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EDITORIAL: An advocate for children

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By The Staff

From time to time, New Mexico demonstrates that it is a forward-thinking state. From the Rail Runner between Albuquerque and Santa Fe to the planned Spaceport down south, our state has embraced the future. Whether you agree with these costly endeavors or not, it’s clear to all that they are designed with tomorrow in mind.

But in so many ways, such economic developments pale in comparison to the steps New Mexico took years ago to better serve struggling families and children. We were the first state to establish a department for children, youth and families — a progressive measure that was due in large part to a warm, friendly and assertive politician’s wife.

Alice King, wife of former lawmaker and governor Bruce King and mother of current Attorney General Gary King, died Sunday following a stroke three days earlier. She was 78. Her funeral will be Thursday morning in her hometown of Moriarty.

As an advocate for children and families in the 1980s and ‘90s, Alice King built her own lasting legacy. During that time, she was a leader in efforts to reform the state’s children’s programs, and was so well known for her efforts that her husband used to say New Mexicans were getting “two for the price of one.” And it was true; Alice King led the Governor’s Task Force on Youth and Families and headed efforts that create the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department and the New Mexico Girls Ranch.

Bruce King served three non-consecutive terms as governor, but even when he wasn’t governor, his wife was working for children. She was a big supporter of Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque and chairwoman of New Mexico Children’s Trust Fund. Over the years, she headed the Juvenile Justice Council, the New Mexico Conference on Families, the New Mexico Committee for the International Year of the Child and the Governor’s Committee on Adolescent Pregnancy. She was also director of the Governor’s Office on Volunteerism for a time.

One would be hard-pressed to find a stronger advocate for children and families in New Mexico. Her leadership in such matters had an immeasurable impact on our state’s future — since children ARE our future. Her life is for one more example of how New Mexicans can be truly forward thinking.

Rest in peace, Alice King. Our state is better because of all you did.

As an advocate for children and families in the 1980s and ‘90s, Alice King built her own lasting legacy. During that time, she was a leader in efforts to reform the state’s children’s programs, and was so well known for her efforts that her husband used to say New Mexicans were getting “two for the price of one.” And it was true; Alice King led the Governor’s Task Force on Youth and Families and headed efforts that create the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department and the New Mexico Girls Ranch.

Bruce King served three non-consecutive terms as governor, but even when he wasn’t governor, his wife was working for children. She was a big supporter of Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque and chairwoman of New Mexico Children’s Trust Fund. Over the years, she headed the Juvenile Justice Council, the New Mexico Conference on Families, the New Mexico Committee for the International Year of the Child and the Governor’s Committee on Adolescent Pregnancy. She was also director of the Governor’s Office on Volunteerism for a time.

One would be hard-pressed to find a stronger advocate for children and families in New Mexico. Her leadership in such matters had an immeasurable impact on our state’s future — since children ARE our future. Her life is for one more example of how New Mexicans can be truly forward thinking.

Rest in peace, Alice King. Our state is better because of all you did.