Transparency is at the heart of everything we do at the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG).
The New Mexico’s Legislature actions during the redistricting special session show they do not share this value.
For months this summer, the legislature-mandated Redistricting Committee held public meetings and gathered public comment to create fair, equitable maps outlining congressional, state senate and state representative districts. It seems much of their work has been done in vain.
Surveys show that the public wants a process that is open and engaging. FOG believes the public’s business should be conducted in full public view, the actions of the public bodies should be taken openly and all deliberations be made open to the public.
Yet the Legislature has conducted their meetings about redistricting behind closed doors, in partisan enclaves, eliminating any public access to the proceedings — access that is an essential element of a properly functioning democracy.
The voters in New Mexico deserve better. They want to see transparency in the redistricting process and the new districts.
A fair process begins with genuine openness and transparency. The public hearings held across the state were an important blueprint for lawmakers.
We request of the legislature that all negotiations and deliberations regarding redistricting be conducted in an open and transparent manner that is accessible to the public.
Melanie J. Majors
N.M. Foundation for Open Government