Marisa Demarco

Reporter

Marisa Demarco is a reporter based in Albuquerque, N.M. She's spent almost two decades in journalism, founding the New Mexico Compass, and editing and writing for the Weekly Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and UNM's Daily Lobo. She began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and has 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.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 

Episode 53 is all about re-entering the world from jail or prison during the pandemic, and holding onto your recovery from addiction during quarantine. What does the world feel like right now if you've spent some part of your last years inside a prison? And what do you do if a requirement of your probation or parole is that you find a job when there isn't one to be found? How are folks managing their sobriety during a time of isolation or social distancing? What's keeping them on track? 

Marco Verch via Flickr CC

We devote episode 52 to some of the many people working on the front lines of the pandemic caring for COVID patients in New Mexico, sometimes without enough protective gear to feel safe. We ask them what urgent calls to reopen the economy sound like from where they're standing. And we find out how it's going for them, whether they're supported and heard by the institutions they work in. 

Vanessa Bowen

In episode 51, we talk about food access, cooking and gardening during the pandemic. Being able to get healthy food is a problem for many people all the time in New Mexico, but it's become even more of a struggle these last weeks. Many people are working to make sure folks here have food despite new obstacles, like people buying up some items at grocery stores and disrupting the supply chain, social distancing, and extra sanitation precautions to avoid the spread of coronavirus. 

Courtesy of Chad Cooper

Episode 50 is all about athletes and sports, and the pandemic's impacts on the players, the communities, the economy—and our spirits. What are games like when the stands are empty? How do student athletes support each other as they navigate missed opportunities for big seasons, and maybe scholarships? How do physical activity and teamwork help keep folks connected and on the right track? And what do you do when some of that's gone for a minute? 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued interim guidance saying municipalities should not clear homeless encampments during the pandemic, because that can increase community spread and cause people to lose touch with service providers. The City of Albuquerque is still clearing encampments, but over the last several weeks the Albuquerque Police Department has changed some practices in interacting with people experiencing homelessness, according to APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina. He spoke with Khalil Ekulona, host of Your N.M. Government.

Kodak Views via Flickr CC

Episode 49 is all about the elections that are still coming up and the 2020 census. Advocates tell us that New Mexico is hard to count because it's big, area-wise, and because plenty of communities are intentionally discouraged from filling it out through fear tactics. The census determines how much federal funding comes to the state for all kinds of programs over the next 10 years, and it's how voting districts are determined. If brown and black communities around the U.S. don't participate in the census, advocates tell us, their political power is diluted. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Episode 48 dives back into how the pandemic is affecting people experiencing homelessness. KUNM's Hannah Colton goes further into the story of the city breaking up encampments, despite the CDC advising against it during this time, and she brings us the perspective of Cypher Johnson, who's passing through Albuquerque and spending time on the streets. We talk to people who work with unsheltered folks around the state about what an outbreak at a shelter would mean for the whole community, about what needs to change right now—and what needs to change in the future. We also hear from the Albuquerque Police Department and the Las Cruces Police Department about how coronavirus has changed things for them philosophically and practically. 

Jernej Furman via Flickr CC

Episode 47 is all about this relief money folks have been promised. Where's that unemployment? That stimulus money? That small business relief? That food assistance?

Matthew Bisanz / Wikimedia Commons

  The number of grandparents raising their grandkids has been rising all over the country, and especially in New Mexico. Those folks might be affected by a last-minute deadline the IRS announced Monday, April 20. People who get federal benefits—and who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019—only have until Wednesday, April 22, at 10 a.m. MST to fill out a form on the online IRS portal to get stimulus money for their dependents.

courtesy of CNM

We devote Episode 46 to local companies and makers who have switched up what they create or kicked production into high gear to make personal protective equipment and parts for ventilators. They're trying to fill the gaps at hospitals, for first responders and for other essential workers in New Mexico. 

NASA Goddard Photo via Flickr CC

In episode 45, we take a look back on four weeks of COVID coverage on the show. We offer about updates to stories we covered, revisit interviews and examine the impact to our lives and what we’ve learned in covering the pandemic so far.

