TWU at the Roundhouse: How You Can Help

Community leaders from across the state in support of HB 51

At Tewa Women United, we deeply value our community partners and collaborate with them in many ways. Since the January 15th start of the 2019 New Mexico Legislative session, we’ve been working with these partners on a number of important bills related to our mission and that will benefit our communities.

Here are some of the bills we’re watching and actively working on, and how you can become engaged in the process.

HB 51: Decriminalize Abortion

HB 51 would repeal a 1969 anti-abortion law that makes it a crime for an abortion provider to end a woman’s pregnancy, except in certain circumstances. The law has been largely unenforceable since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. However, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, this bill would protect NM health care providers and keep abortion safe and legal in our state.

Our Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice program manager Jessica Lujan has been working with a coalition of community groups to advocate and testify about the need to pass this bill.

Last week the proposal passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee by a 3 – 2 vote (our coalition packed the room with supporters) and next needs to clear the House Judiciary Committee before reaching the House floor.

Read the bill and follow its progress

What you can do:

SB 374: Local Choice Energy Act

Local Choice Energy empowers community decision making regarding energy choices. When people are in charge, they choose renewables and they choose to reinvest locally generated funds back into their community. The Local Choice Energy Act will allow any local community in New Mexico to pool their electricity demand and become energy choice providers. Through this legislation, municipalities, counties, and sovereign Native American tribes will be able to secure electricity based on that local community’s values.

SB-374 is sponsored by Senator Jeff Steinborn (Dist. 36) and Senator Benny Shendo Jr. (Dist. 22) and backed by our friends at New Energy Economy. Elder Kathy Sanchez and Beata Tsosie-Peña of our Environmental Health and Justice Program have been working in support of this legislation, along with our friends at New Energy Economy.

Read the bill and follow its progress

 What you can do:

HB 210: Community Solar Act

The Community Solar Act would enable sovereign Native American tribes, municipalities, and businesses to build the solar facilities, and the utility companies will transmit it on the grid. The bill will enable utility customers who are renters, who do not have suitable locations, or are prevented from installing rooftop solar for other reasons to have equal access to the benefits of self-generation. In addition, Community Solar delivers the benefits of solar power at lower costs by aggregating customers into larger projects, which have economies of scale.

HB 210 Community Solar generates local wealth through the creation of new green jobs and enables people to repurpose energy dollar savings, further stimulating our local economies. Alternative energy jobs are the fastest growing job sector in New Mexico.

HB 210 passed 7-0 in the House Energy, Environments & Natural Resources committee. Next stop is the House Judiciary committee. 

Read the bill and follow its progress

What you can do:

HB 278: Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

HB 278 would declare an emergency and immediately allocate $100,000 to create the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force. Because of jurisdictional gaps, reporting gaps, lack of coordination among law enforcement, uneven media coverage, and other factors, New Mexico has some of the highest rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) in the U.S.

Dr. Corrine Sanchez, TWU’s executive director, comments, “We would be in support of this bill, but would urge that they consider a position on the task force for a Native Women’s non-profit that deals with sexual assault and domestic violence, like the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women. In particular, since often times victims are fleeing domestic violence, sexual assault or other abusive situations and may not have the support of their tribal/pueblo communities or the pueblo/tribes may even support the alleged perpetrators.”

Read the bill and follow its progress

What you can do:


This Citizen’s Guide to Legislative Advocacy in New Mexico, created by New Mexico Voices for Children, is an excellent resource to help you navigate the process that a bill goes through, and understand how to be an effective advocate.

Retake Our Democracy has developed this helpful list of ‘must-pass’ bills for this legislative session.

Thank you for your support to continue our ongoing work to end violence against women, girls, and Mother Earth.