This November, there is an election here in Las Cruces that will decide three City Council seats and who will be our Mayor. As promised, the Chamber embarked on the process of actively advocating for pro-business policies and candidates. To that end, the Chamber distributed questionnaires to all candidates and have interviewed the candidates that returned our questionnaire and participated to determine whom we, as a chamber, will endorse.
As someone who has run for public office, I want to thank each of the candidates who have put themselves forward to run for the four open positions in this year’s election. It is a great personal sacrifice and selfless act to serve the citizens of Las Cruces.
Gleaned from the interview process is the conclusion that all of these candidates want to improve the community that we live in. Taking into account their responses, along with looking at their experience, and for the incumbent candidates their track record, it became evident that some candidates are disconnected from the needs of the business community and the important role as elected officials that they will play in the creation and expansion of jobs and the economy.
Particularly disappointing is our current mayor, who by his answers to the questionnaire and his refusal to participate on the record in the interview process, continues to disregard this segment of the community. His anti-business attitude is a trend. He flipflopped on his commitments to the business community on supporting a reasonable minimum wage. He did not renew his Chamber membership.
His reason is that he disagrees with our increased advocacy activity on behalf of business.
Meanwhile, he lauds organizations like Café for their representation of their constituents. This is a clear double standard with a bias against the business community. This mindset is nothing new and is a clear reflection of the problems and the anti-business mentality the business community as a whole in Las Cruces has experienced during his terms in office.
In 2011 only 10,109 votes were cast in the same four races that are up on Nov. 3.
That, at the time, represented only 18.4 percent of registered voters in Las Cruces. As far as I’m concerned, this was a travesty. The results of this election will install four people who will be making very important decisions for you, for me and for the future of our fair city for the next four years.
The goal of the Chamber’s strategic plan is to “get more people involved in the election process by providing information needed to make an educated decision.”
Our committee has done some of the work for you by asking the candidates questions concerning the business environment which will impact the creation of jobs. Their answers are a look into their ideology concerning the role and importance of the business community in the future of Las Cruces and are the basis of our endorsement.
Please take this information along with your own knowledge, share it with everyone you know and most of all GO VOTE!
Every vote counts and the future of Las Cruces will depend on you.
Russell Allen Chair Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce