Saturday, August 30, 2014

Interfaith Hunger Coalition Holds Conversation with Eight Candidates for New Mexico House of Representatives

Eight people who are seeking election to the State House of Representatives on Nov. 4  took time from their busy schedules to learn about the Interfaith Hunger Coalition and to chat about their views about addressing hunger and poverty in New Mexico. The advocacy committee of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition, which organized the conversations, invited all House candidates (incumbents and challengers) from the Albuquerque area who are seeking to serve in Santa Fe. (There are no Senate elections this year, and that is why only House candidates were invited). The committee wanted to make sure the meetings were manageable and intimate, so that is why they were divided into three separate conversations. These were not debates or candidate forums, but informal conversations.

Danny Whatley, Rev. Donna McNiel
First Presbyterian Church (Aug. 21). Rev. Karen Hill hosted the first meeting, which included invitations to candidates whose district is located south of I-40. Many incumbent House members who would have likely joined us were in Minnesota that day for a gathering of state legislators from around the country. Robert Schiller and Andrés Romero, two candidates seeking the open seat in District 10 (vacated by the retirement of Rep. Kiki Saavedra) joined us for the conversation. Danny Whately, director of Noon Day Ministries, was also on hand to tell us about his organization's programs for homeless families and individuals.

Rev. Phil Wangberg hosted meeting
All Saints Lutheran Church,(Aug. 26). Rev. Phil Wangberg hosted the meetings for candidates whose district is located north of I-40 and west of I-25. Rep. Emily Kane (District 15), Rep. Monica Youngblood (District 68), Rep.-elect Debbie Armstrong (District 17), and candidate Catherine Begaye (District 23) joined us for the conversation. Jim Taylor from Casa San Miguel  (affiliated with St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church)also joined us to tell us about the organization's  food pantry  and other services.

Cindy Griebler
Congregation Albert, (Aug. 28). Mary Beth Nelson (on behalf of Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld) hosted the meeting, which was intended for candidates whose district is north of I-40 and east of I-25. Rep. Liz Thomson (District 24) and candidate Robert Coffey (District 30) joined us. Alissa Barnes--a member of the advocacy committee and director of community initiatives at Roadrunner Food Bank--told us about the food bank's statewide operations. Other members of Congregation Albert joined us at the meeting, including Cindy Griebler.
Below are pictures of  all eight of the candidates as they listen and converse with us.

At First Presbyterian Church
District 10 Candidate Andrés Romero with Judy Messal

District 10 Candidate Robert Schiller with Rev. Karen Hill
At All Saints Lutheran Church
-District 23 Candidate Catherine Begaye (left) with Judy Messal and Alissa Barnes
District 15 Rep. Emily Kane with Jim Taylor from Casa San Miguel
Disrict 17 Rep.-elect Debbie Armstrong (center) with Ellen Buelow & Ruth Hoffman
District 68 Rep. Monica Youngblood with Rev. Phil Wangberg
At Congregation Albert
District 24 Rep. Liz Thomson (left) with Alissa Barnes
District 30 Candidate Robert Coffey with Ellen Beulow and Rev. Donna McNiel

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