Contact: Lorraine Montoya-Vigil
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2013
Senate Leader Calls for HSD Secretary’s Resignation
Santa Fe—Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Valencia, Bernalillo) today called for the resignation of Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier. This follows a report of an email written by Secretary Squier on September 17, 2013 stating, “…[T]here has never been and is not now any significant evidence of hunger in New Mexico….”
Secretary Squier’s email was written in response to receiving a “Draft Hunger Task Force Report”. Her email in its entirety states, “Nicely written and organized document. Since there has never been and is not now any significant evidence of hunger in New Mexico, I would offer that the focus of the report should be on getting proper nutrition for children (and adults). The idea—which is the easy way out—that we should expand every government food program in existence is not productive, especially if the issue is nutrition and not hunger. Please consider.”
“This is just the latest example of Secretary Squier showing her utter lack of understanding of what her job requires and the people she serves,” said Sen. Sanchez. “Her failure to appreciate what she has done to those within the behavioral health system is only matched by her indifference to the hungry in our state. She needs to go before she can hurt another group of vulnerable New Mexicans,” he added.
Governor Martinez and Secretary Squier have characterized her written words as “poorly worded”. However, it is clear from the email that Secretary Squier has no interest in working toward solutions that will help curb our increasing poverty rates, especially among children.
“How can she work on solving a problem if she doesn’t fully understand the problem?” Sen. Sanchez asked. “Lack of nutrition is not at the root of the hunger problem so prevalent in our state; it is poverty. The hungry need to know that their struggles are not only acknowledged and understood, but that there is a plan to help them, regardless if Secretary Squier thinks it’s the ‘easy’ way out.”