More Than 40 Advocacy and Behavioral Health Experts Ask Governor to Walk Back the Special Legislative Session

Organization Press Release – From the ACLU of New Mexico, EQNM, Bold Futures NM, and the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Today, the ACLU of New Mexico, EQNM, Bold Futures NM, and the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, along with 37 other leading advocacy organizations and mental health experts sent a letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham urging her to call off the special legislative session. The signatories, many of whom have expressed misgivings over the governor’s legislative proposals, wrote the letter after high-ranking members of the governor’s staff revealed new changes that deepened the group’s concerns about the threat to the rights, health, autonomy, and wellbeing of all New Mexicans. 

The following is an excerpt from the letter:

“It is heartbreaking that so many New Mexicans struggle to attain mental health care, addiction treatment, and affordable housing – especially the most marginalized people in our communities, including New Mexicans who are immigrants, queer, Indigenous, LGBTQ, Black and Brown. How can anyone feel safe when they do not know if they will have a roof over their heads tomorrow or how long it will take for a child grappling with a mental illness to be seen by a therapist? New Mexicans deserve better, and we must work toward solutions that invest in the long-term health, safety, and well-being of our communities. As organizations who work for and with individuals and communities most impacted by these struggles, we share the urgent desire to bring these solutions to bear. 

“However, with less than two weeks to go before session is slated to begin and an obvious lack of consensus between lawmakers on the (continually shifting) legislative proposals, there is simply no way to achieve the solutions New Mexicans deserve. Moreover, a special session that will conclude in a matter of days with little to no opportunities for community feedback is not conducive to passing true and lasting safety solutions.”

The letter outlines the group’s top concerns with Gov. Lujan Grisham’s proposals, including bills related to involuntary commitment, competency, and a median-safety bill that is widely seen as a bill to crack down on unhoused people. 

Signatories of the letter include:

  • American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM)
  • Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless
  • Blue Bird Healing 
  • Bold Futures New Mexico
  • Casa de Salud
  • Center for Civic Policy 
  • Coalition for a Safer Albuquerque
  • Common Cause New Mexico
  • (De)serving Life
  • Disability Rights New Mexico 
  • Enrique Cardiel, MPH, Executive Director, Health Equity Council
  • Equality New Mexico (EQNM)
  • Gold Standard Forensics
  • Indivisible Albuquerque
  • Julie M. Brovko, Ph.D., LLC
  • Kate Nelson, FNP, La Familia Health
  • Kathryn Lenberg, MPH, PhD – UNM Hospital
  • Lutheran Advocacy Ministry – New Mexico
  • Naeva
  • National Association of Social Workers – New Mexico
  • New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty
  • New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs 
  • New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness
  • New Mexico Conference of Churches
  • New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • New Mexico Dream Team
  • New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
  • New Mexico Solutions
  • New Mexico Working Families Party
  • Meridian Behavioral Health Inc.
  • Mesilla Valley Community of Hope
  • Molly Adler, LCSW, CST
  • Older Rainbow Community of Albuquerque
  • OLÉ
  • Reboot our Democracy
  • Santa Fe Recovery Center
  • Southwest Women’s Law Center
  • Stop the War Machine
  • Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico 
  • Wendy Johnson MD MPH, Family Medicine Physician

The full letter is available here:

It can also be read below:

UPDATE: After sending our letter to Gov. Lujan Grisham, the coalition has continued to receive additional interest and signatures. This letter has been updated and will continue to be updated periodically to reflect additional support.