ward can be assured that he will put families and children first in his community. Mr. Kaufman is also serving on the governing board at Central New Mexico Community College where he was first elected in 1995. He has what is rumored as a great love for hot air balloons and is a very skilled pilot. Ward picnics could end up with a hot air balloon which would be a thrill for the children in the neighborhood but that of course is up to the new ward chairman. Mr. Kaufman will be representing one of the more active wards in the city where most of the residents tend to be outspoken progressives. The new ward chairman will now have to take a stand of not promoting one democratic candidate over another due to party rules. I am sure that Mr. Kaufman will do his ward proud in his new position. So Congratulation and welcome Mr. Kaufman!

Monday, July 27, 2009

National Night Out 2009

August 4, 2009 will be another evening where families and communitie members will be out taking back their streets from the criminal element.

According to the national organization this event was started in 1984 and was the brain child of NATW Executive Director Matt A. Peskin. The first year 400 communities in 23 states participated in events with 2.5 million Americans taking part. Last August 37 million people in 15,499 communities from all 50 states took part.

It should be very interesting to see who will be out this year since it is an election year for the mayor and the city council. Crime has become a major theme for this year’s local elections and the voting public is looking for answers on how to reduce it all over the city. For more information checkout this website: National Night Out 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pancakes and Politics with Diane Denish

This morning at 8:30 am in downtown Albuquerque the first future female governor of New Mexico meet with local democrats to have pancakes for breakfast.

Lt. Governor Diane Denish spoke about her commit to a higher level of ethics and open government for New Mexico in the future. She wants to make sure that government is supporting the voting public in a open and honest manner so that everyone no matter which party they belong to is assured of fair and honest treatment.

She will be our first female Governor and will be a role model to young female democrats for years to come in this state. Diane Denish is a strong supporter of all our federal democratic representatives and made note that she supports the democrats from all parts of the state. She is from the southern part of this state and looks forward to many years of strong support from her hometown. She spoke of making sure that the southern part of our state had good paying jobs for the future.

Diane Denish has worked hard to support education in this state. She wants to make sure that our children get a quality public education so that they can provide a solid workforce for our states future economic health. She said that even in tough economic times we must find ways to finance a quality education for the children in this state otherwise New Mexico will only fall farther behind.

Al Parks the state representative from the International District was there to support his party and the Lt. Governor . State Party Chairman Brian Colón was as always the graceful leader of a party which shared in diversity and yet comes together under one strong leader to support our candidates. Judge Briana Zamora who is running for Metro Court was there with her young family showing that the court system clearly cares for their community and showing young Hispanic women that they can be anything they chose to be with only a little hard work. As always many many more quality candidates were in attends and we are blessed to have a party with far too many quality candidates to name all of them in just one blog so check out the picture to see more.

All in all it was a good morning for the democratic women of this state to show their ability to provide open and honest government well into the future.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Robert Aragon Removed As Ward Chair From Democratic Party

Tonight was a night that no local party ever looks forward to but it happens. The Aragon family has a long history in this state for being strong democrats who support the values and morals of their party but as of late two members of that family have now brought shame to that very old New Mexico family name.

Manny Aragon did a lot of great things for his community and that is why now so many are removing his name from public buildings after he was found guilty of taking the voting publics money in the building of our Metro Court. No one in this community welcomes this in anyway because they all valued the Aragon Family as good friends and as trusted elected officials. Now his cousin has again brought shame to the Aragon family name by being removed as ward chair because he violated party rules that he knew and had a long history with just to support a friend who was a republican. Of all families this one simple cannot say that I did not know the rules of my party.

The Democratic Party has a long history of people who don’t know how to not voice their personal option and I am just one of those people but when you take a position of leadership and accept that you represent other members of your party then you agree to live by the rules of the party when you express views as an elected official of that party. While this does not prevent you from expressing you own personal views it does require you to state clearly that they are your own personal views and not those of your party. Robert made the mistake of saying that he was representing his party when he endorsed a Republican for congress.

