How We Build A Better New Mexico

With 15 years of experience writing laws, I’m the only candidate with the necessary skills to make the changes that will improve the lives of hardworking New Mexican families! 

In Congress, I will write my own legislation — not by the lobbyists or special interests!  

- Damian Lara

Fighting For a Better Economy For All New Mexicans

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” Franklin D. Roosevelt  

Unfortunately, ever since the implementation of harmful “trickle-down” economic policies of the mid 1980s there has been an enormous transfer of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the wealthiest people in this country. A truly fair and equitable tax code and economic system grows the middle class and their quality of life, as well as allows for opportunity for all people to have upward mobility. We have a moral obligation to provide for our most vulnerable populations. When everyone pays their fair share, we all pay less.  

  The budget and tax code has a tremendous ability to shape our identity and our national priorities. That is why I have spent a career in public service focused on increasing income and wealth for hardworking families. It doesn’t just take promises, it takes experience:  

  • While working in Congress, I focused on the budget, appropriations, affordable housing, and the tax code.
  • In law school, I focused on corporate and franchise law, state and federal income tax, as well as the state gross receipts tax and property tax code.   
  • As the lead staff for the Revenues Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee and the senior drafter on economic development and tax code at the Legislative Council Service, I wrote legislation focused on fixing the New Mexico economy and creating high salary long-term careers.  
  • As Deputy Assessor and Vice-Chair for the Assessor’s Affiliate for the New Mexico Association of Counties, I advocated for legislation that provided fair and equitable treatment for all property owners. I fixed inequities and provided practical solutions to long-standing problems that ultimately gave the New Mexico State Legislature the recognition of the International Association of Assessing Offices, which earned them a Property Tax Achievement Award.  

I Will Fight to Create Better Paying Careers by: 

  • Restoring fairness to the tax code and balance the budget to ensure long-run fiscal sustainability;  
  • Eliminating tax loopholes that allow corporations to outsource jobs, take advantage of offshore tax havens and inversions that are paid for on the backs of hardworking families;  
  • Increasing access to capital for small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs;  
  • Increasing funding for, and access to, the Small Business Administration and Community Development Financial Institutions Fund while reducing red tape and bureaucracy;  
  • Balancing a budget that focuses resources on middle-class working Americans;  
  • Paying off the national debt by raising adequate revenue to meet budgetary needs;  
  • Bringing a desalination plant to the first congressional district of New Mexico which will allow for planned urban development, and relieve pressure on our surface water to help the environment and protect our agricultural heritage; 
  • Making necessary investments in infrastructure, smart electrical grids, broad band, waterways and public safety, particularly in Indian Country and in rural America; and 
  • Diversifying our energy economy over time by providing employee training programs and employer/corporate incentives to transition from fossil fuels to solar, wind and geothermal.   

FightinG For A Just Criminal System for All New Mexicans

I Will Ensure Public Safety and a Truly Just Criminal System by fighting for:  

  • Ensuring all federal grants for Fire, Police, and Public Safety include funding for appropriate training in de-escalation techniques, behavioral health issues, mental illness, and posttraumatic stress disorder; as well as crime prevention, intervention and diversion;  
  • Stopping unfunded mandates requiring local police to enforce federal civil immigration laws. We need our undocumented communities to feel safe to report crimes and testify without fear of deportation.  
  • Dedicating funding and technical assistance for Indian Tribes, Nations, and Pueblos to exercise criminal or civil jurisdiction as they deem appropriate, particularly when the federal government is unable or unwilling to exercise said jurisdiction;  
  • Reforming our federal prison system to focus on treatment and rehabilitation for nonviolent criminals rather than incarceration and providing grants and funding to state and local governments to do the same; and 
  • Ensuring Courts and Judges have the resources and training needed to recognize implicit bias.  

Fighting for Healthcare for All New Mexicans

I Will Advocate for Real Healthcare Solutions by:

  • Prioritizing Healthcare as a basic human right by making Medicare and Medicaid available to all Americans including Native Americans and veterans served by the Indian Health Services, TriCare, and the VA health care systems so that every citizen in the US can walk into any doctor’s office and universally get the best treatment available;  
  • Providing incentives for the Healthcare Industry to reduce administrative fees and focus on preventative and urgent care rather than emergency room services;  
  • Gaining control over spiraling medical costs by expanding government single payer programs to increase bargaining power while pushing health care providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers to compete;  
  • Incentivizing the pharmaceutical industry to focus on curing diseases rather than symptom management. 
  • Keeping drug prices low by certifying that low cost alternative supplies of drugs from international and generic producers are safe and available to Americans.  
  • Reinstating the medical device tax.  

Fighting for Universal Access to High Quality Healthcare!

The National Association of Community Healthcare Centers recognized me as an Outstanding Congressional Staffer for my work writing healthcare policy to increase access to healthcare for our most vulnerable communities and control spiraling costs.  

Fighting For All New Mexican Students & Educators

I will fight the student debt crisis and improve education for New Mexico's students and our educators by:  

  • Focusing Pre-K to 12 on 100% graduation, allocating resources for true equity across school districts and within school districts as well as between charter schools, private and public schools;  
  • Dedicating human as well as financial resources to the areas and schools that need it most;  
  • Preparing all students for higher education, whether traditional four year university, two year community college or a vocational or trade school;
  • Increasing funding for Pell Grants, work study, and Stafford Loans while lowering interest on all student loans making higher education more affordable and accessible for all;  
  • Providing loan forgiveness programs and income tax incentives to graduates working in public interest professions or with underserved populations.  

Fighting For Clean Air, Water & Lands

New Mexicans Have a Right to Clean Air, Water, and Lands!

I’ve worked on environmental justice and made mitigating man-made climate change a top priority. Many issues continue to persist in regards to climate change disproportionately impacting lower socioeconomic communities and communities of color. As seen in the last several months, we are in a climate crisis and must take a two-pronged approach to 1) prepare and adapt for the impacts already underway and 2) take major action to reduce emissions in order to minimize and mitigate the effects of climate change.  

I Will Defend the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment by:  

  • Oppose Republican efforts to undermine the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to reduce pollution fueling climate change, including rolling back, blocking, or delaying implementation of the Clean Power Plan, regulations on methane pollution, and other key executive branch climate change initiatives; 
  • Support legislation reducing carbon pollution by at least 28% by 2025 and 80% by 2050; 
  • Support the Paris Climate Agreement, including honoring our commitments to the Green Climate Fund; 
  • Support legislation that would increase federal investments in clean energy technologies, like increased storage capacity, and legislation that would extend and expand clean energy incentives - like permanently extending the wind production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC); 
  • Support legislation that would protect and strengthen existing energy efficiency standards and add employee training incentives to shift our workforce from fossil fuels to renewable energy; 
  • Support halting all new fossil fuel leasing on our public lands and in our waters; 
  • Phase out and shift current taxpayer subsidies for large fossil fuel companies and other giveaways to provide tax credits for programs that train employees to work in renewable energy industries and support investments made in renewable energy production and other clean energy initiatives, including clean car emissions; 
  • Support legislation that closes loopholes in our major environmental laws for the fracking industry, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act;   
  • Oppose all legislation or other policies that would allow our national forests, refuges, parks and other shared federal public lands to be turned over to state control; 
  • Oppose congressional interference with science-based Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions and support maintaining the strong protections of the ESA; 
  • Oppose all legislative efforts to undermine the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and oppose President Trump’s executive order that seeks to undermine incorporating climate change into NEPA reviews; 
  • Support trade deals that result in real, enforceable progress on environmental and public health issues, including addressing the international crisis of climate change, excluding broad rights for multinational investors to sue governments in private tribunals, and negotiating in a transparent manner that allows for input and review from all interested stakeholders; 
  • Oppose governmental attempts to undermine the use of sound, independent science in the administrative rule-making process, intimidate agency scientists, and disregard or modify scientific findings to suit political purposes.  

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