Senator Tom Udall Proposal Would Help New Mexico Small Businesses Diversify, Expand and Create New Jobs

U.S. Senator Tom Udall yesterday introduced a bill to help small business federal government contractors in New Mexico and across the country access the tools, training and hands-on help necessary to diversify their businesses and create jobs.

The American Diversification and Progress in Trade (ADAPT) Act of 2014 creates a pilot program at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that will help small business contractors find new customers and grow into new markets. By improving small businesses’ access to tools, strategies and hands-on help about diversification, and removing barriers that make it harder to break into large company supply chains, the program will empower small businesses to better compete for private sector dollars.

“Small businesses are the foundation of New Mexico’s economy and make up 96 percent of our employers, and I’m committed to helping reduce unnecessary barriers so entrepreneurs can thrive. My ADAPT Act offers small businesses another set of tools to find new customers, expand their business and create good-paying jobs for hardworking New Mexicans,” Udall said.

Small businesses are a driving force behind economic growth and job creation in New Mexico and across the nation. More than half of all working Americans own or work for a small business, and small businesses are responsible for over two thirds of the net new private sector jobs created over the past decade. As part of its core mission, the SBA works to generate small business growth and create jobs, in part by promoting federal contracts to small businesses. Udall’s ADAPT Act would help create jobs and new opportunities for New Mexicans by ensuring that businesses that rely upon federal dollars have the tools to move forward and continue to expand into developing markets.

Specifically, the bill would:

- Create a toolkit that includes best practices, strategies and other information on expanding and diversifying the customer base of small business contractors;
- Allow small businesses across the country to benefit from American Supplier Initiative, which removes barriers that small businesses face in trying to break into large company supply chains;
- Develop a website for businesses that contract with the federal government to help them easily access information on expanding and diversifying their customer base.

The ADAPT Act has garnered endorsements from major business groups in New Mexico, including the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Major Subcontractor Consortium.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and major contributors to job growth in New Mexico,” said Terri Cole, president and CEO of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce. “Senator Udall’s American Diversification and Progress in Trade Act will help ensure that small businesses in New Mexico that rely on federal contracts have the resources and information they need to succeed and grow.”

“The LANL Major Subcontractor’s Consortium strongly supports the proposed ADAPT Act,” said Liddie Martinez, president of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Major Subcontractor Consortium (LANL MSC). “Senator Udall’s consistent advocacy of small business is greatly appreciated. Too many small businesses, especially in rural areas such as Northern New Mexico, are extremely dependent on a few government contracts and are frequently hurt when government spending dramatically changes or stops. It is critical that these businesses diversify and become less dependent on sales to the government and the measures proposed in this bill will assist in the diversification goal.”

Senators Udall, Heinrich Support Bill to Protect Women’s Health in Wake of Hobby Lobby Decision

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have joined Senate colleagues in introducing the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act to restore the contraceptive coverage requirement and other services guaranteed by theAffordable Care Act and prevent employers from imposing their beliefs on their employees by denying benefits. The bill was filed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 split decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

“New Mexicans know that a woman’s personal health care decisions should be between her and her doctor — her boss shouldn’t have anything to do with it. But in a 5-4 split decision, the U.S. Supreme Court wrongly decided that an employer’s ideological opinions could interfere with a woman’s decision to access common forms of birth control,” Udall said. “Corporations have no place dictating what’s right for a woman and her family. And this common-sense proposal will ensure that a woman’s private health care decisions stay private.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision last week is alarming. Employers should not have the right to impose their beliefs and make decisions about what healthcare services an employee can access,” Heinrich said. “This legislation would ensure women can make the health and family planning decisions that are best for themselves and their families without interference from their bosses. It’s imperative we keep corporations out of personal health decisions and leave control in the hands of patients and their doctors.”

The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act would ensure that private, for-profit employers cannot interfere in their employees’ decisions about contraception and other health services. The bill:

  • Prevents employers from refusing to cover any health services – including contraceptives — when it is guaranteed to their employees and dependents under federal law.
  • States that federal laws do not permit employers to refuse to comply with the ACA requirement, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • Preserves the accommodation for houses of worship and religious nonprofits, which exempts them from the law.

