It would be an incredible honor to join the bench of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. I have dedicated the past seven years of my career to the incredible work done in the Metropolitan Courthouse. I have practiced in the courthouse as a prosecutor during that time. My personal experiences and professional experience make me uniquely qualified to be a judge on the Metro Court bench – and I know I would be truly great at it.
My first real job after graduating law school in 2010 was working for a civil rights law firm. I loved meeting with clients and hearing their stories. It was fascinating work. I learned what bad policing looks like and how harmful it is to the individual affected by it. I saw firsthand how devastating it is to be abused by someone in a position of power and I will never forget the stories I heard from the firm’s clients.
I became a prosecutor in March of 2013 because I wanted courtroom experience. I wanted to learn how to be a trial attorney. I soon learned to love a lot more about being a prosecutor than just the training and courtroom experience. I love that I have the ability to do justice. I can decide to not initiate a case or to nolle a case if I do not believe it is in the interests of justice. I can give individuals an opportunity to get treatment and be diverted from the system. I also love that I get to speak on behalf of the community and I get to be there for victims of crime. As someone who was the victim of a violent crime, I feel I have a unique ability to listen to survivors and make them feel heard and respected. I also understand that many of the defendants I see have been through trauma and have been victims of violence.
I started my career as a prosecutor in Cibola County. I was there for two years and grew to love the job of being a prosecutor in a small town. I was the Children’s Court Prosecutor, I had a felony caseload, and I was the prosecuting attorney for all three of the specialty courts in Cibola County. I learned a great deal and made some long-lasting friendships, but the commute started to wear on me, so I applied to the District Attorney’s Office in Bernalillo County and was hired in April of 2015.
I immediately loved Metro Court. I loved the chaos and bustle of the courtroom. I loved how you never knew what was going to happen on a day to day basis and you had to be prepared for anything. I have done hundreds of motion hearings, bench, and jury trials in my time in Metro Court. There is no better training ground for a trial attorney than Metro Court and I still learn new things every day.
I really started to love my job a couple of months after starting in Metro when I got involved with the specialty courts. Specialty courts are basically like drug courts, where individuals are diverted to treatment instead of incarceration. I have been a part of every single one of the specialty courts in Metro and I am constantly impressed with the endless compassion of the judges, treatment team members, and probation officers in these programs. I love that the programs strive to always follow best practices. They are always willing to change their minds and practices if it is in the best interests of the participants. I truly believe our Metro Court programs are the best in the State and it has been the greatest honor of my career so far to be a part of them.
I have had plenty of opportunities to move into other divisions at the DA’s office, but I have consistently declined, primarily because I love Metro Court and the important work done there for the community. Metro Court judges really are on the front lines of community change. They see thousands of community members and have a direct and lasting impact on their lives, which then impacts the lives of their families for generations and the broader community. It sounds contrived, but I went to law school so I could help people and I can’t think of anywhere I would be better situated to do so than as a Metro Court Judge.
I was promoted to Deputy District Attorney in 2018 and became a supervisor in the Metro Court Division of the DA’s Office. As a supervisor I have helped to shape the policies and procedures for the Division. I train and guide new attorneys through the first years of their careers. I have also helped develop policy and procedure for the Metropolitan Courthouse and I helped the Courthouse get through the pandemic without a backlog of cases.
One thing I love about my position as a supervisor in the Metro Division of the DA’s Office, is teaching young attorneys how to be professional. We do not just teach them how to practice law and be good attorneys, but how to be good people. Metro Court is normally a place where new attorneys start their careers, and as a judge, I would be able to help guide these young attorneys, whether they are the defense or prosecution, and teach them the importance of professionalism, kindness, and civility. When I was at the beginning of my career, unsure of myself and my place in the profession, it meant the world to me to have a Judge mentor and guide me, and I would love the ability to do that for young attorneys starting their careers in Metro Court.
Throughout the course of my career as a prosecutor, I have taken service to the community very seriously and considered it part of my job. In Cibola County I was on the board of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. I also partnered with the Grants Main Street Project to organize community service projects for the kids involved in the Juvenile Drug Court. When I moved to the Second Judicial District I was on the Board of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar. I organized debates for the District Attorney and Mayoral elections. I have been on the Board of the New Mexico Association of Drug Court Professionals for the past four years. I spoke at the statewide drug court conference in November of 2018 about the importance of allowing medication assisted treatment in our drug court programs. I am passionate about community involvement and I can only imagine I will be more so if I am lucky enough to become a judge.
I believe I have the temperament and personality that would make me a good judge. I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong or that I do not know the answer to something. I am thoughtful about important decisions. I try to always act with integrity, honesty, and accountability. These are all attributes that I believe a judge should have. If I get something wrong, I would like it to be brought to my attention. I am open to criticism, self reflection, and communication. If given the honor of becoming a judge, I will always be concerned with getting it right rather than being right.
I have always been excellent at communicating with people no matter their background. I am intuitive, empathetic, and sensitive to those in crisis. Much of the population we see in Metro Court are actively in crisis and having a judge who is sensitive to that fact makes a huge difference. I have gone through extensive training in trauma, addiction, and the effects both have on the brain. I have also lived through trauma and the recovery process and therefore have a unique perspective and qualifications that set me apart from other candidates.
I am currently in the Emerge Class of 2022 for Democratic women interested in serving their communities. I am prepared to stand for election and I am confident in my ability to do so. I am particularly passionate about serving my community as a Metropolitan Court Judge. I would be a great judge because I love this community. I have a home here. I got married here and had two kids here. I want my children to grow up in a safe and healthy place where they will thrive. I believe what we do in the Metropolitan Courthouse affects real change. The offenders we rehabilitate in Metro Court do not go on to have cases in District Court. Those we rehabilitate are better parents and raise healthier children. I would love to be a part of this positive change as a judge in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.