*This morning (5/14) we were contacted by candidate Adrian Carver to change a portion of this story. Carver pointed out that his offense was civil, not criminal. While we have changed the error, we are once again disappointed in Carver for his double-down attempt to re-criminalize his opponent instead of acknowledging and reflecting on his own hypocritical and racist actions. As a progressive organization, we’ve always taken a lead on calling out racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Usually, it’s directed at conservative political players.
By Erica Davis-Crump, ProgressNow NM Reproductive Justice Organizing & Content Associate
This week, hundreds of New Mexicans showed up to continue the stand for abortion access and reproductive justice. Respect New Mexico Women Coalition led the charge to help families find their lawmakers to make sure their voices were heard. The pressure is on New Mexico lawmakers to keep abortion safe and legal in our state, as the potential gutting of Roe. v Wade hangs in the balance within the coming months.
Generations of families and women’s healthcare supporters flooded the roundhouse despite the snowy and icy weather conditions. (The epitome of “… but nevertheless, she persisted.”) There is usually angst and animosity on rally/lobby days for the anti-abortion extremists.
It was an event that had been publicized for months- the Republican Party partnered with Cowboys for Trump (the GOP mouthpiece for their disgraced presidential candidate) to tout their “conservative unity” rally. It was meant to bring together anti-abortion extremists, gun extremists, and anyone from anti-vaxxers to the anti-taxers. The reality of the event? GOP staffers, a few speakers and a handful of horses. The GOP-organized event was a flop; most people inside the Roundhouse didn’t even know it was happening.
Do you like eating fresh tortillas? How about some local salsa made right here in New Mexico? Of course, you do. But how do you know if it’s safe? Well, that’s the job of a food safety inspector whose job is funded through the state’s New Mexico Environment Department.
The 2019 legislative session brought us the passage of HB 100- Replace Columbus Day As Indigenous People’s Day, sponsored by Representative Derrick Lente (Sandia Pueblo). Here are some really easy ways to celebrate without being a jerk about not celebrating a rapist and murderer. Buy from inspired Natives (NOT “Native-inspired”!). There are Indigenous artists and business owners from all across Turtle Island that you can support and NOT be an appropriative ass. Check out: Milo Creations by Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo); Bethany Yellowtail (Northern Cheyenne/Crow); NTVS: The Originals by Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa-Choctaw);OXDX by Jarred Yazzie (Diné)Dale Ray Deforest- Dale Deforest Illustrations (Diné) (he created IWR’s logo and is creating some graphic novels I am really excited about!) Lisa Teparghuq Apangaluk (Siberian Yupik/Tlingit)- Mother & Child (@ken_yew_knot on Instagram!)
Steven Paul JuddOXDXBethany YellowtailMilo Creations
Read history by Indigenous authors (oh, Creator, please go read)!
Some elected officials hold town halls to listen to constituents. Some send out surveys and others hold gatherings at parks or churches.
In New Mexico, however, some elected officials and community leaders choose to get their marching orders from corporations with extreme Right Wing agendas.
Enter ALEC: The American Legislative Exchange Council. If you haven’t heard of this group before, you may have seen some of their policies either at the Roundhouse here in New Mexico or at the national level. They’re a Washington-D.C.-based, corporate-sponsored “think tank” that basically believes our society should be run like Gilead- see Handmaid’s Tale for reference, or, click here for a list of their bills. (Spoiler alert: abortion bans, “Right-to-Work” laws, privatization of public schools, voter suppression, climate change denial, etc.)
A couple of weeks ago, ALEC held their conference in Austin, Texas.
GOP candidate condones “blowing them (aslyum seekers) away with my .44 Magnum” at New Mexico meeting
This week’s headlines have been absolutely dominated by the downright chilling effect of President Trump using overt, racist language about four sitting members of congress. His attempt on Thursday to walk back his endorsement of chants at his North Carolina rally of “send her back” is clearly disingenuous. The hate-filled rhetoric is out there and Trump supporters are clearly feeling free to express their own vitriol with wild abandon. Unfortunately, this appears to be manifesting itself right here in New Mexico and being encouraged by Republican candidates eyeing next year’s elections.
Chris Mathys, a self-declared “conservative Christian and supporter of President Donald Trump,” held a listening session in the small community (less than 1000 people) of Mimbres in Grant County this past weekend. According to an article in the Las Cruces Sun-News, racists sentiment were loudly expressed by many in attendance and not at all rebuked by Mathys at any point.
ProgressNow New Mexico has published a number of articles about the deep ties the oil and gas industry has with former Governor Susana Martinez’ administration. But when you stop and look at the makeup of top lobbying groups like the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA), so-called Power the Future, and top lobbyists for other extraction industry titans, the numbers are truly stunning. At least nine top lobbyists currently working in the extraction industry (or lobbyist adjacent) came directly out of the Martinez administration. The big problem? New Mexico doesn’t have a law that requires a “cooling off” period for officials once they leave the public sector and return to private life.
New Mexico has a methane waste and pollution problem – it’s costing our schools millions in revenue, ruining our air and harming our climate for future generations. Methane is a powerful climate change pollutant responsible for 25 percent of the warming we experience today. It is also the primary component of natural gas and a valuable energy resource. Each year in New Mexico, oil and gas companies waste $275 million-worth of natural gas through venting, flaring, and leaks which costs the state over $40 million in royalty and tax revenue that could fund public education. Oil and gas operations also release ozone-forming pollutants that worsen respiratory diseases such as emphysema and trigger asthma attacks.