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No More Normal: What's At Stake

Bert Benally
" ‘Atsá hwiníye’ nił hólóodo" (May the force be with you)";s:3:"ur

Let’s take a breath. In episode 12, we try to fend off that wild pandemic election news cycle we’ve been living inside of, which can feel like a deluge of disorganized tragedies and failures. And we put the focus on what’s hanging in the balance these next couple of weeks as we cast our ballots.

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree: climate change is real. That comes from NASA. You’re probably sweating a little more than usual. Your world is getting hotter. Or maybe temperatures near you snap all of a sudden instead of the seasons flowing into one another gradually like they do in your memories. 

Here’s a consequence that doesn’t get a lot of attention in the news: Migration is often a climate change issue, too. People are forced to flee their home countries for U.S. borders because climate change messed with their crops—their food and their livelihoods. 

Environmental reporter Laura Paskus just published a book called At The Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate. She tells us there's a good chance the Rio Grande will dry up through Albuquerque in the coming week for the first time since the '70s. 

So many of us are sick of politics, and plenty of people feel disconnected from elections. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an organization that for almost 250 years has been tasked with generating new ideas. The academy sent researchers to travel the United States to talk with disappointed and frustrated citizens. They came up with recommendations about how we can evolve our practice of democracy and get back to where our government works for us. Stephen Heintzco-leads the project. 

Check out the full report. "Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century."

Continuing the Voices Behind the Vote series, reporter Nash Jones speaks with former Albuquerque police officer Debbie Kuidis about the changes to policing she wants to see politicians affect, and why she’s paying attention to political races from the national to the local level.

In 2020, people are fighting to preserve voting rights. Nia Rucker is policy council heading up that work at ACLU New Mexico. She explains what the organization is doing to protect your ballot.

Quality health care and access to health care have always been critical issues. Who could argue otherwise, especially during the pandemic? Dr. Anthony Fleg has a lot of titles in New Mexico, including coordinator of the Native Health Initiative, director of Running Medicine, instructor at UNM's Department of Family and Community Medicine and also at the College of Population Health. And he's a family practice physician. He walks us through global equity issues in medicine when it comes to vaccines and treatments.

Combat veteran and Black New Mexico Movement organizer Barbara Jordan in Rio Rancho says the American flag is hers. She fought for it, she says, and she's not going to let it be co-opted by racists. In this conversation, she connects racism with specific policies and needs across the country that we should be keeping an eye on during this crucial election. 

Special thanks to:

  • Ty Bannerman and Kaveh Mowahed for the editing help this week
  • Shoutout to ace reporter Nash Jones for their voter profile
  • Cheo, Jazztone the Producer, Dahm Life and Oh Lawd records for providing music for the show
  • Khaki, Pope Yesyesyall and Bigawatt produced some of the shows themes.

The image for this episode comes from artist Bert Benally.


No More Normal is brought to you by Your New Mexico Government, a collaboration between KUNM,New Mexico PBS andThe Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage comes from The New Mexico Local News Fund, The Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners. Support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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