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QISD Student-Body PresidentEsteban Gomez Addresses NM Legislature

Questa Student Body President Estaban Gomez made an appearance at the New Mexico Legislature on Taos County Day, January 31, advocating for the importance of youthful Americans to participate in political processes and vote on election days.


“I am honored to represent the Questa school district here today and I thank you for the opportunity to see how those decisions are made,” said Gomez in the Roundhouse. “Only about 20 percent of New Mexicans turned out to vote in 2023. I believe our state can do better, which is why it is so important to continue outreach programs like this so that younger generations can see first-hand our state legislature at work and how important it is to be involved, to vote, to reach out to our representatives, and make our needs heard.”


Gomez advocated for a specific bill in his address to the New Mexico Senate. Senate Bill 197, Taos County Water Projects, sponsored by NM Senator Robert Gonzales, NM Senator Senator Pete Campos, and NM Representative Kristina Ortez. SB 197 did not make it out of the Senate Finance Committee, although Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham has told the public of the possibility of calling for a special session later this year.


“I would be remiss not to mention Senate Bill 197 and express the gratitude my community has for this bill,” said Gomez. “The commitment to invest in Questa and the people’s need for clean water and the precious acequias to care for animals and farms.”


Had SB 197 passed, it would have given $1,000,000 to the Village of Questa for wastewater and water treatment, $1,000,000 to Taos County for wastewater and water treatment, $2,200,000 to the El Prado Water And Sanitation District for infrastructure, and $380,000 to the Questa Citizens Ditch Association for infrastructure.


“It was a pretty good day,” Gomez told the Questa del Rio News, although he also said that he’s not sure if he made an impact or not.


According to polling conducted by Pew Research, 70 percent of Americans say that people within a particular lawmaker’s district have too little influence on said lawmaker. 83 percent of Republican Party members say that financial donors and special interest groups have too much influence on lawmakers, compared with 80 percent of Democratic Party members. So who really has the power in our governments?

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