Candidate: Patricia Roybal Caballero

Candidate’s Website: patriciafornm.com

Section 1
Candidate’s Responses to Yes-or-No Questions, with Optional Comments

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1. Do you support the platform of the Democratic Party of New Mexico in full?

Yes. 
I absolutely and wholeheartedly support the platform of DPNM, and I led the effort to include the Native American section of the platform.

2. Will you co-sponsor the Green New Deal?

Yes.
Absolutely! I’m very ready to do so since environmental justice has been pivotal to my life.

3. Do you support a ban on manufacture, sales, and ownership of assault weapons (large magazine, fast rate of fire)?

Yes.
Without a doubt. I sponsored the ban on bump stocks.

4. Will you co-sponsor Medicare for All?

Yes.
Absolutely. I believe healthcare is a right!

5. Do you support statehood for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico?

Yes.

6. Do you support federal funding for paid sick leave?

Yes.
Livable wage, paid sick leave and child care are fundamental workers rights

7. Do you support the abolition of private prisons?

Yes.
Without question!

8. Do you support public financing of federal campaigns to eliminate corporate donations and PACs?

Yes.

9. Do you unconditionally support all legislation to grant budgetary increases for the New Mexico federally-funded laboratories? If not, please explain your conditions.

No.
Nothing in the budget process should be unconditional - we have to have transparency to ensure accountability.

10. Do you support repealing the Hyde Amendment to allow abortion coverage for federally-funded health care recipients, including people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, Indian Health Services, and people in immigration detention facilities and prisons?

Yes.
Reproductive rights are healthcare rights and healthcare is a human right.

11. Do you support the cancellation of all student loan debt?

Yes.
Absolutely - we have to stop predatory lending.

12. Do you support universal, federally-funded child care?

Yes.
Absolutely - childcare is a fundamental worker right.

13. Do you support free public universities and colleges, including career and technical education?

Yes.
As long as career and technical education falls under a pubic institution.

14. Do you support legalizing recreational cannabis and providing amnesty for all nonviolent drug offenders?

Yes.
Without question!

15. Do you support fully funding the Indian Health Services and expanding services?

Yes.
Absolutely!

16. Do you support a real path to citizenship for undocumented people living in the United States?

Yes.

17. Los Alamos National Lab is making plutonium pits (the core) for nuclear weapons. As a U.S. representative, you can ask for a site-wide environmental impact statement. Would you do that?

Yes.
Yes. Absolutely!

18. In 2018, Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) introduced a bill to end the U.S. military's participation in Saudi Arabia’s war in the Republic of Yemen, a war that has not been authorized by Congress. Do you support this bill?

Yes.
Warmongering to support corporate greed is unacceptable.

19. In 2020, Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would cut the Pentagon budget by 10% and take the savings to create a domestic federal grant program to fund health care, housing, childcare and educational opportunities for cities and towns experiencing a poverty rate of 25% or more. Do you support this amendment?

Yes.
We have an obligation to provide public programs that create a cycle of social and economic well being and not fuel cycles of war. 

20. In view of the revelations from Edward Snowden that the federal intelligence apparatus is surveilling, without warrant, the lawful communications of millions of U.S. residents, do you favor Congressional hearings that would investigate these privacy concerns?

Yes.

Section 2
Candidate’s Responses to Questions

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1. Give us examples that demonstrate your past work to advance progressive values.

As a labor organizer, shop steward and international representative, I’ve worked alongside my mentor, Dolores Huerta. I’ve taken on leadership roles for civil rights and progressive organizations, including serving as the current National Treasurer of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), the Immediate Past New Mexico House Democratic Caucus Chair and immediate past National Treasurer of The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and past National Parliamentarian. LULAC is the nation’s oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization.

At the Roundhouse representing Albuquerque’s Westgate/South Valley since 2012, I’ve been a progressive beacon for economic and environmental justice. The Conservation Voters of New Mexico honored me with their Luminaria Award for championing “efforts to pass strong community solar legislation” and ensuring “her community members are connected and at the center of her work as a legislator.” I’ve also been at the forefront of the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. for all New Mexico workers, and have been a fearless voice to expand access to affordable healthcare, ensure equal pay for equal work, and change Party rules to ensure tribal voices have a full seat at the table.

2. What makes you a more viable candidate than your opponents?

After 4 years of the Trump agenda, we need bold progressive action and my record supporting progressive values is unmatched in this race. I’m the only candidate with a history of being on the front lines of poverty and environmental issues. Retake Our Democracy has said I’m a “true social justice advocate” with a “laser focus” on the under-served and the environment and that I serve as a “moral compass” in the State House. My living experiences as a social justice champion leave no doubt I’m a strong, progressive woman of color. And my opponents in the state legislature and on the campaign trail  have never deviated from labeling me as such.

3. Do you have an executable plan to end fossil fuel extraction on public and tribal lands? If yes, what is it?

We depend on energy to fuel everyday life so it’s important to invest in the infrastructure to transition to clean renewable energy. The Green New Deal and the Paris Climate Agreement are both good initial plans to get us moving in the right direction. 