Members of the Rules Committee all expressed their distaste and sadness at having to remove a ward chair but were clear in great numbers that what Robert Aragon had done clearly crossed the line. Mr. Aragon did not show for the meeting and did not even try to protest the vote.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

President Obama and Healthcare

I can support President Obama’s views on healthcare so I am hoping very much that his view is the view that gets passed into law. The fear is that stupid ideas like taxing people who are overweight could end up in the bill but the President has said that he would not support such ideas which would result in a tax on low income and middle class individuals. He also said that a medical panel of doctors would look into cost saving measure that did not harm patients which I can totally support. We don’t want lawmakers making the call for what is good for our families in this country. No offense but they are not doctors as you can see by the ideas put out by one of our own.

As a consumer I have always tried to cut the cost of my healthcare and sometimes even the doctors don’t like my behavior. They want me to get X-Rays of my hip replacement every year but this last time it was four years. My hip replacement shows wear and the doctor was surprised that I was not in more pain but he had to live with my choice on when to get the X-Rays done. By the way I am in pain but I manage it without major pain killers everyday just part of living with a 90% replacement of ones femur along with the removal of 25% of the muscles that resulted in major reconstruction of the remaining 75%. My replacement was a consume design job for a 29 year old who was very active at the time of the bone cancer. So if President Obama wants to do one test that all doctors share more power to him. I would never let them sick me twice for the same test just for two different doctors and I have carried my own X-Rays to all of my specialist appointments.

Now let’s all hope that what comes to the president’s desk is something that he feels comfortable signing into law. And let’s all hope that we don’t see more stupid amendment that tax the middle class and low income individuals for preexisting medical problems slipped into this bill by members of our own party. I can live with a bill that covers 97% to 98% of all Americans while giving them a better quality of health insurance.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Healthcare for All in America?

What does the American people have to sacrifice in order to achieve this goal? Will we loss benefits or will a thin body be the ultimate goal no matter what the cost to our overall long term health? How will handicapped individuals be treated in this one size fits all program? Will states be able to provide a public option or will the federal government kill this part of the bill? If your employers decides to go with other plans will you be able to keep your current doctor or is that just a goal to be sacrificed in order to pass this plan? Will they tax low income individuals just to pay for the plan? Will co-pays be so high that you can still not afford to see a doctor even though you are insured? Does cost containment take precedence over any individuals well being? Can one approach be applied to all individuals without killing people?

Far too many questions and few answers are what is being put out at present by the government. Members of the federal government are going to have to face some hard questions on this issue from the voting public. At some point voters are going to say either get something that we can live with or vote no for a plan that would not work. Some issues cannot be sacrificed in order just to get a plan. Decisions should be between a patient and their doctor therefore government should not be placing restrictions on care for individuals. If we cannot get a plan that protects those rights then why have a plan that will in the end kill more people than it helps.

If, and it is a big if, they can cover all Americans then how is the system to provide care to everyone because we simply don’t have the people in this field to care for all of these individuals. Millions of Americans don’t have healthcare and therefore don’t use the system so what happens when these people start using the system? How long will be the wait just to see a doctor? Where is the money to educate nurses and doctors? Americans need more education on the details of this plan before they can get behind it and support it. Voters should have a loud voice in what goes into this plan before anything is passed.

We all support getting healthcare for all Americans but we want quality healthcare for all that does not cost people their lives. We want affordable healthcare that protects the individuals rights. We want something that puts the patient and the doctor in charge of their care not a uncaring federal government agent who may or may not make the right call in a matter of live or death.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Senator Jeff Bingaman and Healthcare Reform

I am a supporter of Senator Bingaman because I feel that he does a good job when it comes to our state. I am more than a little concerned about some of his ideas when it comes to healthcare reform that came out in the journal today.

