People's Forum Panel

The Honorable Judge Peggy Nelson (Ret.), Panel Chair

The Honorable Judge Peggy Nelson (ret.),
Panel Chair

Peggy Nelson retired as Eighth Judicial District Court Judge in 2006. She is currently Board President of Amigos Bravos, Inc. and serves on other boards and in organizational efforts in northern New Mexico, all involving her interests in environmental protection and social justice. She received the 1996 Governors Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women and in 2006 was awarded the State Bar's Seth D. Montgomery Distinguished Judicial Service Award.

Nathan Cote, Former State Representative

Nate Cote,
Former State Representative

Nate Cote is a Navy veteran, avid hiker, community volunteer, and environmentalist. Mr. Cote is on the Board of Directors of the Opportunity Center in Alamogordo, was president of the Southern New Mexico Hiking Club in Alamogordo, and active in the Continental Divide Trail Alliance and the Las Cruces Humane Society. As a retired public servant, Mr. Cote is especially concerned with high ethical standards and wise use of the taxpayer money. He believes that state government should be active in promoting progress in the state and region, a broad prosperity for all New Mexicans, and preservation of our natural areas. Mr. Cote and his wife Monique live near Organ, NM.

Kathleen Holian, Santa Fe County Commissioner

Kathleen Holian,
Santa Fe County Commissioner

Kathy Holian was elected as Santa Fe County Commissioner for District 4 in November, 2010. A Santa Fe County resident for the past 25 years, she was a Computational Physicist at Los Alamos Lab until January 2010, and continues to serve as a retired Guest Scientist. Commissioner Paul Campos appointed her to the County Development Review Committee in 2001 where she has been making land use recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners. She has long been a proponent of the New Urbanist model of clustered development and infill. Mrs. Holian and her husband Brad reside in Sunlit Hills near Seton Village with their two horses and four dogs.

Martha Marks, Republicans for Environmental Protection

Martha Marks,
Republicans for Environmental Protection

In 1995, Martha Marks and two other Republican women co-founded Republicans for Environmental Protection, a national organization. REP's mission is: “To resurrect the GOP's great conservation tradition and to restore natural resource conservation and sound environmental protection as fundamental elements of the Republican Party's vision for America.” At the time, Martha was a county commissioner in Lake County, Illinois. She served as REP’s president and board chair until 2008. Previously, she earned her Ph.D. in Spanish linguistics and literature at Northwestern University and served on the faculties of Kalamazoo College and Northwestern University. She's the co-author of three college Spanish textbooks: Destinos, Al corriente, and ¿Qué tal?, all published by McGraw-Hill. Since moving with her husband to Santa Fe in 2002, photographing wildlife and writing fiction have become Martha’s favorite creative outlets. Her images are represented by three stock agencies and her first novel is a highly regarded mystery/romantic-suspense novel set in first-century Rome and Syria. Learn more about Martha at Learn more about REP at

Peggy Weigle, Executive Director, Animal Humane | New Mexico

Peggy Weigle,
Executive Director, Animal Humane | New Mexico

Ms. Weigle joined the Animal Humane | New Mexico in September of 2006, following a successful 20 year career in the high tech industry. While at Animal Humane, she has led the organization to a 100% save rate for healthy pets, a 40% decrease in euthanasias, and the opening of New Mexico's first donor-subsidized veterinary clinic for low-income pet owners.

In 2008, Governor Richardson appointed Ms. Weigle to serve on the newly formed Animal Sheltering Board. In 2009, she was named one of New Mexico Business Weekly's thirty "Women of Influence" and received the Governor's Award for Outstanding NM Women. She currently serves as the chairman of the NM Humane Conference.

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