FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Acequias Decry Proposed Congressional Map
(Santa Fe, NM). On Thursday morning, community leaders from northern New Mexico decried the proposed congressional maps as political disenfranchisement. Several northern New Mexico leaders gave testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“This was our one opportunity in ten years to testify to a Senate committee on redistricting. Our voice matters,” said Yolanda Jaramillo, an acequia commissioner from Dixon.
“We are opposed to SB 1 because it erodes the political voice of northern New Mexico,” said Ralph Vigil, Chairman of the New Mexico Acequia Commission. “Our communities of interest will be diminished with SB 1 by adding a large swath of southeastern New Mexico to Congressional District 3.”
“We have a long legacy of civic engagement in northern New Mexico where we have been able to advocate for our communities,” said Garcia, “The changes to district 3 will make it more difficult for traditional Hispanic communities of northern New Mexico to have political representation of their choice.”
“We participated extensively in the Citizens Redistricting Committee. Those maps were more measured and moderate. The legislature should have considered those maps that were developed with public input,” said Harold Trujillo, a commissioner from Mora County. “Specifically, map concepts H and E had some similarities to SB 1 but the changes were not as extensive. Concept E incorporated acequia input.”
In the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, SB 1 proponents stated that the new map would make all three congressional districts more competitive. “Just drawing maps around percentages of Hispanic population does not tell the story of our communities and does not honor us as communities of interest,” added Garcia. “Voting statistics do not define us as a people.”
At the meeting, community members from both northern New Mexico an southeastern New Mexico both spoke in opposition to the new map. “This feels like a shotgun wedding between northern New Mexico and southeastern New Mexico being pushed by some powerful actors who are not listening to us,” remarked Yolanda Jaramillo.