This is a guest post from Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-116):


“Growing up, I never imagined a world where I would be represented by someone who looked like me. It was only 70 years ago that Native Americans in New Mexico couldn’t vote — my own mother grew up in a world where she and her family couldn’t make their voice heard at the ballot box. We’ve come a long way, but there’s more we must fight for.

“This is a historic year for Congress and for all of America with a record number of women and women of color elected to office. I am thrilled to be a part of the 116th Congress and ready to stand up for all New Mexicans by putting families before corporate profits. I know what it means to struggle, and that’s why I’ll work hard for New Mexican families through policies like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, paid family leave, and expanding social security.

“In order to send my daughter to preschool, I had to find creative ways like volunteering for the school to provide her with early childhood education. I will fight so every child gets a high-quality public education — including an early childhood education through universal pre-k and daycare. I will fiercely push for policies that put people over profits, like paid family leave and a $15 minimum wage — to ensure every American has a real path to prosperity and success, a Green New Deal and 100% renewable energy, Medicare for All, protecting and expanding Social Security, and a humane immigration policy.

“We also have to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women that is ravaging our country. Native women and girls matter, and we will not allow our sisters to be erased. I will fight to ensure the federal government lives up to its trust responsibility to tribes.

“Congress has never heard a voice like mine, but in 2019, they will.”

Deb Haaland, along with Sharice Davids of Kansas, were sworn in last week as the first Native American women ever to serve in Congress.  Haaland is a native of Arizona who has long been active in New Mexico politics.  She is an attorney who served as chairman of the New Mexico Democratic Party.