New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children, an organization that focuses on tax policy and how it impacts children in poverty, has new leadership. Gabrielle Uballez replaces Amber Wallin as executive director of the nonprofit. Uballez began her new position last month. Uballez told NM Political Report that her interest in advocacy work was sparked when she […]

New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children, an organization that focuses on tax policy and how it impacts children in poverty, has new leadership.

Gabrielle Uballez replaces Amber Wallin as executive director of the nonprofit. Uballez began her new position last month.

Uballez told NM Political Report that her interest in advocacy work was sparked when she was a child living in New Mexico. After school and during summer breaks, she participated in a program called Working Classroom, which provides art mentors to youth to build art skills focused on advocacy and social justice. Uballez attributes that early experience to her desire to build a career in advocacy around social justice. 

Uballez began her professional career working for an organization in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City before returning to Albuquerque to lead Working Classroom for several years. In that role, she worked with youth to amplify issues that mattered to local communities, including art that focused on gun violence and prevention, immigration and social justice, she said.

Most recently Uballez worked in philanthropy work for Asset Funders Network, a membership organization focused on equitable wealth building and economic mobility. She said that in that role, she was involved in supporting philanthropy that took a broad view that supporting family economic stability means “everything from a person’s health and ability to build stability and wealth, housing and good paying jobs.”

“We supported philanthropies that supported systems change,” she said.

Uballez said she connected to New Mexico Voices for Children through that work. She said she also realized she wanted to be more engaged in policy advocacy. 

She said that when she realized Wallin was leaving for another role, Uballez knew she wanted to apply because of how NMVC “shows up in coalition spaces.”

“They have a track record for getting really great policy change,” she said. 

Uballez said she considers NMVC a leader in tax policy. She said she believes in the idea that a budget is a moral document.

“That’s the root of inequity… How the state collects New Mexicans’ revenue gets to the heart of inequality,” she said.

Uballez said she doesn’t have any specific tax policy in mind yet but she said she expects the organization to do more tax fairness work. NMVC pushed for a child tax credit policy, which allows eligible families to earn up to $600 per child in child tax credits.

Related: State and federal child tax credits improve equity for children of color in the state

 “We’ve made great strides to make sure those who make the least don’t pay the most,” she said.

She said one area to consider for the future is guaranteed income and what that might look like in New Mexico. 

“It gives families dignity and the resources to decide where to put the money, in summer camps, home repairs, or food. They are the experts in their own lives,” she said. 

She said another policy that NMVC is not the lead advocate on but is part of a coalition pushing for change is the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill that failed in the 2024 and 2023 legislatures when some Democrats sided with Republicans to kill the bill.

“We’re going to get it passed next year,” she said.

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