Our past several months have been very busy for the Coalition for Sustainable Communities New Mexico (CSCNM). I want to share some highlights with you in this Newsletter:
August 8th Membership Meeting
The Coalition conducted its first Annual Membership Meeting, hosted by the City of Albuquerque. We experienced tremendous enthusiasm and great ideas from the elected officials representing each of the four founding members: Mayors Tim Keller of Albuquerque, Alan Webber of Santa Fe, Ken Miyagishima of Las Cruces, and Commissioner Anna Hansen from Santa Fe County, as well as their key staff.
Members unanimously elected Mayor Alan Webber to serve as the Coalition’s first Chair and Mayor Tim Keller as the Vice-Chair, both for 2-year terms. Together with Executive Director, Beth Beloff and staff, the two Mayors will work to guide a growing Coalition in its primary areas of service: advocacy, collaboration and networking, and solutions development.
The Coalition’s proposed governing policies and membership dues structures are currently being reviewed by each Member and their legal teams.
While the Coalition is currently working closely with each Member to define its priority areas of focus for the coming year, there continues to be keen Member support for the passage of state legislation that would allow Community Solar in New Mexico.
In the 2019 legislative session, the Coalition worked closely with a strong group of stakeholders to pass the Community Solar Act (HB210), sponsored by Representative Roybal Caballero and Senator Stefanics. As you recall, it passed the House 42-25 but didn’t make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was canceled in the final few days of the session. The Coalition continues to play a leadership role with numerous other stakeholders redrafting last session’s legislation, increasing the network of support for the legislation, and honing its strategy for the coming legislative session in 2020.
The passage of Community Solar legislation supports several key areas of the Coalition’s mission by increasing consumer choice, reducing the cost of electricity, providing access to clean energy generation especially for low-income households and those who rent property, as well as stimulating local economic development opportunities. For more information about the benefits of Community Solar please stay tuned as we will provide a petition requesting that the Governor support community solar in New Mexico.
The Coalition is actively reaching out to new cities, counties, and Native American communities who could benefit from and support the Coalition’s work as new Members.
The Coalition’s Policy focus for the upcoming year is currently being finalized.
The Coalition and the Santa Fe Community Foundation are applying to the UN to participate in COP26 in November 2020 to advance further the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Our Coalition is playing a key role in unifying the voices of elected officials across New Mexico. Our focus remains on climate action and sustainability. We are enthusiastic about the year ahead! Thank you for your sustained interest as we move forward together.