Speakers/Chautauqua Catalog

Name Dede Feldman
Email dedefeld@comcast.net
Website http://www.dedefeldman.com
Phone 505/242-1997
Address 1821 Meadow View NW
Albuquerque, NM  87104
Biographical Info The first woman elected as a New Mexico senator from Albuquerque's near North Valley (1997-2012), and now the author of a book about her experiences, Dede Feldman has been a pioneer for women in government. She has a long history of promoting campaign finance reform, improved health insurance in New Mexico, and consumer protection. Feldman built her foundation on a varied career as a journalist, high school and university teacher, and the owner of a small public relations business. Feldman holds both a BA and an MA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She moved to New Mexico in 1975 and lives in a solar home with her husband of 46 years.
Program Title BOOTS, SUITS AND CITIZENS: New Mexico’s Unique Legislative Culture
Program Description This program is designed to present an overview of the New Mexico legislature and how citizens can constructively engage with it. Our citizens’ legislature is a reflection of the state’s history—the divide between the rural and urban lifestyles, the unique mix of ethnic groups, and the personal and familial connections at the heart of a small state. Spanish might be spoken in the hallways of the Roundhouse as much as English, and Native American issues are often pivotal. My talk illustrates this culture with tales of heroes, villains, unlikely alliances, special interests, and successful advocates—informed by my 16 years in the legislature. Knowledge of historical antecedents and contemporary history allows citizens to place each session of the legislature in perspective. I have been amazed at how little New Mexicans know about the “Roundhouse,” and how appreciative they are to find out what they did not learn in school—how a bill becomes law, why governors and legislatures disagree and why newspapers do not tell the full story. Knowledge of the process will help empower citizens to become active and effective advocates for their own cause and make more informed electoral choices.
Series New Mexico History and Cultures
Chautauqua Program Application (Booking) Click here to fill out a funding application for this program »
Seeking to understand
who we are,
who we were
and who we aspire to be.

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