Thanksgiving Is A Time For Educating Ourselves

In these political times, so much gets lost in the rhetoric and the sound bites. There are so many marginalized groups that are negatively impacted by the policies of the Trump Administration, putting real lives in danger. The lives that are not talked about too much in the media are Native lives. Thanks to Congresswoman-elect Debra Haaland (NM-1) and Congresswoman-elect Sharice Davids (KS-3), the concerns that Native peoples have will be amplified, one of them being blood quantum’s place in politics; blood quantum, or how “Native” or “Indian” one is, determines whether or not a Native person will have access to certain benefits the federal government has agreed to provide Native peoples in exchange for land and other natural resources as well as access to their own natural resources. It is not a coincidence that more tribes have needed to reconsider their blood quantums and tribal constitutions.

WATCH: Planned Parenthood’s new prez is dedicated to healthcare for all, including rural communities!

Planned Parenthood Federation of America just announced their new president, Dr. Leana Wen. This is the first time in fifty years that a physician has been the president of Planned Parenthood. Dr. Wen was the “Doctor for the City” in Baltimore, where she served as the city’s Commissioner of Health. What does this mean for New Mexico? Dr. Wen’s experiences as a Chinese immigrant whose family relied on Medicaid and who personally relied on the services of Planned Parenthood as well as her dedication to public health means she knows firsthand what many rural and urban communities and communities of color face when it comes to health disparities.

Arnold-Jones doesn’t get to say who’s Native and who’s not. Period.

Janice Arnold-Jones went on Fox News and insinuated that because Deb Haaland, her Democratic opponent in Congressional District 1, did not grow up on the Pueblo of Laguna reservation, aka The Rez, that Deb cannot claim that she is Native. This is another striking example of how removed Janice and other non-Native people are from the complicated history of Native Americans, not just in the district she wants to represent, but across New Mexico and the nation. Janice, what you said on national television is racist and here’s why. Federally recognized tribes in this country have jumped through endless hoops and faced extreme prejudice just to achieve recognition from the federal government to access healthcare and education promised them under the myriad treaties foisted on them by the United States of America.  Tribes have land held “in trust” with the federal government and must receive permission to use their own land.

An updated Renewable Portfolio Standard is key to moving Farmington, and New Mexico, forward

This is the third in a series focusing on the long-term economic and social issues facing Farmington, New Mexico, and surrounding areas. As a region that has rich and diverse opportunities but generally relies on extractive industries economically, the whole area is facing uncertainty as the coal-burning San Juan Coal Generating Station closes its doors and oil jobs are moving to the southeast part of the state to capitalize on the Permian boom happening right now. In today’s piece, we’ll be looking at complementary legislation that needs to be implemented in the state to ensure areas like Farmington can continue to thrive well into the future. Last week we looked specifically at how securitization could help PNM recoup its costs as it transitions from coal-generated power to renewable sources, while also helping the Four Corners area transition to a new and more diverse economy. The second part of that prospect though is ensuring that utilities like PNM actually DO get their power from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by legislating what is known as a “Renewable Portfolio Standard,” which spells out exactly how much energy must be derived from renewable sources and by when. A quick aside here on language for this piece: Renewable energy in the broad sense is energy created from clean sources like solar or wind as opposed to energy from fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, or oil.

Straight ticket voting helps voters: It’s constitutional

On August 29, New Mexico Secretary of State, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, announced that she will reinstate straight party voting.  Why would New Mexicans be against something that can make voting easier? The Republican Party of New Mexico says that this is a partisan move that will only help Democrats down the ballot- but are Republicans not also a major party in New Mexico?  Not to mention the Libertarians will have a spot just for them at the top of the ballot. The GOP joined a lawsuit along with the Libs and other smaller parties to stop the move from being instituted by the SOS.

Securitization: What it means for Farmington, PNM, and New Mexico

This is the second in a series focusing on the long-term economic and social issues facing Farmington, New Mexico, and surrounding areas. As a region that has rich and diverse opportunities but generally relies on extractive industries economically, the whole area is facing uncertainty as the coal-burning San Juan Coal Generating Station closes its doors and oil jobs are moving to the southeast part of the state to capitalize on the Permian boom happening right now. Last week we looked at how Farmington and surrounding areas are facing real-time issues when it comes to their future. The San Juan Generating Plant is scheduled to close in just the next few years, which will likely mean a loss of jobs for many workers there. That, of course, will impact the economy of the whole region.

10 Reasons why Gary Johnson Is Wrong for New Mexico

Wait… What!? Gary Johnson is back in NM?! *facepalm*

Perrinial “outsider” and self-proclaimed “dumbest guy you’ve ever met in your whole life” Gary Johnson is officially back in New Mexico once again trying to stay relevant. Johnson filed paperwork with the Secretary of State Tuesday to run as a Libertarian, taking the place of current Commissioner of Public Lands, Aubrey Dunn. 

But before we get all hung up on the spectacle of another semi-celebrity running for office, we thought it’d be important to remind people where old Gary really stands on the issues.

Justice for NM students! Gov. Martinez loses education funding lawsuit, forced to sufficiently fund schools [UPDATED]

 

[UPDATE: Gov. Martinez’s Public Education Department has said they will appeal the judge’s decision that the state is required to provide more funding to students in NM. Gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she will halt any appeal of the decision Gov. Martinez makes if she’s elected Governor. Steve Pearce has yet to make a similar determination. Read about it at NM In Depth.]

In a devastating rebuke to the failed education and funding policies of Gov. Susana Martinez (along with her conservative allies like the Rio Grande Foundation and conservative Democrats like Sen. John Arthur Smith), First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah Singleton handed down a huge win for New Mexico’s students Friday. You can’t put it more succinctly than the first line of the ABQ Journal’s article: “New Mexico is violating the constitutional rights of at-risk students by failing to provide them with a sufficient education.”