Attention Voters of Dona Ana County

Oct 23rd, 2018 By: Betty Bishop
Topics: News
Attention Voters of Dona Ana County

NEW MEXICO STATISTICS

  • Unemployment 50th (Bureau of Labor Statistics as of February 2018)
  • Child Well Being 50th (NM healthcouncil.org)
  • Education 50th (US News Best States)
  • Crime and Corrections 49th (US News Best States)
  • Infrastructure 47th (US News Best States)
  • Teen Birth Rate 50th (US Census Bureau 2015)
  • Population below poverty line 49th (US Census Bureau 2015)
  • Child Poverty Rate 49th (US Census Bureau 2015)
  • Income Growth 48th (1.2% vs 3.8% national average US Census Bureau 2015)
  • Economy 46th (US News Best States)
After reading these stats I hope it hits you that clearly, something is very wrong in New Mexico. Most of the friends I have shown this too have told me something like “surely Dona Ana County should be doing better than New Mexico as a whole, I mean we have New Mexico State University, White Sands Missile Range and a lot of good jobs in agriculture.” As someone who was born and raised in Dona Ana County, I wish this were true. 
 
Unfortunately, Dona Ana County is worse than the New Mexico State average in almost every category, and that is saying a lot since NM is at the bottom of nearly every list.
 

DONA ANA COUNTY STATISTICS

Economics

  • Unemployment 2016: Dona Ana 7.2% vs NM 6.7% (US Average 4.9%)

Healthcare

  • 15-19-year-old birth rate Dona Ana 16.4% vs NM 13.8%
  • Breastfeeding at two months postpartum Dona Ana 29.7% vs NM 34.1% (US Average 56.3%)
  • Prenatal Care in the First Trimester: Dona Ana 54.9% vs NM 63.4% (US Average 77.2%)
  • Obesity: Dona Ana 32.5% NM 28.5%
  • No Health Insurance Coverage: Dona Ana 24.4% vs NM 20.7%
  • Medicaid Enrollment: Dona Ana 49.6% vs NM 40.8%
  • Overall Health: people in fair/poor health Dona Ana 25% NM 20.3 (US average 16.9%)

Education 

  • Percentage of Adults over 25 with no High school diploma: Dona Ana 21% vs NM 15.4%
  • Habitual Truancy in schools: Dona Ana 22.1% vs NM 15.5%
  • School Lunch price and Eligibility: Dona Ana 77.1% vs NM 69.7%
  • Birth mothers who completed high school or higher: Dona Ana 75.4% NM 79.9%

Child Well Being

  • Youth with a caring and supportive family: Dona Ana 41.6% NM 48.2%
  • Poverty among children under 18 in 2016: Dona Ana 36.9% NM 27.8% (Us Average 19.5%)
  • Note: New Mexico as a whole, 27.8% (49th worst in the nation)
  • Poverty among children under 5 from 2011-2015: Dona Ana 45.1% NM 33.9% (US Average 22.8%)
This evidence is fact and not up for debate, there is no doubt that New Mexico and especially Dona Ana County is underperforming. New Mexico became a state in 1912 and was settled by the Spanish and Native Americans before any of the eastern states, so why is it so far behind? The answer, as it always is, Poor Leadership. New Mexico has and continues to be mismanaged. 
 
In the last municipal election, not a single Republican was elected. This means that every seat on the city council and even the mayor is from the same party. This has a negative effect on checks and balances, and with no opposing voice or ideas in the room, it is easy to see why groupthink has taken control and stymied new ideas on the city council. 
 
Countywide we have more of the same with our County Assessor, Treasurer, Clerk, Probate Judge, Sheriff, District Attorney, and 4 out of 5 Commissioners (1 of these just resigned following sexual harassment allegations, appointment coming soon) all member of the Democratic party. After reading the statistics of our state and seeing that New Mexico is at the bottom of the pack and that our county is at the bottom of the counties, don’t you think it’s time for a change? The same old ideas from the same group of people are not working for Dona Ana County.
 
Dona Ana County needs change and actual debate on policy
  • We need an opposing viewpoint and voice for the people suffering in our county
  • We need to have checks and balances instead of a single-party rule
  • We need a new fresh set of ideas that will get Dona Ana County on the right path
  • The Democrats, who have long ruled Dona Ana County, have no excuse for the putrid statistics and living conditions in our community; after all, they can implement any policy they choose unopposed.
As citizens of Dona Ana County, we should ask ourselves: 
  • Why aren’t we seeing jobs come to Dona Ana? 
  • Why is our unemployment so high? 
  • Why are our wages stagnate? 
  • Why is our local economy so bad? 
  • Why is our education the worst in the nation? 
  • Why are our children living in poverty? 
  • Why do our NMSU graduates have to move away to find work? 
  • And the most important question citizens of Dona Ana need to ask, what can I do?
We the people of Dona Ana need to change our mindset. Instead of burying our heads in the sand and hoping someone else will fix it, we need to come together and have an honest debate on what policies and principles matter to Dona Ana and then elect representatives who move us forward. The time for complaining has long passed, an action is required.
 
 Vote Schoonover!