• December 9th, 2021
  • Thursday, 01:43:55 AM

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Sierra Club Endorses Candidates Across New México


 

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club recently announced the endorsement of candidates in the upcoming Albuquerque municipal election, as well as endorsements in the Albuquerque Public School (APS) board election and Soil and Water Conservation District Elections. The Sierra Club endorsed the following Albuquerque candidates: Tim Keller, Mayor; Lan Sena, City Council District 1; Cynthia Borrego, City Council District 5; Tammy Fiebelkorn, City Council District 7; Rob Grilley, City Council District 9; Emma Jones, Albuquerque Public School Board District 5; Josefina (Josie) Dominguez, Albuquerque Public School Board District 6; Julie Brenning, Albuquerque Public School Board District 7; Steve Glass, Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District; Zoe Economou, Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District; and Teresa Smith de Cherif, Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District.

 

Photo: City of Albuquerque The Sierra Club endorsed

“This is an outstanding slate of candidates,” said Richard Barish, the Political Chair of the Rio Grande Chapter.  “Mayor Keller has made Albuquerque a leader in municipal use of renewable energy.”

 

With the Solar Direct project scheduled to come online later this year, combined with 10.4 MW of onsite solar installed or planned for City buildings, Albuquerque is on track to reach 80% renewable energy use for city operations by 2022, and Mayor Keller has committed to 100% by 2030. Under programs initiated by Mayor Keller, Albuquerque is continuing its energy audits and facility upgrade work with a goal of reducing its energy consumption by 65 percent. Mayor Keller has committed to electrifying the City’s bus and vehicle fleet. Under Mayor Keller’s leadership, Albuquerque is well on its way to on becoming one of the top 10 U.S. cities powered by renewable energy.

 

“We’re really excited about the candidates running for City Council this year,” said Diane Reese, the Chair of the Central New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club, adding: “We owe it to our members to endorse folks who are willing to take action, and we think these candidates are the environmental champions we need right now.”

 

Tammy Fiebelkorn is running for the open seat in Council District 7.  Fiebelkorn is the New Mexico Representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. She has been a leader in securing passage of energy efficiency legislation at the State Legislature, as well as in the Albuquerque City Council. She works with Prosperity Works on the Community Energy Efficiency Project, which provides efficiency upgrades to low-income homeowners in the International District.

 

Councilor Sena worked to provide more green space for Albuquerque residents and to protect vulnerable open space areas. Councilor Cynthia Borrego was a co-sponsor of the “Clean and Green Ordinance,” which banned single use plastic bags for many retail uses. Newcomer Rob Grilley, running for the open seat in Council District 9, is committed to acting to address the climate emergency at the city level.

 

Photo: City of Santa Fe The Sierra Club endorsed Roman “Tiger” Abeyta, City Council District 3 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“This may be the first time we’ve endorsed candidates for the school board,” Barish noted. “School boards are important races. Schools are where our children will learn what they can do to address climate change, and schools are often placed on the front lines of so many important equity issues that are intimately related to environmental issues.”

 

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club also announced the endorsement of the following candidates in the upcoming Santa Fe municipal election: Alan Webber, Mayor; Signe Lindell, City Council District 1; Carol Romero-Wirth, City Council District 2; Roman “Tiger” Abeyta, City Council District 3; Amanda Chávez, City Council District 4.

 

“The Sierra Club recognizes the efforts of Mayor Webber to advance sustainable goals with concrete actions, including passage of a green bond to solarize fourteen city buildings and conversion of all city owned street lights to LEDs in a night sky friendly fashion,” said John Buchser, Northern Group Executive Committee Chair. “Furthermore, Mayor Webber’s aggressive support of water conservation, diversification of our water sources, and support of future technologies like aquifer storage and recovery have made Santa Fe a model for water policy and planning.”

 

Environmental issues have also received solid support from three incumbents running for re-election this year. Councilor Lindell supports programs to cut vehicle air and noise pollution; recognizes the need to use limited land and infrastructure resources wisely for infill projects; redevelopment of the Midtown campus as a place for Santa Feans to live, work and play; and to extend the ethic of water conservation to the commercial sector.

 

“We owe it to our members to endorse folks who are willing to take action, and we think these candidates are the environmental champions we need right now.”
Diane Reese, Central New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club

 

Councilor Romero-Wirth championed city council support for converting the city’s streetlights to energy efficient and dark sky compliant fixtures; supports programs to cut vehicle air and noise pollution; sponsored legislation (now law) to dedicate revenue from sale of land toward the affordable housing trust fund; and sponsored a resolution calling for 40- and 80- year water plans.

 

Councilor Abeyta supports programs to cut vehicle air and noise pollution; supports providing as part of the affordable housing trust fund rebates to allow families a way to afford more sustainable sources of energy; and seeks to pursue aquifer storage and recovery.

 

District Four candidate and school administrator Chávez aims to bring to the city council the knowledge, skills and passion she gives to public schools. She is a supporter of community solar, infill and a mix of land uses, as well as programs to cut vehicle air and noise pollution.

 

In addition to the above endorsements, the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club announced the endorsement of three candidates for Las Cruces City Council and one for the Dona Ana County Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. The Club endorsed the following candidates: Becki Graham for Las Cruces City Council District 3; Becky Ann Corran for Las Cruces City Council District 5; Yvonne M. Flores for Las Cruces City Council District 6; and Gill Sorg for a Supervisor position on the Dona Ana County Soil and Water Conservation District board.

 

The Southern Group of the Rio Grande Chapter, centered in Las Cruces, engaged in a thorough vetting process of the candidates that included questionnaires and candidate interviews. All candidates were given the opportunity to seek the Club’s endorsement. “The candidates we endorsed are highly qualified community leaders with the vision and professionalism to move Las Cruces and Dona Ana County into a challenging future with its feet on the ground,” said Dan Lorimier, the Political Chair of the Southern Group. “They each believe the City and County can prosper in the face of climate change and water depletions, and that the local economy can thrive,” he added.

 

Councilor Yvonne Flores has served on the Las Cruces City Council since 2017. She has been a consistent advocate for sustainable policies and priorities there.  She did much of the groundwork for passing the city’s comprehensive plastic bag ban (beginning in November). She is an attorney, educator and labor activist whom the League of Women Voters sent as an observer status delegate to the UN Framework Convention On Climate Change (COP23) in 2017.

 

Becki Graham has worked for a decade at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center on sustainable economic development projects. She is also an adjunct instructor at Dona Ana Community College’s English Department. As an active mountain biker, Becki Graham has developed a strong sense of the value of the outdoor experience for all New Mexicans.

 

Becky Corran has been a faculty member at Dona Ana Community College, and has twice been elected as chair of the NMSU Faculty Senate where her leadership role has included the development of NMSU’s Land Acknowledgement Statement. Becky’s graduate accomplishments are in Public Health Education, and her work in this field has been primarily with historically marginalized groups.

 

Councilor Gill Sorg is running this year for a Supervisor position on the Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District Board. Decades as a ranch manager have given him the on-the-ground understanding of the challenges agriculture in Doña Ana County is facing. Years of experience in government at the City level have prepared Mr. Sorg for focused and effective leadership on the DACS &WCD Board.

 

“We’re really excited about these candidates,” said Howie Dash, Chair of the Southern Group. “They’ll bring the leadership we need to keep Las Cruces a great place to raise a family.”

 

Reese added, “We’re looking forward to solid off-year turnout to elect some great leaders. All eligible citizens should get out and vote.”

 

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