ALA NM Girls State is a weeklong experience, which lasts a lifetime. Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, this program teaches you the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship through a program of participation. At ALA NM Girls State you will become an active member of a mythical city, county, and political party. As such, you will vote in three elections – City, County and State, in which you may run for office, and you will actively participate in the government of your City, County, State, and party. In a week’s time, you will see most of the responsibilities of these offices executed.
Every ALA NM Girls State Citizen will have the opportunity to run for any office she wishes by simply filing a petition for candidacy. This provides each citizen the opportunity to run for the office she feels most qualified to fill and most interested in executing. For this reason these pages explaining the duties of each office are extremely important to you because you may determine the office you wish to run for before ALA NM Girls State begins. Bear in mind that you may run for a City and a County office or for City and State office, but not for a County and State office. It may be best to select two or three offices you’re interested in so that you can react objectively to the competition for these particular offices.
ALA NM Girls State begins with city government in action. By Monday afternoon all City Officials will be elected and by Monday night all City appointments will be made. Tuesday the County and State Primary Elections will be under way, and the County and Party Conventions will give each candidate an opportunity to speak. By bedtime Tuesday night the County and State Primary Election results will be in. Wednesday the Nationalist and Federalist Parties will be vying for top honors in the General Election, and by Wednesday all State and County Officials will be elected.
With the State's Officials elected, ALA NM Girls State will then begin the important work of government in action on all levels. Everyone may participate either as an elected or as an appointed Official. The enthusiasm you put in will determine how much you will get out of ALA NM Girls State. No ALA NM Girls State Citizen ever loses more than one election if she keeps up her enthusiasm and participates fully in all activities.
Acquaint yourself with the jobs of each of the Officials listed, and come to ALA NM Girls State prepared to participate completely. A copy of this document will be provided at session but you can also click here to download.
City Government - Elected Officials
MAYOR – The Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the City Government at ALA NM Girls State. She presides over all meetings of the City Council, and may vote only in case of a tie. She supervises the work of appointed officers and prepares the agenda of business for the council. She is responsible for the performance of city functions, such as formulation of the city seal, cheers, flag, song and For God & Country presentation. She represents her city at the Mayors' Conference. The Mayor, like all City Officials, has the special function of encouraging city unity and enthusiasm and promoting happiness in her city. She supervises that all city reports are completed during the week and that the full city packet is returned to the Government Counselor.
CITY COUNCILWOMEN (4) – The Councilwomen form the legislative body of City Government. They enact ordinances and adopt resolutions, which may be presented by any citizen. The Councilwomen examine and approve the budget of the City Treasurer and make City Appointments.
CITY CLERK – The City Clerk holds and keeps the official record of the City. She attends all meetings of the Council and keeps the minutes. She issues all municipal licenses and receives all petitions addressed to the Council. Her minute’s book must be completed and turned into the Government Counselor before leaving ALA NM Girls State.
CITY TREASURER – The treasurer is the custodian of municipal property and monies. She supervises all purchases and management of fund, disburses and receives monies, and maintains financial records. Since no money is actually collected or disbursed at ALA NM Girls State, the Treasurer’s biggest responsibility is preparing the budget for presentation to the City Council. A copy should be presented to the City Clerk.
MUNICIPAL JUDGE – The Municipal Judge presides over the Municipal Court. This court’s jurisdiction is over offenses and complaints arising under ordinances of each City or Town. Breaches of the peace, disorderly conduct, and traffic violations are the principal offenses tried in this court. Complaints against persons in this court will ordinarily be issued by and in the name of the City as plaintiff, and the action will be prosecuted in the court without a jury. Due to time constraints a municipal court trial will not normally be held. This will be upon each city government counselor's discretion.
City Government - Appointed Positions
CITY ATTORNEY – This Official represents the City as plaintiff in Municipal courts. Due to time constraints a municipal court trial will not normally be held. This will be upon each city government counselor's discretion.
