NM POLITICAL SCENE: THE BASICS
Piaray Sadh Sangat, here is an overview of New Mexico’s political scene as of February 10, 2013.
Sikh Community in NM Politics
Hacienda de Guru Ram Das Ashram as a non-profit religious organization is officially neutral in all partisan politics. That said, the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan was well-known, loved and respected in Federal, State and local political circles, and he supported community participation in political events large and small, from local to presidential. During any election cycle, he usually reminded us to vote! For many years, a member of our Ashram has served as the Reader in the House on the days during the session. Additionally, our community annually hosts a Legislative luncheon at the start of the session. So we do not have to be shy about political participation.
U.S. Congressional Delegation
If you live in Northern NM (Española Valley, Santa Fe, Taos, Rio Arriba County, Los Alamos) in Congressional District 3, your current U.S. Congressman is Ben Ray Luján (D). If you live in the Albuquerque area in Congressional District 1, Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is your Representative. All U.S. Representatives are up for re-election every two years, so they next election is in 2014.
Our U.S. Senators are Martin Heinrich (D) and Tom Udall (D). Senator Udall used to hold the congressional seat currently occupied by Rep. Ben Ray Luján, and has been a friend to our community for many years.
NM Governor, State Legislature
For the four-year term beginning 2011, Republican Susana Martinez is Governor; she is the first woman to be elected governor in New Mexico. The Lieutenant Governor is John Sanchez.
The NM State Legislature meets at the State Capitol in Santa Fe from mid-January to mid-March in odd years; these are general session. In even years, the Legislature meets from mid-January to mid-February for budget bills only.
Democrats are still the majority in both houses of the State Legislature. Most of our Sangat have Democratic State Senators and Representatives. Carl Trujillo (D) is the State Representative for the Ashram area. Richard C. Martinez is the State Senator for most all our Sangat in the Espanola Valley. Otherwise, to find your State Senator or Representative, visit the NM Legislature.
Sangat Counties, Voter Registration
We have Sangat in four counties: Santa Fe (includes our Ashram in Sombrillo), Rio Arriba, Taos, and Bernalillo (includes Albuquerque). The NM Secretary of State's office has a wealth of information on voter registration, positions in contention, and more. You'll also find your County Clerk's contact information. If you are not already registered to vote, or have moved your residence since the last election and need to update your registration, start at the County Clerk's office for your county. Check your voter’s registration.
Española is in two counties, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba. If you do not know which County your home is in, start at the Secretary of State's office, and they'll let you know, based on your physical address.
For Española residents, the Rio Arriba County Clerk's office is on Industrial Park Road past the Española Post Office. The closest Santa Fe County Clerk's office is in Pojoaque in the Pojoaque Pueblo Plaza.
Northern NM is Still Blue
FYI: Northern NM is heavily Democratic. So in an election year in Rio Arriba, Taos, and even Santa Fe Counties, there is often no Republican candidate on a ballot for local slots such as State representative, Probate Judge, County Commissioner and the like. Like most of the country, more NM Republicans voted and got elected in 2012, so this appears to be shifting.
New Parties and Movements Affecting National Politics
Since early 2008, the Tea Party (now considered a wing of the Republican Party) has exercised a profound effect on the political scene. Tea Party candidates generally are listed as Republicans on a ballot (as opposed to Tea Party); this may vary from state to state. Keep track of who is in New Mexico’s Tea Party groups.
Info on registering to vote or update your registration by starting here:
NM Secretary of State's office: To register/update your voter's registration and learn your in-person voting location: Contact info for your County Clerk NM State Government: http://www.newmexico.gov/ NM State Legislature: http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/ NM Democratic Party: http://www.nmdemocrats.org/ County-level Democratic Party leaders: http://www.nmdemocrats.org/counties NM Republican Party: http://gopnm.com/default.aspx County-level Republican Party leaders: http://gopnm.com/counties/ NM Green Party: http://www.greenpartynm.org/. Exercise your democratic rights. Sat Nam.