The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty is dedicated to advancing economic and social justice through education, advocacy and litigation. We work with low-income New Mexicans to improve living conditions, increase opportunities and protect the rights of people living in poverty.
The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty is a non-profit law firm and advocacy group with the mission of addressing systemic issues that affect the poor. We work to assure that the policies, laws and practices intended to address the problems of those living in poverty are well-designed and are implemented legally, fairly and effectively.
The Center carries out its mission in several ways with one common theme: to bring the voice and perspective of low-income New Mexicans to processes which may impact their lives, and from which they are often excluded.
Underlying our mission is a vision of New Mexico without poverty, where all peoples’ basic human rights are met, including the rights to food, housing, healthcare, a living wage, education and equal access to justice. We believe in the principles outlined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In our work, we make use of various strategies and methods, including:
- We oversee the implementation of poverty law and programs and advocate for their continuous improvement. Often, we advise and collaborate with state agencies to improve their programs or practices.
- We coordinate closely with client advocacy organizations that assist people in accessing benefits so as to identify systemic problems or areas which, if improved, could have a significant effect on benefits recipients.
- We serve as a resource of information for the state program administrators, advocacy organizations, client advocates, policy-makers and others concerning public benefits and other programs designed to assist low-income people.
- When legislation or administration of these programs runs counter to law, we have the resources and experience to litigate.
- We provide training for client advocates working to ensure that the system is effective. The training keeps them current on law and program matters that they need to know to best serve their clients.
- We monitor legislation that could impact very low-income people. We educate lawmakers about the potential impact of their proposals on the poor and advocate for designing laws in the ways most supportive of the best interests of the poor.