2020 Special Session Recap

Well we made it through another special session of the New Mexico Legislature and a few weeks later we continue to reflect on the wins, the losses, and the absolute ridiculousness of some of the debates. While some important pieces of legislation were passed and a compromise budget was agreed to, there was a lot left to be desired. But we get it, the Senate specifically couldn’t do EVERYTHING on the table, they had to save THREE AND HALF HOURS to pat each other on the back and complement each other for all the work they haven’t done in the last 20 years. Sure will be nice to have new Senators in 2021 who seem willing to actually get to work. 

If you’ve ever wondered why the NM Senate doesn’t seem to get things done, especially in the last few years since Progresive Democrats took back the House with such gusto in 2016, look no further than how SB4 was treated this past session. 

SB4 is an election reform bill designed with input from the Secretary of State and multiple County Clerks from around the state. One of the major points of that bill was to allow County Clerks who chose to opt in to mail ballots directly to voters without having to go through the application process which confused and bogged down the system this past month during the primaries.

“Your Silence Will Not Protect You” – Audre Lorde

**Trigger warning: reference to violence against black communities. Today we take a break from the usual weekly update to reflect on the atrocities of state-sanctioned violence happening in our country right now. During the past few months, as our attention has been focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, black families across the nation have continued to be murdered due to intrinsic, systemic racism, by the people who are supposed to be protecting them (police forces). 

For those living in 1967, or those who were actually taught the history of our nation in school, it may seem that the events of this week are a repeat of the Detroit Race Riots in 1967, and do you know what?  They are.  The race riots in 1967 were triggered by police suppression and brutality of black residents of Virgina Park, much like the protests around the county this week were triggered by the tragic murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. History, in this case, is repeating itself because very little has changed in our society since 1967. How can we teach our children in schools about the “success” of the civil rights movement and abolishment of Jim Crow laws when our country is still lynching black people, albiet without literal ropes, but instead, knees to the neck? 

In the last few weeks a total of eight Black Americans have been murdered by racism.

Democrats in Practice or Name Only?

With the 2020 primary voting season in full swing, progressives have found ourselves in a unique position of condemning the actions of not only the usual, right-wing, Republican suspects, but individuals running as Democrats as well. You may have seen the Santa Fe New Mexican article about the No Corporate Democrats PAC or our blog about a racist Bernalillo County Commission race mailer. This time, we’re bringing you information on a candidate for House District 50, Rebecca “Becky” King Spindle, who is running as a “Democrat” against incumbent Matthew McQueen.    

Rebecca “Becky” King Spindle is the granddaughter of the late Bruce King, who served as a Democratic Governor for New Mexico for 12 years. With this family history, one would assume it safe to believe King Spindle upholds democratic beliefs as she runs for House District 50 as a Democrat. After doing some research, we are not so sure.

Immigration Is A Reproductive Justice Issue

Last summer, it was exposed to the world that the United States of America is still up to its racist shenanigans- putting a group of people who are not white into what is essentially a concentration camp. We did it to the Japanese, we exploited Black people for free labor then decided to skirt Emancipation by implementing the 13th Amendment, and we did it to Indigenous people through forced relocation to exploit natural resources. Immigration is a reproductive justice issue. Parents deserve to raise their families in safe communities with the resources to take care of their families. People who decide to carry their pregnancy to term deserve access to quality, nondiscriminatory prenatal care and to give birth in a safe environment.

#NMLEG WRAP UP

This year’s legislative session was a really intense roller coaster, to say the least, and we all took some time to rest and reflect together on why we do this important political work. ProgressNow New Mexico’s coverage hardly scratched the surface and I want to take a moment to fill you in. I will also give you some tips on how you can help fight back against dangerous rhetoric! Reproductive Health

Anti-abortion extremists were in full force, spreading misinformation and only harassing an Indigenous and queer person (me) over House Bill 51, not including legislators and their families. They regularly use tactics like harassing and stalking to intimidate activists, medical providers, and patients so this is just one of their many tactics.

SINE DIE- NM LEG EDITION

Sine die is upon us. It’s a fancy way of saying the end of the 2019 Legislative Session is almost here. In the last five days of the session, there are still a lot of bills that have not had a hearing in one chamber or in the next committee. Let’s break it down for you:

HB 51- Keep Abortion Safe and Legal

The repeal of a pre- Roe v. Wade law that would criminalize healthcare providers and patients seeking abortions passed Senate Judiciary on Monday and is on the Senate Floor calendar. We must tell the Senate to prioritize healthcare!

Women’s History Month- NM Edition

Every week this month, we will highlight a few women across New Mexico who kick ass, take names, and show up for their communities! This week, we want to highlight Congresswoman Debra Haaland and Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-28)! Check out our landing page for Women of New Mexico! Congresswoman Deb Haaland is one of two Native American women ever elected to Congress. She is the daughter of veterans and raised her daughter as a single mother.

Abortion Is Healthcare

Last night, HB 600, the Women’s “Health and Safety” Act, and HB 608, “Allow Refusal to Admit Patients For Abortion”, AKA “Let Doctors DISCRIMINATE Against Patients Seeking Routine Healthcare Procedures”, were both heard in House Consumer and Public Affairs. There was so much misinformation, vitriol, and microaggressive behavior, we don’t really know where to begin. For starters, I, Rachael Lorenzo, testified against HB 608 about my experience being denied care. It is despicable that any person must disclose traumatic medical history before the world to speak up against or for bills. My experience with being denied life-saving abortion care in an emergency setting while actively miscarrying at a New Mexico hospital could have left my daughter without a parent.

URGENT ACTION NEEDED- Permanently Protect Access to Abortion in NM

Yesterday, Representative Rod Montoya (R) presented HB 600- the “Women’s Health & Safety” Act- in the House Consumer and Public Affairs (HCPAC). Let’s be real- this is a nefarious move to limit access for women and young people when seeking reproductive healthcare. We heard a lot of really untrue, dangerous, and frankly, violent, rhetoric that we won’t justify here. What we will do is share the testimony of real, New Mexico families building trust and communication together and from providers who trust their patients to be active participants in their own care. Check out these tweets and Instagram stories of coverage from folks who respect New Mexico families’ private health decisions.

Respect NM Women Coalition Lobbies the Roundhouse

On February 14, 2019, Respect New Mexico Women, a coalition of organizations that work to protect abortion access from across the state, lobbied legislators in the House and Senate at the Roundhouse. We must say, it was beautiful to see true representation of our state show up to tell our elected leaders that we support access to abortion and that healthcare is not a crime! Folks from every corner of the state including Indigenous folks from various tribes and Asian families were in full force to let our elected officials know that we appreciate votes FOR HB 51- a bill to keep abortion safe and legal. It’s literally a page long so read it here. Check out these highlights of the Respect New Mexico Women Lobby Day!