MISSISSIPPI THANKS SENATOR: NM IS NOW 50TH IN CHILD WELFARE
After a Constitutional Amendment that would put $150 million into early education programs passed the New Mexico House this year, Senator John Arthur Smith dragged the bill into his committee and refused to give it a hearing. He killed it.
A study, which was released summer of 2013, showed that New Mexico has dropped to last place in the nation for child welfare, bumping Mississippi up to 49th.
That’s when members of our Working Parents Association decided it was time for someone to call out Senator Smith for abusing his power and driving New Mexico’s child welfare down to 50th in the nation.
Learn more about how OLÉ fights to enrich and empower New Mexico’s working families.
We are a non-profit, who uses grassroots organizing within the local community of working families in New Mexico. Our members and staff work together to strengthen our communities through social advocacy and economic reform, using issue-based campaigns and electoral engagement to ensure that working families are playing a critical role in shaping New Mexico’s future with a united voice.
Issues we are currently working on:
HEALTHY WORKFORCE ABQ
Healthy Workforce ABQ is a ballot initiative that will guarantee earned sick days for every worker in Albuquerque.
Every day OLÉ fights to help New Mexico’s workers win respect, living wages, benefits, and enforcement of worker protections. Workers are routinely robbed of the wages they have already earned, particularly in Albuquerque, where the Berry Administration has refused to enforce the Albuquerque Minimum Wage Ordinance that OLÉ led the campaign to pass with 66% voter approval in 2012 . That law will give minimum wage workers a raise each and every year, but OLÉ continues to organize workers to fight employers that continue to break the law and underpay their workers.
OLÉ is also working with employees of Walmart to win greater respect and a voice in improving the working environment at Walmart stores. The effort is part of the national Our Walmart movement.
OLÉ also collaborates with the National Domestic Care Alliance to organize domestic workers in New Mexico. Partnering locally with Encuentro and El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, OLÉ is working with home healthcare providers, housekeepers, and all other types of domestic workers to address the lack of worker protections, such as the exemption in the New Mexico minimum wage statute that doesn’t cover housekeepers. Home care givers are a growing sector of workers doing increasingly critical work to care for our families, but they receive little training to develop their skills or adequate compensation to allow them to provide for their own families while they care for ours.
The Working Parents Association was started by New Mexico parents to build a united voice for working families who want to improve access to to quality affordable childhood and k-12 education because:
Providing a high-quality early education is the best way to make sure that New Mexico’s children succeed in school and throughout their lifetimes.
In order to work or go to school, parents need safe affordable childcare for their children.
Investing in our kids early years will lead to better outcomes for families and
Visit our most current campaign page by clicking HERE.
However, since 2010 the state has slashed family eligibility for subsidized childcare and early education from 200 percent to 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Now thousands of parents are unable to afford safe child care and quality early education. Some parents have given up work. Others are making do with inferior child care that neither educates their children nor provides them with the safe environment that a licensed provider does.
The solution to this problem lies in the Land Grant Permanent Fund. New Mexico has the second largest fund of it’s kind in the nation with $11.5 billion for education. As part of Invest in kids now! We are fighting to pass a constitutional amendment that would use a small percent of the fund for early childhood education. In 2012 we came within one vote of passing the amendment through the legislature. Our members continue to work on this issue and with your help it could pass this year.
Members help by: – Engaging other parents, family members and community members to fight for quality childcare – Participating in meetings and events – Asking your childcare center to support our fight – Hosting a planning meeting for parents – Attending meetings with your legislator – Talking to the press about issues around childcare
OLÉ’s Citizenship Program helps legal residents through every step of the naturalization process — filling out applications and teaching citizenship and ESL classes.
Citizenship is a path to individual, family, and community strength. In comparison with other immigrants who have not naturalized, new citizens reach many new heights of success. On average, naturalized citizens attain higher education, make more money for their families, and engage in their communities at greater levels.
We assist residents in completing their N-400 naturalization application, offer four weekly citizenship classes to prepare people for their interview and exam, and help them understand how to navigate the USCIS system in order to track their cases.
The naturalization rate of immigrants who have completed our citizenship classes has been over 95%, historically. (Each naturalization case is different, however, and the past success of OLÉ citizenship students should not be taken as an indication of the likelihood of any applicant’s success in the naturalization process.)
Once our members become citizens, we help them register to vote and become active new participants in our democracy.
The class schedule for Citizenship & ESL classes are as follows:
For more information, please contact OLÉ!
Andrea Serrano Executive Director
Matthew Henderson Executive Director
OLÉ Education Fund
Learn more about OLÉ by signing up to receive text message updates, please click HERE.
To sign up to receive email updates from us, please click HERE.
If you would like to get involved with us in any of these issues, please click HERE.
PARENTS TO GOVERNOR: You Broke your Promise to Protect Education Funding
68 Working Parent Association members traveled to Santa Fe Tuesday to tell Department of Education officials how education cuts have hurt their kids. Parents are asking Governor Susana Martinez to put proposals to fill the hole in school funding on her call for the special legislative session this fall. Watch them in action HERE.