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"Moral Monday" In New Mexico

  ALBUQUERQUE—New Mexico’s second Moral Monday rally begins at noon on February 9, will focus on the state budget as a moral document, and is being organized by New Mexico Voices for Children.

“The state budget is a moral document because the way our state elected officials prioritize the spending of tax dollars tells us what they value,” said Veronica C. García, executive director of the child advocacy agency. “For example, the state is increasing money for investigating child abuse—which is vital—and that’s a good and moral thing to do.  But, at the same time, they are decreasing money for proven prevention services such as child care assistance and home visiting. That tells us that protecting children before they are abused is a lower priority for the state than keeping them safe in the first place. I believe most New Mexicans would not agree with that set of values.”

The Moral Monday movement began in 2013 in North Carolina to protest cuts to social programs, changes in tax law, and a new voter ID requirement, among other issues. The movement has since spread to other states. In New Mexico, Moral Mondays are sponsored by the NM Federation of Labor, which also provides free lunches at the events. The rallies are held each Monday during the legislative session, with different organizations taking the podium to highlight different issues each week. Last week’s event was focused on immigrant rights and drew well over a thousand participants.

WHAT: Moral Monday rally

WHEN: Monday, February 9, 2014, noon

WHERE: East side of the state Capitol, Santa Fe

WHO: NM Federation of Labor, NM Voices for Children

Speakers include:

Fred Harris, former U.S. Senator

Andrea Serrano, poet

Veronica C. Garcia, executive director, NM Voices for Children

Allen Sanchez, executive director, NM Conference of Catholic Bishops

Senator Howie Morales

Senator Michael Padilla

Representative Luciano “Lucky” Varela

Bill Jordan, senior policy advisor/governmental relations, NM Voices

Javier Aceves, MD, pediatrician

A youth speaker from NM Forum for Youth in Community