2015-2016 Scorecard Executive Summary
At Conservation Voters New Mexico, we consider the work that we do in the State Capitol a point of pride. We consider every bill introduced that has an environmental impact to be our business, and an opportunity to make sure that legislators understand what the environmental priorities of their constituents are. But that’s only one metric that we use to define “success” for ourselves during the legislative session.
In the past we’ve used different legislative outcomes to define the effectiveness of our work in the session, such as our “defense record” – our record of stopping legislation slated for opposition. Metrics like the defense record are important to use when evaluating success. However, these metrics often rely on factors out of our control, and don’t really tell the whole story of what we do. In the 2016 session, we made the decision to measure our success in different ways – How well did we connect community with their lawmakers to tell their story in their own voices? How effectively did we support the lawmakers who stand up for our issues? How well did we carry messages in to the Capitol that haven’t been heard there before?
These measurements represent a subtle but significant shift in our organizational approach to our advocacy work in the legislature. We can’t simply hope to replicate identical results year over year. Rather, it’s better to focus on honing excellent practices and habits, and letting the results flow from that.
The scores that you see in this 2015-2016 Scorecard are the result of what we believe to be excellent process in the identification and analysis of the bill introduced in this legislature. We hope that you’ll use this Scorecard to hold your elected officials accountable – look at how they voted and acted and note the actions that you don’t understand or disagree with. Ask yourself why they might have cast that vote, and then (just as importantly) look up their contact info at the back of this Scorecard, and ask them.
The overarching theme of the 2015 and 2016 sessions was a simple one: defense. The State House of Representatives became an incubator for extractive industry think-tank generated bills designed to weaken environmental protections, give away public land and water, sacrifice public health for corporate interests and generally threaten the wild places of New Mexico. We’ve gotten good at stopping bad bills, but be assured that we’re still looking for ways to continue to move proactive conservation legislation through the Capitol.
Thank you for being a Conservation Voter!