#Covid1984 Update: NM Legislators Want Bigger Role in Emergency Responses, Act on Our Suggestion

Legislators have listened. In a bipartisan move, legislators agree with the suggestions I made a month ago that they should have more input in future “emergencies.” But will a bill get passed giving legislators more of a role in emergencies declared by the Governor? Or, even if a bill is passed, will the Governor veto it, since she prefers a monopoly on power?

Should the executive branch hold all the emergency powers during long-term lockdowns?

[S]everal lawmakers – both Democrats and Republicans – say they are working to craft a bill for the upcoming 60-day legislative session that would change the state’s emergency response laws to give the Legislature a greater say in decision-making. “We got ourselves in the position that the Legislature is not playing a role,” Representative Damon Ely said. “And the Legislature should be involved in the process.”

Albuquerque Journal, December 24, 2020.

Representative Damon Ely is general considered a hardcore progressive legislator, and while I haven’t seen or reviewed his bill, I certainly agree that his words are true on face value alone. A month ago, this blog voiced concerns about the urban, progressive Democrat monopoly on New Mexico’s COVID-19 responses. We called on Governor Grisham to bring more stakeholders to the table, people across cultures, regions and of varying leadership roles to have a part in deciding the fate of New Mexicans. For many New Mexicans, the lockdowns which have lasted for months have destroyed lives. We’ve watched as businesses have permanently closed, kids have committed suicide and our elderly have died (not even from COVID-19), alone.

I aired this perspective on Twitter in November and followed up with a blogpost, calling for the Governor to take a comprehensive solution to reopening New Mexico along these lines (you can read the full monologue here):

1. Transparency.

2. Release data.

3. Bi-partisan Reopen New Mexico input.

4.Multi-cultural approach (Native counties should not be racially targeted).

5. Rural/Urban representation.

6. End partisan bullying, no harassing political opponents who speak up. 

When a government official’s solutions fail, you don’t blame the citizens, you reevaluate. But what has happened is that Republicans are blamed for food lines created in response to Governor Grisham’s policies as businesses fear losing licenses when the Governor punishes them. Families travel farther for food (or shop out of state) and may even go hungry.

Over nine months in, Governor Grisham’s policies have not worked. It’s not time to blame New Mexicans, that has been done ad nauseam. It is time reevaluation. It’s time for a bi-partisan, multi-cultural, rural/urban approach that includes the input of everyone, not just policies that favor the Governor’s donors, activists or pet corporations. It’s time for policies that allow people who want to work, to work.

Want to join the discussion and reopen New Mexico? Check out my Facebook group here. Also don’t forget this coming week’s rallies at the Roundhouse. We hope that in the future Republican leaders will actually show up and do the jobs they’ve been elected to do. So far, even Republican party leadership has been silent and has not attended protests since this fall, let alone promoted and recruited attendees. Let’s prove them WRONG. Check out the events HERE.

Now we ask: Is it too late? Can anything truly be done now? It’s always worth a try.

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