On June 30, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, which is running Gloria La Riva for President in 2016, officially qualified for the New Mexico ballot.
As leading expert on ballot access laws in the United States, Richard Winger, pointed out, “This will be the first time since 1992 that any party with ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ in its name has been on the New Mexico ballot.”
New Mexico PSL organizer Chris Banks remarked on the enthusiasm of volunteers who gathered substantially more signatures than are required to qualify a new party in the state.
“The Secretary of State’s office requires 2,564 signatures, but in only nine weeks our members and supporters collected 6,300 signatures, through entirely volunteer efforts.”
“We believe the positive response of those who signed our petitions shows the support there is for an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans, and especially today, a socialist party.”
The monumental task of petitioning and qualifying for the New Mexico ballot was only possible because the people of New Mexico are hungry for change.
New Mexico is second in overall poverty. It ranks dead last in childhood poverty and education. It has the 4th highest unemployment rate in the county and a net-negative job growth rate. As a consequence,more people are moving out of New Mexico than into it, making New Mexico home to the fastest shrinking metro area in the nation, Farmington.
Racism and colonialism have created indicators that match other nations facing the same conditions.
According to the U.S department of Health and Human Services, one-third of the state’s population lives in “Health Professional Shortage Areas,” meaning there is only one (or less) primary care physician for every 3,500 people! That is roughly the same physician-to- population ratio as Haiti, the poorest county in the Western Hemisphere.
Capitalism and colonialism have saddled New Mexico with some of the worst environmental disasters that the great majority of people are unaware of due to the control the ruling class media have over such information.
Resource extraction has turned Northwest New Mexico into the country’s number-one ranking emitter of methane, a greenhouse gas more harmful than carbon dioxide. The Pentagon, which rules over much of the New Mexican economy, is responsible for the largest toxic contamination of an aquifer in U.S. history, and it’s never been cleaned up. Church Rock, NM, located on the Navajo Nation is where the third largest radioactive spill in human history occurred (behind only Fukushima and Chernobyl). That’s never been cleaned up either!
Gloria La Riva, the PSL’s presidential candidate in 2016, was born and raised in New Mexico. She commented, “The federal government claims there is not enough to provide basic necessities for the people, yet there is never a debate over the annual military budget of at least $1 trillion for weapons and war.
“This is why New Mexico suffers from such deep poverty, from the catastrophes of uranium and plutonium pollution. We will raise these critical issues that Trump and Clinton won’t touch.”
It is no surprise that many people in New Mexico, particularly the young from every background, were highly motivated by the message of the Sanders campaign for a “political revolution” against the influence of Wall Street, corporations and the banks, and for free quality education and healthcare. Also not surprising is that many are now refusing the Democratic Party elite’s commands to fall in line and vote for Clinton, the very embodiment of Wall Street power, corporate greed and military aggression.
The Democratic Party establishment did everything it could do to silence the voices of the millions that joined the Sanders campaign. For those that are determined to continue the fight to end the destructive capitalist system and replace it with a socialist system based on people’s needs, for those dedicated to building a people’s movement, the PSL will campaign hard to let everyone know that in the state of New Mexico there is a socialist candidate the people can vote for in the general election.