"Thank you for allowing me to be your State Representative. As a lifelong resident of New Mexico House District 65 I believe the people and places in our District is what makes our home so special. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our children have the opportunity to receive a first-rate education, inherit an environment to enjoy and have an opportunity to live and work in the State we love."
-Derrick J. Lente
Education, Experience and Values Delivering Results for Our District
Derrick is a son of two Pueblos in New Mexico (Isleta & Sandia Pueblos). Raised in a traditional Pueblo family, his parents often worked two jobs to raise he and his two older brothers. Those examples would help mold his values of hard work, dedication, tradition and family.
Derrick attended Bernalillo Public Schools from kindergarten through his graduation from Bernalillo High School. Derrick took remedial courses at Central New Mexico Community College, transferred to the University of New Mexico and earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Intercultural Communications and in English. Derrick went on to study law at the University of New Mexico School of Law. He was the first male from his Pueblo to earn a Juris Doctorate degree. In addition to a law degree, Derrick was also elected to the Board of Editors for the Tribal Law Journal and earned his certificate specializing in Federal Indian Law.
Derrick is a businessman and in 2008 followed his dream of entrepreneurship when he acquired a company with offices in New Mexico and California. After years of hard work and dedication, Derrick was employing hundreds New Mexicans and thousands more in other States. Derrick sold the company in 2013 when his company was considered to be one of the largest solely owned Native American companies in the United States.
Derrick has been a professor and visiting speaker in many universities across the United States. He has first-hand experience working on Federal, State and Tribal issues. Derrick sits on a number of local and national boards that focus on agriculture, economic development, education, and health and has been identified and awarded the “40 Under Forty” award by both the New Mexico Business Weekly and The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.
In 2017 Derrick took his oath of office as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives. Representative Lente represents NM House District 65. Representative Lente was recognized in 2018 as a “Rising Star” by the Democratic Party of New Mexico and honored with the "Governors Award" by the All Pueblo Governors Council in 2019, Representative Lente is in his second term as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives assuming new responsibilities in leadership as Chairman for the House Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources.
Derrick, his wife Kassandra, daughter Jade and sons Mostin & Easton make their home in Sandia Pueblo where he owns and operates his family farm, Lente Farms.
Derrick is a graduate of the New Mexico public school system and became the first male from his Pueblo to graduate from law school. Continuing his intimate experience working for education equity in New Mexico's public schools, Derrick has witnessed the struggles students, parents and teachers face in the public school system.
Derrick has and will continue to fight tirelessly to ensure our teachers are compensated fairly, that our schools are adequately funded and that all of our children in New Mexico have an equal opportunity to obtain a quality education.
Derrick believes that all people, regardless of socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, deserve to live in a clean and healthy environment and that we owe it to our Mother Earth to protect her beauty. In addition to renewable energy, air quality, land use and other important environmental issues, water will continue to be one of our state's most important natural resources.
Derrick has over 20 years working on New Mexico water issues. He understands the importance of water quality and recognizes the delicate balance of appropriating water for Native Americans, agriculture, species, recreation and municipalities.
Derrick has a proven track record of standing with his constituents to protect sacred sites, holding people accountable and building bridges between groups. He believes we must proactively collaborate and communicate to protect the environment for our future generations.
Jobs & The Economy
Derrick is a seasoned businessman. Derrick has experienced the challenges of being a small business owner and wants to promote other small businesses in their efforts to prosper, grow and create jobs. Derrick believes that in addition to growing our economy, we must support our workers to ensure they earn a living wage and feel secure in their jobs.
Derrick views New Mexico House District 65 as a shining spot for New Mexico's economy and will continue to promote the area to attract additional economic ventures.
Derrick understands that we cannot allow our best and brightest to be forced to leave our state to find quality employment elsewhere. That we have an obligation to our heritage and our families to have opportunities for our sons and daughters to realize their dreams right here in New Mexico.
New Mexico House District 65 includes the counties of Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan and includes seven Indian Pueblos (Cochiti, Jemez, Sandia, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, Zia), the Navajo Nation Chapters of Counselors, Huerfano, Ojo Encino & Torreon, the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Towns of Bernalillo, Cochiti Lake, San Luis and San Ysidro.
2020 Capital Outlay
I work hard to ensure Capital Outlay funds designated to District 65 are allocated fairly and that those appropriations are transparent.
It is my pleasure to report your 2020 funding for capital outlay requests within our District. Each of the items funded respond to the priority needs that each community brought to my attention. Representing many of New Mexico’s rural and oldest inhabited areas, money for infrastructure in our District is extremely important. Often times communities in our District have needs that far exceed the allocation of dollars I am provided for capital. In order to respond to these needs, collaboration and partnership with New Mexico’s executive branch and other members in the House and Senate is extremely important.
The spreadsheet below shows how I appropriated the $1,828,000 of capital dollars and how, via partnerships, projects in our District were funded. Our work this year resulted in capital outlay funding for our District of over $18-million dollars.