FIRE CHIEF – This Official is responsible for the management and supervision of the Fire Department. She enforces the City’s fire and safety laws. At ALA NM Girls State she should be certain the City observes the smoking rules and knows drill procedures. She will also create a fire evacuation plan for both city room and dorms.
POLICE CHIEF – This Official is responsible for law enforcement, organization and supervision of the police force, management of the municipal jail, holding violators of ordinances or presenting them for trial, and recommending police measures to the Council. Since all ALA NM Girls State rules are automatically accepted as City ordinances, the Police Chief and Police Officers enforce these rules and other City ordinances. They may wish to establish traffic regulations on the City floor. This official also maintains order in meetings of the City Council, Municipal courts and evening gatherings.
POLICE OFFICER (2) – See Police Chief above.
CITY REPORTER – Writes and submits daily articles about experience at ALANMGS. She represents the local news gathering the current events that are occurring in the city and reporting them out to the community.
CITY PHOTOGRAPHER – This individual will take charge of the city camera and take pictures during city functions in dorms and city rooms. The city photographer works with the city reporter as the local news team to gather the current events occurring in their city. The ALA NM Girls State Media Team captures the week during general meetings and functions but city photographers will capture those moments in cities showing friendships being built and city work being completed.
SANITARY ENGINEER – This Official is responsible for the city sanitation facilities, such as sewage, rendering and prohibiting pollution of water and air. At ALA NM Girls State this Official will inspect the City periodically and submit ordinances to the City Council for continuing cleanliness of the City.
BUILDING INSPECTOR – Proper and safe facilities for City Government and City citizens are the responsibilities of this Official. At ALA NM Girls State this Official will inspect dormitory rooms, lounge and halls, for neatness and safety.
HEALTH AND RECREATION OFFICER – The City’s water supply, public health, hospitals and medical facilities, park and recreation areas are under the control of this Officer. At ALA NM Girls State this Official will report illness to the nurse and will work with the city counselor on nightly reflection and City recreation. She may even sponsor an exercise program.
MANAGER, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – With the assistance of the Mayor this Official will be certain the City songs, cheers, flag and seal are ready for the Mayors' Conference. This Manager will publicize City activities and unique features through advertising.
ELECTION OFFICIALS (2) – Election officials serve as poll clerks and polling officials during city, primary and general elections. They ensure the voting is conducted without bias allowing for all individuals to place their votes. For the purpose of ALA NM Girls State election officials can be candidates for any office but the Governor, Lt. Governor, or Secretary of State.
FLAG GUARDS (2) - Individuals will join members from other cities to form Flag Guard and raise flag each morning and lower/fold flag each evening. Individuals that volunteer will perform duties all week. See activities during session for additional details.
County Government - Elected Officials
DISTRICT JUDGE – There are thirteen Judicial Districts in the thirty-three New Mexico counties with eighty-seven full time District Judges. At ALA NM Girls State there are only two districts and these are the same as the two counties in the jurisdiction. The District Court is a trial court of general, civil, and criminal jurisdiction and has broad powers in relation to the persons, subject matter, and disposition of cases referred to it. All first to fourth degree crimes are tried in this court. Appeals from this court go to the State Court of Appeals or the State Supreme Court. At ALA NM Girls State a criminal or civil case is tried with a jury before the District Judge.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY – The District Attorney or assistant represents the State in legal matters involving the county. She acts as legal advisor to all county and precinct officers and acts as their council in case a suit is brought by or against such office. She represents all school boards in the County, and she has the authority to act if she believes that public money is about to be misapplied, withdrawn or withheld from the County Treasurer. In general, the office of the District Attorney acts as the lawyer for the County and its officers in all of their business. At ALA NM Girls State she represents the State in District Court action. For the purpose of ALA NM Girls State the runner up for this office in the general elections will become the Defense Attorney in the District Court proceedings.
MEMBER STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION – This Official visits all the schools in the District once a year and makes suggestions to the teachers and trustees of the school district. The board determines public school policy and vocational educational policy and has control, management, and direction of all public schools, pursuant to authority and powers provided by law. One member is elected from each ALA NM Girls State County and will participate in an educational review of the ALA NM Girls State program.
