Honoring Advocates of the Gila River
Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) is dedicating our 2020 legislative scorecard to the advocates and community leaders that have fought for decades to halt diversion of New Mexico’s last free-flowing river – the Gila. In June 2020, these advocates successfully defeated the fourth dam/diversion attempt over the past 50 years when the Interstate Stream Commission voted against supplying funding to complete an environmental impact statement on the diversion project.
CVNM is eternally grateful for the tenacity, dedication, and fierce activism of those that lead this work, made this hard-won victory possible, and continue to fight every day to protect the Gila River. In particular, we are dedicating this issue to conservationist M.H. “Dutch” Salmon, who devoted his life’s work to protecting the Gila and rivers of the Southwest. Over the course of his career, Dutch co-founded the Gila Conservation Coalition, and advocated for the successful defeat of multiple projects that would have forever changed the Gila.
We also dedicate this issue to the following individuals and organizations that lead the fight to protect the Gila River:
Allyson Siwik, Gila Resources Information Project
Donna Stevens, Upper Gila Watershed Alliance
Gila Conservation Coalition
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Lt. Governor Howie Morales
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
Norm Gaume, Former ISC Director
Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter
Todd Schulke, Center for Biological Diversity
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich
U.S. Senator Tom Udall
Douglas W. Wolf, Center for Biological Diversity
New Mexico State House Gila Champions: Representative Abbas Akhil, Representative Joanne J. Ferrary, Representative Micaela Lara Cadena, Representative Derrick Lente, Representative Georgene Louis, Representative Rudolpho “Rudy” Martinez, Representative Matthew McQueen, Representative Andrea Romero, Representative Angelica Rubio, Representative Debbie Sariñana, Representative Nathan Small, and Representative Melanie Stansbury.
New Mexico State Senate Gila Champions: Senator Joseph Cervantes, Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Senator Sander Rue, Senator Antoinette Cedilla Lopez, Senator Benny Shendo, Senator Bill Soules, Senator Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics, Senator Jeff Steinborn, Senator Mimi Stewart, and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth.
Know the Score > Take Action
Say ‘thanks’ … or, ‘no thanks’!
Tell your Legislators that you ‘know the score’
One of the best ways to influence the voting records of your elected officials is to communicate regularly with them. If your legislators scored well, it’s important to thank them and to support them. If you feel you weren’t well-represented by your legislators’ votes, it’s important to hold them accountable by letting them know what you think about their votes. The Scorecard is your key to staying informed on your legislators votes and getting in touch with them.
Communicate with the Governor and your Legislators
Whether you’re congratulating them on their score or expressing your disappointment, be direct, courteous and polite.
The most important part is letting them know that you are paying close attention to how they vote or, in the case of the Governor, what actions she takes on legislation that affects our air, land, and water.
Calling your legislator directly and sending letters through regular mail remain by far the most effective ways to communicate with your legislators.
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor can always be contacted at the State Capitol. Except during the legislative session, state legislators should be contacted in their home districts, as listed on the current Legislators page.