APV’s State and Federal Lobbying Team
As Chief Government Affairs Officer, Jessica Johnson leads Animal Protection Voters’ legislative and political efforts for the protection of all New Mexico’s animals and oversees programmatic and legal work to prevent wildlife cruelty. With nine years experience in government relations on behalf of animal protection, her expertise includes grassroots advocacy training, legislative analysis, campaign strategy, and digital communications. Previously, Jessica worked in the ASPCA’s Government Relations department in Washington, DC, where she led efforts to organize grassroots support for state and federal legislation, ballot measures, voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts. Jessica earned a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, OR, where she specialized in environmental and animal law, and received the Animal Law Leadership Award upon graduation. She lives in Santa Fe, NM with her husband and daughter, her beloved flock of companion chickens, and intrepid rescued canines, Zelda and Edwin, with whom she enjoys hiking across New Mexico’s fabulous public lands.
Elisabeth Jennings has served as Animal Protection Voters’ and Animal Protection of New Mexico’s Executive Director since 1993, but began lobbying in New Mexico in 1989 as a volunteer. Since then she has worked to encourage a broader segment of New Mexicans to get actively involved in promoting animal protection legislation and holding legislators accountable for their important votes on bills that impact animals. Elisabeth grew up around all kinds of animals, including dogs, cats, and horses, where she learned to appreciate what animals offer to our lives. Jennings has lived in New Mexico since 1987, and enjoys spending time doing just about anything outdoors with her husband.
Laura Bonar is Chief Program & Policy Officer for Animal Protection Voters and Animal Protection of New Mexico, and has been a member of APV’s lobby team since 2011. After joining the staff in 2007, she helped pass county and municipal ordinances, broadened legislative support for the Animal Sheltering Board and stronger animal cruelty laws, and helped thwart bills that would harm animals. In more recent years Laura has led the program to secure sanctuary for chimpanzees living in New Mexico, and has been instrumental in enhancing Animal Protection Voters’ capacity to work with New Mexico’s members of Congress to support federal legislation and other policies that have an enormous impact on animals in our state. All her life Laura has felt a strong affinity for animals and the natural world, and her career affirms that passion. She shares her home with Maeve, an adorable canine from the Albuquerque shelter.
Deborah Torza Condit
Deborah Torza has been a lobbyist for Animal Protection Voters since 2007. As a native New Mexican and a staunch animal advocate, she provides keen insights into how to develop stronger support for animal protection measures from all parts of the political spectrum. Deborah graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in print journalism. She began working on political campaigns in 2000, worked as a Senate analyst at the New Mexico State Capitol in 2001, and later joined APV, helping to pass stronger laws for animals and prevent damaging legislation from passing. Deborah lives with her husband Brian Condit, former chief of staff to Governor Richardson, her daughter Desiree, as well as her two Labradors, Piper and Toby.