Candidate: Selinda Guerrero

Candidate’s Website: thepeopleforcongress.com

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

Click on the questions to expand or collapse the view.

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

Yes.
I appreciate the work that has gone into the party platform over the past several years. The platform has been created with deep care and intention to reach all Democratic voices across the state. I support the entirety of the party platform.

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

Yes.
Absolutely, the GND is an important step during a moment of urgency.

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

Yes.
There is something we can do immediately and that is to introduce legislation to address an incredible loophole in gun purchases. Person-to-person gun sales account for 40% of gun sales, about 6 million guns a year. The weapons are sold on the secondary market through unlicensed dealers. We can pass legislation that requires ALL gun buyers to pass a criminal background check no matter how they purchase the weapon. Just as important, we must address the underlying issues to violence, this includes free access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.

4. Will you co-sponsor Medicare for All?

Yes.

Yes, we are deserving of healthcare. I believe we must go further to extend healthcare access to include dental, vision, and cover Immigrant communities and mixed tribal status families. Further, I believe repreductive rights under healthcare must be extended for our Transgendered relatives, this includes sperm and egg harvesting.

 

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

Yes.
Yes, it is important that constituents of these districts have full access to representation and resources. It is beyond time to invest in these communities that are primarily people of color.

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

Yes.
Yes, and I believe we should go further to include parental leave and short and long term disability.

7. Do you support the abolition of private prisons?

Yes.
I support the abolition of all prisons and detention facilities. I believe we are capable of creating a structure that does not perpetuate further violence on humans. I believe we are capable of honoring the humanity and potential for healing, rehabilitation, treatment, growth and learning of all humans. We need specifically to invest in mental health treatment. Our prisons have become the dumping ground for our addicted and mentally ill community. Conditions of the current prison industrial complex exacerbates these conditions. We must divest from corporations that promote structures of torture and violence.

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

Yes.
We must recind Citizens United. All campaigns for office should be publicly funded this will level the playing field for candidates like me. I will also bring support for state legislation in the state of New Mexico for all our legislators to be paid. These offices must be accessible to the working class because democracy works when all demographics are included in decision making.

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.
I am saddened that our dependence on nuclear in this state has created sacrifice zones across the state and that we are now being eyed to be the nation's nuclear dumping site this happened because we have not taken steps to protect people, animals, air, water, and land. The ramifications of this neglect are major and urgent. We must bring strict regulations surrounding impact statements, accountability for harm already caused and a path to reimagine the amazing possibilities of our laboratories.



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.
I currently work for a Reproductive Health / Social Justice organization, this is an issue that has always been part of my work. I have been lobbying to repeal the Hyde Amendment as an organizer for several years. As your Representative I will continue to carry on this work until our repeal is successful.

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

Yes.
We believe in free college for all students, including the cancellation of any existing student debt. We know that Black women are the most impacted group of borrowers, and the prospects of ever repaying these debts has worsened given the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. We also believe in extending free access to vocational schools, and placing a cap on graduate school tuition. Hope is present when education and workforce training is available where we can foster our talents and create viable career paths.

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

Yes.
Yes, we see this initiative as a full strong families infrastructure package.  We can invest in the caregiving economy, public education, paid leave, and universal childcare and providing equal pay, living wages, and benefits to childcare, public education, and domestic workers.

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

Yes.
We believe in free college for all students including extending free access to vocational schools, and placing a cap on graduate school tuition. Hope is present when education and workforce training is available where we can foster our talents and create viable career paths.

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

Yes.
Yes, there is great potential to heal the harm done by the failed policies of the “War on Drugs.” Legalization of recreational cannabis is a first step to this repair and also creates potential for a new economy to be built where in particular the Southwest is an agricultural hub. Some of our most impacted states stand to have the greatest gains. Repair and restoration will require us to provide amnesty for all impacted. We also must prioritize impacted communities for opportunities to enter this new economy by expanding collective bargaining, the right to unionize. Invest in a bold policy package that prioritizes impacted communities.

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

Yes.
We must honor our treaties. We should be flooding resources to our indigenous relatives. We have a duty to protect and ensure access and resources to our first nations relatives.

