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Think New Mexico Helps to Encourage Change at Home

By Elisha Neubauer

When it comes to politics, we can all admit things have gotten a little complicated. More and more of us are disenchanted with our political system's failure to develop real solutions to our growing problems.

Think New Mexico was formed in 1999 to address this challenge. Operating as a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization, they aim to focus on promoting workable solutions. "At Think New Mexico, our focus is always on how we can drain the partisan politics out of issues and get good policies enacted," explains Fred Nathan, Founder and Executive Director of Think New Mexico. "It seems to us that many people disengage from politics because it so often becomes a fight over ideology, rather than results, and that is something that we hope our work helps address."

To ensure they follow a non-partisan agenda, Think New Mexico's board is composed of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. "They are statesmen and stateswomen, who have no agenda other than to see New Mexico succeed," states Nathan on the official website. This varied board allows for them to really focus on the issues at hand, and not the ideology behind it.

"Think New Mexico was founded with the idea that state-level public policy advocacy work has the potential to create lasting and sustainable change," Nathan tells us. "Our results-oriented organization combines the traditional research think tank model with focused advocacy work."

At Think New Mexico, they're completely hands-on, really getting into the heart of both the problem and the resolution. "Rather than simply issuing white papers and crossing our collective fingers and hoping that something good happens, we draft legislation, recruit bipartisan legislative sponsors, build coalitions, garner earned media and lobby the governor and legislators on behalf of our proposed solutions," Nathan says.

Their track record speaks for itself, as they have been responsible for such actions as making full-day kindergarten accessible to every child in the state, reforming the state lottery to reduce excessive operating costs and send millions more dollars into the college scholarship fund, and repealing New Mexico's regressive food tax.

Solving New Mexico's current problems is not the only thing Think New Mexico focuses on, however. They have been hard at work ensuring there are great leaders and problem solvers for the future generation to come. "In addition, through Think New Mexico's competitive Leadership Internship program, we try to retain a new generation of potential leaders in New Mexico by showing them how they can make a difference here in their home state," says Nathan.

"Specifically, we recruit college and graduate students from across the state who are interested in public policy and have demonstrated high academic achievement and community involvement." He adds, "By helping our Leadership Interns build networks and gain experience in the New Mexico policy arena, we encourage these talented students to stay in (or return to) the state after they finish their studies."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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