Silver City Printmaker’s Viral Message Raises $70,000 for Planned Parenthood

Kyle Durrie, a printmaker based in Silver City had a simple idea over the holiday break while doodling in her notebook: create a tote bag with text in the vein of a souvenir you might get while on a trip: I went on vacation and all I got what this t-shirt . . . before the ink could dry on her prototype, Durrie’s idea went viral. By the first day of the New Year, she was inundated with orders. So far her totebag project has raised $70,000 for Planned Parenthood.

Five New Mexico Cities Host Women’s Marches This Saturday: What You Need to Know

What began as a Facebook event invite and a response to the now imminent inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump has quickly turned into a viral, global grassroots movement and an international day of resistance. The Women’s March on Washington launches in five days with a New Mexico delegation to represent the progressives marching here at home. New Mexico is doing its part and you can participate. On Saturday, January 21, millions of people will gather in cities across the United States and in international locations in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington D.C. In every state in the Union, more than 370 peaceful, inclusive, gatherings are playing host to an estimated 735,070 marchers and participants. Here’s what you need to know to participate in the marches happening in our state.

A Recap – Progressive Action Summit 2017

Red River, and Raton, and Farmington, and Hobbs, oh my! People came from near and far on January 7th, for ProgressNow NM’s first ever, Progressive Action Summit. The Summit was a jam packed day of exactly that – action. If you weren’t able to be with us, you might be wondering what happened:

22 Community Organizations: delivered presentations, workshops or panels, concerning and or addressing current and or proposed legislation, while gathering awareness and support around their issue. 22 Elected Officials: gave time out of their day to participate, present, engage with and respond to citizens and leaders from our communities.

Will 2017 be the year marijuana is legalized in New Mexico?

Rep. Bill McCamley of Las Cruces is hoping that the fourth time is the charm when it comes to legalizing marijuana for recreational use in New Mexico. “On the house side, Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives for the last two years and they’ve killed this. I mean, they’ve not let this out for discussion. I’ve introduced this three separate times.” McCamley said today in a press conference in Las Cruces.

Rape kit backlog (finally) gets a lot more attention as legislative session nears

“With policies to overcome troubling long-held attitudes about victims, support for service providers and adequate funding, New Mexico can help lead the way by taking a concrete stand against sexual assault.”

— Tim Keller, New Mexico State Auditor

New Mexico has struggled over the last year to come to terms with a horrifying reality. Victims of sexual assault who submitted evidence from their attacks have waited years (sometimes over a decade) to see that evidence processed; often the first step in a long and difficult road to seek justice, or at the very least closure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZdJF8KMIiY
This problem exists across the county, but like so many things, New Mexico ranks at the bottom of all states in per capita untested kits.  

Public Health New Mexico reported some of the first articles on the rape kit testing crisis back in July of this year. In a series of stories, KUNM brought the subject to the forefront again.

Doña Ana County passes progressive new vision for development

On Tuesday, the Doña Ana County Commission passed the Unified Development Code yesterday, installing a more progressive vision for our future – thanks to progressives who showed up to add their support during public comment! You can learn more about why the UDC is a big deal by clicking here. No matter what the issue is, ProgressNow New Mexico is dedicated to helping get the word out when it comes to getting involved in issues that matter to our state. As one of our strongest supporters said after the vote was announced,
“Thanks again for your good work on this! We won 3-2 and every communication made a difference!”
An excerpt from today’s Las Cruces Sun-News shows how important it was to have a good turnout from engaged citizens:
The final vote came down to County Commissioner David Garcia of the south county District 2, who’d announced going into the meeting that he was uncertain about how to vote.

Why the Doña Ana County Commission’s vote tomorrow is a REALLY BIG deal.

Earlier this year, President Obama asked cities and counties to think about how they could use local zoning and development ordinances to address inequality in everything from housing to income. UPDATE [Dec. 14]: DAC Commission passed progressive new vision for development

The idea: local governments across the country affect national growth through “Not in My Backyard” type initiatives, known as NIMBY legislation. City and county governments are often at the whim of small, special interest groups who can and do lobby to keep certain types of growth from occurring for their own benefit. This disproportionately affects affordable housing, access to good paying jobs, and medical access.

Mining sinkhole leaks radioactive water into FL aquifer; Now seeking discharge permit over NM aquifer

One day after the state’s Environment Department announced that Mosaic mining company was seeking a permit to discharge 7,500,000 gallons of mining waste water into the ground in Eddy County, the company noticed that it was missing millions of gallons of radioactive wastewater from another facility. They found it in a drinking water aquifer in central Florida. Though they knew the radioactive and acidic water was draining uncontrollably, neither the company nor Florida’s environment department, under Republican Governor Rick Scott, notified the public for three weeks. 9 company sites mishandle wastewater; $2 billion in cleanup costs (so far)
Florida’s WFLA reports:

Massive sinkhole drains contaminated water into Floridan aquifer
POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A massive sinkhole on top of a Mosaic gypsum stack near Mulberry allowed millions of gallons of contaminated water to flow into the Floridan Aquifer…

The NRA had a breakfast for NM candidates; What they said when they thought no one was listening is amazing

Last Saturday I attended a National Rifle Association breakfast for local Republican legislative candidates. An NRA lobbyist jetted in to tell a few lies and fire up the troops. The NRA desperately wants Republicans to control our Legislature, and will put up big bucks to keep making big bucks on gun sales. When the lobbyist mentioned that Representative Rick Little was on the Safety & Civil Affairs Committee, “one of the places a good gun bill or a bad gun bill will go,” Little quickly added “and get killed.” A pocket-sized NRA handout made clear there are no good gun bills – except one that broadens the concealed-carry law or cuts the prices for licenses.  

The arguments against well-crafted gun laws – and I grant that not all legislation is well-crafted – are “slippery slope”: if you let the government require background checks or try to prevent terrorists from having guns, soon they’ll be knocking on your door to confiscate your gun.