An organization looking to “use the Constitution as the tool it was designed to be” hopes to obtain enough signatures to put several referendums on the November 2024 ballot to “protect the people of New Mexico.”
The Referendum Project founded by Ramona Goolsby began after the November 2022 elections and is a part of Better Together New Mexico, a statewide organization looking to “empower” those looking to “drive New Mexico to reach its full potential,” according to its website.
Collecting signatures to change laws is part of that process. “We started the project to help educate people and use the Constitution as the tool it was designed to be,” Goolsby said in a provided interview. “The New Mexico Constitution was put in place to protect the people of New Mexico from the government and now is the time to use the amazing tool God and our forefathers provided us.”
Goolsby listed the primary goals of the organization as “protecting our children from being permanent victims of an unproven ideology; protecting our families from being decimated by removing parents’ rights, protecting our communities right to self-govern from State Governmental overreach; protecting our right of free speech; protecting the people’s right to seek justice for crimes; protecting our country from the rogue idea that a state can refuse to honor another state’s legal process; protecting our right to choose to participate in elections; protecting the right to privacy in our personal business; and protecting the right of the people to know their elections are secure and transparent. This is not an exhaustive list but just the beginning because there are always unforeseen consequences of every action.”
The group is behind six requests for declaratory judgments filed in five district courts. New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Attorney General Raúl Torrez reportedly have filed motions to dismiss each case. A case before the 13th District Court has been reopened and a complaint has been filed with the Judicial Standards Commission for malicious abuse of process among other infractions.
Goolsby, a retired medical provider, has been involved with the Library Guild and is the Librarian for the New Mexico Election Transparency Network. She also works with Better Together New Mexico and is part of their leaders’ group. Better Together New Mexico began the referendum process on several bills passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last April. The bills focused primarily on reproductive healthcare, gender-affirming care, and changes to the election laws in New Mexico.