Nonprofits Join Forces, Call on Representative Pearce to Step Up for Public Lands

LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO – Today, the Step Up Steve campaign hosted a press conference at Albert Johnson Park, displaying replicas of billboard ads that are currently up across southern New Mexico, drawing attention to how Congressman Steve Pearce’s voting record is out of touch with the positions of most southern New Mexicans on public lands, renewable energy, and conservation. Several individuals spoke to how their congressional representative, Steve Pearce, has let them down by supporting policies that are out of touch with his most of his constituents’ views on public lands and renewable energy.

In addition to billboards, Step Up Steve also created a series of videos – including two that were released today from the Vet Voice Foundation and Organizers in the Land of Enchantment. The videos feature real New Mexicans from Congressman Pearce’s district who are demanding more from our elected officials.

“New Mexicans expect Congressman Pearce to represent them fairly and honestly in Congress,” commented Gabe Vasquez, who spoke at the conference as a representative of New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “We are disappointed that neither Pearce, nor Governor Susana Martinez, have used truthful information in their efforts to influence public policy and appease their special interests, in this case, while trying to reduce of size of our Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.”

Step Up Steve formed in June of this year and currently includes OLÉ Education Fund, Vet Voice Foundation, Hispanic Access Foundation, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, and ProgressNow NM Education Fund – all 501c3 nonprofit organizations. These groups are working with others to educate the public on how Steve Pearce, representing New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, has voted on issues pertaining to public lands, conservation, and renewable energy. 

The campaign includes a website, www.StepUpSteve.org, that details Steve Pearce’s policy positions and includes videos and a petition outlining how Steve Pearce can improve his record on conservation, renewable energy, and public lands.  The videos have been viewed over 68,000 times and the petition has garnered nearly 500 signers.

“New Mexicans, along with the rest of the country, want more renewable energy and the jobs that comes with it, yet Steve Pearce has fought that future,” explained Lucas Herndon, representing ProgressNow NM Education Fund. “Steve Pearce has repeatedly voted to reduce or eliminate funding for clean energy and energy efficiency programs, stifling innovation and hurting efforts for our state and nation to lead the world in clean energy technologies.  Steve Pearce is out of step with the views of New Mexicans on renewable energy.”

Maite Arce, President & CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of Hispanic families, joined Step Up Steve because “Our public lands are our children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance and Representative Steve Pearce is putting their legacy at risk by pushing to shrink national monuments in New Mexico and elsewhere.”

Veterans are also critical of Representative Pearce’s votes on public lands issues.

“For veterans living in and around Las Cruces, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is a place of solitude that offers healthy opportunities for vets to reintegrate after serving our country abroad,” said Las Cruces resident Andrea Sandoval, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq in 2003-2004. “My duty to country didn’t stop when I took off the uniform and veterans will continue to fight against Steve Pearce’s damaging public lands position – public lands that belong to all of us.”

“At the end of the day, it’s about what’s best for New Mexico families,” said Nayomi Valdez, with the OLÉ Education Fund. “Our connection to the land, whether through hunting, hiking, or ranching, is part of our connection to each other now, and to past generations. Representative Pearce continues to spread false information to incite fear that our federal government is taking something away through national monument designation when exactly the opposite is true. Keeping the entirety of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument intact protects our access – to hunt, camp, graze cattle – all the things that make us who we are as New Mexicans, now and into the future.”

Step Up Steve has laid out policy positions that Steve Peace can support to take a different course.  Those positions include:

• Stop trying to shrink Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

• Support full funding and permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

• Work to ensure our land managers have the dollars and other resources they need to be good stewards of our public lands.

• Oppose legislation that would sell off or transfer our public lands to states or otherwise reduce or remove public lands protections.

• Work to support protection of the public lands in New Mexico and across the nation.

• Work to promote and drive down the cost of renewable energy, reduce our nation’s carbon emissions, and help America become a renewable energy leader.

To see the media produced by Step Up Steve, learn more about Steve Pearce’s voting record, and take action, visit www.StepUpSteve.org.

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