Stan Cooper, AARP of New Mexico
Representing: Professional Member
Term Expiration Date: April 2021
For the past three years, I have been fortunate to serve on the board of directors of the New Mexico Transit Association, and I would like to continue serving. My background includes many years of working for AARP. Until I retired in 2012, I was the state director for AARP New Mexico from 1999 to 2012. Prior to then, I worked in the areas of communications and legislative advocacy for AARP.
While with AARP New Mexico, I was involved in educating seniors throughout New Mexico about their options to stay connected to their communities by having access to transportation.
The population of New Mexico is aging. Currently, about 13.2 percent of the state’s population is 65 and older. By 2030, that will jump to 26.4 percent.
It is important that public transportation in New Mexico get more public policy attention—not only to help seniors but also to help many others who don’t own a car or who are disabled. New Mexico is one of only a handful of states that does not provide any state funding for public transportation.
As a member of the NMTA Board of Directors, I have actively worked to increase the association’s visibility by helping our president find opportunities to address key standing and interim legislative committees of the New Mexico Legislature to let them know about NMTA. I also have written articles on public transportation for NMTA’s online newsletter.
In 2014, working with colleagues on an advocacy subcommittee I helped develop a request for a proposal to hire a lobbyist to help push legislation during the 2015 legislative session. That effort resulted in the hiring of JD Bullington who subsequently convinced a key member of the House of Representatives to sponsor legislation that would give public transportation a small percentage of capital outlay funds to help local and regional governments that provide transportation. I also helped lobby for that bill in Legislature.
I would like to continue to use my knowledge of communications and advocacy to move NMTA forward so it becomes a better known and respected advocate for public transportation.