CYFD Comic

After the OLÉ Working Parents Association and the preschool teachers and owners from Early Educators United and QELA joined forces to make a stink about CYFD, the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee invited us to come testify on August 5. Below is a comic illustrating what happened next.


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We are fighting to make high-quality Early Childhood Education
affordable for every child in New Mexico.
We must hold Legislators in Santa Fe accountable
to ensure our children enter Kindergarten properly
developed and ready to learn.

One of our strategies for comprehensive immigration reform is to
encourage more legal residents who qualify for citizenship to go through
the process and to help them succeed, so we have more active
and engaged immigrant voters in our communities.
Click HERE to find out times/days of classes.
We look forward to meeting you.

We believe that hard work, deserves fair pay and we want to make
sure it stays that way in NM.
After helping to raise the minimum wage in Albuquerque
and Bernalillo county, we continue the fight to
enforce the law and look for opportunities to increase
the wage in other parts of the state.


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The money you donate will be used towards educating New Mexicans on the important issues that impact working families. We educate the general public by having a year-round canvass that goes door-to-door in local neighborhoods to inform others on specific issues/causes we work on as well as have organizers on staff who go out daily to speak to people directly impacted. The donations received will also go towards the forms, petitions, handouts, advertisements, and much more that are necessary to educate the public on these issues and help reform and better the community that surrounds them.

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Learn more about how OLÉ fights to enrich and empower New Mexico’s working families.

OLÉ is 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:


ABQ Democracy Dollars AKA Burque Bucks is a ballot initiative that will help to modernize the city’s current public financing program because they will ensure that participating candidates from all parts of the city can run competitive campaigns based on the strength of their local support, not the size of campaign contribution checks.

LIKE the campaign on Facebook:
Visit for more information.

To join this campaign, please contact:


Healthy Workforce ABQ is a ballot initiative that will guarantee earned sick days for every worker in Albuquerque.

Visit for more information.
To join this campaign, please contact:


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.

minimum wage workers

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.


OLÉ members work to expand access to early education for every child in New Mexico. QELA (Quality Early Learning Association) represents the unique issues faced by Early Ed Center Owners and Directors. WPA (Working Parents Association) represents the unique issues faced by parents.  Together with Early Educators United (teachers), we are People for the Kids, a coalition of owners/directors, parents and early educators who are working to create access for children and families, raise wages for early educators and ensure that centers flourish.

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.

nm kids nmpol

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
communities statewide.

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.

Land Grant Permanent Fund NM

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 Members who are permanent residents and ready to apply for citizenship have access to assistance in completing their application, access to a lawyer who reviews all the paperwork and classes to prepare for their exam.  Being new citizens, members have a unique and valuable perspective.

may day parade immigration reform

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:

Tuesday: 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m., 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Thursday 6:00-7:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact OLÉ!


Andrea Serrano
Executive Director

Matthew Henderson
Executive Director
OLÉ Education Fund

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OLE fights to enrich and empower New Mexico’s working families.

NM LEGISLATIVE SESSION 2017 #NMLEG (60-day session)

Descriptions of Legislative bills OLÉ is supporting or not supporting, which committees they are headed to, and links to the Legislators you can contact.(NOTE–there is a high chance that there will be some bills that go quickly through committee so we will try our best to keep this updated as possible.)

Under each issue, there will be bill information, names of the committees each bill will be heading towards and the times they are scheduled for. If you click on the committee links, it will send you to the list of committee members and contact information. Contact each Lawmaker and tell them how you support each bill.



● ● SPONSORS: Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, Rep. Javier Martinez, and Rep. Miguel P. Garcia
● ● ● HJR1 went to Education House Committee Monday, January 30.

● ● ● HJR1 went to House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants, and Cultural Affairs CommitteeTuesday, February 14.

● ● ● HJR1 is scheduled to go to House Judiciary next.
Click here to read entire bill.


