Rep.-Elect Leger Fernandez Selected to Serve on the House Natural Resources Committee
December 19, 2020
The House Democratic Steering Committee selected Representative-elect Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03) to serve on the House Natural Resources Committee. The Steering Committee’s selection will now go to the Democratic Caucus for approval. Congresswoman-Elect Leger Fernandez released the following statement on the nomination:
“Our country must be bold and courageous in the battle against climate change and toward environmental justice for low-income and underserved minority communities. The work of the Natural Resources Committee will be crucial to pass sustainable solutions and protect our water, air, and this beautiful place we call home. Our public lands belong to our future generations and it is our responsibility to preserve it for them.
“New Mexicans share a deep respect for our land. We invest in what we believe, and I’ll advocate for increased investments in renewable energy and in our Native American communities. I’ll seek to safeguard the water flowing from our mountains, cascading along our streams and providing life along our waterways. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and join the fight to undo four years worth of toxic policies.”
Congresswoman-Elect Teresa Leger Fernandez is a life-long advocate for our environment and previously served as Commissioner of Las Acequias de Chupadero where she successfully fought for water rights. She has represented Native American Tribes and fought to preserve cultural and historical sites on our public lands.
The House Natural Resources Committee has broad jurisdiction over an array of issues that particularly affect New Mexico, including water, public lands and national parks, Tribes, renewable energy development, public health and environmental protections, and the outdoor recreation economy.
Rep.-Elect Leger Fernandez Selected to Serve on the House Education and Labor Committee
December 19, 2020
The House Democratic Steering Committee selected Representative-elect Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03) to serve on the House Education and Labor Committee. The Congresswoman-elect was also nominated to serve on the House Natural Resources Committee. Both selections will now go to the Democratic Caucus for approval. Congresswoman-Elect Leger Fernandez released the following statement on the nomination:
“The Trump administration’s bungled COVID-19 response left New Mexico’s working families behind, overlooked small business owners, and drove us into an economic crisis. But as a nation, we can come together to rebuild a strong, inclusive economy. I believe in that innovative spirit and will work tirelessly to protect families, students, and workers from stagnant wages and the rising costs of living. This committee touches so much of what we know we need in New Mexico and across our country: a $15 minimum wage, student debt reform, early childhood education, workforce development, strong worker and labor protections, and health care for all. We invest in what we believe in, and I believe in our students and their future. I believe access to quality education can transform New Mexico and help us reimagine an American Dream where students from Raton to Rio Rancho can climb the ladder of opportunity and possibility
to unlock their full potential.
“My parents, Manuelita de Atocha (Mela) Lucero Leger and Ray Leger, were educators, union members, and pioneers in bilingual education. Their spirit is alive and vibrant in me as I contemplate the good and hard work ahead.”
Teresa Leger Fernandez Elected to Congressional Hispanic Caucus Leadership
December 8, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman-Elect Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03) will serve as the Freshman Class Representative to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) for the 117th Congress. The Freshman Representative is part of the CHC leadership team. In this position, Teresa Leger Fernandez will work closely with CHC’s Chair and Whip to communicate and pass the Caucus’ message and legislative priorities.
"The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has championed legislation to address the health, economic and environmental disparities facing our Latino communities and working families. They’ve taken on Trump and his inhumane policies separating children from their families. I’m honored to join the Caucus in their good fight on these issues as the newly elected Freshman Representative. Ahora es cuando! Now is the time to protect our families from the economic devastation the pandemic has disproportionately inflicted on our communities, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and make sure everyone has access to affordable, quality health care," said Rep.-Elect Leger Fernandez.
As Latinos become an ever-larger, and important segment of the American population and an important voting bloc, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus allows Hispanic Members of Congress to work on a collective legislative agenda and champion issues impacting Latino communities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Both Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Representative and Senator-Elect Ben Ray Luján served in CHC leadership.
Teresa Leger Fernandez Elected Regional Whip by Democratic Colleagues
November 20, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman-Elect Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03) was unanimously elected to the leadership position of Regional Whip for Region VI in a vote conducted yesterday by members of the Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico delegations. Leger Fernandez will begin serving as regional whip when she is sworn in as a member of the 117th Congress on January 3, 2020 and will work closely with Democratic Whip James Clyburn.
“I am honored that the members of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico trust me to serve as their regional whip,” said Leger Fernandez. “As I have done throughout my career, I will work to build bridges as Congress’s historic, diverse Democratic caucus works together to tackle pressing issues like the COVID health and economic crisis, threats to Americans’ healthcare, and climate change.”
Region VI includes the Democratic members in the states of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. The primary duties of the Regional Whip are helping organize support for legislative action, tracking votes, and ensuring Members have the information they need before they vote.
Teresa Leger Fernandez Elected to Serve New Mexico’s Third District
Leger Fernandez Becomes First Woman and Latina to Represent NM-03 Following a Campaign Centered on Protecting What We Love
November 3, 2020
SANTA FE - Teresa Leger Fernandez won the race for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District tonight, becoming the first woman and Latina elected to serve the district in Congress. The Albuquerque Journal called the race at 8:41 p.m. MT.
