Viante New Mexico is a non-profit organization funded by individuals whose mission is to empower New Mexicans by giving them access to information that will help them make more informed voting decisions.
How Viante Maintains a Nonpartisan Voice
Viante has strategically created a balanced Board of Directors, a nonpartisan volunteer board of 10 directors who all ensure that Viante New Mexico is and remains respectful, ethical, balanced and consistent. In an effort to promote continuity and varied input the board is made up of:
- Republicans, Democrats & Independents
- 5 New Mexicans under 40, 5 New Mexicans over 40
- Representation from a variety of industries and interests
This unique composition provides a platform for a wide diversity of thoughts and interests that come together to ensure that common ground principals prevail so New Mexico can succeed. Click to Meet the Board
Viante helps guide members on three common ground principles and how they are impacting New Mexico: Education, Crime, and Quality of Life. One of the tools Viante provides is a scorecard of how elected officials are performing. The scorecard is a nonpartisan and unbiased depiction of legislature representatives to see if they are attending floor votes and how they are voting in regard to each ground area.
Viante looked at national rankings lists and researched which states are excelling in education, have low crime and high quality of life. This was used as the basis of the metrics needed to focus on. The Board of Directors had lengthy discussions with various experts within a multitude of fields, across all political aisles to identify New Mexico’s greatest areas of improvement. The Viante New Mexico Board of Directors went into those conversations with an ear for common ground while remaining cognizant of the need to search for sustainable long-term solutions for New Mexico. The Board of Directors unanimously chose 12 key metrics believed to have the most impact.
- 4th Grade Reading & Math Scores
- High School Graduation Rate & College Readiness
- Teacher Pay & the Percent of a School District’s Budget that Makes it into the Classroom
- Pre-K Quality and Enrollment
- Violent Crime & Property Crime Rates
- Substance Abuse Deaths
- Recidivism Rate & Parole Completion Rate
- Change in Incarceration Rate
3. Quality of Life:
- Poverty Rate
- Labor Force Participation Rate
- Cost of Living
- Median Household Income
Viante narrowed down scoring to three key areas that would make an ideal elected official.
First and foremost, representatives that actually vote when they are expected to vote. Attendance is critical for creating change; it keeps our legislators in the know. Legislators are elected to vote on our behalf and it is an issue when they are not acting on behalf of their constituents.
2. Focus Vote
After community discussions and deep dives on the issues facing New Mexican families, Viante identifies key common ground metrics for each of the focus areas. With those metrics in mind, Viante does an in-depth exploration of all of the bills introduced at the upcoming legislative session.
Of the 15 bills, there are 5 bills per focus area (some bills touch on multiple metrics). Each bill had either a positive ranking if it helps New Mexico or a negative ranking if it hurts New Mexico’s position on national ranking lists. Every legislator who had an opportunity to vote on one of the 15 Focus Bills was graded. All floor and recorded committee votes were taken into account.
3. Focus Sponsor
If a legislator sponsors any one of Viante’s Focus Bills, they received additional points to their final overall score.
How Viante Grades Our Legislators
Viante has a three-pillar scoring system. The majority (70%) of a legislator’s score is dedicated to the three common ground focus areas: education, crime, and quality of life. The remaining 30% of the overall score represents how often the legislator was present for a floor vote.
- Attendance: 30%
- Focus Sponsor: 20%
- Focus Vote: 50%
The Scores Range from 0-100
- 81 and Above: This legislator went above and beyond to understand the most pressing issues New Mexico faces, identified nonpartisan ways to implement solutions & supported Viante Bills.
- 71-80: In all, this legislator supported Viante New Mexico bills & worked towards removing New Mexico from the bottom of national lists.
- 61-70: This legislator needs the help of their constituents to better understand what it will take to improve New Mexico.
- 60 & Below: This legislator has a lot to improve on & needs to become more familiar with common ground solutions regarding the most pressing issues in New Mexico.
For more information, visit VIANTE NEW MEXICO.