● ● SPONSORS: Rep. Javier Martinez and Rep. Liz Thomson
● ● ● HJR4 is scheduled to go to House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants, and Cultural Affairs Committee. on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.
● ● ● HJR4 is scheduled to go to House Judiciary after that.
Click here to read entire bill.


● ● SPONSOR: Rep. Miguel P. Garcia
● ● ● HB67 went to House Labor and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday, January 25.

● ● ● HB67 is headed to House Business and Industry Committee next.
Click here to read entire bill.


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The OLÉ Working Parents Association won an important victory in December to stop CYFD from endangering survivors of domestic violence.

Click link to view news story:

CYFD has routinely forced survivors to sue their abusers for child support, even when women have explained how this could enrage their children’s father and lead to violent retaliation.

Those who refused to seek child support were denied access to child care assistance to educate their young children.

Secretary of CYFD & Parent Organizer with OLÉ
When we started complaining about CYFD’s practices, CYFD said we were lying. Press and legislators couldn’t believe it.

Click link to view news article:
Click link to view news story:

Only when dozens of our brave members shared their most personal stories of violent abuse did legislators demand that CYFD end its dangerous practices.

Tuesday, CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson agreed to add a check box to the agency’s application for child care assistance that allows survivors of domestic violence to notify case workers that seeking child support from a former abuser would endanger their family.

Tiffany, one of our members who shared her personal story with legislators, said, “The check box is a victory for women like me who’ve experienced violence in our homes, but it doesn’t guarantee that CYFD won’t endanger women in the future.  We’re going to keep working with our legislators–particularly Senators Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Howie Morales, and Representative Deborah Armstrong, who helped us hold CYFD’s feet to the fire–to put additional protections in statute that will hold CYFD accountable.”

Congratulations to all of our OLÉ members who fought for this first, important victory.



If you would like to JOIN our CYFD campaign, please fill out this form.


THANK YOU to all who applied.
We are no longer accepting applicants at this time.

Youth (14-24) Employment Summer Institute (YES!) at OLÉ APPLICATION 2015

yesi web

The Youth Employment Summer Institute (YES!) provides an employment opportunity for young people to become engaged in community while also being challenged to think critically about the world around them. Through this program they will not only develop valuable job skills but also meaningful relationships rooted in local community organizations that will provide them a home for continued community involvement.


Dear Friends,

Sign OLÉ’s petition today to keep preschool affordable to families making up to 200% of poverty. CYFD has said it won’t accept applications past March 31 from families who make 200% FPL.

CYFD is sitting on $20 million of unused federal and state funds for child care, so we can afford to keep preschool affordable to many more New Mexicans. If CYFD stops approving child care for families making twice the poverty rate, the state will likely send millions of dollars of federal funds back to Washington, and thousands of kids who might otherwise have a preschool education will go without.

Since members of the House Business & Employment Committee killed our Preschool Fair Share legislation, the best way to expand preschool education to thousands of children, so they enter Kindergarten ready to learn, is by making sure New Mexico doesn’t return the $20 million in child care funds.

Thanks to all of our members and friends who supported our Preschool Fair Share bill, which would have made low-wage, billion-dollar corporations pay their fair share for early education. And thanks to our champions, Representatives Patricia Roybal Caballero and Miguel Garcia, along with Senator Jacob Candelaria, for leading the fight!

Now please sign our petition to CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson today!



The National Parent Leadership Action Network was created from a gathering of Abriendo Puertas, Community Organizing & Family Issues (COFI), OLÉ, WSA Parent Ambassadors, Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), and Parent Voices in Alexandria, Virginia where together we made history and took a giant leap forward for Parent Leadership.

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Montessori Recognition Act Petition


Click here if you would like to read Senate Bill 668.
Click here to view a list of signatures.


LEGISLATIVE SESSION 2015 IS NIGH (Starts January 20, 2015)
This year’s Legislative session will last 60 days.  So we have even more time
to speak with your Legislators. You must remember that these people represent you and it is every person’s job to remind their representatives and hold them accountable for their actions. Join us today, and we can help build a better tomorrow.

