Senator Heinrich Continues Fight For Equal Pay For Women

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich  marked National Equal Pay Day yesterday and called for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill aimed at combatting wage discrimination on the basis of gender.

“It’s unacceptable that women in New Mexico are earning 82 cents for every dollar a man makes, and the disparity is even worse for Hispanic and Native American women. The gender wage gap halts the progress of our economy, forces women to make ends meet with less, and undermines the notion that everyone deserves an honest day’s pay for a full day’s work,” said Sen. Heinrich. “Equal pay for equal work is both fair and right. I urge my colleagues to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so that women will have the tools they need to fight for equal pay and so our families have the economic security they need to get ahead.”

Senator Heinrich is a staunch proponent of equal pay for equal work. In 2009, then-Representative Heinrich voted to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which is now law and allows victims of pay discrimination to more effectively report and combat pay discrimination in the workplace.

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, women in New Mexico head nearly 107,000 families in the state and earn only 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. According to Institute for Women’s Policy Research’sStatus of Women in the States 2015, the gender wage gap disproportionately affects Native American and Hispanic women who earn 73 cents and 66 cents for every dollar a man earns respectively.

Nationwide, women earn 78 cents per dollar a man earns. Equal Pay Day marks how far into 2015 a woman must work in order to catch up to what a man earned in 2014. This means that women have to work a little more than three extra months to earn the same amount a man earned in the previous year.

Senator Tom Udall Welcomes Decision to Remove Cuba from List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressed support for the administration’s decision to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Udall is a longtime advocate for normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba and supports legislation permitting U.S. citizens to freely travel to Cuba, efforts to open the Internet, and end the embargo blocking U.S. trade with Cuba. In November, Udall traveled to Cuba with Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), where they met with Cuban officials as well as religious and business leaders to discuss the impacts of the embargo and travel restrictions on American and Cuban families. Udall’s statement follows:

Senator Tom Udall

Senator Tom Udall

“Today’s decision to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism is an important step toward building a 21st century relationship with Cuba. U.S. policy toward Cuba is a relic of the Cold War; it’s ineffective, and it’s time to try something new. In my visits with Cuban entrepreneurs, artists and others, it has become clear to me that the Cuban people are as eager to build relations with Americans as Americans are to learn more about Cuba. And those relationships, built through tourism and trade, are the best way to bring freedom and openness to Cuba. The best diplomats of American values are Americans themselves, and I urge Congress to support this decision and further steps toward modernizing our relations with Cuba.”

DNC Chair Statement on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Announcement

In response to Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she will run for president in 2016, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

“I would like to welcome Hillary Clinton as the first official candidate for President of the United States to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2016. As First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has been a forceful advocate for women, children, and families, and an effective ambassador on the global stage.

“While we expect a competitive primary for the Democratic nomination, one thing is for certain — next November, voters will face a choice between Democrats who will continue to build on the middle class economic success of President Obama, and Republican candidates who want to bring back the failed, trickle-down economics of the past. I look forward to the contributions that Secretary Clinton, and all of our eventual candidates, will bring to this debate between two very different visions for the country.”

Weekly Address: Tuition-Free Community College

In this week’s address, the Vice President laid out his and the President’s plan to make two years of community college free for responsible students.

Access to higher education has a tangible impact on a student’s success: Those with an associate’s degree earn 25% more than folks who graduated high school, and those with a four-year degree make 70% more. Not only that, but a better educated citizenry is necessary to ensure that the United States continues to out-compete the rest of the world.

Making two years of community college free is good for workers, good for companies, and good for our economy. And this proposal is part of the President’s broader vision for middle-class economics: that everybody who works hard deserves their fair shot and the chance to get ahead.

Watch and share the weekly address.

District Attorney Mark D’Antonio Announces Town Hall Meeting–Honoring Victims of Crime, Highlighting Their Rights

District Attorney Mark D’Antonio will host a town hall meeting honoring victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf in anticipation of National Crime Victims Rights Week (April 19-25) on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 6pm in the Doña Ana County Commission Chambers.

This year the theme for National Crime Victim’s Rights Week is “Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims”, which presents the opportunity to highlight the diversity of our communities, expand partnerships to serve victims of crime, enhance efforts to meet victims where they are, and empower crime victims as they pursue justice and recovery.

Representatives from the District Attorney’s Office, Local Law Enforcement and several victim service providers will be present to answer questions, share information and stand ready to assist victims and their families.

“As your District Attorney,” stated Mark D’Antonio,” I realize that being a victim of crime can be a very frightening, intimidating and emotional event. As a member of this community, where we all live, work and raise our families, know that public safety is my top priority. My Office, along with our partners in Justice from all Law Enforcement Agencies, stand ready to advocate on your behalf to ensure that your rights are continually honored and respected throughout the criminal justice process.
Let us all come together as we strengthen our community and empower victims.”

The public is invited to join the District Attorney Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 6pm in the Doña Ana County Commission Chambers located at 845 N. Motel Blvd.

Weekly Address: Reaching a Comprehensive and Long-Term Deal on Iran’s Nuclear Program

In this week’s address, the President described the historic understanding the United States — with our allies and partners — reached with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and will make our country, our allies, and our world safer. The deal, announced on Thursday, meets our core objectives of cutting off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.

It is both comprehensive and long-term, and includes robust and intrusive inspections of the country’s nuclear program. The President reiterated that the deal is not yet done — and if there is backsliding from Iran in the months to come, there will be no deal. He echoed his belief that a diplomatic resolution is by far the best option, and promised to continue to fully brief Congress and the American people on the substance and progress of the negotiations in the months to come.

