Democrat for New Mexico District 44
For the past 25 years I have lived in the Albuquerque-Corrales-Rio Rancho area, and for most of that time, in District 44.
I know District 44 intimately: as a homeowner, a small-business owner, an executive for nonprofit corporations, a civic leader, and as a parent.
Both of my children attended and graduated from Rio Rancho Public Schools. Raising them launched my participation in many local events and activities, which grounded my understanding of our community’s goals and concerns.
My career as the CEO of two non-profits and my volunteer work as a member of the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Council have expanded my knowledge of our community’s achievements and issues. This experience inspired me to advocate for underserved and marginalized people, such as women diagnosed with mental health and substance abuse problems; disabled people seeking job opportunities; and children with developmental disorders or who are considered “at-risk.”
These experiences, as well as my active participation in the Rio Rancho Sunrise Rotary, showed me that community involvement promotes community achievement.
A fundamental belief of mine is that our government must always seek input from affected groups about services that are intended for them.
One example: the City of Albuquerque was spending millions of dollars on ADA playgrounds, yet the design committee lacked even one person with a disability. I publicly questioned this astonishing exclusion, which had caused a very practical problem. The proposed playgrounds met most ADA guidelines. Unfortunately, as I pointed out, these playgrounds would be installed near ramps that led into sand pits! Such an oversight would not have occurred had they included people from the affected group. Fortunately, the committee was open to changing the plan and correcting a costly error.
I also believe that government must respond to all the stakeholders, not just the squeaky wheels.
This insight came from my work as the CEO of a nonprofit. I avoided snap decisions, taking time to make sure I had heard from everyone, understood all perspectives, and got everyone on board. That practice led to decisions that were easier to implement because they had the understanding and support of everyone affected.
Solving problems usually required negotiating among people with very different objectives and philosophies. I know just how important it is to find our shared values. Finding shared values is more important than ever if we are to preserve and strengthen our community and our democracy.
Now, I am seeking to advocate for you and all of District 44. As your District 44 Representative, I will listen to your concerns and make sure they are heard in the Round House.
Learn more about Kathleen’s experience and stands: 29 May 2022 Rio Rancho Observer Q & A
“Dreams are the foundation of America.” – Lupita Nyong’o