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.
In a grossly insensitive and inflammatory letter on Wednesday, the National Rifle Association warned its New Mexico members to “Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session.”
This letter came two days before today’s one-year anniversary of the fatal, shooting at Aztec High School; an actual attack that left two young people dead.
So, who’s really under “attack?” New Mexico gun owners? No, they’re not. Common sense gun regulations are supported by the majority of voters. We know that by the results of this year’s elections.
Immigration as a talking point or campaign issue often glosses over the real stories of the human beings at the heart of headlines and vitriol. And sadly, once the rhetoric dies down, people often forget that daily, thousands of people are still working through the labyrinthine system that is the US immigration. Before the end of the year, let’s stop and think about what this year has looked like and try to place some humanity back into the ongoing “immigration issue.”
On November 25, the caravan of refugees seeking asylum (let’s call them what they are) reached the Mexico and United States border, only to be met with tear gas by border agents. The rhetoric surrounding their arrival was dominated by right-wing media, spreading misinformation and fear on the airwaves and in our social media feeds. That propaganda was used heavily in the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections as well, with enterprising conservatives capitalizing on people’s bigotry and fears in nasty ways.
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.
Today ProgressNow New Mexico joined with almost 30 (29!) New Mexico organizations in congratulating Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham in a full-page ad in the Santa Fe New Mexican and in thanking her for her commitment to fighting methane waste in the state through comprehensive statewide rules. As noted in the ad, New Mexico oil and gas producers waste as much as $240 MILLION EVERY YEAR in natural gas (mostly made up of methane) that is either leaked or purposely flared or vented during production. That’s enough natural gas to heat EVERY home in New Mexico for a year. But, besides the actual loss of our valuable resources, that waste is also hurting our families in the state in more ways than one:
Wasted methane means wasted money- All that natural gas that producers aren’t capturing or are purposefully burning is costing the tax-payers of New Mexico over $27 MILLION every year in lost royalties. The oil and gas lobby loves to talk about how much they contribute back to the state, so why are they sending literal millions of dollar up in smoke every year?
So much winning! New Mexico is sending an ALL Democrat delegation to Congress, elected women up and down the ballot
There were record numbers of New Mexicans voting in this midterm election compared to 2014 and many of the races turned out in the ways that families needed them to- there were 163,347 more voters this midterm than in 2014, with 54% of eligible voters casting their ballots. What’s more, people who are truly representative of New Mexico’s diversity won last night. Women from all different backgrounds ran in record numbers and won: state House races, judge seats, and the governor’s mansion. The state has its first female Land Commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, and is sending one of two of the first Native American women to Congress, Deb Haaland, elected the first openly gay sheriff, Kim Stewart, in state history, and after a grueling recount, Xochitl Torress Small managed to flip the NM’s 2nd District and become the first woman to represent that area in Congress!
The Blue (and pink) Wave in New Mexico
Common sense was on the ballot yesterday. There were House races all over the state we watched closely and last night Progressive candidates were swept into office.
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.
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.
[BREAKING] Gov. Martinez leading charge to make it EASIER for oil & gas to drill in NM, around the country
News is breaking today that Governor Susana Martinez is leading the charge to make it EASIER for oil and gas companies to extract resources from federal lands inside New Mexico (as well as other western states with large federal inholdings). This is in direct opposition to the will of most New Mexicans who OVERWHELMINGLY support safer and greater regulations on oil and gas extraction in the state. An article in the industry report Energywire reports that Martinez sent a letter to the feds encouraging them to do away with several regulations and safeguards for extraction of oil and gas on federal public lands. Six governors, led by Susana Martinez of New Mexico (R), sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke earlier this year asking for four policy changes aimed at speeding up energy production on the vast federal estate. The governors’ letter, sent in January but made public yesterday, also included detailed proposals for how Interior could implement the streamlining plans.
Once again Governor Martinez and her administration are prioritizing their big oil and gas donors’ interests while putting New Mexicans at risk from increased methane pollution. Last week, the New Mexico Environment Department approved permits that do NOT require oil and gas wells to check for leaks of methane or other pollutants. This once again places New Mexico on the bottom of a an important list as these new rules, or really lack of any rules, are among the weakest environmental protections in the nation. Oh, and remember how leaked methane wastes taxpayers’ money to the tune of $244 MILLION every year?
So what do the new permits and “regulations” do? Well, not much in terms of regulating anything. Of course, that’s just what groups like the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association spend so much money on every year lobbying in Santa Fe for.
ProgressNow New Mexico will be looking at some top-level races more in-depth over the next few weeks to bring our perspective to the key races we’re expecting to see in New Mexico this year. New Mexico is in the national spotlight as one of the “most likely to flip” states in terms of our governor’s race. Our series will focus on the offices that New Mexicans can vote for statewide. This is the fourth piece in our series. The New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) is first and foremost charged with managing the vast amounts of land within our state’s borders, managing leases and sales to entities who use the land, and collecting monies from those sales and leases to fund education in the state.