In episode 33, we learn about obstacles for tribes as they try to quell the virus' spread, including bureaucratic hurdles in accessing billions in federal funding that's been allotted to sovereign nations. National Native News anchor Antonia Gonzales tells us what she's learned from the reporting she's done. We also get to listen to her interviews with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Stacy Bohlen, CEO of the National Indian Health Board.
In episode 32, we talk about how the homeless population in New Mexico is being served in the era of Covid-19. We hear from Johnathon Stubbs, a person who has experienced homlessness. Elise Kaplan from the Albuquerque Journal joins the show to talk about her story "Exposed and at risk." Nicole Martinez of Mesilla Valley Community Of Hope tells us about the measures they are taking in Las Cruces to help flatten the curve. We also hear from CYFD Secretary Brian Blalock and Albuquerque Healthcare For The Homeless Policy Director Rachel Biggs. And Lisa Huval, the deputy director of Housing and Homelessness for the city of Albuquerque.
In episode 30, we hear from college students whose futures are seemingly on hold. Mandolin Eisenberg and KUNM's own Taylor Velazquez tell us about their experiences. (And after their interviews, host Khalil Ekulona's ready to vote for either one for U.S. pres should they run.) We also hear from National Native News anchor and New Mexico PBS correspondent Antonia Gonzales about challenges students on tribal lands are facing in trying to get their educations online. And Dr. Stephanie McIver, the counseling director for Student Health and Counseling at UNM, talks about being easy with yourself as you make sense of the pandemic's impacts on your life.
Let's Talk New Mexico 3/27, 8a: The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply shaken many of our basic systems in just a few weeks. Changes that once seemed unthinkable to many, like releasing prisoners, closing entire school districts, or disallowing evictions, have now come to pass. How are people and institutions adapting to provide necessities during this crisis? What might a post-coronavirus world look like? We want to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show at (505) 277-5866.
In episode 29, we hear from people who are creating resources and helping out in their communities. Longtime organizer Selinda Guerrero talks about all of the people working together on the Mutual Aid network, providing food and other necessities to folks that many government efforts don't reach. Rebecca Jones talks about the grassroots Navajo and Hopi COVID-19 relief project started by Ethel Branch. Szu-Han Ho and Miriam Langer are two N.M. college art instructors mobilizing a network of people to sew reliable masks for folks in the state. Plus, Gilbert Ramírez, deputy director of the city's Health Programs, tells us about the rent relief fund.
The U.S. Senate passed a relief package Wednesday that includes a boost for unemployment. If the House also approves the measure and President Trump signs it, self-employed folks, gig workers or contractors, and furloughed workers qualify. The package also increases how much money people will get. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley about how the state was handling the spike in demand.
In episode 28, we talk to parents about what it's like to become the primary educators of their kids—and to be at home with them pretty much around the clock. And Amy Biehl High School Counselor Kathleen Moore offers wisdom and tips on working with your teen in this new world.
Let's Talk New Mexico 3/25, 8a: The coronavirus has now reached 11 counties in New Mexico, with 100 cases of COVID-19 now confirmed mostly in the Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces areas. "Non-essential" workers are now staying home. Amid all this fearful uncertainty, it's heartening to hear how communities are building new ways to care for each other. We're spending our mornings this week taking your calls about the coronavirus pandemic, and we want to hear what's happening in your home or neighborhood. How are you coping with the anxieties and sudden lifestyle changes? How are you staying busy and getting creative about keeping up with loved ones from a distance? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show at 277-5866.
In episode 27, we hear from tipped service-industry workers about what they're facing as restaurants and bars around the state close their doors—unless you're ordering to-go. And host Khalil Ekulona calls his old boss, Ken Carson, who owns Nexus Brewery & Restaurant to talk about shuttering one location because of the impact of the COVID health measures.
Your NM Gov is back and shifting gears with weekday news updates on coronavirus, plus community stories, resources and an eye on government response.
In episode 26, host Khalil calls his folks. Then, he talks with Karen Meyers, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Initiative about scammers who are using COVID fears to prey on people. We also hear from Aging & Long-Term Services Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez about what the state's seniors need, how people can pitch in and what changes are being made around the state.