The bill was authored by U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) and cosponsored by 33 others. A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Statement on the Confirmation of Julian Castro as Secretary of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement today on the confirmation of Julian Castro as Secretary of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:

Julian Castro

Julian Castro

“I would like to congratulate Julian Castro on his confirmation as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As the mayor of San Antonio, Julian demonstrated his leadership and commitment to ensuring expanded opportunities for all. Castro helped revitalize San Antonio by attracting new businesses and investing in education to prepare the next generation of workers for the jobs of tomorrow. His experience will help him forward HUD’s mission of strengthening our communities and bringing the dream of home ownership within the reach of more Americans.

“With the Senate’s confirmation of Secretary Castro, the Obama administration adds another cabinet member who will be a powerful advocate for the Latino community and all Americans and demonstrates the President’s commitment to building an administration that reflects the value of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

“On behalf of Democrats, I would also like to thank outgoing Secretary Shaun Donovan for more than five years of dedicated service. Under Secretary Donovan, HUD has helped stabilize the housing market in the wake of the economic crisis and prioritized keeping working families in their homes.”

New Mexico Is Ranked Dead Last In Private Sector Job Growth. Dead Last.

Thousands and thousands of New Mexicans have been forced to move out of state the past 3 and a half years for one reason: Republican Governor Martinez.

Over the past year, New Mexico lost 600 jobs for a 0.1 negative growth rate. The Albuquerque region alone lost 2700 jobs for a 0.7 negative growth rate.

Governor Martinez’s response: Nothing. Zilch. Zero.

Republicans are always touting their pro-business/pro jobs experience EXCEPT when they are in charge and then the blame game starts as one failure after another spews forth that hurts and destroys middle class families. Who gets the blame? The media, Democrats, unions, the poor, government employees, immigrants and liberals are the usual targets.

This is Governor Martinez’s New Mexico:

  • 50th in nation for well being of children
  • zero jobs created—state lost almost 6000 jobs within last year
  • 1st in nation for child hunger; 2nd for adults

And just a few days ago:

  • New Mexico leads nation in alcohol-related deaths

And her solutions:

https://soundcloud.com/mother-jones/ben-lujan/s-VGf3t

https://soundcloud.com/mother-jones/martinez-education-cuts/s-JutD3

https://soundcloud.com/mother-jones/youtube-video/s-LzW5O

Had enough?

Will you contribute $15, $20 or $25 to elect pro-jobs Democrats, so that we can defeat this mean, petty and vindictive Governor that keeps New Mexico at the bottom for everything? Please help us by contributing whatever you can spare today.

New Mexico Democrats have chosen Gary King as our choice for Governor and have assembled a statewide ticket that will be ready on day one with ideas and a vision to put New Mexicans back to work and ensure our kids get the world class education they deserve.

Step up, join in and help elect a Democratic team that is ready, willing and able to build a better future today.

We can do better. Much better.

Right now.

Senators Udall, Heinrich Announce Funding for N.M. State Parks, Outdoor Recreation through Land and Water Conservation Fund

Yesterday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced more than $500,000 will be awarded to the state of New Mexico through the Land and Water Conservation Fund for state-certified outdoor recreation and conservation projects. Over the past 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has proven to be a highly effective tool for creating and protecting urban parks and open spaces that contribute to environmental vibrancy and generate economic growth in communities. Udall and Heinrich urged their Senate colleagues to make funding for the program permanent.

“Outdoor activities are an essential part of New Mexico’s history and identity, and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight to make funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent to help ensure the many outdoor recreational opportunities offered by our state’s special landscapes remain available to New Mexicans for generations to come,” Udall said. “Access to public parks, ball fields, and green spaces and other outdoor recreational areas is essential to the health of our children and families, and helps to boost the economy of New Mexico communities by creating and supporting tourism and recreation jobs.”

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a critical tool that ensures we have the resources necessary to conserve recreational lands for all of us to enjoy now, and for future generations,” Heinrich said. “New Mexico gains from policies that increase access to our treasured landscapes. Job creation is directly tied to outdoor recreation across our state, where hunting, fishing, and camping drive an enormous portion of our economy.”

Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 1964 to ensure access to recreational resources for present and future generations and to provide state and local governments with money to conserve open spaces for the benefit of all Americans. For Fiscal Year 2014, $507,107 has been allocated to support projects in New Mexico. Since the fund’s inception, more than $4 billion has been made available for state and local governments to fund over 40,000 projects across the nation. A recent analysis of the fund found that every $1 invested in land acquisition generated a $4 return on the investment for communities.

Funding for the program is generated through reinvested revenue from offshore oil and gas leases. Congress has appropriated funding for the program at the full authorized level of $900 million only once in the past 50 years.

Martinez’ Campaign Tactics Reek of Desperation

Governor Martinez’ campaign sunk to a new low yesterday as they released a video from July, 2012 in a blatant effort to mislead and misinform New Mexicans while smearing Attorney General Gary King. This desperate attempt comes as Martinez seeks another four year term as Governor of New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday that Martinez’ campaign alleges that a July, 2012 video shows Attorney General Gary King was aware of a federal investigation into the interception of emails from Martinez’s 2010 campaign website before his office released many of those emails to media outlets six months later.

This claim is patently false and is proven to be a blatant lie on behalf of the governor’s campaign. The video clip in reference is from a July 6, 2012 press conference, held by Attorney General King, to discuss intimidation attempts being made to keep his office from fully investigating the Martinez administration alleged violations of the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act. The press conference presented by the Martinez camp is completely unrelated to the governor’s other email scandals.

“I am disappointed that the governor’s campaign has let facts go to the wayside as they attempt to deceive New Mexican families with out of context quotes and a nasty smear campaign,” said Attorney General King.

“It is clear that this Administration wants to talk about anything except their record over the past four years. It has been an unmitigated disaster; from intentionally hiding their shadow government and conversations behind personal email accounts, to targeting immigrant families, to letting New Mexico fall behind all the other Western States in job growth and economic development. I certainly understand why the Governor and her team want to focus on attacking me with malicious, misinformed, ads. New Mexico deserves better, and I look forward to debating the Governor on the actual issues later this year; not baseless and out of context claims.”

“These tactics reek of desperation in the Governor’s camp,” said Keith Breitbach, King’s campaign manager. “Clearly Governor Martinez is willing to do or say anything to retain her grip on power, even if it means misrepresenting facts, or even worse, out-and-out lying. Gary King, and his family, have a tremendous record of service and a legacy that all New Mexicans can take pride in. We look forward to discussing that on this campaign and we will not be distracted by amateur political tricks such as this.”

“The real scandal here is not about emails. The real scandal is about one in three kids going to bed hungry every night while New Mexico is 50th in childhood well-being, last in job creation and under siege with pay to play scandals. New Mexicans deserve a governor who is as real and honest as they are,” said Breitbach.

Happy 4th from Sam!

We have a lot to be thankful for this 4th of July, the 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

DPNM State Chair Sam Bregman

DPNM State Chair Sam Bregman

I’m thankful that we live in a country where freedom is part of our national fabric; it’s who we are. Regardless of political party, today is a day to celebrate the United States of America—to fly the flag, picnic with family and friends and to always remember that freedom isn’t ‘free.’ Thousands of men and women have given their lives so that we can live and prosper in the greatest country the world has ever known.

A special thanks to all firefighters and emergency responders that are fighting wildfires 24/7, helping keep our communities safe.

So today, we all say Happy Birthday America!–let’s surround ourselves with the best life has to offer—food, family and friends.

Happy 4th!

**Please share your photos from July 4th events with DPNM, so we can post them for all Democrats to view!

Doña Ana County Democrats Commemorate the Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Today, July 2, marks the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation that prohibited, under law, discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin, in hiring, promoting, and firing; prohibited discrimination and segregation in public accommodations, enrollment in schools, and banned unequal voter registration requirements.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed under the authority of Congress under the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, formed the framework of the civil and human rights legislation that has been passed in the past fifty years on the national, state, and local levels.

