ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) held discussions with local leaders and parents in Albuquerque about solutions to end child poverty and create multi-generational pathways to economic opportunities for families in New Mexico.
Senator Heinrich met with local leaders and national director of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors Adrián Pedroza to hear from parents about their innovative approach to promoting family wellbeing and positive educational outcomes for their children. Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors is the first evidence-based program developed by and for Latino parents adopted by communities across the country.
“There is no doubt that this past year has compounded so many difficulties that children and families in New Mexico have long faced. But we have a real opportunity to address these challenges head-on and invest in the future of our children at the level they have long deserved," said Heinrich.
The group toured the Social Enterprise Center that is currently under construction in Albuquerque. The facility is a collaboration between Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, Southwest Creations Collaborative (SCC), and Partnership for Community Action. Once completed, the facility will feature a manufacturing site with good paying jobs, and on-site childcare for workers that will support economic development in Albuquerque’s South Valley. It will also serve as a hub for community-based and national nonprofits that take a two-generation approach to family wellbeing.
Senator Heinrich has long championed two-generation policies that help parents and children reach success together. He also fought to pass the American Rescue Plan that delivered major tax cuts for working families with children through a historic expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Combined with other provisions of the American Rescue Plan, this expanded CTC is projected to cut child poverty in the United States by half. Senator Heinrich is also advocating for major investments proposed in President Biden’s American Families Plan that can help New Mexico families.
Also in attendance were Maude Andrade, business manager for SCC; Javier Martinez, executive director of Partnership for Community Action; Marisela Ruiz-Sinaloa, organizer for Partnership for Community Action; and Nichelle Gilbert, associate director of Partnership for Community Action.
Senator Heinrich also visited Central New Mexico (CNM) Community College’s Early Childhood Education Department. There he heard from CNM President Tracy Hartzler, faculty, and specialists about CNM’s innovative bilingual early childhood program that is helping diversify the early childhood education workforce, while also providing off-campus child care vouchers through the CCAMPIS grant for eligible student parents to continue their education. The department also provides support to Spanish-speaking students to ensure success within the program.