Does anyone, anywhere have a plan?
The 100% New Mexico initiative can serve as the “build back better” strategy, the plan New Mexico needs to recover from the pandemic and disruption of education, healthcare, jobs and local economies.
Never has there been a more confusing time in New Mexico and across the nation. After almost two years of enduring an ever-changing pandemic and public health responses, most of the public are unclear as to what the plan forward is. Important questions focus on the plan for creating a robust public health system in each county, along with the plan to ensure the highest level of public education that leads to local well paying jobs. Families, students, educators, healthcare providers, job seekers and business owners all have one thing in common: they wish to know how we plan for the future.
NMSU’s 100% New Mexico initiative is a well-researched plan, using science to bring to New Mexicans across the state real world solutions to problems caused by the pandemic, lockdowns and job losses. The initiative is clearly laid out in a blueprint called 100% Community, made available free of charge to every New Mexican. The plan is radically simple in that local stakeholders within each county collaborate to ensure ten vital services for surviving and thriving. Quite simply, we work locally with the city and county government to build the public and private partnerships to provide the services to empower 100% of residents.
The 100% New Mexico initiative is guided by our understanding of the social determinants of health, which show how our environments and access to services shape our futures, and the social ecological model, which shows how we can make change through activities focused on the individual, families, communities and society/policy.
As the co-developers of the 100% New Mexico initiative, Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and I believe that the 100% New Mexico initiative can help counties accomplish what no county in the US has been able to achieve. Through the process of collective impact we provide to each locality a way for working together with a shared vision, goals and activities and use of data and communication strategies.
The initiative, part of NMSU Cooperative Extension, is currently in ten New Mexico counties, mobilizing county stakeholders through the collective impact process to build back better, making the recovery from the pandemic a data-driven process of ensuring ten vital services for surviving and thriving. What we are doing with our local capacity work in each county is transparent to residents and local lawmakers, a project people can benefit from in the form of creating a seamless system of care and empowerment across every community within a county’s borders.
A plan to ensure vital services is key
When completed, the initiative can ensure that every family has access to the vital services for surviving that include medical care, mental health care, food security programs, housing security programs and transportation. Equally important are ensuring the five services for thriving that include parent supports, early childhood learning programs, fully-resourced community schools with health centers, youth mentorship and job training. Access to these ten services mean we can endure pandemics and economic disruptions on family and community levels.
With the implementation of the 100% New Mexico initiative and its accessible service array of ten services, local stakeholders and leaders can not only create environments where the most harmful consequences of the pandemic and economy disruptions are mitigated, but can also prevent our most costly health, education and economic challenges including: adverse childhood experiences, trauma, untreated medical and mental health challenges, substance use disorders, food and housing insecurity, low achievement in schools, and lack of job readiness. The initiative, when properly supported and funded, can transform city and county governments into data-driven and community responsive entities committed to ensuring that all residents have the resources to thrive and become self-sufficient and contributing members of society.
In this country, we find ourselves surrounded by a seemingly endless cycle of colliding crises with no clear national plan to ensure our health, safety, education and livelihoods. Luckily for New Mexicans, finding the solution to our state’s biggest challenges has arrived in the form of the 100% New Mexico initiative. It’s a plan that brings all New Mexicans together to work in alignment with a shared vision of every child, youth and adult thriving. You are invited to join in achieving 100% New Mexico’s groundbreaking goals.
For those seeking to join our bold transformation, you can find your county’s 100% New Mexico initiative on our map. Join an existing county initiative or start one. You may also review our latest research brief, evaluating our work. For those wanting a more in-depth look into the initiative, you are welcome to enroll in our free self-guided course A Child’s Right to Survive and Thrive. We welcome those courageous New Mexicans who believe that every child should have access to the services for surviving and thriving.