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New Mexico Coalition for Healthy Families to host legislative forum

New Mexico's new grassroots family organization, the New Mexico Coalition for Healthy Families, is hosting a legislative forum from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at Church Alive, 4601 Avocet Road NW in Albuquerque. This event is free and open to the public.

The Coalition is the result of grassroots efforts to unite the state's family-centered agencies, including New Mexico State University's Strengthening Families Initiative and 15 other organizations, to better serve children and families.

"With elections drawing closer, the coalition is interested in creating a dialogue between the general public and legislators and legislative candidates about the issues facing New Mexico families," said Esther Devall, interim head of the department of family and consumer sciences at NMSU and co-chair of the coalition. "This will be an opportunity to learn more about the vision elected officials and legislative candidates have for the families and children of our state."

New Mexico struggles with family wellness, with significant numbers of teenage pregnancies and single-family homes, high school dropout rates and child abuse and neglect.

The agencies that comprise the coalition provide education, resources, advocacy and other forms of support to families throughout New Mexico. The NMCHF was formed in part from a series of federal healthy marriage grants, awarded to five programs in the state by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance.

For further information on the coalition or details about the legislative forum, contact co-chair Hilary Bravo at 505-247-1511, ext. 405, or visit the coalition's website at http://nmchf.org/index.html.