In New Mexico, a wave of regulatory measures and executive orders has ignited controversy among local business owners and residents. Various industries, from real estate to food and beverage, and notably the trucking sector, report being hamstrung by regulations they describe as overly stringent and out of touch with on-the-ground realities. The sentiment echoes a broader national discourse, encapsulated by the hashtag #LetUsWork, which emerged as businesses were forced to shutter in compliance with mandates, leaving many to fend for the livelihoods of their employees.
Instances of punitive measures for defiance of such mandates have surfaced across New Mexico. Notably, a pawn shop in Cibola County was slapped with a $50,000 fine for remaining open, and the Mayor of Grants faced penalties for organizing an Independence Day Parade. More drastic measures were reported in Gallup, where barricades were erected, compelling locals to have essentials like water and food delivered to checkpoints. In another case, Legacy Church incurred fines for keeping its doors open, and residents were discouraged from hosting birthday parties, spurred by a controversial hotline initiative.
In response to what they view as an overreach of government authority, 1Name 1Banner, a non-partisan group led by Ben R. Luna of LEXIT, the Latino Exit from the Democrat Party, has stepped in to amplify the voices of those affected. Although Luna clarifies his non-affiliation with the Democratic Party, his efforts have led many away from it, citing forthcoming documentaries that highlight the struggles of local communities, including an Isleta Pueblo alfalfa farmer grappling with infrastructure decay.
The group’s efforts pivot toward raising awareness about what they perceive as the governor’s imposition of “radical communistic policies.” They argue that the governor’s mandates, including those on electric vehicles (EVs) and attempts to suspend constitutional rights like the 2nd Amendment, represent a significant overstep. To counteract these policies, 1Name 1Banner has produced Call-to-Action (CTA) videos and documentaries, including interviews with industry representatives like Johnny Johnson of the New Mexico Trucking Association, who provides a practical perspective on the EV mandate.
These initiatives culminated in the New Mexico Grassroots Convention, aimed at galvanizing local communities against the tide of mandates and policies they find objectionable. The convention promises to be a hub for information exchange, with contributions from various sectors and industry representatives, underscoring a collective resolve to navigate the legislative landscape of 2024 and beyond.
On Saturday, January 27, 1Name 1Banner will hold the New Mexico Grassroots Convention in Ruidoso at the Ruidoso Convention Center, and tickets can be found here. Johnny Johnson will be speaking on a panel with Paul Gessing, James Lindsay, and others about this forced policy and their agenda.