Watch and share President Obama’s weekly address.

Special Meeting of District 39 Precincts Scheduled for Monday, April 6

Dear Members of District 39:

Due to a mistake that caused other members from precincts in District 39 from being locked out of the precinct meetings which took place on Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Judicial Council of the Democratic Party of Dona Ana County has decided that the only remedy in order to be fair is to re-do the Precinct Meetings for District 39.  The Precinct Meetings will be held on Monday, April 6, 2015 at the De La O Building, De La O Visitors Center, 135 Joe Gutierrez Street, Las Cruces, NM, 88007 in the Doña Ana Community.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and voting will start promptly at 6:00 p.m. However, if you do show up after the 6:00 p.m. start time, you are absolutely allowed to participate with the caveat that there may or may not be open slots still left in your precinct when you arrive.  If your precinct has not yet begun voting when you arrive, even if it’s after the 6:00 p.m. start time, you will still be permitted to caucus and vote.  If you cannot attend your meeting, you can ask another member of your precinct to submit your name for consideration.

I truly apologize for the inconvenience.  I have attached the advertisement which will run in Sunday’s Las Cruces Sun-News for your review.  If you have any questions, please contact me by sending a return e-mail or calling me at (575) 644-9450 or the DPDAC main line at (575) 524-4444.

Thank you,
Christy L. French, Chair
Democratic Party of Doña Ana County

Senator Udall to Open Application Process for Military Service Academy Nominations April 7

Beginning April 7, U.S. Senator Tom Udall will accept applications for nominations to U.S. military service academies. Throughout April, members of Udall’s staff will host several information sessions across the state for high school students and recent graduates who are interested in applying.

Four of the five service academies – the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – require a congressional, vice-presidential or service-connected nomination. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a nomination.

Representatives from Udall’s office, the New Mexico congressional delegation and the military service academies will be available at the upcoming information sessions to field questions from prospective applicants and parents.

“Each year, I have the privilege of nominating outstanding young people from across New Mexico to our nation’s military service academies,” Udall said. “The service academy information sessions offer a great opportunity to learn more about the nominating process, and to meet with representatives from the different academies and from New Mexico collegiate ROTC programs.”

U.S. military service academies are among the most competitive colleges in the nation and provide those who enroll with an excellent education and opportunities for leadership in both military and civilian life.

Nomination applications for consideration by Udall are due Oct. 9, 2015. Prospective applicants are encouraged to begin the application process well in advance.

Applications can be submitted online at http://tomudall.senate.gov/academy. For questions, please visit Udall’s website or contact his Albuquerque office at (505) 346-6791.

The schedule for information sessions follows:

Thurs., April 9, 2015
WHAT: Military Service Academy Information Session
WHEN: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
WHERE: Farmington High School Library
2200 N. Sunset Ave.
Farmington, NM 87401

Thurs., April 16, 2015
WHAT: Military Service Academy Information Session
WHEN: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
WHERE: Mayfield High School Library
1955 N. Valley Dr.
Las Cruces, NM 88007

Tues., April 21, 2015
WHAT: Military Service Academy Information Session
WHEN: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
WHERE: St. Michael’s High School Library
100 Siringo Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Thurs., April 23, 2015
WHAT: Military Service Academy Information Session
WHEN: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
WHERE: Cibola High School Performing Arts Center
1510 Ellison Rd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114

Tues., April 28, 2015
WHAT: Military Service Academy Information Session
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
WHERE: New Mexico Military Institute – Pearson Auditorium
101 W. College Blvd.
Roswell, NM 88201

Dõna Ana County Democrats Commemorate the Life and Legacy of César Chávez

Today, March 31, the Democratic Party of Dõna Ana County commemorates the life and legacy of César Chávez and his enduring vision of human rights and dignity for all.

chavez03We stand by César Chávez’s commitment to unity and strength. We always will. “From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength” Chavez said.

As Democrats, we believe in hope for the future. Like Chávez, we believe this nation is great enough to share the blessings of liberty among all of us. We believe in building a better life for all, and like César Chávez and the movement he helped forge, we vow that we shall never be turned back. “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community” he said. “Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

We agree with César Chávez, 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, including César Chávez, 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. Today the Democratic Party of Dõna Ana County calls on all of us to recommit ourselves to the great call of America’s history, to achieve the promise of equality and dignity of all, to stand by the rights of working people, and to win for ourselves and for our children the greatness César Chávez hoped for, the blessings of freedom, dignity and fairness in he workplace, and the security of justice.

In commemorating the life of César Chávez, today on the anniversary of the date of his birth, we call on all of us to work toward those common values we, as Americans, most cherish. Today we should all rededicate ourselves to that dream, so eloquently inspired by the life Chavez and his contemporaries, and promise to continue to work toward that day when every American is afforded the same opportunities and freedoms regardless of skin color, ethnicity, work status, gender, religious belief, income, sexual orientation, ability or disability, or place of birth.

Weekly Address: Protecting Working Americans’ Paychecks

In this week’s address, the President highlighted the progress made protecting American consumers since he signed Wall Street reform into law five years ago, including an important new step taken by the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this week toward preventing abuses in payday lending.

The President emphasized his commitment to fighting to advance middle-class economics and ensure everybody who works hard can get ahead, while opposing attempts by Republicans both to weaken the CFPB and give large tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class.

Watch and share President Obama’s weekly address.

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