Q&A: 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Gabe Vasquez - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Gabe Vasquez

Gabe Vasquez

NAME: Gabe Vasquez

POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic

OCCUPATION: Director of Strategy and Partnerships, HECHO/National Wildlife Federation

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Las Cruces

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Las Cruces City Councilor

EDUCATION: Bachelor of English, New Mexico State University

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: GabeForCongress.com

1. What is the biggest issue New Mexico is facing right now and how would you address it in Congress?

We must build an economy that works for everyone and strengthen the middle class. We must prioritize workers and working families, small businesses, and reverse the growing wealth inequality. Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, reducing costs for health care and child care, and prioritizing a renewable energy transition.

2. What is your position regarding climate change? What actions should Congress take, if any, regarding the environment?

We must strongly support the renewable energy economy, strengthen and enforce the regulations on polluters, protect our public lands and wildlife, and ensure we are protecting New Mexico’s most precious resource, water, while helping workers in the fossil fuel industry as we transition to a renewable energy economy.

3. What is your position on the leasing of federal land for oil, gas and mineral development? Do you think the federal government should change course and issue new leases?

Bureau of Land Management lands in New Mexico are governed by a multiple-use mandate, and we should continue to use our resources wisely to protect our energy independence, while looking toward the future of our rural economies by promoting uses of federal land that encourage renewable energy development.

4. What is your position on the U.S. response to the war in Ukraine? Are there additional actions the U.S. should be taking?

We must support democracies like Ukraine. Supplying military aid, intelligence, and monetary aid, which we are doing right now, are exactly the right actions. We should also ensure we are closing any loopholes in the sanctions currently placed on Russian and Putin’s allies.

5. What actions should Congress take regarding people now living illegally in the U.S.? What about for those who want to come in?

For far too long, undocumented families and workers have been used as political pawns in a broken immigration system that Congress refuses to address. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform that will treat people humanely, address the root causes of asylum seekers and keep our border safe and secure.

6. Do you favor a federal ban on the sale of military style semi-automatic rifles? If so, what would you do about the millions of such weapons now legally owned by American citizens? What other, if any, gun law reforms would you support?

I stand strongly in support of the Second Amendment, and also stand strongly in support of common-sense reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous individuals who would seek to do harm or lack the responsibility to own firearms. We must strengthen background checks.

7. Federal spending plays an important role in New Mexico’s economy. What should be done to increase other economic drivers here?

New Mexico has many budding economic development opportunities – tech-transfer, film, cannabis, renewable energy, international trade, outdoor recreation, cultural tourism, arts and culture, and more. We must use federal dollars to support innovation, our small businesses, and capitalize on infrastructure investments that create economic growth.

8. What actions do you think Congress should take to address inflation?

We must do everything possible to lower costs like capping the price of insulin, which Yvette Herrell just voted against. Democrats have also proposed plans to lower the cost of health care and child care, all of which Yvette Herrell opposed. In Congress I’ll work to lower costs for New Mexicans.

9. Do you favor or oppose limits on late-term abortion, and do you believe tax dollars should or should not be used to fund abortions?

I believe that these decisions should be left up to women and their doctors, not politicians.

10. What should be done at the federal level to address the crisis of opioid addiction? Any other drugs?

We must adequately fund mental health treatment, especially in our inner-city, rural and Native American communities. We can best treat opioid addiction when we create a fair economy that works for all New Mexicans. We must also hold manufacturers making billions of dollars on opioids accountable for their actions.

11. What differentiates you from your opponents?

I come from a working-class immigrant family and have earned every opportunity I’ve been given. I believe strongly in the values of hard work, because I’ve lived them. I’ve written and passed policy at the local, state, and federal level, and have served my community as a public servant.

12. Why do you want to be a member of Congress?

We are in a pivotal time in our nation’s history. I will not back down in my fight to restore the middle class, protect our environment, hold the rich accountable, lower costs for working families, raise wages, and make health care, education and child care affordable.

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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