Pathetically, New Mexico is currently ranked, by the national Kids Count organization, as our nation’s worst state in which to raise kids.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of parents weren’t a voice for their children during our state’s past, legislative sessions.
I find it mind-boggling that my past and present state legislators, who were or are educators, showed or have shown little concern for our children’s lives and physical or mental health.
I’ve had one senator, Pete Campos (D), and three representatives, Dub Williams (R), Avon Wilson (R) and Nora Espinoza (R), who were or are teachers. Campos and Espinoza were the only ones who introduced any non-appropriation child-protective bills. During Campos’ past 18 years, as a state senator, he has introduced only four child-protective bills (2003-SB 468?, 2004-SB 339? 2005-SB 580 & 2011-SB 296). During Espinoza’s past seven years, as a state representative, she has introduced only two child-protective bills (2009-HB 117 & 2009-HB 874?).
I included two of Campos’ bills which pertained to nutritional food in our schools and one of Espinoza’s bills which pertained to the drug testing of truant students.
I need a little help from parents. Over the years I’ve been unable to get my state legislators to act on the following critical children-issues:
Cruel, independent adults can torture and take the lives of innocent, dependent babies without the fear of losing their own lives.
Our state is one of our nation’s most violent states. Tragically, many of the victims are children.
Some mothers are giving birth to drug-addicted babies who will be mentally disabled for life. New Mexico is one of the worst states, when it comes to homeless children and children living in poverty.
Some of our state’s kids will suffer from cancer, respiratory ailments, etc., due to secondhand, medical-marijuana smoke.
Many of New Mexico’s teens are dying due to drug overdose.
Our state has a juvenile delinquency (including gangs) problem.
Some prisoners are producing children through our state’s conjugal visit program.
Our state’s politicians remind me of a song. In the song a boy asks his congressman for help. His congressman replies, “I would like to help you, son, but you’re too young to vote.”
Parents, for your children’s sake, express your concerns to your state legislators.
By the way, my father was a public school teacher for over 30 years. I had a lot of respect for my dad; however, I would have lost some of that respect if he had gone into politics.
Franklin L. Boren