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Guest Column: Focus on community needs over politics for bipartisan solutions

N.M. Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Here we are again, halfway through an election year with several more months of increasing hype ahead of us.

While the talking heads putter along about the hot topic of the day, we in District 44 in Sandoval County focus on the needs and concerns of our community and work collaboratively to improve the quality of life for our families and business community. Throughout my tenure, I have had the pleasure of working side by side with many elected leaders from Corrales, Rio Rancho and Bernalillo, and what has always been clear is the importance of focusing on community needs over politics.

Our community succeeds because our mayors, councils, representatives and senators — from both sides of the aisle — have always put aside partisan politics in order to work toward solutions that improve schools, roads and neighborhoods. Representing District 44, I have had a front row seat to the explosion of growth and the innovation developing in our part of New Mexico.

I have worked closely with the mayors and local officials, developing and implementing common-sense solutions. The people guide my work, and that is how it should be.

Together, our communities have accomplished: Re-engineering and upgrading the interchange at I-25 and US 550, securing funding for and adding new lanes on US 550 crossing the Rio Grande, implementing innovative policies, establishing new business development, collaboratively working to clean up brackish water issues contaminating our water, delivering to our communities senior care and hospital facilities, and ensuring District 44 and Sandoval County have access to higher education facilities

Over the past several months, we have begun to be bombarded with rhetoric and activism that is designed to divide us. Corrales, Rio Rancho and Bernalillo are each unique and self-reliant, yet these three communities have developed mutual relationships and respect for their differences, and that empowers District 44 and uplifts the people.

Partisanship aside, decisions have been made and work has been completed that brought together our communities for the greater good.

We cannot allow agitators to impose their brand of politics on District 44 and our communities. The people’s voice matters, but when others move to cancel the people’s opinions, that is where the line is drawn.

I am proud of District 44 and Sandoval County. Our differences and our diversity are qualities that make our community unique — all lives matter in our communities.

(N.M. Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert, a Republican, represents District 44, which encompasses parts of Corrales, Rio Rancho and Bernalillo.)