It is the session wrap up with executive producer Marisa Demarco. We talk a lot about the theme of transparency in government and some things that we would like to see changed in legislative structure. Be on the lookout for live events. Just because the session ended doesn't mean that our work in informing you has!
With one day left in the 54th legislative session, Gwyneth Doland from New Mexico PBS joins me to talk about the bills that passed and the bills that will have to wait until next year. This episode moves fast so make sure to listen!
For more great coverage of the legislative session, check out New Mexico PBS here
Julia Goldberg from The Santa Fe Reporter joins the show to talk about benefit corporations and HB118. Benefit corporations are a new positive trend in the business world. We talk about how New Mexico can get on board with a movement that is seen by many as positive for the community.
Take a look at Julia's article on benefit corporations here
Matt Grubs from New Mexico PBS joins the program to talk about Senate Joint Resolution 7. What is SJ7? If it passes it would pave the way for New Mexico to have a professional legislature. Matt discusses where it stands at the Roundhouse and what that would mean for the state. We also discuss the budget, the opportunity scholarship, and the legal settlement transparency act.
Julie Ann Grimm from the Santa Fe Reporter joins me to wrap up the week. We discuss the sexual harassment non disclosure agreement bill, budget secrecy in the senate, the new education secretary and more.
Cristina Carreon from the Alamogordo Daily News joins me to talk about the Red Flag law and how it is viewed in rural parts of the state. She provides updates on amendments being proposed for the bill as well as the view from law enforcement officers.
To read the Red Flag bill with current amendments click here
Gwyneth Doland from New Mexico PBS joins me to break down PERA, The Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico. We talk about its current status, what the potential fixes are, and what lawmakers are doing about it. Gwyneth provides the realities of the situation and as always, great insight.
Nash Jones sits with me to discuss three important pieces of legislation: the Pregnancy Worker Accommodation Bill, the Tobacco Products Act and the Cannabis Regulation Act. Our conversation is a bit longer than we normally produce here at YNMG, but Nash has such great insight on the nuances of these bills, it makes for a great conversation.
Matt Grubs from New Mexico PBS breaks down the decision by the house to table House Bills 29 and 77. The bills would provide a tax break to all New Mexican's who receive social security benefits. He explains what happens with those bills and talks about the future of the opportunity scholarship.
To read an article on the House's decision to table the bills by The Albuquerque Journal's Dan McKay click here
Leah Cantor from the Santa Fe Reporter joins the show to breakdown some of the energy bills that are circulating through the roundhouse. We talk specifically about the Community Solar Act, we also discuss some of the ongoing issues with the Public Regulation Commission.
Algernon D'Ammassa from the Las Cruces Sun News talks to me about the legislative issues that are resonating in the southern part of New Mexico. We talk about the hot button issues (recreational cannabis; the red flag law) but we also talk about the spaceport and its economic effects on the state.
We are halfway through the legislative session and thought it would be a great idea if Kevin McDonald, Executive Producer for New Mexico PBS stopped by the studio to break down what has happened thus far and what we can expect. This is a fun conversation! Kevin has great insight and knowledge!
Kaveh Mowahed comes into the studio to talk about lobbyists and ethics. The New Mexico Ethics Watch commission just released a report. (Check it out here.) It has a few recommendations to help add more transparency to our state government. Listen close as Kaveh and I talk about the latest developments.
Matt Grubs from New Mexico PBS talks with me about some of the budget issues being addressed in this year's session. The Legal Settlement Transparency Bill (SB 64), fixes to PERA and what that will mean for the state's retirement fund, as well as the 2020 budget passing the House Appropriations committee are all on deck for our conversation.
Jeff Proctor from the Santa Fe Reporter joins me to give some historical context into criminal justice reform in New Mexico. He also provides details on HB 263 and how that bill will affect those on probation and parole.
Listen to this great conversation with Laura Paskus of New Mexico PBS, as we talk about the environmental issues that are affecting the state and the steps that lawmakers are taking to answer them. She's been covering the environment in the land of enchantment for over 15 years and is full of great insight.
Hanna Colton, public health and education reporter with KUNM, sits down with me in-studio to talk about a few of the education bills that are on deck at the Roundhouse. She also breaks down how you can find out more about the bills yourself.