Javier Gonzales

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Javier Gonzales
Mayor Javier Gonzales (366671682).jpg
42nd Mayor of Santa Fe
In office
March 11, 2014 – March 12, 2018
Preceded byDavid Coss
Succeeded byAlan Webber
Chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party
In office
September 12, 2009 – April 27, 2013
Preceded byAnnadelle Sanchez (Acting)
Succeeded bySam Bregman
Personal details
Born1966 (age 52–53)
Political partyDemocratic
Children2
Alma materNew Mexico State University
WebsiteOfficial government website

Javier Gonzales (born 1966) is an American politician who served as the 42nd mayor of Santa Fe from 2014 to 2018.[1] Gonzales was the city's first and only openly gay mayor.[2] He held the office of Santa Fe County Commissioner, serving two terms. Soon after, he was elected as the first Hispanic President to the National Association of Counties. Upon assuming the Mayorship of Santa Fe, he was Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.[3]

He ran for mayor promising to progress equal rights, improve the educational system, diversifying the economy, promote the youth, and increase environmentalism. He voted to build the largest assisted living facility in the city on Old Pecos Trail,[4] created a climate task force,[5] proposed affordable housing measures,[6] instated a cultural district to combat counterfeit art sales,[7] and has increased internet and technological advancements for the city.[8] He has been a vocal supporter of gun control and regulation. In 2015, he started the Santa Fe Gun Violence Table as a forum and action committee to address mass-killing prevention and to ensure the safety of citizens.[9]

Gonzales has publicly disagreed with the actions of the Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, and other Republican legislators. Most notably he condemned the actions of Martinez in her opposition to accept more Syrian immigrants into the United States.[10][11]

Early life and education[edit]

Gonzales was the first to go college in his family and graduated from New Mexico State University with a degree in accounting. He is the son of former mayor of Santa Fe, George Abrán Gonzales, who served as the city's mayor from 1968 to 1972.[1][12]

Early career[edit]

He served on the Santa Fe County Commission for two terms. In 2001, he was elected as the first Hispanic President of the National Association of Counties. As President, he led a national organization that represents more than 3,000 counties nationwide. Prior to his election to the mayoralty, he worked as vice-president of a commercial real estate firm, and served as chair of the state Democratic Party.[1]

Mayor of Santa Fe (2014–2018)[edit]

On August 29, 2013, he announced his candidacy to become the next mayor of Santa Fe. He ran himself as "a strong advocate for labor unions and the working-class."[13]

On March 4, 2014, Gonzales won the Mayorship of Santa Fe, and was sworn in the Greer Garson Theatre at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He stated at his installation, "I stand before you humbled. I stand before you standing on the shoulders of people like Mayor David Coss and my father and so many who have been before in this position to say that I am ready to accept the responsibility and the honor of being your mayor."[14]

Gun safety[edit]

He has been an vocal supporter of gun safety and regulation. In 2015, he started the Santa Fe Gun Violence Table as a forum and action committee to address mass-killing prevention and ensure the safety of citizens.[9] Gonzales with a local organization, "New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence" handed out free gunlocks provided by the Santa Fe Police Department, as well as educational material on gun safety and control.[15]

Equal rights[edit]

Gonzales, as a progressive candidate, ran on the promise of equal rights for all, and appointed two openly gay women to the Santa Fe City Council in which there are eight members.[16]

Economic policy[edit]

He sought to expand the living wage throughout the county, and subsequently helped organize the effort to establish a municipal minimum wage, currently set at $10.51, one of the highest in the country.[17] He was heavily criticized for supporting a corporate tax cut initiated by Governor Susana Martinez. He defended his actions stating that the tax cut was a "comprehensive tax reform that makes New Mexico competitive with surrounding states"[18]

Controversies[edit]

During the campaign, a complaint was filed with the city's Ethics and Campaign Review Board against Gonzales by Fred Rowe, a supporter of mayoral candidate Patti Bushee, alleging that Gonzales was violating campaign finance regulations by actively coordinating with various political action committees which had endorsed him.[19] Gonzales stated during the campaign that he defended the rights of outside groups to participate in election campaigns, but was not seeking and did not need support from PACs.[20] The board voted unanimously to dismiss the complaint, on the basis that it relied on innuendo and hearsay and lacked any properly substantiated evidence of ethical or legal violations.[21]

Gonzales issued an executive order banning city employees from traveling to states with religious freedom laws he claims are anti-gay. Shortly afterwards, he traveled to the Islamic nation of Qatar, which criminalizes gay relations, leading many to accuse him of hypocrisy.[22]

Succession[edit]

Gonzales was succeeded by American entrepreneur Alan Webber on March 12, 2018 as the 43rd Mayor of Santa Fe.[23]

Personal life[edit]

He resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has two daughters, Cadence and Cameron. He currently serves on the Board of Regents for New Mexico State University. Gonzales is the city's first openly gay mayor.[2] He issued a press release after the first same-sex marriage licenses were distributed, entitled "My Renewed Faith in Santa Fe." In the release he stated "You see, when you come from a traditional family with deep roots in this community, the process of accepting that you are gay is complicated with fears about disappointing those you love, or becoming disconnected with a sense of place that is as much a part of me as my sexuality."[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Javier Gonzales wins Santa Fe mayoral race". Santa Fe New Mexican, March 4, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Santa Fe Selects Its First Gay Mayor, Javier Gonzales". The Advocate, March 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Santa Fe, N.M., voters elect city's first openly gay mayor". Boom.lgbt. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  4. ^ "2015 was a year of political scandal in New Mexico". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "Mr. Mayor: Javier Gonzales is looking outside City Hall to unify Santa Fe, but his house remains divided". www.sfreporter.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "Santa Fe mayor makes affordable housing proposal". KOAT. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "Mayor Gonzales proposes cultural district to combat counterfeit art sales". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  8. ^ "Governor Apogizes After 911 Call, Duran Checks Into Jail". kunm.org. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Santa Fe officials react to Calif. shooting". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  10. ^ "Commentary: Santa Fe should welcome Syrian refugee family". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  11. ^ "Mayors strike back against governors in Syrian refugee fight". Q13 FOX News. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  12. ^ "Santa Fe mayor's father, George Gonzales — a former mayor — dies". The Santa Fe New Mexican. March 24, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  13. ^ "Breaking: Javier Gonzales Says He's Running for Mayor of Santa Fe". Santafe.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  14. ^ "Javier Gonzales wins Santa Fe mayoral race". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, City, Community to Commemorate Sandy Hook on 12/12 | City of Santa Fe, New Mexico". www.santafenm.gov. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Santa Fe Elects Its First Openly Gay Mayor". The New Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  17. ^ "Interview with Javier Gonzales at Living Wage Rally: Working-Class Hero or Economic Hypocrite? | Occupy New Mexico". www.occupynewmexico.org. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  18. ^ "Corporate Tax cut: Javier Gonzales". Archived from the original on July 6, 2013.
  19. ^ "Gonzales Denies Ethics Complaint Alleging Coordination". Santa Fe Reporter, February 24, 2014.
  20. ^ "Ethics complaint against Gonzales dismissed; PAC spending grows". Albuquerque Journal, February 26, 2014.
  21. ^ "Ethics Board Dismisses Complaint Against Javier Gonzales". Santa Fe Reporter, February 25, 2014.
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Mexican, Daniel J. Chacón | The New. "Webber: Exempt city workers must reapply for jobs". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  24. ^ "My Renewed Faith in Santa Fe". Familia es Familia. Retrieved January 2, 2016.

External links[edit]