Election day is November 2, and in odd-numbered years like this, we vote on non-partisan elections, which include municipal and certain other local elections. The Rio Grande Chapter has endorsed mayoral and city council candidates in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. In addition, the Chapter has endorsed candidates for the Boards of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which do great conservation work at the local level. Finally, we have endorsed candidates for the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Directors, which is ground zero for equity issues and climate education. Read about the endorsements here, and please vote!
Tim Keller, Mayor
Under the leadership of Mayor Tim Keller, Albuquerque is well on its way to on becoming one of the top 10 U.S. cities powered by renewable energy. With the Solar Direct project scheduled to come online later this year, combined with 10.4 MW of onsite solar installed or planned for City buildings, Albuquerque is on track to reach 80% renewable energy use for city operations by 2022, and Mayor Keller has committed to 100% by 2030. Under programs initiated by Mayor Keller, Albuquerque is continuing its energy audits and facility upgrade work with a goal of reducing its energy consumption by 65 percent. Mayor Keller has committed to electrifying the City’s bus and vehicle fleet.
For the private sector, Mayor Keller has updated the building codes to require construction to be more energy efficient, and he has partnered with nonprofits to provide free energy efficiency audits and upgrades to income-qualified homeowners. Mayor Tim Keller said, “My whole public service career has been filled with questions about why our state isn’t a leader in renewable energy,” and in his actions as mayor, he has worked to make Albuquerque such a leader. He deserves a second term!
Lan Sena, City Council District 1
Lan Sena was appointed by Mayor Keller to fill a vacant seat in District 1 and is now running for reelection. Lan is a community activist and true progressive. Lan views all issues through an equity lens and lives that fundamental value of the contemporary Sierra Club, that you can’t save the planet without saving its people, that these are one and the same issue. Councilor Sena sponsored amendments to the Integrated Development Ordinance to promote the clustering of development to allow more green space and to prevent development near vulnerable open space areas.
Cynthia Borrego, City Council District 5
Cynthia Borrego is running for re-election on the northwest side against former city councilor and mayoral candidate Dan Lewis. Councilor Borrego describes herself as a “big proponent of sustainability.” She advocates for a more regional public transit system, and was a co-sponsor of the “Clean and Green Ordinance,” which banned single use plastic bags for many retail uses.
Tammy Fiebelkorn, City Council District 7
We can’t say enough good things about Tammy Fiebelkorn, who is running for City Council in District 7. Tammy is a longtime activist, leader, and ally on energy issues. She has lobbied extensively for energy efficiency at the State Legislature and was a key ally in securing passage of the Energy Transition Act and the Efficient Use of Energy Act. Tammy developed and was the lead lobbyist and expert witness in securing the passage of the Sustainable Building Tax Credit bill, which provides incentives for electrification of new and existing buildings. At the City level, Tammy was the lead advocate for the adoption of updated energy building code. Tammy is the New Mexico Representative for Southwest Energy Efficiency Project and works with Prosperity Works on the Community Energy Efficiency Project, which provides efficiency upgrades to low-income homeowners in the International District with a focus on electrification.
As a city councilor, Tammy intends to advocate for the City to work to secure low-cost financing for City residents for energy-efficiency retrofits and to make it easier and cheaper to own and use electric vehicles. Tammy is the leader we need to make sure that the City does everything it can to address the climate emergency. Tammy’s enormous expertise on energy issues and her extensive experience and effectiveness in the legislative process make her the obvious choice in District 7.
Rob Grilley, City Council District 9
Rob Grilley is running for the open seat in Albuquerque’s far SE/NE Heights. With respect to the climate emergency, he states that “the urgency of the situation cannot be overstated” and that the time for “token gestures” has long passed. He emphasizes the need for development of our frontline communities, including more green spaces that will improve the health and wellbeing of those that live nearby.
Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Directors
Emma Jones, District 5
Josefina (Josie) Dominguez, District 6
Julie Brenning, District 7
Alan Webber, Mayor
Mayor Webber started the switch of the city’s fleet to electric vehicles; pushed for conversion in 2021 and 2022 of 9,000 streetlights to energy efficient, dark sky compliant fixtures; got funding to use solar energy to power 9 facilities to date, with 17 additional facilities scheduled for conversion in 2022; and backed a resolution calling for 40- and 80- year water planning to support the city’s 100% water reuse pathway.
Signe Lindell, City Council District 1
Councilor Lindell supports programs to cut vehicle air and noise pollution; recognizes the need to use limited land and infrastructure resources wisely for infill projects; supports redevelopment of the Midtown campus as a place for Santa Feans to live, work and play; and supports the extension of the ethic of water conservation to the commercial sector.
Carol Romero-Wirth, City Council District 2
Councilor Romero-Wirth championed conversion of the city’s streetlights to energy efficient and dark sky compliant fixtures; supports programs to cut vehicle air and noise pollution; sponsored legislation (now law) to dedicate revenue from sale of land toward the affordable housing trust fund; and sponsored a resolution calling for 40- and 80- year water plans.
Roman “Tiger” Abeyta, City Council District 3
Councilor Abeyta supports programs to cut vehicle air and noise pollution; supports providing, as part of the affordable housing trust fund, rebates to allow families a way to afford more sustainable sources of energy; and seeks to pursue aquifer storage and recovery to ensure an adequate and sustainable water supply for Santa Fe.
Amanda Chavez, City Council District 4
School administrator Amanda Chavez aims to bring the knowledge, skills and passion she brings to public schools to the city council. She is a supporter of community solar, infill and a mix of land uses, as well as programs to cut vehicle air and noise pollution.
Becki Graham, City Council District 3
Becki Graham has worked for a decade at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center on sustainable economic development projects. She is also an adjunct instructor in Dona Ana Community College’s English Department. As an active mountain biker, Becki Graham has developed a strong sense of the value of the outdoor experience for all New Mexicans.
Becky Corran, City Council District 5
A 20-year faculty member at Dona Ana Community College, Becky Corran has influenced thousands of students with her focus on equity and climate change. Becky has twice been elected as chair of the NMSU Faculty Senate where her leadership role has included the development of NMSU’s Land Acknowledgement Statement. Becky’s graduate education is in Public Health, and her work in this field has been primarily with historically marginalized groups.
Yvonne Flores, City Council District 6
Councilor Yvonne Flores has served on the Las Cruces City Council since 2017. She has been a consistent advocate for sustainable policies and priorities there. She did much of the groundwork for passing the city’s comprehensive plastic bag ban, which begins in November. She is an attorney, educator and labor activist whom the League of Women Voters sent as an observer status delegate to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) in 2017.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Zoe Economou, Position 3 Supervisor, Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District
Steve Glass, Position 4 Supervisor, Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District
Gill Sorg, Supervisor at large, Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District
Teresa Smith de Cherif, Supervisor Position 4, Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District