‘Viante’ tracks New Mexico legislators on key issues

Politics - Government

Have you ever wondered how your state representative or senator is voting on key issues at the Roundhouse — that is, if they even show up to vote at all?

A new website is tracking the performance of lawmakers, giving them a color-coded score.

Turquoise is the state gem, but it’s also the color every lawmaker should strive to be, according to viantenm.org.

“That’s what we call the ‘Viante Victor,'” according to Rhiannon Samuel, Executive Director of Viante.

The nonpartisan project is keeping close tabs on how lawmakers are treating some of the most pressing issues facing New Mexico: crime, education and quality of life.

It tracks how legislators vote on those topics, along with attendance.

“Thirty percent of a legislator’s overall score is determined by how often they were there for floor votes,” Samuel explained.

“Viante is rooted in the Latin ‘via ante,’ which is ‘way forward,'” Dale Armstrong said.

Armstrong is the brain behind Viante.

“I know from my work experience when we’re united together and moving in the same direction, we can make things happen and I just didn’t see that in Santa Fe,” Armstrong said. “So I thought, ‘How could I actually educate the people I work with on how to have the information without them having to spend the time that I did in Santa Fe?'”

Armstrong, more commonly known as the CEO of TLC Plumbing, says it’s a big project.

Aided by an age-diverse board of directors comprised of other local business leaders representing various industries, Viante is supposed to help New Mexicans understand the legislative process and help them determine if they’re satisfied with their elected officials.

“New Mexico isn’t slipping any more because we’re already at the bottom. How are we going to fix it together?” Samuel said.

Viante isn’t free.

It costs $10 a month to view the legislative scorecard. The group believes the price is worth it for what New Mexicans will access.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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