“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.” (Psalm 77:11)
On behalf of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, I want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year and extend my deepest gratitude to all of you who supported us financially in 2018. I say it often—we could not do this without you and thanks to your generosity, we ended our inaugural year very well.
As we begin a new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on where we have been and where we are headed. Therefore, this week, I am proud to share with you our “Top 3 Accomplishments of 2018.”
#1—Our work during the 2018 Legislative Session
In 2018, we participated in our first Legislative Session and provided critical analysis and support to our legislators on issues related to life, family, and religious freedom. Most notably, we managed to get one of our legislative priorities—House Bill 56, which would have required that notification be given to a parent when their minor child obtains an abortion—on the agenda, which is especially difficult during a 30-day session. Not only that, we further managed to get House Bill 56 a hearing in spite of the committee chairman’s efforts to stall the bill. We also teamed up with New Mexico Prays to host “Pastors’ Day at the State Capitol.” More than 100 pastors and faith leaders from various denominations and communities across New Mexico participated in the event, which included a luncheon and prayer service in the Capitol Rotunda.
#2—Our participation in the 2018 Statesmen Academy
During the summer of 2018, we were honored to help host the 2018 Statesmen Academy®—a weeklong conference for on-the-rise Christian legislators and aspiring policymakers. This annual event provides attendees with an enduring fellowship of mutual encouragement and accountability, spiritual strength, and political wisdom, and in 2018, we were blessed to have two of our New Mexico State Representatives in attendance—Rebecca Dow and Rod Montoya. Statesmen Academy classes were taught by experienced Christian legislative leaders including retired U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Congressman Daniel Webster of Florida, Senator Paul Gazelka, Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate, Dr. Matt Spalding of Hillsdale College, and Clark Forsythe of Americans United for Life.
#3—Our work during the 2018 Election
There is no question that the 2018 Election was dominated by the liberal and progressive wings of our state party politics. However, all was not lost on election night, as 8 of the candidates we endorsed for the New Mexico House of Representatives were elected or reelected, including all three of our Statesmen Academy alumni—Representatives Rebecca Dow, David Gallegos, and Rod Montoya. Notably, in Districts 22 and 63, our endorsed candidates were victorious in two of the most tightly contested races of the cycle. After a mandatory recount, Representative Gregg Schmedes won by 142 votes and Representative Martin Zamora edged out his opponent by 25 votes. Representatives Cathrynn Brown, Greg Nibert, and James Strickler were also reelected and we are truly fortunate to have them returning to the State Capitol this month!
By God’s grace, and with your prayers and generous support, that is where we have been. And the good news is, we are headed in some exciting directions in 2019!
Please stay tuned next week for our “Top 3 Goals for 2019.”
Until then, God bless you and best wishes for a prosperous new year!
Soli Deo Gloria,
President and Executive Director
P.S. As you plan your charitable giving for 2019, please keep us in mind and consider setting up a recurring monthly gift to support our efforts. 2019 will be full of opportunities and threats when it comes to the issues and values we care about. But, together, and with the good Lord’s blessing, this will be a year in which we continue to move the ball forward for a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
This month sets off an avalanche of important legislation, as state legislatures begin their sessions in 41 states in January. Already, Family Policy Alliance is tracking hundreds of bills that could have big impact on life, families and freedom.
• Life. At this writing, state legislators have already introduced 241 abortion-related bills. Many of those bills would protect life in a variety of ways, from restricting taxpayer funding of abortions to requiring parental consent or notification before an abortion. But other bills would pave the way for even more abortions by providing public funding or repealing common-sense restrictions.
• LGBT. Meanwhile, the push for the LGBT agenda continues in many states, as 139 such bills have been introduced so far. Many of these bills seek to erase distinctions between men and women. They also seek to make people, companies, churches and schools civilly liable if they continue to honor the biological differences of men and women in their locker rooms and bathrooms, insurance policies, terms of employment, or services they provide.
• Religious Freedom/Pro-Family. Thankfully, 32 bills have been introduced to protect religious freedom, and another 57 bills could be classified as pro-family based on their proposed protections for adoption, safe-haven policies, parental rights and prenatal care.
• Education. And 140 family-related education bills are currently pending. Many of these bills advance school choice through programs such as vouchers, tax credits, scholarships and savings accounts. Others protect homeschooling rights, including “Tim Tebow bills” to allow homeschooled students to participate in public-school athletic programs. Others are very problematic, including bills to allow intrusive student surveys, liberal sex-education programs, and more.
Check out our heat map! The darker the color, the more bills that impact families that we’re tracking in a state so far.
How Family Policy Alliance Helps You: Obviously, tracking all of these bills – and the hundreds more still to be introduced – is a daunting task. Family Policy Alliance keeps tabs on them in two ways. First, we subscribe to computerized services that allow us to stay on top of every bill and every vote. Second, we utilize our close relationships with pro-family groups in nearly every state to get the inside scoop on what’s happening and where action is most needed.
Then, based on good information, we alert concerned citizens like you about key upcoming votes in which you could make a difference by speaking up to your elected official. And we make it as quick and easy as possible for you to take action through our handy Action Center. Usually just a click or two is all it takes to make your voice heard.
How You Can Make a Difference on These Bills: Besides taking action yourself, please share this article (and other action alerts) with friends, encouraging them to join the growing army of concerned citizens who are making an impact on values issues.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11
Less than three months ago, I left my job with the State of New Mexico to accept the Executive Director position with Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico. And the reason I did so was because I truly felt the Lord’s calling to pursue the vision of our organization – a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
So, what’s happened since the launch in October? More important, where are we headed?
I am glad you asked! Since October 1st, we have been working hard to create a grassroots movement of like-minded New Mexicans committed to changing our state for the good. I have personally spent much of my time visiting with pastors, business owners, and legislators, discussing our efforts, as well as the need for more engagement from the faith community. Thankfully, the response has been overwhelmingly positive and I am excited to begin a new year together!
In 2018, we will continue our work to advance Biblical citizenship so we can begin the process of turning our vision into a reality! We will do this by:
- Working alongside our state-based allies to advance the causes and values that matter most for our families;
- Equipping local leaders with the training, resources, and community they need to live out their calling to public service;
- Engaging with people of all backgrounds and beliefs through respectful, truthful conversation; and
- Helping people like you understand the tremendous rights, responsibilities, influence, and opportunities you have to make a difference.
So, for the final time this year, I am going to personally ask you to partner with us by doing three things.
- Please click here to make a financial gift before year’s end. Thanks to a generous matching grant provided by a local ministry partner, your gift today will be matched dollar-for-dollar through December 31st!
- Please add us to your prayer list for 2018. We fully acknowledge and embrace the reality that God’s blessing, wisdom, and guidance is needed in order for us to achieve the level of success we are hoping and praying for.
- Please tell your family members and friends about us. In spite of our best efforts to avoid “discussing politics” at the family gathering this Christmas, it will still likely happen. And when it does, please be sure to tell folks about the new organization in town working to advance Christian family values in government and culture.
As for those of you who are already doing these things, thank you from the bottom of my heart. My wife and children join me in thanking you for your support and we look forward to continuing to serve you in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.
Merry Christmas and God bless you!
President and Executive Director