The Legislative session can become very busy and often rushed at times. Sign up for our text message update service so we can let you know when we plan to group together, drive up to Santa Fe and let your Legislators know how you feel about the issues that matter most to you.

Join Text Message List with OLÉ for Updates for
the New Mexico Legislative Session.

Thousands Gather at NM Capitol for Kids.

Thousands Gather at NM Capitol in Support for Kids — NMleg14

If you would like to help OLÉ lobby at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe please fill out this form so we are able to contact you and create a plan of action together. Thank you.



CYFDcommitsFraudflyergraphicCYFD refused to give Cynthia the study time that she needs to keep up with her schoolwork. Cynthia is working hard as a substitute teacher to provide for her family while she works toward her degree at CNM. CYFD regulations say that college students should have child care for the hours that they need to study, but CYFD tells Cynthia that she can’t have them. CYFD is violating its own regs, defrauding Cynthia of the child care hours she’s entitled to.




We are no longer accepting applications for our YOUTH internships. Thank you for applying.



Thanks & Spanks NMleg 2014

Early Childhood Education
Since the Early Education Constitutional Amendment was first proposed 3 years ago, hundreds of child development centers have closed, CYFD now serves 8,000 fewer children, hundreds of early educators have left their profession, unable to survive on minimum wage. New Mexico fell to 50th in child welfare, yet no legislator has proposed an alternative to the Constitutional Amendment that would address these growing problems. The following Senators, who voted to table the Constitutional Amendment, SJR 12, deserve a special phone call or email, so they understand how disappointed we are in their lack of concern about New Mexico’s child welfare crisis.

John Arthur Smith, (575) 546-8546,
Carlos Cisneros, (505) 670-5610,
George Munoz, (505) 722-0191,
Pete Campos, (505) 425-0508,
Sue Wilson Beffort, (505) 292-7116,
William Burt, (575) 434-6140,
Carroll Leavell, (575) 395-3154,
Steven Neville, (505) 327-5460,

The two Senators on the Senate Finance Committee who voted in support of early education programs deserve a call or message, thanking them for championing the Early Ed Constitutional Amendment.

Nancy Rodriguez: (505) 983-8913,
Howie Morales: (575) 574-0043,

Minimum Wage
The minimum wage constitutional amendment passed the Senate but failed yesterday in the House. Our list of shame for those who voted against the increase or walked away without voting include:

Representative Sandra Jeff, (505) 786-4994,
Representative Dona Irwin, (575) 546-9376,
Senator John Arthur Smith, (575) 546-8546,

Please call them or drop them a line to tell them they should be ashamed of depriving 91,000 of New Mexico’s hardest-working families a fair wage.

And please call Senator Clamente Sanchez, who in spite of his commitment to vote against the minimum wage, listened to his constituents and voted for it:
(505) 287-2515,


These are the bills we fought for with this past Legislative Session



  • Senate Joint Resolution 13(SJR 13) – Constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage throughout the state of New Mexico.




  • Senate Joint Resolution 12(SJR 12) – Constitutional amendment to draw funds from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to help fund early childhood education programs throughout the state of New Mexico.





  • House Bill 127(HB 127) – This bill would create a two-tiered driver’s license system



Here are a few videos of the days of actions that took place during the second week of the session. In these videos you will witness OLÉ members speak to different Legislators on the listed above issues.

Minimum wage ^^^            Early Education ^^^          Driver’s Licenses ^^^




OUR Walmart Halloween Parade
October 31, 2013


Million Dollar Bake Sale – Governor Martinez returns $6.7 Million While Kids Struggle
October 3, 2013


New Mexico Now Named 50 in Child Welfare
July 18, 2013

Click HERE for more



The Organizers in the Land of Enchantment welcome you to join us in the fight!
Click HERE to find out how!

Ole is about bringing the community together