COUNTY COMMISSIONER – The power of the County Commissioner is legislative, administrative, and supervisory in character. They include the levying of county taxes, the making and executing of the County budget, supervising the deposits and safekeeping of County funds. The managing of all properties of the County where no other provision is made by law, supervising the construction and maintenance of County roads, and supervising the carrying out of State laws within the County. At ALA NM Girls State the County Commissioner will participate in a county meeting.
COUNTY CLERK – This official maintains a record of all deeds, mortgages and other legal papers, and keeps these records open for public inspection. The Clerk issues marriage licenses, records certificates of marriage ceremonies and records certificates of births. She also serves as clerk to the Probate Judge and to the Board of County Commissioners plus oversees the primary and general elections. At ALA NM Girls State the County Clerk with participate in a county meeting.
COUNTY TREASURER – This official is the Chief Financial Officer of the County. She is required to keep an accurate account of all monies received and disbursed and to post bond to insure the faithful performance of her duties. She collects not only the taxes due to the County, but also those levied by the State and incorporated municipalities. The latter are disbursed according to law for County purposes. During ALA NM Girls State the County Treasurer will participate in a county meeting.
COUNTY SHERIFF – The Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Official of the County. In addition to enforcing State laws within her jurisdiction and protecting life and property of residents of the County, the Sheriff performs the following duties: summons persons wanted as witnesses or jury members and compels their attendance, carries out the orders of the District Court and executes its judgments, supervises the maintenance of the County jail and cares for prisoners. At ALA NM Girls State the County Sheriff will perform jury summons, witness subpoenas and act as the court bailiff during the District Court proceedings.
STATE SENATORS (14) – The Senators form the smaller of the two legislative bodies of the State. As County-Party Representatives their allegiance is to their voter constituents, but the better welfare of the whole State lies in their hands. At ALA NM Girls State they will debate and enact the legislation of the session in coordination with the House of Representatives. Each County elects 7 Senators. All participants of ALA NM Girls State will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their other duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session.
STATE REPRESENTATIVES (24) – The members of the House of Representatives form the larger of the two legislative bodies of the State. As County-Party Representatives their allegiance is to their voter constituents, but the better welfare of the whole State lies in their hands. At ALA NM Girls State they will debate and enact the legislation of the session in coordination with the Senate. Each County elects 12 Representatives. All participants of ALA NM Girls State will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their other duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session.
County Party Conventions -
County Officials Elected & Appointed from the Floor
During county party convention meetings (Nationalist and Federalist party in the Lincoln and Washington County) the following positions will be elected from the floor. Anyone can run for these positions even if running for a county or state elected office or if holding a city position.
COUNTY PARTY CONVENTION CHAIRWOMAN – This official presides at the County Party Convention to keep candidates moving quickly through speeches.
COUNTY PARTY CONVENTION CLERK – This official keeps track of the County Party Convention taking notes and gives the record book to the County Counselor at the end of the Convention.
COUNTY PARTY CONVENTION TREASURER – This Official will use a deck of cards or another means to determine the order of speakers from the County-Party caucuses.
APPOINTED PLATFORM COMMITTEE – The County Party Convention Chairwoman will appoint five individuals to this committee. Members of this committee should not be candidates for the top six State positions. During the County Party Conventions this committee of five will begin the process of brainstorming planks for their party platform. These five committee members will be joined with five individuals from the other county during the Party Conventions to form a ten-person committee and finalize a platform for the party. This platform must be presented to the party as a whole during the Party Convention and voted to be accepted as the party's platform.
Elected (from the floor) and
Appointed Positions in the Senate and House
During ALA NM Girls State all delegates (attendees to ALANMGS) will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session. Those individuals that were not elected to a county or state office will be appointed a position in the Senate, House or Courts. Everyone at ALA NM Girls State will be required to take on an elected or appointed position during Government activities. More details will be provided during session on the appointed position process.
PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE (Senate) – Elected by vote of the Senate members, from the majority party, the President Pro Tempore will preside as acting president of the Senate should the Senate President (Lt. Governor) be unavailable to preside over Senate proceedings.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE – Elected by the majority party of the House, from the members of the majority party of the House, the Speaker shall preside over the House of Representatives.
CHAPLAIN – Each Legislative session is opened and closed with prayer by the Chaplain. The Chaplains will also be asked to give a prayer at the inaugural banquet.
CHIEF CLERK – The Chief Clerk shall be the official custodian of all bills, documents, papers, writings, and all other records of the Senate or House. She shall supervise the work of the Assistant Clerks. At every session, the Chief Clerk calls the roll and makes a record of the Senators and Representatives present, absent, or excused as provided by the rules. The Chief Clerk oversees the reading of all bills, amendments and resolutions and all papers ordered to be read by the Senate or House, or by the presiding officers thereof. With her assistants, the Chief Clerk keeps a correct journal of the proceedings of the Senate or House. Titles and numbers of bills and their disposition are carefully recorded and kept up to date. The Chief Clerk superintends all matters originating in their session (Senate/House), and the Chief Clerk notifies the corresponding body (Senate/House) of the action of their session on all matters originating from the corresponding body.
ASSISTANT CLERKS (2) – The Assistant Clerks assist the Chief Clerk in keeping accurate records of the bills by title and number and keep track of each bill’s particular disposition. They will also assist with reading any bill, amendment, or resolution of the House or Senate. Assistant Clerks will be in charge of making any edits to proposed legislation files for the Senate/House and ensuring approved legislation files are ready for review by the Governor.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS – This Official aids in enforcing order on the floor of the Senate or House, in lobbies and galleries, and in the room adjoining the Legislature, and she also sees that no person remains on the floor unless entitled to the privileges of the Senate or House. Whenever a message from the Governor or the other Legislative body arrives, it shall be the duty of the Sergeant-At-Arms to receive it, and announce its presence to the presiding officer.
PAGES (2) – Each Legislative body has two pages to assist the Senators or Representatives in the exchange of notes or other materials. Pages are summoned by a slightly raised hand. The Pages are also responsible for taking messages to the other Legislative body.
Appointed Positions in District Court
ALA NM Girls State will hold a District Court during the afternoon session of the government activities. Due to timing only one trial will be held with both counties working together in the court proceedings. These positions will be appointed from the individuals not elected into a county or state position. As the trial runs at the same time as Senate/House sessions anyone appointed into positions in Senate/House will be unable to hold an appointment in the courts. Everyone at ALA NM Girls State will be required to take on an elected or appointed position during Government activities. More details will be provided during session on the appointed position process.
COURT REPORTER – The court reporter will record the proceedings of the District Court. Providing a final report with verdict to the Government Counselor following the trial.
DEFENDANT – The defendant will bear testimony as needed and portray the accused during the mock trial proceedings.
WITNESSES (3-5) – The witnesses will bear testimony as needed in court to explain the story of the defendant's accusations.
JURY (6) – The jury will listen to testimony and determine the verdict in the court proceedings.
State Government - Elected Officials
GOVERNOR – The Governor is the Chief Executive Officer of the State. At ALA NM Girls State the Governor makes honorary state board and committee appointments, gives an Inaugural Address at the banquet, visits the legislative sessions, signs or vetoes passed legislation into law, and closes the session of ALA NM Girls State. The Governor represents ALA NM Girls State all year, at the American Legion Auxiliary State Convention (dates to be provided), and may be asked to speak at unit meetings during the year. She will also be required to return to ALA NM Girls State the following year as a Junior Counselor to guide future Governors (dates to be provided).
