For Immediate Release
Monday Dec. 3, 2018
Common Cause New Mexico has added two staff members to its leadership team in advance of the 2019 legislative session. Several months ago, the organization named Heather Ferguson as executive director. Now Shannon Kunkel has joined the Common Cause New Mexico staff full time in the role of associate director. Kunkel has worked with Common Cause New Mexico since January of 2015 as a part-time contractor, managing its digital and social media, as well as outreach and fundraising events for the organization.
In her new capacity, Kunkel will oversee the organization’s local and statewide good-government campaigns. Kunkel’s duties will include grassroots and grasstops community organizing, fundraising, communications and administrative tasks. She will also continue to direct the group’s online efforts and social media presence.
Kunkel is native to Albuquerque and graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico, where she studied journalism, advertising and marketing. She has previously served as membership director for the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and in the marketing departments of the Roadrunner Food Bank and the Albuquerque Publishing Company. She began her career at Griffin & Associates as an account executive.
Maria Perez has also joined the team at Common Cause New Mexico as campaigns manager, where she will work to expand and implement ranked-choice voting (RCV), as well as on other good-government reforms. Perez joined FairVote, another electoral reform organization, in early 2017. In her role as director of FairVote NM, she guided RCV implementation in Santa Fe, which held its first RCV election in March 2018. She also worked with the city of Las Cruces, which will be implementing RCV in November 2019.
Born and raised in Ecuador, Perez immigrated to the United States in the 1990s to pursue a B.S. in Biology, an M.S. in Chinese Medicine, and recently a Master’s in Public Health. With 20 years of experience working on equity and equitable policy, she is a seasoned organizer, facilitator, health care practitioner, advocate, coalition builder and a firm believer in the power of people coming together to address complex social problems.
Before committing her career to the issue of democracy, Perez worked on health equity initiatives in New Mexico and the Bay Area, where she planned and implemented campaigns for health access, education, peace promotion, economic opportunity and housing.