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

Yes.
We have a responsibility to honor our founding principles around immigration. If we truly support  our monuments to Liberty,  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” we must treat our immigrant and refugee relatives with humanity and care. No human is illegal - this rhetoric creates violence and harm against our undocumented communities. We must Abolish ICE, a program established under the guise of Homeland Security in 2003, ICE is not an effective use of resources nor are they effective but rather this program has promoted violence and harm that includes violations of fundamental human rights. Asylum seekers must have a clear path to citizenship and safety and we must expand DACA. We have the resources and infrastructure for people to apply for citizenship but we must invest in this structure to expedite paths to citizenship. We must support dreamers and all immigrants - they ARE Americans as many arrived as children and have always contributed to our society. We must center undocumented families with urgent initiatives to close detention centers and return children to their families.

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.
Absolutely! I am saddened that our dependence on nuclear in this state has created sacrifice zones across the state and that we are now being eyed to be the nation's nuclear dumping site this happened because we have not taken steps to protect people, animals, air, water, and land. The ramifications of this neglect are major and urgent.

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.
We must stop direct arming of Saudi Arabia forces. We must flood humanitarian aid to address the famine created by the constant war in Yemen. The United States has a global responsibility to diplomacy and humanity to promote peace.

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.
This is aligned with our platform goals and I will be supportive of all current legislation that promotes access and care for our most vulnerable.

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.
Yes! I have been personally impacted by these tactics in my work organizing for Black Lives. These tactics are not only harmful they are not aligned with values of Freedom and Liberation.

Section 2
Candidate’s Responses to Questions

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

I have been a human rights community organizer for over 20 years. In the most recent decade I have established local social justice organizations to support the liberation of prisoners, incarcerated youth including school to prison pipeline and the movement for Black Lives.

 I am a precinct chair in the Democratic Party in a very active ward and a member of the current SCC. I have been a dedicated poll worker and voter Registration Agent for more than a decade with voting initiatives toward marginalized communities, an example of this were voting drives at our Albuquerque Mosque which became very important to be in solidarity with our Muslim community after the past administration instituted rhetoric around the Muslim ban.

 I introduced HB57 in 2019, a bill that would have ended felony disenfranchisement in the State of New Mexico. This was part of a national effort to address our over 6 million disenfranchised who are mostly BIPOC and poor. We understand that voter disenfranchisement is a tool of Jim Crow Law.

 I organize in rural New Mexico around Healthcare access where we have been working to pass Medicaid for All and have been engaged in reproductive justice initiatives including this year’s initiative to end the arcaic abortion ban in our New Mexico statute.

I have also been a Human Resources administrator for the City of Albuquerque’s Transit Department for 7 years. In this capacity, I negotiated union contracts with five different union bodies. I wrote policy for Risk Management and supported budget reporting and accounting to the CAFR, Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. I negotiated litigation at all levels from administrative proceedings to federal court proceedings. I have represented the City of Albuquerque in administrative proceedings and have directed attorneys during litigation in civil proceedings, workers compensation cases, unemployment hearings, labor and personnel board hearings. I have also participated in Federal EEOC and State Human Rights cases. I further have experience with a prominent Civil Rights and criminal defense law firm working cases alongside and in support of our attorneys. I am proud of the abundance of experience I will bring to Congress.

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

I am a community healer - my values are to Lead with Love and Stand in my Courage and that is what has brought me to do this work and seek this office. We have an opportunity to address the fact that the top 1% have benefitted while the rest of the country struggles. The top has benefited to the tune of over 1 trillion dollars in increased earnings during the pandemic. I am unafraid to be direct about taxing this top 1% to create revenue to address the priorities of the masses. The priorities of our campaign are to lift the intersectional issues driving the concerns of the masses.

Some of these priorities are:

  • access to housing that includes a plan for home ownership,
  • livable wages that include benefits like paid sick leave and paternal leave,
  • quality free education at all levels and a plan to remove the anchor of college debt from so many,
  • technology access and infrastructure specifically in rural communities,
  • Free universal healthcare, because we are all deserving of healthcare,
  • Investing in a structure to expedite access to citizenship expanding DACA
  • viable transportation which we understand when present unemployment numbers go down,
  • and to protect and expand reproductive justice including repealing the hyde amendment and expanding repro access for our trans relatives.
  • Most of all we must prioritize creating a plan to end the war economy
  • protect the earth beginning with passage of the Green New Deal.

I am the working poor, I am a union member, my family was evicted this summer due to economic impacts associated with the pandemic. I organize for Black Lives and I am a human rights activist. There are  a lot of lawyers and corporate class representation in Congress already, this is a great thing but Democracy works when ALL voices are represented. I have organized in this district for over 20 years, I am the people of this district and they are me! I am well positioned to speak to and problem solve the issues that impact our communities the most. New Mexico is number 2 in poverty out of all the states in this country, we know those closest to the problem have the best solutions. I have been involved in this problem solving work for decades with our incredible network throughout this district and the state to bring along the voices, ideas and support to solve these problems and create bold policy.

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

The Green New Deal is very important because we are in conditions that require urgency!

I support initiatives to address New Mexico’s dependence on nuclear energy as well. We must honor our treaties and uplift our Indigenous leaders. Our Indigeous communities must be at the forefront of the movement to care for our land, air and water - we are on Indigenous land.

I support initiatives already in place such as the agenda of the Progressive Congressional Caucus which is aligned with our campaign goals and include:

  • An investment in a bold green infrastructure package that prioritizes frontline communities, advances clean renewable energy and public transit, fixes roads and bridges, provides job training and re-training and rebuilds communities with new and better schools, water and sanitation systems, and universal broadband.
  • Dramatically curtail air, water, land, and climate pollution, and promote a just worker transition
  • Create resilient jobs to help communities prepare for and respond to climate-related disasters.
  • Renegotiate and negotiate fair trade policies that protect domestic manufacturing and good jobs, and strengthen worker power and environmental protections everywhere.
  • Expand collective bargaining, the right to unionize, and workplace democracy in all policies
4. What is your plan to transition the United States to 100% renewable energy?

I see myself aligned with these initiatives and know I can bring new and revolutionary ideas such as an investment in the Red Deal that has been put forth by Red Nation. This is complementary to the Green New Deal and provides paths to continue forward. 

(I have included the Red Deal with this submission for your review as well.)

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?

I believe in abolishing all facets of the carceral system. We can provide humane examination of each of these detainees to support finality in each of their cases. I believe in due process which many of these detainees have been denied.

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

Policing was born from U.S. slave patrols and night watches. This sordid history created a policing system that, at its core, is inherently biased and, therefore, can never serve and protect in a neutral manner equally beneficial to all people. Policing in general does not keep us safe. Despite the billions of dollars spent on policing every year nationally, the U.S. continues to have serious issues with violence. If policing and imprisonment made us safer or stopped violence, the U.S. would be one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. However, decades of evidence have proven that this is simply not the case. We believe in everyone's right to safety and self-determination, which is why we believe that, if we instead reinvested in resources that have proven to keep us safe, healthy, and sustainable, we could achieve this desired outcome. We understand that despite decades of pouring money into reforms, retraining, and technology for police has not resulted in less violent behavior from police nor has it improved the success of policing outcomes. We understand that the current systems of policing and imprisonment are state-sanctioned violence particularly aimed at communities of color and the poor and that we must invest in just and humane alternatives to policing.

This includes an investment in wrap around services to community members who are struggling. Transformative Justice models that include initiatives like those taking place in Louisiana. We should demand that every District Attorneys' office in the United States create within its ranks a progressive civil rights division like the one orchestrated by newly elected District Attorney Jason Williams, who represents Orleans Parish, Louisiana. In his victory speech, he vowed to undo "300 years of backward thinking," and promised to review all of Orleans Parish's 326 non-unanimous jury verdicts, regardless of the date of conviction. "The (U.S.) Supreme Court may not address retroactivity," Williams stated last September. "If non-unanimous juries are not fair, then they can't be fair for the ones that happened in the past."

