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Congressman Gabe Vasquez is a first-generation Mexican-American who served as a City Councilor in Las Cruces.
Congressman Vasquez grew up in the borderlands and saw the value of hard work in his family while growing up. As the first in his family to be born in the United States, he’s made the most of his opportunity and has worked hard to make a positive difference in his community and in the lives of others. Congressman Vasquez is a champion for working families, he believes we need to build an economy that benefits everyone.
In 2013, after helping build one of Las Cruces’ most successful startup companies, Congressman Vasquez joined Senator Heinrich’s staff and worked across southern New Mexico to solve problems for New Mexico businesses, communities, and families. Vasquez was also instrumental in the designation of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument, protecting it from harmful development and safeguarding it for future generations.
In 2017, Congressman Vasquez was elected to the Las Cruces City Council with over 70 percent of the vote. In this role, he delivered millions of dollars in investment to create and improve parks, updated the district’s infrastructure, promoted policy that created thousands of jobs, and helped craft a comprehensive development plan that focused on lifting families out of poverty. In prior years, Congressman Vasquez has served as the executive director of the Las Cruces Hispano Chamber of Commerce, worked in public lands conservation, and as a policy advocate promoting child welfare and family wellbeing at the federal level.
Vasquez was elected to represent New Mexico’s 2nd November 2022.
Building a Thriving Economy
New Mexico’s workers and small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and Gabe will always put them first. For too long the nation’s largest corporations haven’t paid their fair share, while CEOs and wealthy investors inflate their salaries and dividends. They do this while refusing to increase pay or benefits for workers. We can’t afford to allow this to continue. Gabe will work every day to help our workers and small businesses thrive and ensure that corporations are paying their fair share. This starts with raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, supporting workers’ right to organize and join a union, passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, increasing support for our small businesses, and repealing the Trump tax cuts for the wealthiest one-percent. Gabe also understands that New Mexicans are struggling to pay their bills because of rising prices, and that’s why he’ll support policies that cut taxes on working families while lowering the cost of healthcare, childcare, and utilities.
All New Mexicans Deserve Affordable, High Quality Healthcare
Every New Mexican deserves access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. This pandemic has shown us how fragile our healthcare system truly is and how high medical costs can quickly bankrupt entire families. In Congress, Gabe will work to lower healthcare costs for New Mexicans by fighting for a public option, adding dental and vision benefits and lowering the eligibility age for Medicare to 55, and ensuring that Medicare can negotiate for lower prescription drug costs, because everyone should be able to afford life-saving care without going broke.
Protecting New Mexicans from the COVID pandemic
The COVID pandemic has caused historic and tragic hardship on our families, friends, communities, and businesses. Although New Mexico is home to strong, resilient, and incredibly resourceful people, we need strong leaders to help keep our families safe, our businesses and schools open, and our economy thriving. That starts with accepting the science and understanding how best we can mitigate the impacts of COVID. Rather than promote online conspiracy theories or incite violence against public health and school officials, we must focus on bringing solutions to our communities that keep children and families safe while making sure that schools and businesses have the resources, they need to remain open safely. We must reject conspiracy theories and get to work to promote public health, lessen the burden on our healthcare system, and ensure that our economy can thrive as we navigate these unprecedented times in New Mexico.
Conserving New Mexico’s Lands and Natural Resources
New Mexico’s public lands are core to our identity and offer a multitude of benefits. Whether you hike, bike, hunt, fish, camp, or enjoy our great outdoors in another way, we must ensure that our children and their children are able to enjoy New Mexico as we do today, and that we grow our state’s outdoor recreation economy. Gabe has spent much of his career making sure New Mexicans have access to public lands and he’ll keep working to conserve our lands, water, and wildlife in Congress – and fight any efforts to sell off our public lands to the highest bidder.