With 74 percent of greenhouse gas emissions coming from energy related industries like producing electricity, transportation, and building and industrial sectors that depend on the burning of fossil fuels to operate, we have our work cut out but we must do this for the future of the planet. With this in mind, my Community Solar bill which I’ve been championing for years in the state house, is a solid blueprint. It harnesses the power of the sun and makes it accessible to those who don’t own homes or can’t afford to lease expensive equipment. 

In addition, we will need to provide the necessary resources for the just transition to clean energy and away from fossil fuels, and that includes the human resources - meaning we need to have the right people in place with a strong understanding of the issues, including those on tribal lands, to make good decisions. I’m personally  looking forward to seeing the leadership of Rep. Deb Haaland at the Department of the Interior.

4. What is your plan to transition the United States to 100% renewable energy?

We have to invest more in clean renewable energy such as solar and wind. Investments in carbon-capture technology are important too but we can’t rely on this type of technology alone to fight climate change. I plan to support the Green New Deal in order to transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy for economic sustainability and the health of our environment. Our goals must be impactful enough to prevent catastrophic life altering natural disasters, and ensure we maintain a sustainable clean energy environment for economic growth and prosperity for all. This takes bold action, courage and commitment to do the hard work to save the planet. Without a planet, all else fails. As a sponsor of The Energy Transition Act, passed in 2019 we created the blueprint for what we can do at the federal level. It creates jobs, protects consumers & lays the groundwork for economic growth for years to come.

5. Do you have a plan to close the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay? If yes, what is it, and what would you do with the remaining detainees?

Guantanamo Bay has been a stain on our country, and is in complete violation of our international and human rights obligations and rules, thereby subjecting detainees to cruel and unusual punishment. We first have to deal with ending indefinite detention without charge or trial. Prosecutors must be able to put together a case against a detainee. We should transfer those who have been cleared for transfer and ensure that the remaining detainees are given their day in court.

6. Do you have a substantive plan to increase police accountability? If yes, what is it?

Over the course of my tenure in the NM State House of Representatives, I’ve filed multiple bills, including this session, to ensure transparency and accountability from those in charge of our public safety. First, overall police reform efforts must begin with training objectives which dismantle racist stereotypes, targeting and profiling communities of color. Next, we must have recording and reporting systems in place which provide transparency in all law enforcement actions such as body cameras. Transparency must continue by making it easier for local police departments to share data with state and federal agencies. We can then create smart legislation based on good data. And, in this manner, New Mexico stands in line to receive federal grant funding support to strengthen this plan. Finally, law enforcement violating these new training and operational codes of conduct must be held accountable with the strictest sets of consequences, resulting in cases of excessive use of force, great bodily harm and death.

7. Do you have a plan to increase broadband access and affordability in tribal and rural areas? If yes, what is it?

The state through statute, can provide financial support for broadband infrastructure development and implementation and mediate the bureaucratic processes between state, local and tribal entities. In recognition of tribal sovereignty, the state must work hand-in-hand with seeking all avenues of funding and financing to ensure even the most remote sections of tribal lands receive access to this infrastructure. In this current legislative session, legislators will pass comprehensive broadband for all and a series of associated bills to ensure access and affordability.

8. It’s been over a year since the Washington Post published the Afghan Papers, a mass trove of secret U.S. government documents that detailed a coordinated effort by the U.S. government, through three presidential administrations, to lie to the American people and their elected leaders, about the war in Afghanistan. What is your position on the U.S. war in Afghanistan?

I’m against war efforts, especially if it’s a war just for profit such as the war in Iraq. As in Afghanistan, warfare in the defense of fighting extremism which violates the safety of a people and the right to self-determination must be weighted with the defense consideration of our country. As the daughter of a 3 war combat veteran, I absolutely support the defense of democracy and the elimination of extremist ideology leading to terrorism around the world. I trust this Democratic President Biden as the Commander-in-Chief in his choices for these defense related decisions. The President must act in cases of emergency and use military force in such a fashion as when President Obama used a team of Navy Seals to take out Osama Bin Laden. However, the question of whether or not to pursue war against another sovereign country must be reviewed and decided by Congress.

9. Is there anything else you would like us to know?

I’ve lived “social justice” working in hard labor and lived the Civil Rights movements all my life making necessary trouble. I don’t just use “social justice” as a keyword, label or because it’s a political trend, I’ve marched with Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. I’ve been beaten by police while on the picket line. And I’ve been profiled and targeted because of the color of my skin. And I’ve had my civil rights violated time after time.  The plights of our hard workers, our poor and racialized communities, of our students and teachers, have all been experiences I’ve lived. I don’t have to script, use tag lines or talk about these as “issues” because they’ve been the life I’ve lived. These experiences in organizing for income equality, climate democracy and action and for racial justice drive my state legislative priorities today, and will be the necessary policy priorities I will continue in Congress.

I’ve long been a social justice champion and my time as a union organizer working alongside Dolores Huerta has kept me grounded with my eyes on helping those most vulnerable among us. As your Congresswoman for CD1, I’ll continue the progress that our friend Rep. Deb Haaland has begun in the US House of Representatives. I look forward to being a voice for the people and will never forget where I came from.