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Proven Leader

An experienced leader needed during tough times;   

In these times of uncertainty, proven leadership matters. Debra has the executive experience and tenacity to overcome challenges facing our county. She is your best choice for Doña Ana County Commissioner District 4.

Debra's Life and Experience

Debra grew up in humble beginnings, raised on a struggling farm in a rural community without the advantages other children may have had, but she doesn't see it that way.  "I was fortunate to have a loving family and caring community.  I learned responsibility at a young age, developed a strong work ethic and the value of a dollar.  I felt a connection to nature and was never afraid of a little dirt.  Most importantly, I learned what it means to be selfless, to care for another person besides yourself," said Debra.


For a time, Debra attended a one-room schoolhouse with no plumbing. She laughs and says, "It did get cold going to the outhouse in the winter, but I think it prepared me for tough times and gave me an incentive to work hard to achieve my dreams." Although her parents were uneducated, they knew the value of a good education.  "When I graduated from college, I understood the sacrifices made by my family and dedication of my educators to give me the opportunity to make a difference. I have lived my life with the knowledge I owe a debt to them to pay it forward; to help others achieve their American Dream."


Debra's professional career includes: U.S. Army Civilian (retired)-Outreach and Deployment Director during four combat deployments, New Mexico State House Majority Analyst, Executive Director of an NAEYC accredited Early Childhood Education Center, Regional Manager American Heart Association and County Outreach Director of  Children's Health Insurance Program.


At the end of her U.S Army Civilian service-living overseas and working through four combat deployments, she and her husband finally got to choose where they would settle. "We wanted to live in a warm, caring community with a beautiful environment where we could make a difference.  My husband, Rob, spent many years of his youth in El Paso, attended UTEP and visited Las Cruces many times.  He kept telling me how wonderful the area was and asked we consider Las Cruces for our retirement.  When I visited, it reminded me so much of my farm community growing up. I felt the warmth and caring of its' people and was awed by the Organ Mountains, I looked at Rob and said  'This is our forever home!' There was no doubt where we wanted to live the rest of our lives and see our last sunset...."


Debra asks for the opportunity to continue her life of service as your next Doña Ana County Commissioner, District 4.  "I will work hard, use my leadership skills and experience to serve with integrity and ensure every voice is heard. Let's help our young people stay here to live, work and raise a family."


Debra volunteers: Boy's and Girl's Club of Las Cruces Board of Directors, Vice President of the Federation of Democratic Women, member of both the GFWC Progress Club and the Southwest Environmental Center and serves at the Gospel Mission and Casa de Peregrinos.


She is wife to Rob, mother of two adult daughters Julie and Danielle, and a "Gma" to five Aidan, Liam, Dannah, Patrick, and Piper. 



Hiking with the grandkids!

Hiking with the grandkids!

Life has changed

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Coronavirus Battle

Accept that our lives have fundamentally changed, our futures will be different than we thought. During my support of U.S. Army combat deployments in Iraq, I learned this fundamental truth. 

When you are at war, you focus on the mission and keeping your battle buddies and their families safe. All other things must fade into the background. 

We are at war now, the enemy shifting and changing every day. Slippery and threatening everyone we love. There are no frontlines, no finite place to attack. At this point in a war, you hunker down, protect and assist those around you and let the (Health) Special Forces wage war. There will be a time when you must re-engage the battle, therefore keeping physically and emotionally healthy is important. 

Remember you are not alone. You are feeling what we all feel, uncertainty and fear of the unknown. How long is this going to last? How bad will it be? What is my family's future? When our lives are disrupted, some in disarray, it's hard to focus on the future when you are consumed with everyday life. I speak from experience; we will get through this when we care and support one another. When I finally returned to the U.S. I was a changed person. My perspective on life and how I treated others returned me to my grass-roots upbringing. I rediscovered the absolute importance of family, community and caring for others. 

Embrace the change. You will come out on the other side intact. Know that while things may be different, these truths hold true. Strength, compassion and caring for others will always be part of New Mexican culture and will ensure our future will be bright again.