As a single parent who works for the state in education and makes very little in pay I do not want my health insurance cost to increase. At the age of 29 I was told that I had bone cancer. I was a thin 118 pounds at the time and in the best shape of my life. I had my hip replaced and underwent surgery that removed muscles from my leg. I went through chemo for close to a year. All of the treatments left me with some serious side effects. My walking is not great and I am in pain every day which will only increase as my hip replacement ages and wears out over time. I have gained weight over the years and have developed type 2 diabetes so now I am faced with either causing myself more pain to loss the weight and facing surgery sooner to replace the hip yet again or doing less and having problems caused by the diabetes.

People like myself do not get factored in when they create one size fits all bill for the whole country. We pay the pride of more loss to our income because healthy people simple have no understanding of our health issues. I did not bring the cancer on myself and did not ask for the results but I personal think that a one size fits all program that harms people like me cannot and should not be supported by the voting public or any representative that I support.

I would support health clubs that could be affordable to all individuals and a measure that would encourage people to stay as fit as they humanly can without bring personal harm to themselves but to tax people because of their weight only shows a total lack of care for individual health issues and puts the government in charge of ordering people around when it comes to their health. These views on healthcare reform if passed could result in more harm than good to the voting public. I would hope that the senator would take the time to talk with people who are in ill health before coming up with a one size fits all type of legislation to reform healthcare.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Date Night for the Democratic Ladies

Here is an event that combines both a fun affordable evening out and giving to a good cause. So, ladies time to tell the husbands that they have had too much time on the golf course and it is time to take you out for a fun evening.

Kala Darpanam An Offering of Art
A fund raiser for the Asian American Cultural Center
Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students/seniors, and are available at the UNM Bookstore Box Office, online at, and select Albertson's Supermarkets.
Host:Asian American Assoc. of NM and ISA
Time:6:00PM Saturday, July 18th
Location:Rodey Theater, UNM

Open Honest Government from State Senator Tim Keller

State Senator Tim Keller posted this on his blog looking for feedback from the voting public.

“I'm getting ready for our Revenue Stabilization Committee meeting in Farmington and keep thinking about "the lesser of evils" and thought I'd reach out and see what others feel about the following potential situation. Let’s say our state funding continues to fall, and we have stark choices. Hopefully it won't come to this but, what would you do?

- cut services (social service, schools, universities, government headcount?)
- cut headcount and/or across the board 10% cuts for all
- raise taxes (on individuals, on businesses, on property, extractive industries?)
- take additional funds from our permanent funds?
- cut taxes in the hopes of stimulating business and then getting more tax revenue?
- try and issue more debt to free up one time funding options?
- lease state lands to developers?

Let me know your thoughts, feel free to suggest new ideas, this is just a primer......”

With the state’s economy doing poorly and little hope of it turning around in the near future state senators are being faced with some tough choices. I can’t say that I am pleased with any of these options but if I had to pick for the lesser evil I would vote for raising taxes before cutting services to the public at this point in time. The second choice would have to be taking money from the permanent funds. Please feel free to contact either Senator Keller or your state senator to give your option on this issue and new ideas are most welcome at this point in time.

We should all be pleased that some of our state senators are taking the time to ask the options of the voting public and not just forcing their views on the public.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lt. Governor Diane Denish to lead Ethics Reform in Santa Fe

After months of ethics issues in the right leaning press and lobbyists words being echoed in committee meetings in the round house our future governor is now taking a very open and strong stand on making changes that she feels will help to make our state government open and transparent to the voting public.

The Republican Party has tried very hard to make this an issue for her election with not even one ounce of success because Diane Denish holds herself to a very high standard of personal ethics. Clearly her office has taken no part in any of the current problems in Santa Fe. Our Lt. Governor is a solid example of what a state elected official or for that matter any elected official should be in office. He number one goal is to supportively represent the voting public when it come to matters that count.

