Complaints about NM progressives miss the big picture - Albuquerque Journal

Complaints about NM progressives miss the big picture

Angelica Rubio

I don’t often criticize members of my party publicly, but enough is enough. As the November election draws closer, I’m seeing more and more opinion pieces and social media posts from conservative Democrats blasting legislators and community organizations for their work – the same legislators and organizations who have courageously dedicated themselves to fighting for our frontline communities against a culture that is subservient to the whims of the wealthy and powerful. These attacks aren’t befitting of a Democrat and make a mockery of what our party says it stands for.

These commentators would have you believe that equity and fairness are radical ideas, when they’re actually the bedrock of our state. The facts are clear: We have passed transformational legislation benefiting the people of New Mexico, such as establishing statewide earned sick leave, raising the minimum wage, increasing the Working Families Tax Credit, increasing teacher salaries, and making our communities, land, water and air safer.

People who wish to label legislation “progressive” and therefore negative are willfully missing the big picture. All of these policies were supported and needed by our communities across ideological lines. It was evident by the number of New Mexicans who wrote, called and testified in support of these bills during the past three legislative sessions. These are kitchen-table issues that mean the difference between thriving and just trying to survive.

There’s still more that needs to be done. We need affordable housing, affordable health care, paid family leave, and bold investments in our infrastructure and renewable energy.

But what we’re hearing in the complaints progressives have gone “too far” are really the frantic screams of the people who have long held on to power, and are beholden to the wealthy, industry and big business. They openly side with those who exploit workers, destroy our environment and health, and make it impossible for many of us to advance in this economy. They are, in fact, losing ground and have been for a few years now. But they’re willing to go as far as they need to in order to hold on to this remaining power – even convincing some of your most beloved legislators to come along, too.

Now is not the time to let up because I can promise you, my colleagues and I – those of us who are in the trenches and unwilling to compromise our values – will not be letting up, and neither will the very important organizations who have done the work.

I need each of you to not let up, either, and to pay attention to who is really fighting for you and your community, and who merely talks about doing so. Please register to vote and make your voices heard in November.

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