Lyla June Johnston: For Future Generations Campaign Video

Native Sun News Today: A 'Fast for the Future'

SANTA FE, N. M. – On January 17, Navajo state legislative candidate Lyla June Johnston announced a seven-day hunger strike in her District 47 Democratic primary campaign against House Speaker Brian Egolf. Her “Fast for the Future” kicked off at the Capitol Building on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Each day of the fast is designed to serve as a mechanism to announce the campaign planks in her “Seven Generations New Deal” election platform, a plan for New Mexico’s action to address climate crisis.

“First and foremost, this is a prayer for life on earth in a time of crisis. Secondly, it is a chance for our community to discuss how we are going to unite and act in the name of future generations,” Johnston said in the announcement.

The kickoff date highlights the importance of the need to honor King Jr.’s “courage to act in times of crisis,” she said.

Johnston’s upstart, grassroots campaign highlights New Mexico’s global role in the climate crisis, as the state is home to the Permian Basin, which attained notoriety in 2019 as the top oil producer in the world.

A perceived lack of leadership on the urgency of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil industry led Johnston to challenge Egolf.

“With all due respect, we no longer have time for leaders who take oil industry money, who write laws for them and obstruct laws that would hold them accountable. We need protectors of the earth, protectors of the people,” said the 30-year-old PhD student and Stanford University graduate.

Born in Santa Fe and raised in Taos, New Mexico, Johnston was a notable figure during the 2016-2017 Oceti Sakowin resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline construction across unceded treaty territory near Standing Rock, in which opponents coining their description as water protectors supported tribal governments’ legal challenge to project parent company Energy Transfer Partners and associates.

She graduated with honors in environmental sciences from Stanford, earned an education degree from the University of New Mexico, and now is pursuing a PhD with a focus on sustainable food systems.


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