Debra Hathaway

What Debra believes:

Dõna Ana County government should reflect our values concerning family, community, diversity, fairness, opportunity and respect. County and City services should be equal in quality.  Quality health and behavioral care, good schools, safe communities, a protected environment and wildlife, and good jobs are vital to our success. 

Environment and Wildlife: 

To keep our county healthy, we must have a vibrant and thriving environment and wildlife that residents and visitors can enjoy,  It’s important we rewrite our contract with Wildlife Services to fund a proactive county outreach program that educates the public on how to coexist with wild animals and to prioritize the use of proactive, non-lethal measures to resolve ongoing problems and avoid conflict. 

  • Did you know by using M44 Cyanide, Wildlife Services  accidentally killed 330 dogs and foxes between 2010-2017?

Education 

Every child, no matter where they live, or how much their families earn, must have access to a high-quality education, starting from early childhood through college. Our County and City Governments, Educators and other organizations  must work collaboratively to ensure our schools are well-resourced and every child has the best educational opportunities available. For many years, preschool education and elementary education, each with its own funding sources, infrastructure, values, and traditions have remained largely separate. 

Let's strive for greater continuity and collaboration to change this dynamic. 

  • Did you know 80% of our county and city students entering the 8th grade are behind in math? 

Health and Mental Care 

We must treat mental health issues with the same care and seriousness that we treat issues of physical health, recognizing that maintaining good mental health is critical for all residents, especially vulnerable groups such as children, youth, the elderly, disabled, veterans, and single parents.

New Mexico is fourth in the nation for teen depression and suicide.

  • Did you know 20% of  Doña Ana County High School girls have seriously considered suicide and 17% have been sexually assaulted?


Improving roads are necessary 

for Public Safety and Economic Growth

Reliable roads and transportation are essential for our families to access jobs, healthcare, education, emergency services, and shopping. Quality infrastructure insure healthy, safe neighborhoods and growth for local businesses. Our Sheriff Deputies, Fire Fighters, and First Responders must have safe roads to serve our County residents in emergencies.

  •  Did you know safe roads and flood control are the number one concerns in District 4?


Building a Sustainable Economy/Growing Santa Teresa Port of Entry

Investing in people, protecting our environment and growing a long-term sustainable economy while working alongside local businesses is essential in building a better and stronger community. We must even the playing field by streamlining the business application process, eliminating unnecessary regulations and offering incentives to attract new industries and increase jobs.


But we must prepare and motivate our workforce (including trades) through improved and better coordinated workforce development strategies working with employers/unions. This in turn will afford increased wages and sustainable community development. 

  • Did you know our Santa Teresa Port of Entry is the 4th largest export point on the entire Mexican/American border?

Position Paper

  

Debra Hathaway, Democrat, candidate for Doña Ana County Commissioner, District 4.


Before I decided to pursue this position, I consulted with several long-time residents and officials, spent countless hours driving our roads, visiting neighborhoods, attending local community meetings, listening to resident’s concerns, ideas and solutions. I wanted to make sure I was prepared to use my leadership skills and diverse work experience as a U.S. Army Civilian during four combat deployments to best serve our county. 

I would like to share with you what we can do together to make Dõna Ana County an even better place to live, work and raise a family. 


I believe in a broad, forward looking approach to county government. Doña Ana County must develop and be guided by a long-range strategic plan with measurable results based on issues and opportunities facing county residents and businesses organized around our County’s seven Guiding Principles.


1) Community-oriented Values

2) Functions of Government

3) Infrastructure

4) Public Safety

5) Health and Medical Services

6) Sustainable Economic Development

7) Area Development


Community-Oriented Values

Dõna Ana County government should reflect our values concerning family, community, diversity, fairness, opportunity and respect. Quality health care, good schools, safe communities, a protected environment and wildlife, and jobs that pay a living wage so our citizens can balance work and family are vital to our success. When we nurture a sense of community, we all become healthier and more productive. I believe we succeed when residents, community organizations, businesses, schools, and government recognize our shared responsibility to work together to ensure all our county residents reach their full potential. For the next generation to be fully successful, we must create a county where our children can not only survive but thrive. A county that is welcoming, nurturing and provides resources for the development of the young, adults and elders and respects all our cultures and heritages and recognize the benefits that come when different cultures blend and interact. 


