House District 38 candidate Dow speaks on economic policies

By Robert Gonzales, For the Sun-News

SILVER CITY — The Sun-News spoke with Republican House District 38 candidate Rebecca Dow as part of an ongoing series to interview candidates running for offices in Grant County.

The Sun-News asked Dow why she felt that she was the best person to lead District 38 through the upcoming term.

“In addition to 16 years of experience in advocating and working on policy, legislation rules and regulation, in Santa Fe I am passionate about turning the curve of poverty in District 38.” Dow said. “I’m a leader because I’m a learner and I listen. I’m effective because I’m able to work with people on both sides of the aisle and get things done by bringing people together for solutions.”

Dow has spent her career striving to provide effective programs for the youth of Truth or Consequences. The Sun-News asked Dow to talk about what she wants to pursue that is outside the purview of her area of expertise.

“I’ve been very active in our community health council and in Sierra County economic development.” Dow said. “Creating economic opportunity and driving solution in all areas of poverty is where I’d place my effort. Common sense governance needs to be brought back. Rules and regulations that are burdensome and this crosses every sector. For a trucking company it’s transport fees, manufacturing fees and gas fees. For a senior who might be a veteran it’s about whether they get their services and do they have access to the doctors they need? Are those services reasonable and accessible? For cities it’s water, infrastructure and utilities. The issues in District 38 are very complicated, and they are great. It requires common sense, it requires being able to effectively learn and listen and advocate to facilitate the conversations we need to have to get things done.”

The Sun-News asked Dow to talk about her personal perspectives for governance.

“There are hundreds of agencies in the state of New Mexico and I can’t be an expert on all of those,” Dow said. “But my strength is that I believe in small, local governance. I believe that families know best how to govern their home. I believe that teachers in local districts know their communities and the needs of their families. That municipalities and cities know what their community needs and I believe in a local voice being raised up versus a federal and state governance being pushed down.”

District 38 faces a great many obstacles in the near future. When asked what she would do to address some of those issues Dow responded,

“So one of the issues I see that is negatively impacting District 38 is not only federal rules and regulations that people in concrete cities are imposing on our western area but also state rules and regulations that work fine in a metro area but do not work well in a rural area. An example would be an empty building and if the utilities are turned off more than three months those buildings, in order to open back up, need to be brought up to code. So someone has a business idea and a business plan and it’s completely irrelevant when they find out how much they need to spend in order to bring that empty downtown building back up to code. The business is done and they never even start. So I’m looking for waivers and ways to address rollback regulations that prevent rural businesses from being able to open in the first place.”

According to Dow, New Mexico has relatively stringent laws regarding small businesses that do sometimes act as hurdles to individuals trying to start small businesses. Particularly in older municipalities where many of the buildings are at times over a century old there is a delicate balancing act between trying to keep buildings safe and up to code and maintaining the historic integrity of the structure. The Silco Theater here in Silver City is a perfect example. It sat unused for years because of the cost associated with opening its doors.

Dow said no law or policy is above review and the laws surrounding starting a small business are no exception. There are many empty buildings downtown in Silver City and anything that helps those doors reopen is definitely something worth looking at.