It is also part of a monumental campaign to lobby the U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to initiate a congressional hearing to begin investigations into the Louisiana criminal justice system. Which has consistently shown a pattern of overt racial discrimination toward people of color stemming from the unconstitutional marjority verdict stratagem in Louisiana. We're further asking that Chairman Nadler file a motion directing the incoming Department of Justice administration, headed by newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garlane, to appoint members to the special counsel.

The aforementioned campaign is one I am supporting with my organizers in Angola prison. This is just one example of a path forward toward accountability healing and creating transformative justice practices.

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

I support the initiatives set forth by Senator Ben Ray Lujan who has sponsored a bill that would provide $5 billion in federal funding to support broadband infrastructure deployment and require improved mapping of communities’ access to broadband. This is an important first step.

I currently organize in these communities and have supported communities across the state in troubleshooting access to technology, our communities on the ground are invested in and desire access to broadband. We can be bold in creating union jobs in this new industry to build out our infrastructure and I see this as part of other initiatives we have set forth under our strong families program.

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?

This is another area where I feel closely aligned with both the Progressive Congressional Caucus and our own State DPNM Platforms:

  • Repeal old authorizations for use of military force, require Congressional approval for all wars and acts of war, and end the U.S. wars in Yemen and Afghanistan including air and drone wars
  • Reduce Pentagon spending to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse while maintaining support for personnel and families
  • Invest in diplomacy, development, peace building, and education through grassroots-fueled aid
  • End executive powers to enact unilateral sanctions and end military aid to repressive regimes
  • call for the use of diplomacy, alliances, and peacebuilding interventions of governmental and non-governmental organizations that re-foster trust in America’s role in addressing international and civil conflicts.
  • All actions of United States institutions and supporting organizations—including the military, intelligence agencies, State Department, and defense and military contractors, and any U.S. international business transactions—should reflect integrity, respect, and ethical behavior in accordance with human rights and international norms and laws.
  • And we believe that our security, prosperity, and well-being are best served by friendly and cooperative relations with border countries
  • We have a major role in promoting international peace and justice through diplomacy, actively combating poverty and suffering, and working diligently to secure and maintain a healthy environment for everyone living on this planet;
9. Is there anything else you would like us to know?

First and foremost, thank you very much for this opportunity, I am honored to be part of this important discussion. I would like to share a bit about myself and what has brought me here today. I am a mother of 6 phonomenal young people and the grandmother of a beautiful baby girl born this summer. I am here because I am the working poor and an organizer for Black Lives. I have never been a political candidate before but I was inspired to run because of the wave of New Congress members who are People of Color, Queer and working class; I am a Queer BIPOC femme and am the working poor. This is an amazing opportunity to bring the voices of the working poor, and most affected by the pandemic to the decision making table. I have faced the same conditions that impacted many in our community. I was one of the first evicted this summer despite there being a moratorium on evictions. My husband also became imprisoned because of our work for Black Lives. New Mexico has never sent a Black person much less a Black queer woman to congress! We must keep moving forward after the historical election that sent Representative Debra Haaland as the first Indigeonous woman elected. We can continue to make history and advance representation for us all, we know diversity is important when promoting democracy. It will take all of our ideas, experience, and background to continue to re envision building the world we all want to live in where we are all valued and we truly all matter. 

I have been a community organizer since I was 17 and have used grassroots organizing tactics to uplift and invest building power within our community. It is time now, that we channel that same grassroots organizing power and people power, and take it to Congress. That is why I see my run for office as OUR run for The People.

We are the working poor, I am a union member, I am a human rights activist. I am a precinct chair in the Democratic Party and a member of the current SCC. I have been a dedicated voter Registration Agent for more than a decade. There are  a lot of lawyers and corporate class representation and in Congress, this is a great thing but Democracy works when ALL voices are represented. I am a community healer - my values are to Lead with Love and Stand in my Courage, these ingrained values are integral to holding me accountable as we move our important work in congress . I have organized in this district for over 20 years, I am deeply connected to my district and I see my run for office as OUR run for office, we are The People for Congress and I will be honored to be your next Congresswoman.