Diane Denish has spent her time in Santa Fe working for our children and improving their education. She has tried to reform lending to our military families. She had done a great deal for the local voting public and has shown that her skills are many and strong. Her experience and understanding of our state government will be invaluable to the voting public in the coming years.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Senator Jeff Bingaman Standing Up for Our Children’s Education

While republicans and some conservative democrats (State Senator John A. Smith) try hard to destroy our children’s futures by cutting funding to public education we can always look to the quiet calm leadership of Senator Jeff Bingaman to assure that our state receives funding to better our children’s public education. Just today Senator Bingaman cosponsored “Time for Innovation Matters in Education (TIME) Act” and the “Keeping Parents and Communities Engaged (Keeping PACE) Act.” To learn more about these two very encouraging bills just click on this Link. This is just one of many examples of why Jeff Bingaman is a true leader in our party. I would hope that the voting public would take the time to let our senior senator know what a good job he is doing in Washington for New Mexico.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Healthcare Cost increase for Educators

Leave it to NMPSIA to find a method to violate the spirit of a law passed this year by the New Mexico Legislature to prevent an increase in healthcare cost to educators. Since they were prohibited from increasing premiums they decided to go around the law and increase co-pays and to increase minimums to $2,700 a year for what they call co-insurance.

This comes on top of a 1.5% increase to educators on their pension benefits forced payments. Where the state reduced their side of this payment I can see no reason at present for good educators to want to work in a state where in hard economic times gluttonous individuals are free to spend and not to reduce waste while at the same time decreasing educators take home pay.

This is a clear example of just why our federal representatives should support healthcare reform. Healthcare administrative providers care nothing for individuals who are not rich enough to pay for their ever increasing high cost services. Reform is a dirty word to these administrative types. While the president works hard to reform healthcare administrative types work harder to find ways around local and federal laws so they can increase the cost of healthcare to hard working educators in this state.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our Next Governor

Allen Weh will simple not get the chance in 2010 to cause further damage to our public educational system in this state because our next governor will be our first female governor . Diane Denish has a long history of working hard along side our current governor to improve education in this state. She opposes increasing classroom sizes and encourages further education of individuals working in our field. I hope that she will reach out to progressive state senators like Tim Eichenberg and Tim Keller to create a system that rewards teachers for hard work and a caring attitude towards bettering our educational system. We don’t need people like Allen Weh who will only further encourage people like State Senator John A. Smith to again reduce the state budget at the expense of our children’s future.

We need someone in that office who knows how to better our educational system. We need someone who cares about the children of this state and understands the need to improve our current system through change that works for every family in this state. We don’t need someone who thinks he can bully educators into change that does not work for our children. We need a school system that understands that it is not all about high paid administration which this state cannot afford during tough economic times. Men like Allen Weh and John A. Smith are far too self centered to provide any hope of a brighter future for our children. Now is the time for the voting public to show their support for a woman who has worked hard to better education in our state. Thanks to Smith the Republican Party already has far too much control over the finances of our state’s educational system.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Mexico 48th in the Nation for Education

Last weekend at the Politics and Pancakes breakfast I was talking to State Representative Al Parks about the problem of educational funding in New Mexico. Like most people who work in the field of education this topic makes me and others angry at people like State Senator John A. Smith and people like him who are so rich that they don’t care about our children’s education. Why more representatives don’t support representatives like Al Parks, State Senator Tim Keller and State Senator Tim Eichenberg is beyond me because the one sure way to raise our ranking is to help these men improve education through new programs that would attract quality educators and provide for more quality local educators through training and further education. The problem is that most representatives fear State Senator Smith and allow him to intimidate them into harming our educational system with his desire to decrease funding for it. State Senator Smith is the loudest and most outspoken when it comes to attacking educators in this state and as we can see from our current ranking his attacks over the past years are causing great harm to our children and their future opportunities for high paying jobs.

A few facts about education in New Mexico:
State Ranking for Education



48-New Mexico


50- Arizona

Lack of funding for New Mexico Education to be more than $350 million underfunded which was determined by a statewide task force.