Meet Annie

Annie Chavez

Annie Chavez understands that in New Mexico, we value a commitment to family and working for an opportunity to succeed. Growing up in Albuquerque, Annie benefited from the strength of her family, quality public schools, and a career dedicated to serving the people of New Mexico.

These values are under threat and the New Mexico Annie grew up in is slipping away. She’s running for Congress to fight for economic opportunity and security for all New Mexicans.  

Annie is the sixth of eight children. Her father, Jose Ramon “Ray” Chavez was a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and her mother, Martha, managed their home before returning to work at St. Joseph’s hospital when her youngest began school. When Annie was 16, her father passed away and she stepped in to help her mother with the household duties.

Annie attended local public schools and graduated from Manzano High School. She went on to attend the University of New Mexico earning degrees in Political Science and History. To help pay for college and graduate debt free, she worked the drive-through at a Burger King and then at local bookstores. Following graduation, she began her career teaching at Ernie Pyle Middle School and Cibola High School helping prepare students for success in college and careers.

Annie then decided to enroll at UNM for law school and practiced insurance defense and business law in Albuquerque for four years. In 2004, she joined the John Kerry presidential campaign.

Instead of returning to her law career, Annie joined the staff of Democratic New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman. During her time on Capitol Hill, she worked with New Mexico leaders to help expand opportunities for housing and job creation. During several of New Mexico’s devastating wildfires, Annie helped coordinate response efforts by connecting federal agencies with state and local officials.

Annie moved on to work for USTelecom, an organization helping push for access to the Internet and privacy laws on behalf of large and small communications businesses from across the country. She led efforts to expand broadband access capabilities to rural and underserved communities and pushed for diverse hiring in telecom companies.

Annie returned to Albuquerque to serve as a Government Relations Officer with Sandia National Laboratories, where she spearheads efforts to keep legislators informed about the lab’s Homeland Security missions. She understands that the lab and Kirtland Air Force Base are major drivers of Albuquerque’s economy. She knows these resources can be better leveraged to help attract new jobs that will ensure New Mexico is equipped to prosper in the 21st century economy.

Annie lives in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights with her mother.

