Last week, North Carolina showed us again why elections matter to the LGBT community.
With the passage of “Amendment One,” a majority of North Carolina voters denied the freedom to marry to thousands of same-sex families.
With so much at stake for the LGBT community in this year’s elections, Equality New Mexico will host a series of roundtable discussions with each of the Democratic candidates for Congress in New Mexico’s 1st congressional district:
Current Bernalillo County Commissioner, and former New Mexico cabinet secretary, Michelle Lujan Grisham
State Senator and former Albuquerque City Councilor Eric Griego, and
former Albuquerque Mayor Martin J Chavez.
This will be your opportunity to ask the candidates where they stand on issues that matter to our state’s LGBT community and families.
Our first roundtable discussion will take place on Tuesday, May 15th with Michelle Lujan Grisham, from 7:00pm-8:30pm at the Flying Star Downtown (723 Silver Ave SW).
Below is more information about Michelle Lujan Grisham (information provided by her campaign):
Born in Los Alamos and raised in Santa Fe, Michelle graduated from St. Michael’s High School, then came to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico for both undergraduate and law school. Her grandfather Eugene Lujan was the first Hispanic Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Her mother Sonja cared for Michelle and her disabled sister and now lives with Michelle in Albuquerque’s North Valley. Michelle’s father, Buddy Lujan, served his Santa Fe community as a dentist, often providing dental care free of charge so that all of Santa Fe’s residents could be provided services that were necessary for their well-being.
As a young attorney she worked for the Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Program of the State Bar of New Mexico. Because of her tireless work on behalf of seniors, four-term Governor Bruce King to appointed her to head the New Mexico State Agency on Aging; she served as the state’s first Secretary of Aging and Long Term Services when the department was elevated to a cabinet position.
As head of the Stage Agency on Aging under both Democratic and Republican administrations, she was an early advocate for the Hate Crimes Act. In the early 1990s, as advanced medical directives were becoming a priority across the nation, Michelle spearheaded the effort to include language in the bill recognizing same-sex partners as legally qualified to make medical and healthcare decisions for their partners. New Mexico became the first state to include the provision and served as a model for other states. Michelle worked to ensure that providers offer an array of services that meet the needs of the GLBT community, and NOT discriminate in their services, and to be held accountable if they did.
In 2004, Michelle was asked to head the New Mexico Department of Health, Michelle advocated for increased funding from the state Legislature for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in New Mexico. At the same time she helped create the HIV/AIDS Commission. Michelle also worked closely with Linda Siegle, a prominent activist for New Mexico’s GLBT community, to fight for the Domestic Partnership Rights and Responsibilities Act.
Elected in 2010 as a Bernalillo County Commissioner she hit the ground running, leading efforts to bring more transparency and accountability to county government. Michelle stood up to Sheriff Dan Houston who was holding mandatory meetings of cadets at the anti-gay fundamentalist Legacy Church.
Michelle serves as President and co-founder of the Delta Consulting Group, a small business that oversees New Mexico’s Health Insurance Pool and helps to provide access to health insurance coverage to New Mexico residents who have been denied health insurance
Michelle will continue her strong service on behalf of LGBT New Mexicans in Congress. She will work to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and end LGBT discrimination in the workplace. She will work to pass the Student Non-Discrimination Act to protect LGBT students from the problem of bullying. Finally, she will work to ensure marriage equality, repealing DOMA and passing the Respect for Marriage Act in Congress.