NAME: Enrique Cardiel
POLITICAL PARTY: Running as an independent on the ballot. (Registered with LRU)
OCCUPATION: Executive director, Health Equity Council (Community Health Council for Bernalillo County)
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Working in and with community in areas of education, case management, and public health
EDUCATION: Undergraduate in political science at UNM, and Master of Public Health, NMSU
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: enriqueforthepeoplenm.com/
1. 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 Legislature take to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?
The Legislature needs to actively provide support for renewable energy as well as providing support for small businesses. Supporting businesses to do business with other New Mexico employers will create a strong local economy with some insulation from external economic fluctuations without having to attempt to insulate from the larger national and global economies.
2. During the last regular legislative session, there was an unsuccessful push to make it easier to keep certain defendants behind bars until trial. Should New Mexico law be changed to make it easier to hold individuals charged with violent offenses such as murder and first-degree child abuse behind bars until trial?
Homicide and child abuse are very different issues and charges and need to be looked at differently. Prevention is the best approach. I am willing to work with experts on each issue to determine the best way to move forward for New Mexico. We need to improve our pretrial services.
3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety as New Mexico faces one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation?
The Legislature needs to deal with issues that cause crime such as poverty and access to illegal firearms that are used in violent crimes. Violence is often fueled by a small number of individuals in the community. We need to take steps similar to violence interrupters and other projects.
4. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, do you support or oppose codifying abortion protections in state law? And do you support or oppose enacting any restrictions on abortion in New Mexico?
I strongly support codifying abortion protections in state law. I oppose enacting restrictions on abortion in New Mexico.
5. New Mexico has already implemented several gun control laws in recent years. Would you support or oppose legislation that banned or restricted the sale of AR-15-style semi-automatic weapons, such as raising the age limit for purchasing such weapons? And what about legislation making it a crime to fail to safely secure firearms around children?
I think gun owners need to demonstrate competency with firearms and especially with firearm safety before purchase. We expect people who drive to show such competence, firearms should be no different for responsible gun owners to demonstrate competency. Appropriately securing a firearm is an important practice.
6. The state agency tasked with keeping New Mexico children safe has faced recent scrutiny over transparency issues and its handling of high-profile child abuse cases. What changes would you support to improve the operations of the Children, Youth and Families Department?
A renovation led by review of failures in any system is important. Looking at any failures in CYFD will be key.
7. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
We need to tax sugary drinks and alcohol at a greater rate and put that funding into public health programs that help deal with issues caused by those substances. These examples are public health issues and as a public health worker it is clear we can do better on these.
8. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay its legislators a salary, though lawmakers do get per diem payments and can qualify for a legislative pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried Legislature and, if so, how much should lawmakers be paid?
I support a salaried Legislature. Salary will need to be looked at for equity issues and also depend on how many days we expect sessions to be. We want legislators to make enough that they are not easily swayed by special interests. We also want legislators who are able to represent the population of New Mexico in an equitable manner.
9. 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, especially Native Americans and those who don’t speak English as a first language?
We need to fund our public education system sufficiently to provide adequate education to all. Quality pay for a quality job is most important for those who are expected to educate and train our future generations to be responsible and active participants in our society. Quality education includes multilingual and multicultural education that is inclusive.
10. 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 the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would withdraw more money from the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-12 education?
I strongly support the constitutional amendment on the November ballot for increased funding for early childhood services and K-12 education.
11. In order to address climate change and air quality issues, do you support or oppose legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the state achieve net-zero emissions by 2050?
I strongly support legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions. In order to deal with the increasing and obvious climate change we should attain net-zero much sooner than 2050. The wild fluctuations in weather are a huge public health and economic issue.
12. 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?
I believe that the current emergency powers for a governor were and are adequate. As a public health worker, I feel we could have done more in response to the pandemic, yet much of that requires a stronger public health infrastructure and not the governor’s powers.
13. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?
I think an evaluation system on capital outlay funding would need an equity component to ensure that the poorest communities’ infrastructure is on par with those communities best off.
14. Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claim that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election? (Yes or No answer only, please)
15. What changes, if any, would you support to New Mexico’s election laws?
I think our automatic voter registration process should be an opt out system as opposed to an opt in system.
1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
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.