Investing in Clean Energy and Combating Climate Change
We have a basic responsibility to leave a better world for our kids, but unchecked pollution from dirty and outdated energy sources is putting the health and future of our children at risk. Ninety-nine percent of scientists, NASA, and the Department of Defense all agree that climate change is a threat – and we’re already seeing its impact in the forms of increasingly severe weather, drought, and wildfires. Water scarcity and drought will be one of New Mexico’s toughest issues to solve, and Gabe is up for the challenge. He’ll work to encourage a transition to clean energy like wind and solar so that we can not only dramatically reduce the pollution that is disrupting our climate and making our families sick, but also create thousands of good-paying jobs right here in Southern New Mexico. We can also continue to grow our economy by electrifying our homes, cars, and businesses. New Mexico is home to some of the best research facilities in the nation and should be leading the effort in new energy technologies and drought-adaptation strategies.
Free and Fair Elections
Ensuring safe, secure, and fair elections is important to all of us – every eligible American deserves to have their voice heard and their vote counted, regardless of their political party. But the fundamental right to vote is being threatened by politicians who want to prevent eligible Americans from voting, strip the ability to oversee our elections from non-partisan election officials, and allow partisan politicians to overturn valid election results if they want a different outcome. Many of these same politicians refuse to investigate the January 6 attack on our capitol and spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. Gabe will fight to protect every eligible American’s right to cast a ballot and have their votes counted and to make sure that, when the votes are counted, the will of the people prevails.
Protecting Women’s Right to Choose and Access to Reproductive Healthcare
Access to healthcare is a right and politicians in Congress and in state Legislatures shouldn’t stand between women and their healthcare. Gabe will oppose any attempt by Republicans in Congress to ban access to abortion, birth control, or to prevent women from having the right to choose.
Advancing Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Gabe has lived on both sides of the US-Mexico border, and he knows the challenges and opportunities of our current immigration system firsthand. He’s seen the immense benefit that immigrant workers and families bring to our communities and economy. But our immigration system is broken, and we need leaders in Congress who will put politics aside to actually fix the problem – not just play political games. We must reform our immigration system to protect DREAMERS and provide hard-working families with a permanent path to citizenship, while ensuring we have a safe and secure border.
Keeping our Communities Safe
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities and when they interact with law enforcement. We should be working to reform law enforcement to raise standards of training, increase accountability for police misconduct, and combat systemic racism while also respecting the hardworking men and women who are upholding the law. We must ensure police departments have more resources to keep our families safe and that’s why as a member of the Las Cruces City Council, Gabe repeatedly voted to increase the budget for our police department, creating dozens of new law enforcement positions. Police reform, not police defunding, is the right way to move forward.
Supporting our Veterans
We owe those who served our country and protected our freedoms and honor their service by improving veterans’ medical care, ensuring access to mental health care and education benefits, and by helping veterans transition from service to civilian life. We must also fight every day to end homelessness among veterans and oppose privatizing the Veterans Administration. When Gabe is in Congress, he will work every day to invest in veterans and improve the management of veterans’ services that has created challenges in trying to access the services we promised them, especially in rural New Mexico and Native American communities.
Upholding Ethics in Congress
Far too often, those elected to represent us take advantage of their positions for personal gain. We must crack down on insider trading and the kind of self-dealing contracts that we’ve seen erode trust in our elected officials and government. We must restore confidence in Congress and ensure that those elected to federal office are held accountable for the votes and actions that protect or grow their personal wealth and interests. The revolving door of corporate lobbyists that influence the actions of members of Congress must be curbed.
Respecting Tribal Sovereignty and Investing in Native American Communities
Understanding and upholding tribal sovereignty is absolutely necessary, in addition to respecting and honoring the government-to-government relationship that exists between New Mexico’s Native American communities and the federal government. New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District includes the sovereign communities of Laguna, Zuni, Acoma and Isleta Pueblos, as well as the Mescalero and Ft. Sill Apache, Navajo Nation, and the Piro-Manso-Tiwa. Gabe will fight to ensure we invest in these communities and capitalize on the opportunities to bring economic, healthcare, education, and infrastructure resources to all of New Mexico’s Native communities.