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NM State Senator District 18

Represents a district in the New Mexico State Senate, which has 42 members. In odd-numbered years, the legislature meets for 60 days; in even-numbered years, it meets for 30 days. The Governor may call for special sessions. Senators sponsor and vote on “reasonable and appropriate laws,” represent the constituents of their districts, and serve on legislative committees. Positions are unpaid, except for per diem expenses. Elected for a four-year term.

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  • Candidate picture

    Natalie R Figueroa
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Kurstin S Johnson
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What abilities do you have that qualify you for this office?

What is your top priority, and how do you plan to address it?

What additional water policies and actions, if any, are needed in New Mexico?

What, if anything, should be done to improve public safety?

What programs or actions, if any, would you support to provide more affordable housing?

How can New Mexico diversify its economy?

Should legislators be paid a salary? Why or why not?

Campaign Mailing Address 8705 Horacio Pl NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Campaign Phone 505-514-4758
Occupation High school Spanish teacher
I have been a State Rep for HD 30 since 2019; I am Vice Chair of the Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee. I have taught in public schools for over 30 years and have been department chair and a master teacher. I have unique insights into the challenges and assets of our state and will continue to speak for families and especially our youth. I have a BA from Stanford Univ. with distinction and an M.Ed. from UCLA.
Education will always be a priority for me as a lifelong teacher. I know the future of my students depends on improvements to our educational system and also on the stability and growth of New Mexico’s economy. Toward that end, I have worked to improve broadband infrastructure across the state, and will continue to prioritize further improvements. Public safety is also a priority for all New Mexicans, and requires complex, sustained solutions. Modernization of the legislature is also a priority.
New Mexico has aging water infrastructures, in some areas at the point of collapse. Now is the time, while our revenues are high, to address our water infrastructure needs and plan for the future. Water planning needs to be part of every project, and we must incentivize reducing water use. In addition, restructuring our capital outlay process to vet and prioritize big projects would help us accomplish some of these necessary infrastructure changes.
Again, this is a complex issue that must be addressed with both short and long-term action on multiple fronts. Public safety is improved when New Mexicans in financial and medical crises have safe shelter, food, and access to care. In the long term, New Mexico must address critical shortages in behavioral health services, affordable housing, educational equity, and a diversified economy. In addition, improve our criminal justice system to shorten the time awaiting trial and reduce recidivism.
I support the expansion of NMFA to include housing and incentivizing builders to create affordable housing, zoning changes, and improving collaboration between city, county, and state governments. We also need to continue applying current excess to the issue via the Housing Development Fund,
A more stable economy would be diversified across multiple industries and would build on NM’s resources of sun and wind and space. To encourage this, I will prioritize the necessary infrastructure: not just roads and bridges, but also reliable high speed broadband to reach all corners of the state. An educated workforce is also a priority for economic stability, so building connections between education, workforce training, and industry is essential.
I am a strong proponent of modernizing our legislature by creating salaries and extending the length of the legislative session. I have sponsored and supported legislation to achieve these ends. Our legislature needs to evolve to address the complex issues facing our state. We cannot get diverse backgrounds and experiences in the legislature without providing a salary. Relying on volunteers is no longer sustainable. Without salaries, only certain professions and retired people can serve.
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