Honoring Advocates of Community Solar

overnor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 84 (Community Solar) into law on April 5, 2021, giving all New Mexicans equitable access to sustainable and clean energy for the first time in New Mexico state history.

Community Solar culminated a long effort, with a version of it first introduced in 2005. In 2016, CVNM Education Fund’s former program Juntos: Our Air Our Water, based in Albuquerque, formed a core of local promotores who partnered with Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero to sponsor community solar. That bill and another in 2019, although they failed, advanced community solar’s prospects. A 2020 attempt also failed, but one of the co-sponsors, Senator Liz Stefanics, passed a memorial (SM 63) to create a study group to resolve some of the key issues in the Community Solar debate. This process led to the 2021 legislation (SB 84).

The story of community solar is a great example of a proactive framework that places community at the center of policy work. The Community Solar Act was a result of many years of consensus building in partnership with a diverse group of stakeholders. Spanish-language access during committee hearings was vital for legislators to hear from voices not usually present at the Roundhouse. This was truly a collaborative effort that could not have happened without the support from community partners, Conservation Voters around the state, legislative champions, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

CVNM dedicates our 2021 Conservation Scorecard to the many activists, partners, allies, decision-makers and families who advocated for years to pass community solar into law.

A group of friends hang out at a community park with solar panels.

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.

To find your House District number and Representative, visit our map here.

To find your Senate District number and Senator, visit our map here.

Join the Conservation Voters Movement!

We take on tough fights to protect New Mexico, but these efforts in the State Capitol and around the state require financial resources. We can only win when we work together. Please join other New Mexicans in becoming a Conservation Voter today!

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