‘Historic’ candidates forum due in Edgewood

Residents of East Mountain communities have a unique opportunity to participate in making regional history. It will happen at the Edgewood Middle School (on Venus Road West in Edgewood) on Saturday, February 17. Eight Democratic candidates for one seat in Congress—the First Congressional District of New Mexico—are expected to appear to answer voters’ questions.

A veteran representative of the Central New Mexico Chapter of the League of Women Voters will officiate. The forum will begin at 2 p.m. and end at 4. East Mountain Democrats, a recently formed multi-county grassroots organization, encourages all interested citizens to attend to meet the candidates and submit their questions.

No less than eight hopefuls stepped up to run for Congress on the Democratic ticket when Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she would vacate her seat in the U. S. House of Representatives to run for Governor. The eight Democratic candidates for the CD 1 seat in Congress are, in alphabetical order, Patrick Davis, John Flores, Debra Haaland, Jesse Heitner, Damian Lara, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Damon Martinez, and Paul Moya.

The Feb. 17 event is the first of four forums moderated by the League of Women Voters for citizens living in various communities in District One, which includes the City of Albuquerque. This first forum was organized primarily for East Mountain residents, whose interests are believed to be different from those of urban voters who live in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Questions are expected to be somewhat different, due to differences in life experiences and needs of rural and exurban areas.

Local leaders of the Democratic Party regard the Edgewood forum as an historic event. High public interest in the race is thought to be reflected by a larger-than-usual number of candidates. Further, it may be the first time such an event has been organized and sponsored by more than one local-level party organization, especially for the emerging East Mountain region. Democratic Party representatives from Santa Fe County, Torrance County and Bernalillo County worked directly with state party officials to plan, support and promote the event because a great many CD 1 voting precincts are located in these counties.

Registered Democrats of Santa Fe County Ward 3C are also invited to stay on after the forum to attend the pre-primary ward convention. Pre-primary delegates will be elected to attend the state Democratic Party nominating convention by Democrats registered to vote in Ward 3C. The Ward 3C convention will begin at 4:30. Simple refreshments will be served.

Leo Sullivan

SFCDP Chair, Precinct 73

SFCDP Vice-chair, Ward 3C

Interim President, East Mountain Democrats NPC

 

Get informed and vote on Edgewood issues

Once again, it’s municipal election time in New Mexico. I hope Edgewood’s registered voters will consider some of the challenges the town faces before deciding which candidates to support for the two town council seats on this year’s ballot. Promises are sure to be made, so let’s ask the candidates how they intend to pay for them.

The past eight years have seen many changes in the town’s demographic makeup with many long-time residents departing and being replaced by newcomers. Unlike past years when many families were drawn to the area by its schools, a large percentage of today’s new residents are near or at retirement age.

In the critical first years after incorporation, the town annexed thousands of acres of land, approved numerous large subdivisions, and negotiated approval of three ambitious Master Plans. Prior to the recent infill annexation the town map looked like a crazy-quilt. By those actions, the town incurred the responsibility for providing essential services not only for the core area of the original 1999 incorporation, but to every acre added since that time. It is no accident that few of those acquisitions have yielded the benefits promised to us by the first town government because the town still doesn’t have the tax base needed to support the build-out of even a fraction of those proposed subdivisions and Master Plans. The town has always had to manage its budget carefully in order to provide services to existing residents. With the infill annexation complete, the budget must now be stretched further to accommodate services for many new residents.

Whether you are a resident of Edgewood by choice, forced annexation, or accident of birth makes no difference. Your vote matters and will help determine the town’s future. Make an informed choice: attend or watch the live-stream of the Edgewood Candidates Forum on February 24 at the Sandia Labs Credit Union. Use the contact information provided by candidates in ads. Most have Facebook pages. Vote early at the town office from Feb. 14 to March 2 or vote March 6 at the Edgewood Community Center.

Janelle Turner

Edgewood Resident

Former Planning & Zoning Commissioner

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.