Functions of Government: 

To support these functions economic decisions must be guided by the strategic plan, not the annual budget as currently used. A budget is only a tool used to establish what it’s going to do in the upcoming year. Where do we see our county in 2025 or 2030?

Using a strategic plan provides clarity, direction, and focus to bring all county government into alignment. Having everyone in county government and our county residents participate in the strategic planning process creates an opportunity for discussion on the direction of the government and priorities, which is why strategic planning often results in cultural transformation.


Improving Our Infrastructure:

Reliable roads and transportation are essential for our families to access jobs, healthcare, education, emergency services, and shopping. Quality infrastructure insures healthy, safe neighborhoods and growth for local businesses. We must develop a strategy with state and federal partners to address the County’s backlog of more than $600M in infrastructure projects.

Instituting an asset management plan for all County-owned capital assets including buildings, parks, roads, vehicles, equipment, and utilities will allow our county to understand the capabilities of its assets, and how they can be operated in the most effective manner.

In addition to conventional objectives such as minimizing life-cycle costs and extending the useful life of an asset, the plan should identify ways for the County to reduce use of carbon-based fuels, increase energy efficiency, and generate wind or solar power. 

Safe roads and flood control are the number one concerns in District 4.


Public Safety

Public safety funding ensures the safety and security of our county, but must be based on objective, verifiable data. Currently the Sheriff’s Department is staffed based on 2010 census numbers. This shortage causes a significant strain on the deputies and other personnel and increases the risk of unintended outcomes.

For long term safety, we must fund a sustainable jail diversion program for youth, and for non-violent offenders, especially in crimes relating to drugs, alcohol, and mental health. 

· Jail diversion programs and other forms of alternative sentencing are an effective substitute for jail and:

· Prevent unnecessary incarceration, reducing use of criminal justice and high-cost health services

· Allow offenders to keep their jobs, and support families and themselves

· Avoid the trauma of prison when what they need most is substance or mental health treatment 

· Permits offenders to address their behavior without the stigma of a criminal conviction, their records being expunged if they complete their programs

 

Health and Mental Care and Medical Services  

  

All health begins with sound mental health. The Triage Center was built in 2013 to house mentally ill residents in crisis and provide a place for them to access therapy. The Center will finally open this Spring to evaluate adults experiencing mental health crises, including those who have been taken into custody by police, to determine if they need to go to a hospital or can be referred to an outpatient care facility.

Unfortunately, there is not a permanent funding source in place. This can be resolved in our new strategic plan to determine how it'll be licensed, funded, and staffed. 


We must treat mental health issues with the same care and seriousness that we treat issues of physical health, recognizing that maintaining good mental health is critical for all residents, especially vulnerable groups such as children, youth (NM is fourth in the nation for teen depression and suicide), the elderly, disabled, veterans, single parents, etc. 


We must renew our commitment to support Community Health Centers that provide preventive health services (vaccinations), mental health support, family planning, and reproductive healthcare support. These health centers provide essential and critically important, community-based prevention, treatment and referrals in underserved communities. 


Sustainable Economic Development 

Our challenge is to create a more equal society and a fairer economy where everyone has the chance to achieve the American Dream. We must invest in a full-employment economy, where everyone has a job that pays enough to raise a family and live with dignity. Many people in Dõna Ana County are frustrated and see the economy as chronically underdeveloped, unable to create and sustain the types of jobs that will keep our young adults close to home. 

When we increase economic development by streamlining the business application process, eliminating unnecessary regulations and offering incentives, we attract new industries that take full advantage of the available workforce.

But we must prepare and motivate our workforce (including trades) through improved and better coordinated workforce development strategies working with employers/unions. This in turn will afford increased wages and sustainable community development. 


