The Elections and CNM:
Second in an occasional series
The Chronicle has been interviewing candidates on their thinking about community colleges, specifically CNM, and how their ideas would translate into their jobs following the Nov. 6 general elections. This package offered candidates for the New Mexico Governor’s Office an opportunity to respond, in the order of their positions on the ballot: Michelle Lujan Grisham, Democrat; and Steve Pearce, Republican. Note that neither candidate responded directly. The Grisham organization deferred to N.M. Sen. Howie Morales, D-28, who is running with Grisham for lieutenant governor, and the Pearce organization referred the Chronicle to its Web site.
By Audrey Callaway Scherer
Morales: Opportunities, Prosperity
N.M. Sen. Howie Morales
Courtesy of Howie Morales
Students and the younger generation can be our future leaders if they give themselves the opportunity, said Howie Morales. Providing opportunities for students to go to college, graduate, and afterward find employment is important to him, he said.
N.M. Sen. Morales, D-28, responded to the Chronicle’s request for comments from Michelle Lujan Grisham, Democratic candidate for N.M. governor. Morales is running for lieutenant governor.
This includes the importance of career and vocational education, making sure college is accessible and affordable, and ensuring pathways for students to graduate and find jobs after.
“We need to recognize that education happens in a multitude of ways, and that includes preparing students with the skills which would help them compete on a global level,” he said.
Morales said he understands education and its relation to the economy and jobs, people’s quality of life, and the overall well-being of New Mexico, having been a teacher at the high school and university levels.
“For me,” he said, “education is always going to be at the heart of what I do.”
He wants to connect with and inspire the younger generation to seek office or an area of public service, and this is one of the things that makes him unique, he said.
“This can occur with our future leaders as long as they give themselves the opportunity to believe they can make a difference—because they can,” he said.
He would also like to encourage and remind everyone to register to vote, he said.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of having our younger generation making the decisions of how we’re going to move forward in this state,” he said.
Voting matters, those at the decision-making level matter, and we’ve seen how elections impact students across our state and the country, especially with this recent presidential one, he said.
When you look at the struggles we’ve had in New Mexico in the last decade, it’s important that we have creative and bold ideas that help New Mexico prosper, he said.
“This can only be done with visionary leadership,” said Morales.
Grisham, running for governor, has demonstrated that on all levels, he said.
“It’s important that we have an electorate that will vote in the best interest of each of them,” he said.
www.pearcefornm.com: Choices, Alternative.
Courtesy of Steve Pearce
For Steve Pearce’s response, his campaign office referred the Chronicle to the following Web address: https://www.pearcefornm.com/issue/education/ featuring Pearce’s views on education.
The Chronicle searched the 1,600-word Web document for references to “CNM,” “community,” “Central” and “college” and found six references to “college.” Here are all six references:
- Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and go to work and ensure every child has access to rich educational opportunities that will provide them with choice; the choice of attending college or entering the workforce (from the section, “Improving Education”).
- We must work with our high schools and colleges to actively recruit students into the teaching profession and develop policies that encourage our current teachers to remain in the classroom (from the section, “Let Teachers Teach”).
- Not every student will attend college, nor should they. But their educational needs are just as important as the college bound student. Our current practice of ignoring or minimally addressing the plight of those not headed to college will stop. We will work to establish Apprenticeship Programs in every school district so that those students who do not intend to go to college will graduate with a diploma and a journeyman certificate which along with the experience gained while in the program will qualify them to get a job the day they graduate (from the section, “Apprentice Programs in High Schools”).