KUNM

Marisa Demarco

Reporter

Marisa Demarco is a reporter based in Albuquerque, N.M. She's spent more than a decade in journalism, founding the New Mexico Compass, and editing and writing for the Weekly Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and UNM's Daily Lobo. She covered poverty and public health until September 2016 when she became a general assignment reporter at KUNM. 

Ways to Connect

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Council District 2 in Albuquerque is home to the city’s oldest neighborhoods, the ones people often think of when they’re talking about the character of this place. That’s areas like Martineztown, Barelas, Duranes, Downtown, San Jose, Well’s Park. Voters there are choosing who will represent them on the Council, which has a lot of say in how those neighborhoods grow—and which companies get to move in. KUNM spoke about balancing the past and the future with a longtime Council incumbent and the newcomer gunning for his seat in a runoff election.

FIBONACCI BLUE VIA FLICKR CC

Latino youth are feeling psychological impacts of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, researchers say. A committee of legislators in New Mexico on Wednesday considered how this problem impacts the state and weighed increasing access to Medicaid.

Ed Williams / KUNM

As the U.S. prepared to detonate the first atomic bomb in New Mexico in the ’40s, the federal government sought uranium on Navajo land. Decades later, hundreds of mines still haven’t been contained, and the health impacts are severe and sometimes fatal. New research is showing some babies there are being born with the radioactive metal in their bodies. Chief Medical Officer of Navajo Area Indian Health Service Dr. Loretta Christensen spoke with KUNM about the study and what researchers are finding so far.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

When unknown political newcomers go up against a sitting city councilor with good name recognition, the politician who people know will usually win. Four Albuquerque City Council seats were on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 5, and there was a big field of challengers for their seats. In two cases, the people in power did keep their positions, but longtime Councilor Isaac Benton is facing a runoff.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Public financing—where candidates can use public money to run their campaigns instead of bowing to high-dollar donors—has existed in New Mexico for years. But these days, even smaller races cost more than what’s allotted to candidates. One possible solution was Democracy Dollars, coupons distributed to eligible voters, who could donate them to the publicly financed candidates of their choice. The proposal failed by a small percentage when the votes were tallied Tuesday night.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Voter turnout was high around the state on Tuesday, Nov. 5, as people cast ballots for their local leaders. In Albuquerque, even though there were contested City Council races, some folks said they mostly went to the polls to weigh in on bonds and taxes for public education. 

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Tuesday, Nov. 5, is Election Day, and all over the state, people will be choosing their local leaders and making decisions about where bond money should go. The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The state tried out two new things this cycle as officials look to make voting more convenient.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico on Monday, Nov. 4, filed the third in a series of lawsuits charging that prison guards are sexually assaulting and abusing women who are locked up. All three lawsuits say these individual cases are part of a larger systemic problem in the state’s Department of Corrections.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The 10-year census count will begin next year. But there’s plenty about it that might make some folks nervous in New Mexico. Just last week, the Census Bureau asked the state for access to citizenship data through driver’s license info. The state said no, it wouldn’t turn over the records. A local policy group says these tactics should not stop folks here from participating in the census.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Big-money influences political races at every level around the U.S. Part of the answer, advocates say, is giving candidates access to public money for their campaigns. Albuquerque voters are weighing a ballot question aimed at making the local campaign financing system a more realistic and competitive option.

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National politics command a lot of airtime and attention across the United States, but local elections can have a bigger impact on the day-to-day. A citywide election is coming up in Albuquerque. Tuesday, Oct. 8, before 5 p.m. is the deadline for folks to register to vote online. And starting Tuesday, for the first time, people will be able to register to vote in-person on the same day they cast their ballots.

Aspen Reid via CC

Hundreds of families in New Mexico are involved in child abuse and neglect cases, but the state says there aren’t enough lawyers they can appoint to represent the kids and parents. A task force met for the first time on Thursday, October 3, to weigh how to make the system work faster and better as the courts make decisions about whether children should stay with their families or in foster care.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The South Valley near Albuquerque has a long history of agricultural practice. Friday, October 4, marked the grand opening of a state-of-the-art greenhouse that will help local farmers and serve as a site where young people can learn the tradition. The shared greenhouse is the first of its kind, and it sits on land that was once an illegal dumpsite.

Courtesy of the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division

Driver’s licenses have been a political football in New Mexico going on a decade now. And for the last couple of years, the state was instead issuing driver authorization cards to people in the country without legal permission—or to other folks who didn’t want a federally compliant Real ID. Tuesday, Oct. 1, marked a rollback of that policy, and anyone who isn’t seeking a Real ID can once again get a standard state driver’s license.

Courtesy of StormMiguel Florez

Before there was an internet, young lesbians in Albuquerque connected and found each other in public using a covert sonic signal. A documentary film celebrating that part of New Mexico’s Latina LGBTQ culture premieres in Albuquerque on Friday, Sept. 20. The film acknowledges and preserves a mostly unknown piece of local history.

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