Area Development 

“Viva Doña Ana” is working to bring together planning efforts and share resources across the region to make the best possible use of limited funding. It is an important part of successful area development and provides strategies, actions, and tools to continue to improve quality of life.

Other important actions to be considered:

· Coordinate with state and federal organizations to attract new economic investments within the county based on emerging opportunities within the new US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.

· Find opportunities to support innovative agricultural opportunities, particularly LOCAL agriculture.

· Expedite permitting and review regulations for appropriate development. 

· Refine and implement a strategy for southern Doña Ana County that would promote high quality community development, optimize economic development, and raise living standards in the Santa Teresa border area.


Education: 

Every child, no matter where they live, or how much their families earn, must have access to a high-quality education, starting from preschool through college. We must lift-up and support our educators, school staff, and administrators to ensure that our schools are safe, welcoming, work collaboratively, and are well-resourced assets in our communities.

Childcare and after-school programs should be accessible to all residents across the county. We need to partner with organizations, such as, the Boys and Girls Club along with county, state, national and federal programs and agencies to fill the funding gaps in after-school enrichment and care. 

The Community Schools programs implemented at Lynn Middle School, focuses on the integration of academics, health and social services to serve children, youth and their families. It promotes family development and community engagement and improves student learning success. It is imperative that we expand this worthy program by coordinating our efforts with our three school districts and stakeholders to expand into more schools. 


Environment and Wildlife: 

To keep our county healthy, we must have a vibrant and thriving environment and wildlife that our residents can enjoy, as well as our visitors. It’s important to fund a proactive county outreach program that educates the public on how to coexist with wild animals and the natural environment; prioritize the use of proactive, non-lethal measures to resolve ongoing problems and avoid conflict; prohibit cruel and indiscriminate methods of capturing and killing wildlife.


Union Supporter

Unions are a source of protection for workers first and foremost. Unions are important because they help set the standards for education, skill levels, wages, working conditions, and quality of life for workers. Union-negotiated wages and benefits are generally superior to what non-union workers receive. They provide unity, organization, and direction to individual workers; they also provide bargaining resources and power for the sake of ensuring fair compensation and satisfactory working conditions.


In Conclusion:

Upon taking office I will focus on developing a long-range strategic plan with all Doña Ana County citizens involved in its development and execution. This strategic plan is a formalized road map that describes how our County will function over the next several years and how it’s going to get there. This will guide our decision making to:

· Build a 21stCentury infrastructure for a 21st Century economy

· Strengthen educational opportunities and programs within our county for grades 1-12

· Protect our environment and wildlife

· Fund a sustainable jail diversion program

· Focus on mental health issues as part of our overall health care strategy

· Ensure the safety and security of our county

· Expand/promote economic opportunities within our county to the business community as well as to state and federal agencies

We must recognize that the County doesn’t have the financial resources or staff to do everything we think should be done. To put this in some perspective, the City of Las Cruces has roughly twice the revenues of the County and directly serves about the same number of people in an area much smaller than the unincorporated portions of the County.

But if the County focuses only on short-term needs, we will never reach our true potential. Therefore, we must develop a well-thought-out strategic plan grounded in reality. The plan must be revisited and updated every year to prioritize our strategic choices according to our current situation.

These are the challenges of our time, and Doña Ana County residents deserve a County Commission leading us with fairness, opportunity and respect for all.


For more information, please contact me.

Debra Hathaway

Ph. (575) 618 – 6184

Email: Deb4Dac@gmail.com

Website: Deb4dac.com

Facebook: Deb4dac

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For a detailed District Map,

go to Donaanacounty.org 

Debra and her husband Rob Hathaway Jr.

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I'm asking for your support to make our county a place where our children want stay here to live and work. 

You can safely contribute to this campaign via Act Blue or mailing a check to: Committee to Elect Debra Hathaway, 1180 Commerce Drive #13279, Las Cruces, NM 88013


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CTE to Elect Debra Hathaway County Commissioner

1180 Commerce Dr #13279, Las Cruces, NM 88012

575-618-6184 Paid for by CTE Debra Hathaway County Commissioner, Marianne Lappin, Treasurer