Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) will honor five New Mexico legislators and a broadcast TV host at its Best in Government Awards annual luncheon in Albuquerque on Saturday, Nov.16. Common Cause New Mexico sponsors the lunch every fall to recognize individuals who have made the year a bright one for ethics, good government and transparency. This year’s luncheon will be at the UNM Continuing Education Building, 1634 University Blvd., starting at noon.

Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Sandoval and Bernalillo) and Rep. Greg Nibert (R-Chaves and Lincoln)will be honored with the Best in Government Award for their collaborative work on House Bill 4, Establishing a State Ethics Commission. Their remarkable partnership set the pace for bipartisan, bicameral support of the measure and drew the blueprint for an effective and independent commission. The original House bill died in the Senate Rules Committee, but was resurrected as SB668, sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart. Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto and Reps. Nibert and Ely championed the final version of SB668 on the House Floor.

Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo)was Common Cause’s hero of the session for her quick work in forwarding a state ethics commission when Rep. Ely’s bill stalled in the Senate. Sen. Stewart used a “dummy bill,” to take the improved measure over the finish line. Sen. Stewart was also a co-sponsor of HB55, Agreement to Elect the President by National Popular Vote,which allows New Mexico to enter an interstate compact to award the state’s electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in a presidential election. Nationally, the measure is on its way to gaining the necessary 270 electoral votes.

Representative Linda Trujillo (D-Santa Fe), along with Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, carried SB 672,Allowing for Voter Registration during Early Voting and Providing for Automatic Voter Registration and Updates to Voter Registration. Representative Trujillo championed this CCNM priority bill in the House and worked tirelessly alongside our long-term voting rights champion, Senator Ivey-Soto, to produce a clean version of the bill that addressed many administrative formalities. SB 672 resulted in additional changes to our state’s voter registration laws making voting easier and more accessible to our citizens –  a long-term goal of CCNM. and Rep. Trujillo’s work helped to put this critical bill over the finish line.

Lorene Mills—Veteran journalist and PBS interviewer, Lorene Mills, has used her statewide broadcast, Report from Santa Fe, to spotlight the need for ethics and campaign finance reform for over a decade. Lorene’s commitment to ethics reform  helped CCNM and other good government advocacy groups get the word about legislation out at just the right time this year. She used her platform to reach far-reaching areas across our state to help educate the public. As a fair witness to years of legislative task forces, numerous debates, and some hard defeats and finally, this year’s ethics reform victory, Lorene was able to bring the public “inside the tent,” thus creating an informed citizenry—an essential ingredient of democracy.

Representative Angelica Rubio (D-Dona Ana)has consistently been a champion for democracy reform and government accountability. For nearly three years, along with Rep. Bobby Gonzales, Rep. Rubio has prioritized professionalizing our state legislature. As part of the only volunteer state legislature left in the entire country, Representative Rubio has focused on legislation to create a system to pay state legislators and other measures designed to transform New Mexico’s “old school style” institution, to one that is modern and able to advance a more diverse and inclusive legislature that more closely reflects our state’s population. Rep. Rubio is receiving CCNM’s “Rising Star” award for her outstanding work on this issue.

For more information and tickets ($30) to the luncheon go or contact Sydney Tellez at 505-554-8970.

Common Cause New Mexico is dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard in the political process.