There is a continued need for active advocacy and policy engagement for access to, and/or awareness of quality programs available to New Mexico’s African American community. Therefore, the presence of African American leaders should be strongly encouraged as visible and viable as members of advisory and strategic planning committees, school boards, judicial systems, business chambers, city commissions and councils, state elected offices within the state‐wide community.
- Positively affect perception of the African American community regarding the legislative process
- Produce educational tools and conduct community events that will encourage positive civic engagement among youth and adults
2014 Legislative Session
HB 2: General Appropriations
SB 69: African American Infant Mortality Pilot Program: African American affairs shall create and implement a one-year pilot program in Bernalillo county. The pilot program shall seek to reduce infant mortality and enhance maternal health among African American residents.
SB 313: General fund appropriation to the office of African American Affairs in the contractual services category includes an additional fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for a pilot program to address African American infant mortality and maternal health.
SB 313: General fund appropriation to the office of African American Affairs for personnel services includes two additional full time staff positions, Executive Administrative Assistant and Health Community Outreach Specialist.
Sponsor: Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino
2013 Legislative Session
Supplemental Funds - During the 2013 legislative session, The Office of African American Affairs received support from Governor Susana Martinez and state legislators in the form of supplemental funds to conduct statewide County Black Expos and Forums. The amount of $30,000 will support five awareness sessions to share statistical data collected and implementation team work in disparity areas of economics, healthcare and education. The sessions will also be conducted to encourage more movement and action from local communities in the areas of parent engagement, health and wellness awareness, financial literacy, education advancement, and economic empowerment. Summits will be held in the counties/districts with highest percentage of African American population, totaling 39,174 of total 42,550 of New Mexico’s AA population (according to the 2010 U.S. Census).
House Bill 112: Data Collection in the Schools - In concert with Representative Jane E. Powdrell Colbert and support of Governor Susana Martinez, OAAA partnered to amend House Bill 112 during the 2013 legislative session. This is a significant accomplishment that amends the Annual Accountability Reports submitted to the Governor by the NM Public Education and Higher Education Department. The amendment requires the report to insure the desegregation of African American and student data with other races or communities of color.
African American children are aging out of foster care in New Mexico at high rates. As an extension of the Governor's office and Children, Youth and Family Department (CYFD), OAAA advocates for children in foster care to receive care, guidance, and a good home through the NM Foster Care system.
The Heart Gallery of New Mexico has found homes for many children who were considered "hard to place" due to their age or the fact that they were members of a sibling group. The public has an open invitation to visit the OAAA office and experience the Heart Gallery Wall prominently displayed in our front reception area.