“I take each of the thousands of votes cast in this election as a sacred expression of trust in me and in our shared vision for our future. I will treat this responsibility with the respect and the humility that it deserves.
“For months, you have heard me say, sing, and chant my father’s corrido - ahora es cuando. It’s time now. I am here tonight because of those who came before me, because of all those who shared their time, talents, and resources with this campaign, and because of all of you who voted. This election is about transformation, about building a different economy - one that doesn’t favor the rich over the working class, about science guiding our response to the pandemic, about providing healthcare for all people, not just those who can afford it, and about creating opportunities and living up to our promise,” said Teresa Leger Fernandez.
Leger Fernandez, who ran a robust community-focused campaign for Congress centered on protecting what we love in order to build thriving communities, has secured the seat previously long held by Representative Ben Ray Luján.
Leger Fernandez grew up with a large family in Las Vegas, New Mexico. She is the daughter of bilingual education pioneers and started her education in Head Start, eventually going on to graduate from Yale and Stanford Law School. As an attorney and advocate, she has worked the last 30 years to advance voting rights, promote tribal sovereignty, build affordable housing, protect our acequia waters, and has secured nearly a billion dollars in funding to help build schools, rural health clinics, broadband, businesses and critical infrastructure.
Leger Fernandez Wraps Up Tea with Teresa Series with a Focus on New Mexico’s Creative Economy
In the final Tea with Teresa conversation before November 3rd, Teresa Leger Fernandez sat down with Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Jill Cooper Udall, and Dr. Shelle Sánchez
October 14, 2020
SANTA FE — Democratic nominee for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District, Teresa Leger Fernandez, concluded her Tea with Teresa: Conversation, Connection, and Community series tonight with a conversation on reinvesting in New Mexico’s creative economy, which was among the most significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic.
As artists, performers, and those engaged in our creative economy have lost business and venues for sharing their art - the conversation asked the question of whether a new Works Projects Administration (WPA) that includes funds for investment in our artists could be implemented as part of COVID recovery legislation.
“Going into 2021, we must do all that we can to support the creative economy following the COVID-19 pandemic. Our artists, performers, writers, artisans, and others in the creative sector represent one in ten of workers in New Mexico. They are not only important to our economy, they are integral to our identity and this beautiful place we call home,” said Teresa Leger Fernandez.
This was the final conversation in the larger Tea with Teresa series, in which Leger Fernandez brought together experts, advocates, and elected officials to discuss the issues that matter most to New Mexicans, including: healthcare, child poverty, climate change, housing, immigration, rural development and cultural preservation.
“This series brought together the experts and advocates who know what it means to take bold and courageous action to tackle climate change, reinvest in our economy, and build the housing and future we need for the next generation,” said Leger Fernandez.
In the first Tea with Teresa, held soon after COVID hit New Mexico, Leger Fernandez spoke with Barbara McAneny, M.D., Immediate Past-President of the American Medical Association, Leslie Hayes, M.D., Board Certified in Family Medicine and Addiction, and Alan Barlow, the CEO of the Kewa Health Clinic about healthcare and the fault lines the virus has exposed in our system.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), one of the nation’s foremost advocates for child well-being, Child Advocate David Harris, and New Mexico Voices for Children Deputy Director Amber Wallin joined Leger Fernandez for a Tea with Teresa focused on how we can bring an end to child poverty in New Mexico and across the country by creating a political and economic agenda that prioritizes children and families as we move into 2021.
On issues of protecting our environment, Leger Fernandez had conversations with Former Santa Fe Mayor and Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Executive Committee Chair David Coss, Cultural Resource Consultant from Acoma Pueblo Theresa Pasqual, and Environmental Attorney Noah Long centered on the work we must do to protect our air, land, and water and build a sustainable future for all of our communities. The conversation on rural development heard from Former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Director Terry Brunner, Executive Director of Quivira Coalition Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, and Conservation Leader and Rancher Lesli Allison on policies and ideas to build strong and resilient rural communities, while at the same time improving our soil health which will help solve our climate crisis.
Over the summer, Leger Fernandez hosted a Tea with Teresa focused on housing and homelessness with Former Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, Executive Director of Homewise Mike Loftin and Executive Director of New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness Hank Hughes. She also hosted a conversation with Marcela Diaz, Founding Executive Director of Somos un Pueblo Unido, a statewide immigrant-led civil and workers’ rights organization, Maria Cristina Lopez of the City of Santa Fe Immigration Committee and Founding Board Member of Somos, and Bill Ong Hing of the University of San Francisco and founder of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center about immigration, the inhumane policies of this presidential administration, and what we must do to move forward on the local, state, and national levels.
In a Tea with Teresa that embraced cultural diversity and the spirit of storytelling in New Mexico, Storyteller Joe Hayes, Storyteller and Museum Cultural Educator Jon Ghahate (Laguna and Zuni Pueblos), and Inaugural New Mexico Poet Laureate Levi Romero joined Leger Fernandez to tell stories and discuss the importance of telling stories as a way to share and preserve cultures, and build understanding between them.