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Letters to the Editor 12-12-18

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The Los Alamos Monitor got it wrong in their article

Dear Editor,

It appears that the Monitor is looking for a reason that local Democratic Party Candidates swept all the Los Alamos races. This article seems to point to a political strategist as the reason.

Tarin Nix has run Stephanie Garcia Richard’s campaigns since late October 2012. And she has been successful, including Stephanie¹s latest win in her race for State Land Commissioner. I applaud Tarin (and Stephanie) for their successful races, but Ms. Nix is not the reason that Los Alamos Dems swept the local races in 2018. Our success came down to two things:

1. Excellent, well-qualified candidates who worked hard to get their message out.

2. A large grass-roots effort that included over 100 volunteers.

Volunteers who knocked on thousands of doors and called thousands of phones in Los Alamos during this election cycle.

Christine Chandler did have a professional campaign manager, Katharine Clark, who ran a great campaign and helped Christine with her overwhelming win.

But Christine was also the most-qualified candidate and she worked incredibly hard for months to win her seat.

Christine also inspired many local residents who contributed to her campaign and numerous volunteers who contacted
voters.

The Democratic Party of Los Alamos County has been rebuilding since 2010.
Stephanie Garcia Richard’s first campaign got us started and hundreds of volunteers over the years have kept us going.

A political operative at the root of our success makes for an intriguing story, but the Monitor is really underestimating our local voters. Los Alamos voters are smart and well informed they voted for the most qualified candidates and they turned out in record numbers.

Great candidates, fantastic volunteers, and informed voters made it happen.

Robyn Schultz, Chair
Democratic Party of Los Alamos County

FROM THE EDITOR: The Los Alamos Monitor article referenced in this letter was published Nov. 18, 2018, “Tarin Nix: Local strategist helps turn LA blue.” The Monitor does not take a position in elections or political races. This article was a profile of a political strategist hired by local candidates Stephanie Garcia Richard, Christine Chandler and others.

We often highlight stories of successful business owners or outstanding members of the community in the Monitor.

In the article, Robyn Schultz, Democratic Party of Los Alamos Chair, was quoted, saying: “I want to make it clear, we had strong candidates who worked very hard,” Schultz said. “It was not due to Tarin.”

Also in the article, Tarin Nix’s biographical information was quoted from the American Association of Political Consultants website: “Voter Research has delivered some of the biggest and most critical wins in New Mexico over the last three cycles and is currently overseeing four Democratic statewide campaigns, seven targeted House races, and a handful of local campaigns. Most notable wins include: winning the only targeted House race in 2014 when Democrats lost the House for the first time in 60 years with Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, securing passage of the Santa Fe County Living Wage, flipping the Los Alamos School Board & County Council from a lifetime of Republican control, unseating a 16 year incumbent to elect Anna Hansen to the Santa Fe County Commission, and delivering more wins for the New Mexico State Senate and House than any other firm in 2016.”

I spoke with Robyn Schultz Tuesday and she said she disagreed with the information Tarin Nix wrote on the website. Schultz said she felt this quote made the article seem like Nix was taking credit for the blue wave. Schultz said she felt the Democratic Party had worked for years to win these races. Schultz also said Nix joined the campaign during the final weeks of the 2012 campaign.   

The Monitor encourages readers to call or write us directly with any feedback to articles at lacommunity@lamonitor.com, or 662-4185.

Access to condoms a statewide health concern

Dear Editor,

While I was delighted to see front-page coverage addressing lack of access to condoms in Los Alamos and use of the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey data, I was saddened that there was no mention of how other counties in the state have addressed access to comprehensive care to students by way of school based health clinics. Los Alamos is one of only a handful of counties in New Mexico which does not have a school based health clinic.

There are  over 70 school-based clinics in New Mexico providing comprehensive care to address many of the risks identified by the Risk and Resiliency Survey, including family planning services and comprehensive mental health care.
Our state statutes provide youth the right to consent for care for mental and sexual health yet Los Alamos teens have no access to such services.

We have clear evidence, through years of the survey data, demonstrating that our youth face the same risks youth elsewhere in the state, yet we have failed to provide access the effective and comprehensive care to address these potentially life changing concerns. I encourage any community member to access the survey at youthrisk.org. The site is user friendly and is part of CDC’s national risk surveillance program.

Then, take a look at what the more than 70 New Mexico school-based health clinics have been doing to address the health concerns for years at nmasbhc.org. We owe our youth access to care which they have clearly been in need of for many years.  

Addressing these health risks and providing access to care is critical to their success and wellbeing so they can go out into the world to pursue their dreams and goals.

Barbara deNevers, CFNP, PMHNP