In our community we have a high rate of poverty and a significant income gap. We need to build an economic foundation that gives everyone a fair shot at quality work, and the chance to find that right here in their own community, near their family and able to continue traditions.
I believe in connecting people with opportunities. That’s why I’m interested in the work of Taos HIVE, UNM Taos, First Steps, the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Common Grounds, and more. As Commissioner, I would actively support workforce training programs that make sense for the jobs we need now, including in the conservation economy and the restoration activities that are key in our rural community. I would also seek to support our small farms, especially those just starting out, and further connecting agricultural traditions to our schools. Additionally, as your Commissioner, I would support continued development and promotion of outdoor recreation, and work to invite in more light manufacturing.
Building jobs and business rests on education. The cycle of poverty is broken by quality education that starts earlier than early. I would support investments in early childhood education and quality childcare.
In terms of building new buildings, I would listen to what and where the community wants to see a new business or development move in. I support smart development, which to me means economic development that’s sustainable: development that respects our land and water resources, that is green and energy-efficient, and that sustains the lives of the people who live here.
We can expect the foundations of our economy to see major losses in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. If I were Commissioner, I would be supporting ways to help small business owners access state and federal loan opportunities, grants, and other support. We should do everything they can to help them find the lifeline they need – like through the UNM Taos Small Business Development Center.