Q&A: 3rd Congressional District candidate Teresa Leger Fernandez - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: 3rd Congressional District candidate Teresa Leger Fernandez

3rd Congressional District candidate Teresa Leger Fernandez. (Courtesy Teresa Leger Fernandez)

NAME: Teresa Leger Fernandez

POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic

OCCUPATION: Congresswoman for New Mexico’s 3rd District

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Santa Fe

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Owner of Leger Law & Strategy, represented tribes and community organizations; White House Fellow and special assistant to Housing & Urban Development secretary; vice-chair, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; chair and Executive Committee, Homewise (20 years — affordable housing organization); vice-chair, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; acequia commissioner.

EDUCATION: West Las Vegas, Headstart to high school; Yale College, B.A.; Stanford Law School, J.D. with distinction.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Teresaforall.com

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

Families are struggling with the high costs of living, housing and health care, while wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. In Congress, I helped pass legislation that will lower costs, stop price gouging, and create higher paying jobs. I’m leading the fight to ensure wildfire victims are fully compensated.

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

Climate change driven drought threatens New Mexico’s water and very existence. I voted for historic investments in renewable energy and new technologies to reduce emissions, create good-paying jobs and make us an energy industry leader. I led on legislation to fund clean water, drought mitigation, and clean up orphaned wells.

3. What is your position on abortion? Do you think states should be able to place restrictions on it?

Like most New Mexicans, I trust women to make personal decisions about pregnancy with their familias, their faith, and their health care provider — without government interference. I voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify abortion access at the federal level so women everywhere are treated equally.

4. Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claim that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election?

No.

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

Reforming our broken immigration system would be a $1.3 trillion benefit to the U.S. economy. We should provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and hardworking undocumented Americans, uphold the rights of asylum seekers, and adopt the bipartisan Farmworker Modernization Act so our crops are harvested responsibly.

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 cosponsored legislation to ban the future sale of military-style assault weapons which are too often used in mass shootings. It would not affect current firearms owners. I also support a comprehensive background check system to make sure dangerous individuals do not have access to firearms.

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

We must expand our economic base by investing in all our resources: our beautiful outdoors, our science and education centers, and especially, our resourceful people. I worked to bring essential infrastructure, broadband, and manufacturing to New Mexico so we can become an innovation hub and grow our small businesses.

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

In Congress, I helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act that will help fix our supply chain, bring down energy costs, and reduce the cost of health care and prescription drugs. We also need to hold CEOs of massive corporations accountable for price gouging.

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

I voted to make sure Ukraine has the resources it needs to defend itself from Putin’s aggression. I support further engagement with the international community to support Ukraine and sanction Russia for its barbaric invasion.

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

I lost two brilliant brothers to substance abuse and want to make sure no other family feels that deep pain. I introduced legislation to reduce substance abuse and helped secure the largest investment in addressing mental health issues and the opioid epidemic ever. Addiction is a health care issue.

11. What should be done at the federal level to address the increase in violent crime in the U.S., and especially in New Mexico?

We must address the root causes of crime, invest in our education system, and ensure law enforcement have the resources they need to deter crime and build trust. I’ve facilitated New Mexico law enforcement training workshops, increased federal funding for policing, and provided support for local police initiatives.

12. What are your thoughts on the status of the U.S. Department of Justice oversight of Albuquerque’s police department? Would you take steps to try to change it in any way?

Police must have the resources they need to keep the public safe and the public needs the appropriate oversight to create trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect.

13. In a time of high partisanship and division, what are some issues where you could find common ground and work with members of the opposing party?

I represent New Mexicans, regardless of party. My legislative work is largely bipartisan, notably, addressing PFAS contamination, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to compensate downwinders and uranium workers, wildfire response, drought mitigation, and education. I also chair one of the most bipartisan committees in Congress: the Sub-Committee for Indigenous Peoples.

14. What actions can Congress take to address the scourge of mass shootings?

We must pass common-sense gun violence prevention legislation that the vast majority of Americans support, including a ban on military-style assault weapons and a comprehensive background check system. We can make sure Americans are safe in their communities while still respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens to freely own firearms.

15. What differentiates you from your opponents?

Experience. I spent 30 years building small businesses, health centers and headstarts, fighting for voting rights and being a tenacious advocate for our communities. I focus on listening to my constituents and then take positive action to help. This experience has helped me deliver significant wins for hard-working New Mexicans.

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

I believe small places can do big things. I believe, together, we can build a prosperous future for New Mexico. I bring a fierce love of our rural, diverse communities to my work. I have not only worked on the issues that matter to our families, I have lived them.

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.

Home » 2022 election » Q&A: 3rd Congressional District candidate Teresa Leger Fernandez

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Albuquerque seniors pitch bill to require free feminine hygiene ...
ABQnews Seeker
They say the measure is a ... They say the measure is a critical component of achieving equity in education.
2
Smells like student advocacy? Schoolkids bolster bill to create ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico already has a state ... New Mexico already has a state song, a state cookie, a state bird, a state flower and even a state question. How about a ...
3
Four arrested after woman loses eye to stray bullet ...
ABQnews Seeker
An innocent bystander lost one of ... An innocent bystander lost one of her eyes after being struck in the face by a stray bullet last week while driving on East ...
4
3 is the key: Lobos aim to cool hot-shooting ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Lobos have been good defending ... The Lobos have been good defending 3-pointers this season, but Utah State leads the nation in 3-point percentage.
5
Quezada files ethics complaints against colleagues
ABQnews Seeker
Bernalillo County's ethics board has another ... Bernalillo County's ethics board has another two cases on its docket. County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada last week filed a pair of complaints against ...
6
Alec Baldwin and armorer charged with involuntary manslaughter in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Movie star Alec Baldwin and armorer ... Movie star Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were each charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 shooting on the  set of the film ...
7
The Mars Volta in ABQ? Find out when they ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Mars Volta are back. After ... The Mars Volta are back. After 10 years away, the duo released its self-titled album in Sept. 2022 — the duo's seventh studio album. ...
8
14-year-old dies days after double shooting on West Side
ABQnews Seeker
A 14-year-old was taken off life ... A 14-year-old was taken off life support after being shot and critically injured Friday night in Southwest Albuquerque. The shooting also claimed the life ...
9
Ex-commissioner’s ethics hearing proceeds without her
ABQnews Seeker
A hearing to decide whether a ... A hearing to decide whether a former Bernalillo County commissioner erred in accepting a lobbyist's large campaign contribution proceeded Tuesday even though the onetime ...
10
New Mexico congressional reps assigned spots on high-profile committees
ABQnews Seeker
State's 'unique and vital role' in ... State's 'unique and vital role' in national security noted