In his remarks made to the nation on the occasion of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, President Lyndon B. Johnson said:

“This Civil Rights Act is a challenge to all of us to go to work in our communities and our States, in our homes and in our hearts, to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country. So tonight I urge every public official, every religious leader, every business and professional man, every workingman, every housewife—I urge every American—to join in this effort to bring justice and hope to all our people—and to bring peace to our land.

“My fellow citizens, we have come now to a time of testing. We must not fail.

“Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our Nation whole. Let us hasten that day when our unmeasured strength and our unbounded spirit will be free to do the great works ordained for this Nation by the just and wise God who is the Father of us all.”

The Civil Rights Bill was initially proposed by President John F. Kennedy in June of 1963. Five months later, and five days after President Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon Johnson, in an appeal to a joint session of Congress on November 27, 1963, renewed the call for passage of the Civil Rights Act “No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy’s memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long” Johnson said in his address to Congress.

On June 10, 1964, after 57 days of filibuster in the U.S. Senate, Democratic Majority Whip Hubert Humphrey mustered 71 votes for cloture, successfully overcoming a Senate filibuster of civil rights legislation for the first time since the Reconstruction era. On June 19 the Civil Rights Act passed the Democratic-led Senate by a vote of 73-27, and passed the U.S. House of Representatives on June 24 by a vote of  289-126. President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law at the White House on July 2, 1964.

Today, the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County joins millions of Americans in commemorating the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and joins in renewing President Johnson’s call to “eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country.”

While we celebrate how far we have come in the fifty years since 1964, we know we face many challenges ahead, including some of the very same challenges faced by Americans a half century ago.

We must never turn back. We agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and all of the champions of freedom of our history that no American is free until all of us are free. We are proud to stand alongside all of the leaders of the American past who sacrificed so much for the civil and human rights of all, and we honor those Americans who continue to work toward that vision, that we all should strive to carry on.

We know there remains much work to be done, and while we celebrate the past today, and the road we have traveled in the past five decades since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we know there is still more work ahead of us to achieve a more perfect union.

Today the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County calls on all of us to recommit ourselves to the great call of America’s history, to achieve the equality and dignity of all, and to win for ourselves and for our children, the blessings of freedom and the security of justice.

In commemorating the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we call on each of us to work toward those common values we, as Americans, most cherish. Today we should all rededicate ourselves to that dream, and continue to work toward that day when every American is afforded the same opportunities and freedoms regardless of skin color, gender, religious belief, income, sexual orientation, ability or disability, or place of birth.

——

Watch and share President Lyndon Johnson’s remarks delivered on July 2, 1964.

Full text of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Full text of remarks of President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing the Civil Rights Act. July 2, 1964. 

District Attorney Mark D’Antonio Holding Community Meeting in Chaparral–July 2

District Attorney Mark D’Antonio and the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office is organizing a Community Meeting to be held on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at 6:00pm at the Dolores Wright Community Center on County Line Road in Chapparal, NM.

District Attorney Mark D'Antonio

District Attorney Mark D’Antonio

The purpose of this event is to provide public information and direct communication with constituents.  Invited guests include local law enforcement and County Commissioners.

Also invited, community educator Ruth Rivas, who will be presenting and raising awareness about Spice, including how it is made and the risks and consequences of synthetic drug use.

The District Attorney and his staff along with Guest Speakers will be present and available to address concerns, hear ideas, and meet the public.

All members of the community are invited to attend this open forum.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on the Supreme Court’s Decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s Decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby:

“I am disappointed and deeply concerned by the Supreme Court’s decision today in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have gained access to preventive services without out-of-pocket costs, including birth control. However, this decision takes money out of the pockets of women and their families and allows for-profit employers to deny access to certain health care benefits based on their personal beliefs. Nearly sixty percent of women who use birth control do so for more than just family planning.

“It is no surprise that Republicans have sided against women on this issue as they have consistently opposed a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. Republicans have also blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would bring us closer to the promise of equal pay for women. In the wake of this dangerous precedent set by the Supreme Court, Democrats in Congress will continue to fight on the issues of importance to women and their families.”

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