Positions

Here are the core aspects of Annie's platform.
Annie on Sandia Peak
Creating economic opportunity
New Mexico’s economy hasn’t rebounded as well as others across the country since the 2008 recession. Too many hardworking families are living paycheck to paycheck and worried about how they are going to put food on the kitchen table and pay their bills every month. However, our communities have enormous economic potential to change the current trajectory. We need to take advantage of our major assets like Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, and Kirtland Air Force Base to attract new employers and jobs to our communities. I will work with these major employers to create training programs, and apprenticeships to ensure workers have the skills they need to perform in these jobs. And I’ll work with our state and local leaders on solutions to keep New Mexico’s best and brightest in New Mexico – ideas like student loan forgiveness and assistance to start new businesses. We also need to address two of the biggest contributing factors to our stagnant economy – crime and education. I plan to engage with leaders at the local and state level to develop a plan for how we can work together to address the safety of our communities and ensure law enforcement agencies are well equipped to fight this rise in crime. I will also work closely with educators, parents, and students to ensure that we have the tools and resources to transform our public education system into one that successfully prepares our kids for lucrative careers in the 21st century economy.
Ensuring a great education for New Mexico’s kids
I began my professional career as a social studies teacher at Cibola High School. The years I spent in the classroom were some of the most fulfilling of my career. However, I also learned that it’s hard to make ends meet on a teacher’s salary. Too often, this is a deterrent in attracting great potential teachers into our classrooms. Not only do we need to work on a solution to teacher compensation that recognizes the value these hardworking women and men offer to our kids, but we also need to empower them to pursue career opportunities outside of the classroom, whether that is as a mentor to new teachers or as an administrator within our schools or any other role where they see they can add value to our public education system. Currently, we’re not doing enough to ensure the education students receive will prepare them for success in the 21st century economy. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ strategy is bad for New Mexico’s kids. We need solutions that help improve our public schools, not poorly thought out ideas to divert public school funding to private schools. We need to recognize the needs of each individual student in our public schools and make sure they have the tools and resources to prepare them for what comes after graduation – whether that be a four-year university, a community college, a technical school, or straight into the workforce. All of these paths can offer fulfillment for New Mexico’s kids if they are adequately prepared with the skills to succeed in a rapidly changing economy. It’s also imperative that we take immediate action to make college more affordable and accessible to kids who choose that path. The skyrocketing costs of higher education are making it harder for people to get the education they need for their future careers, let alone the mountains of debt they become saddled with just to get that education. We need a student loan system that benefits students, not the private student loan companies. I’ll work to ensure Congress does its due diligence to fulfill its oversight role of student loan companies.
Protecting New Mexico’s clean air and water
New Mexicans are witnessing firsthand the devastating effects of climate change. Climate change is real, and it is presents some very tough challenges to our economy and our national security. We cannot allow for the United States to take a backseat on this issue. As your voice in Congress, I will stand up to President Trump and his Administration when it comes to protecting our clean air and clean water. These are valuable resources that help make the Land of Enchantment the beautiful state that it is. When it comes to our public lands, I will make sure our local communities have a seat at the table. The heritage of these lands must be protected for future generations to enjoy them as we do today, and I will strongly oppose the privatization or commercialization of their natural resources.
Partnering with Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque is home to two tremendous assets in Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratories, but we cannot take them for granted. Both Kirtland and Sandia should be viewed as partners with our communities. Not only are they major employers that help anchor the local economy, but these institutions also serve to inspire through innovation and the national security of our great country. As a proud employee of Sandia, I see firsthand the innovation and hard work that occurs every day at the lab. By working to create a more prosperous economy for New Mexicans, we can also create a vibrant and diverse community to help Sandia attract highly skilled talent. A thriving economy also benefits our military men and women stationed at Kirtland with a community where they and their families can flourish. I am committed to ensure these two valuable institutions remain as major players in our local economy for years to come, and I will work to harness the economic potential of these institutions to help grow our economy.
Building a responsible and diverse energy portfolio
New Mexico is uniquely suited to lead the country toward energy independence. From the reservations to our rural and urban communities throughout the state, we have enormous renewable energy potential. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2015, New Mexico was sixth in the country in utility-scale electricity generation from solar energy. I will fight for continued investments in energy sources that will help us achieve energy independence, reduce our carbon emissions, and protect our clean air and clean water.
Improving a broken health care system
Health care is a human right, and we need a system that offers quality care and affordability to New Mexico families. The Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t enough. We must work together to lower premiums so that families aren’t worried about going bankrupt if they get sick. One of my top priorities will be to protect essential health benefits like maternity care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and affordable prescription drug coverage. And I will fight tooth and nail for a woman’s right to choose the best option for her personal care.
Serving our veterans
As the daughter of a Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force, I understand the sacrifices our veterans and their families have made for our country. While we’ll never be able to fully repay their service, we can and should ensure they receive the benefits they rightfully earned. Too many of our service members are returning from the war zone with injuries and conditions that are not always visible to the naked eye. I am committed to ensuring the have access to and receive the care they so desperately need. And I will work to ensure the VA is responsive and accountable to the thousands of New Mexicans who have served in our Armed Forces.
Creating safer communities for New Mexico families
Albuquerque is a special place and has been for the many generations of New Mexico families who have made this their home, including mine. Unfortunately, a struggling local economy has given rise to crime in neighborhoods all across the city. Like many New Mexicans, I worry about the safety of my loved ones every day. However, I believe that with collaboration at all levels of government, we can ensure our law enforcement officers have the tools and resources they need to turn the tide. That means getting more officers on the streets to patrol our neighborhoods in addition to ensuring our justice system is equipped to bring these criminals to justice and help rehabilitate them to become upstanding members of society.

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