Q&A: House District 11 Candidate Javier Martínez

  • NAME: Javier Martínez
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Attorney, nonprofit executive
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 20 years of experience working with diverse communities across Albuquerque including the historic neighborhoods of Barelas, Santa Bárbara/Martíneztown, Sawmill and others. Three-term incumbent state representative for House District 11.
  • EDUCATION: University of New Mexico School of Law, 2010. Admitted to the New Mexico State Bar, 2011
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: javiermartinezfornewmexico.com

What steps should the Legislature take to ensure New Mexico has a balanced budget amid falling oil prices and an economic downturn prompted by the coronavirus outbreak?

We cannot continue to place the burden of an economic downturn on the backs of New Mexico’s families. We need to continue to reform our tax code so that we have revenue stability. We need to diversify our economy and ensure that we invest in our most important resource: Our people.

What more, if anything, should the Legislature do to address a court ruling that found New Mexico is failing to provide a sufficient education to all students?

Continued increased investment in Pre-K-12, targeted specifically to programs designed to support students of color, English language learners, and students in rural communities.

What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?

Evaluate all GRT exemptions, deductions and credits. Those that have outlived their effectiveness need to be eliminated. Those that serve the state’s interest need to be amended to include reporting requirements and sunset clauses. We can reform the code in smart ways that best serve the interests of New Mexico’s families.

Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?

Support. As the primary legalization bill sponsor, I have studied this issue in depth since my election in 2014. We can be a national leader in legalization by protecting public safety, maximizing state revenues, and building the economy of tomorrow in race-conscious, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable ways.

Do you believe changes should be made to the emergency powers held by a governor during a pandemic or other time of crisis. If so, do you believe such powers should be expanded or reduced and in what specific ways?

No.

Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?

Support.

Do you support or oppose enacting a new state law that would allow police officers and other public officials to be sued individually by abolishing the defense of qualified immunity?

Support.

In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and child care assistance, and created a new early childhood trust fund. Do you support or oppose a constitutional amendment that would withdraw more money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to increase funding for early childhood services?

Support. We can invest in New Mexico’s youngest children and ensure that they reach their fullest potential AND also protect the fund for future generations. These two concepts aren’t mutually exclusive. Plus, the fund belongs to the people, not politicians. It’s time to send this proposal to the voters.

What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its election laws and primary system? Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?

We need to make voting easier, not harder. I support mail-in elections, and I support extending the right to vote to young people, starting at age 16. Also, I support open primaries.

Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding? Should each legislator be required to disclose which projects he or she funded?

Yes and yes.

New Mexico is highly reliant on the oil and natural gas industries to generate revenue to fund state programs, as evidenced by recent oil boom and bust cycles. What steps should the state take to diversify its economy and revenue base?

We need to double down our investments in renewable energy, and we need to welcome new and innovative industries like recreational cannabis and blockchain technology. In addition, we need to reform our tax code to make it more fair, simplified, and more broad.

Would you support or oppose a moratorium on fracking? And should the state impose additional renewable energy mandates as a way to address climate change concerns?

Climate change is an existential threat. I support aggressive renewable energy mandates but oppose a fracking moratorium. A moratorium today would severely impact education funding and opportunities, particularly for children of color who comprise 80% of New Mexico’s children. Let’s continue to enhance environmental protections and transition toward a 100% renewable energy economy.

What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?

Public safety is public health. We need to invest in public safety solutions that get at the root issues of crime. Issues like substance abuse and mental health are really public health issues but because we don’t have adequate resources in the community, the justice system becomes the default.

Do you support or oppose the public’s right to inspect footage taken by cameras worn by law enforcement officers? Under what circumstances, if any, should police video be withheld from the public?

Support. Police officers are public servants entrusted with the ability to lawfully arrest and even take someone’s life. The public has the right to know how officers have been trained and how they respond to the community. That said, there should be limited exceptions to protect the rights of victims including children and victims of domestic violence.

Members of New Mexico’s business community contend some state laws and regulations need changing so the state can better compete with Texas and Arizona when it comes to attracting companies. What steps do you believe should be taken to improve New Mexico’s economic competitiveness?

First and foremost, we need to invest in our people and help develop their full potential. Our human capital is our most precious resource, yet the most under-resourced. I’m always a big proponent of smart and effective regulations that protect New Mexicans and that incentivize business.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No

3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.

No

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