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Angelica Rubio seeks reelection to House District 35 in New Mexico

State Representative Angelica Rubio serves in District 35 in New Mexico.

Angelica Rubio is the incumbent Democratic State Representative in New Mexico’s House District 35. Representative Rubio talked to KRWG Public Media to share why she is seeking reelection.

Anthony Moreno: Joining us is State Representative Angelica Rubio. She serves in District 35 in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Representative Rubio, thanks for joining us.

Angelica Rubio: Thank you, Anthony. I appreciate it.

Anthony Moreno: Starting off, if you could share a little bit about yourself.

Angelica Rubio: Yeah, absolutely. So, I serve District 35, which is mostly the downtown and historical and traditional neighborhoods around the city of Las Cruces. I've been serving in the New Mexico Legislature for the last eight years. I was elected in 2016. And I have just been someone that's always been really committed to public service, both not just as an elected but as an organizer in the community and in Southern New Mexico and eight years ago, when community members recommended that I run for this open seat, I did so with the intent of really up just being centered on a lot of the values that I grew up with. My parents are immigrants from Mexico. I grew up on the border and so this is something that's really important. A lot of these issues are really not just important to me, but they're very much a part of who I am.

Anthony Moreno: So why are you seeking reelection?

Angelica Rubio: I'm seeking reelection because there's so much of the work that I intended to do when I first got elected, that still needs to be completed. Two of the major issues that I have been working on is one really transitioning ourselves away from oil and gas and really finding other resources, because right now our state is very heavily reliant and dependent on the industry, not just in terms of our own revenues, but just the frontline communities who are either in the northwestern part of the state, who have been left behind because of our transition away from coal. I really want to find some ideas of on how do we transition away from oil and gas in a much more sustainable way through this lens of a restorative economy, and then secondly, modernizing our legislature. It's one of the things that I ran on in 2016 on how the New Mexico State legislature is still the only remaining legislature in the country that does not pay its legislators salaries. And I believe this is very exclusive institution and the whole point of that is to try to expand and make the legislature much more equitable to the very lives so that they're representative of the lives of the communities we serve.

Anthony Moreno: OK, now you mentioned a couple of issues that the state is facing, but what about your district? What do you feel are the biggest issues facing District 35?

Angelica Rubio: For District 35, the biggest issues right now, I believe, are the lack of services specifically related to issues around mental health, and I think the investments that we've made in the last couple of years because of the revenues we've had, we've been able to provide some assistance to that, but there's a lot more of holistic approach that we need to address. I know that there's been a lot of talk about policing and those types of issues which I think it's a conversation and a debate that we should be having. But investments in our communities are what's needed. And I think, especially when it comes to mental health issues. Issues related to fentanyl; we have a huge fentanyl addiction in not only just in our communities but around the country. I think that my district, because it's such a dense district, it's a place where I think a lot of the initiatives that are being promoted and are being funded through the state, it's really such a small district that I think we could really provide more incentives to allow for more people to be served.

Anthony Moreno: OK, now Speaking of those incentives, if reelected, what's your plan to address these issues in the state legislature?

Angelica Rubio: I mean, I think that that's already been in the works since I was elected in 2016. Our legislature, particularly the House of Representatives has increased in terms of a diversity of people and voices, so we have a number of colleagues that I've had an opportunity to work with. Well, we've been able to collectively work on legislation to address things, particularly like housing, which is a big part of why so many issues exist within our district where there is a lack of housing where people are being really taken out of an opportunity to have to have shelter. Those are one of the things that we've been that we've been working on and then of course issues related to mental health, there's policies that have already been written over the course of the last couple of years to address this, that it's a matter of making sure that not only do we keep pushing those issues so that they pass through committee and through our House, but that they actually get a hearing in the Senate, those have been our biggest challenges over the course of the last few years is that there's a lot of really great ideas to ensure that that people within our district and in the surrounding areas have what they need. It's just a matter of making sure that 69 other House of Representatives and then the folks in the Senate agree to it as well.

Anthony Moreno: Angelico Rubio is running for reelection in District 35 in the New Mexico House Representative Rubio, thanks for joining us.

Angelica Rubio: Thank you.

Anthony Moreno serves as the Director of Content at KRWG Public Media. He also is host and executive producer for "Fronteras-A Changing America" and "Your Legislators" on KRWG-TV.