Free
"We the People" Zoom Conversation on Democracy and Elections

"We the People" Zoom Conversation on Democracy and Elections

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A statewide, virtual panel discussion that addresses voting policy, voter equity, and citizen engagement in New Mexico.

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Most people believe that our elections are safe and secure, yet voters and election workers are being threatened and intimidated. Flimsy claims of voter fraud are leading some states to pass laws that will result in voter suppression. What are the statistics? How secure are our elections? How secret are our ballots?

How do we sort through campaign promises to choose the best candidates to represent us? With so much money influencing elections and politics, can we trust elected officials? How can non-voters participate in our democracy?

Is the media increasing political and social polarization? Where are the stories about our changing society? Where do we want our country to be in five or ten years? Where do we have common ground?

In appreciation of efforts to strengthen democracy, we’re offering students, 16 years of age and older, and rising leaders an opportunity to join the League of Women Voters of New Mexico at no cost. https://lwvnm.org/membership.html

Community members from around the state and students from UNM, NMSU, NMHU, and area high schools are invited to attend and participate in the conversation.

PANELISTS

Cindy Nava is the Executive Director of Transform Education NM. Cindy is public policy advocate and educator dedicated to empowering youth through leadership development. She brings an immigrant lens to her lifelong commitment to advance equity and opportunity. After residing in NM for 26 years, Cindy became a US citizen in 2021 and voted for the first time.

Regis Pecos is Trustee Emeritus of Princeton University, the first Native American serve on the Board of Trustees of Princeton, his alma mater. His leadership experience and policy expertise extend across national, regional, state, and tribal governments. Until 2021, he directed the state’s Majority Office as Chief of Staff and Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Regis continues to serve on several boards and advocacy committees. He co-directs the Leadership Institute at Santa Fe Indian School, which he co-founded.

Dr. Elaine Rodriquez chairs the History and Political Science Department Highlands University where she teaches American government and Southwest history and politics. Her research and experience ranges from the impact of the National Voter Registration Act to Latino/a politics and culture. She brings new perspectives on sustainable economic growth, youth leadership development, and civic engagement through her service on the City Council of Las Vegas, NM.

Dr. Finnie D. Coleman teaches American and African American literature, history, and culture at UNM and serves as president of the Faculty Senate. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a higher education consultant specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion on college campuses. Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Coleman served as an Army Intelligence officer.

Dr. Meredith Machen, Discussion Leader, is the Project Director for the League of Women Voters of NM and former state president. She co-chairs the Education and Immigration Committees. Since retiring from SFCC where she served as Vice President of Educational Leadership, she has focused on policy advocacy, voter education and outreach, and intercultural community collaborations.

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