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR – In case of death, impeachment, resignation, removal or other disability of the Governor, the powers and duties of the office shall be upon the Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor shall be the President of the Senate, but shall vote only when the Senate is equally divided. At ALA NM Girls State the Lt. Governor will give an Inaugural Address at the banquet. She will also be required to return to ALA NM Girls State the following year as a Junior Counselor to guide future Lt. Governors (dates to be provided) and may be asked to attend the American Legion Auxiliary State Convention (dates to be provided).
SECRETARY OF STATE – Each special and regular session of the ALA NM Girls State House of Representatives must be opened by the Secretary of State where she presides unless other duties call her away. Laws passed and signed are compiled by the Secretary of State and sealed by her.
STATE AUDITOR – The primary function of the office is to see that the accounts of all the monies – County and State are correct and to inquire if there is an inconsistent figure. All State Officials and departments submit their vouchers to the State Auditor for payment. As a member of the State Board of Finance, the State Auditor is in joint custody, with the State Treasurer, of all the securities and funds of the State. At ALA NM Girls State the State Auditor will attend a State Finance Committee Meeting with the State Treasurer.
STATE TREASURER – All monies collected by the State Agencies are deposited with the State Treasurer. The State Auditor draws such funds only on warrants. At ALA NM Girls State the State Treasurer will attend a State Finance Committee Meeting with the State Auditor.
ATTORNEY GENERAL – This Official is the head of the Department of Justice. She handles numerous cases in the District Courts, the State’s Supreme Courts and Federal Courts, and writes many opinions and advisory letters to State, County, and Department Officials. She examines and approves all bond transcripts of school districts, as well as building and improvement bonds, highway debentures, refunding bonds, sewer bonds, and courthouse and jail bonds. At ALA NM Girls State the Attorney General will review policies and render suggestions.
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT (5) – The Supreme Court is the last resort, the highest court in the State, and all other courts are inferior to it. The Justices have equal power in deciding cases before the court and in making court rules. A majority (three) of the judges constitutes a quorum and can render a decision. At ALA NM Girls State the Supreme Court will review a case from the state and render a decision.
Party Conventions - State Official Elected from the Floor
During party convention meetings (Nationalist and Federalist party) the following positions will be elected from the floor. Anyone but Governor, Lt. Governor, or Secretary of State candidates can run for these positions even if running for a county or state elected office or if holding a city position.
PARTY CONVENTION CHAIRWOMAN – The State Party Convention Chairwoman presides at the Party Rally, and runs the Party Convention. She serves on the Party Executive Committee and the Campaign Committee on convention and campaign plans. She accompanies the candidate for Governor on the Whistle Stop Campaign.
PARTY CONVENTION CLERK – At the party convention and rally the Clerk takes official minutes, including detailed notes on the accepted platform. She is responsible for duplicating the platform for the party members and party candidates. A copy of the platform should be given to the Party Counselor and to the Counselors in charge of the House and the Senate. The Clerk serves on the Party Executive Committee and the Campaign Committee on convention and campaign plans. She accompanies the candidate for Lt. Governor on the Whistle Stop Campaign.
PARTY CONVENTION TREASURER – At the Party Convention the Treasurer will use a deck of cards or another means to determine the order of speakers from the State-Party caucuses. She serves on the Executive Committee and so participates in the preparation of campaign materials and plans for the party rally.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER – This will be a speaker for the Party Rally. The Speech will be based in the party platform and will work to inspire the young women of ALA NM Girls State to support your party, your candidates, and the ideals your party stand for. Try-outs for this position will be held.
APPOINTED PLATFORM COMMITTEE – Each Party Convention Chairwoman will appoint ten individuals to this committee, this should be the 5 members from each county party convention that were previously selected. Members of this committee should not be candidates for the top six State positions. During the Party Convention this committee of ten (five from each County) will draft the party platform. After the committee determines a basis for the platform they must present it to their party and vote to accept the platform for their party. Candidates must support this platform and later legislation will be based on the platform, so it should be thought out. A completed copy must be given to the Party Clerk and the Party Counselor. The committee should have a chairwoman who will report to her caucus and two clerks for careful recording of the committee report and any amendments from the Party Convention.