Reese Brown via CC

In episode 44, we talk about CDC data and state data showing that the virus is harming, disproportionately, brown and black people around the U.S.—and here at home. We hear from Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez about the bureaucratic hurdles to accessing billions of dollars allotted to tribes in the relief package, and why that money hasn't reached the ground yet, despite the dire public health emergency unfolding for tribes.

YNMG & COVID: Essential, Just Not Paid Like It

Apr 15, 2020
Kaleb Snay for Columbus Air Force Base via CC

 

In episode 43, we talk about how not everybody's at home waiting out the pandemic. We hear from people around the state who are still employed and in public—but who don't make a lot of money—about their working conditions, their support from their employers and their fears about the virus.

Canva / Creative Commons

An Albuquerque church with thousands of members, Legacy Church, is suing the state of New Mexico over a public health order church leaders say violates first amendment protections. The lawsuit comes after Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Saturday that houses of worship are no longer exempt from a rule  limiting gatherings to five people. KUNM spoke with Legacy Church Pastor Daniel McCabe about what he hopes to get out of the lawsuit.

Terry Presley via Flickr CC

In episode 42, we talk to people of diverse faith backgrounds about how the pandemic is affecting them and their worship practices. On Monday, Legacy Church filed a lawsuit against the state, saying Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's weekend order banning gatherings—even in places of worship—was unconstitutional.  We spoke about the lawsuit with Legacy Church Pastor Daniel McCabe, who clarified what they're fighting for. 

pexels.com via CC

News outlets around the country are struggling to stay afloat as the pandemic debilitates businesses they depend on for ad revenue. The Santa Fe New Mexican and the Santa Fe Reporter have announced layoffs and salary cuts, and the Gallup Independent is moving its entire staff to part-time. On Monday, President Trump once again attacked the news media in a campaign-style video during a press briefing. Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Tom Udall is calling for the next federal relief package to include funding for local news outlets. 

Jon S via Flickr CC

In episode 41, we're tackling the impact of the shutdowns on local news outlets and thinking about the public service of journalism, and reporters and producers as essential information disseminators. We also hear about a proposal to include funds specifically for local news, as papers and broadcasters make impossible choices while they try to cover the pandemic for their communities.

David Jackmanson / flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

The New Mexico Supreme Court in March ordered a halt to evictions for people who can’t make rent amid the pandemic. But last Thursday a property owner in Albuquerque tried to evict a family from Africa. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Nkazi Sinandile, President of the Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque, about the challenges faced by her community and how that eviction was still happening. 

Nani Chacon

In episode 40, we talk about the shutdown's impacts on local arts and culture. The arts are not only providing a distraction as we watch movies and listen to music at home right now, but they offer solace, reflection and they give us something that helps make sense of our experience. They also become part of documenting, in a visceral way, what we are going through.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Small business owners are scrambling to stay afloat as the coronavirus pandemic slams all sectors of the economy. The state of New Mexico is putting programs in place to try and help, but access to federal grants and loans remains a frustrating mess. KUNM spoke with New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Alicia Keyes on Wednesday about how officials are trying to open the spigot for more money.

Google Maps

Reports are emerging of people held in crowded ICE detention facilities around the country testing positive for the coronavirus. In New Mexico, a man who'd left the Otero County Processing Center told KVIA-TV this week that a young boy inside had contracted COVID-19, a report that was later confirmed by ICE officials. Immigrant advocates in New Mexico and elsewhere have been calling on ICE since March to create plans to prevent outbreaks and to release people most at risk of serious illness. On Wednesday, U.S. Representative Deb Haaland joined a coalition of Congress members in calling for the release of non-violent people who are being detained.

Bryce Dix / KUNM

Episode 39 is focused on migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees in our communities, and on Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, which are often overcrowded around the United States and are criticized for bad medical care. ICE announced it will review cases one-by-one and release vulnerable people. Officials and advocates say that's not anywhere near fast enough as COVID cases are cropping up around the country in ICE detention centers, and outbreaks in them could overwhelm regional hospitals.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

 

In episode 38, we're talking about the state's small businesses struggling to hang on during the shutdown and what resources they can find from government. We also try and find out what the holdup is with the federal relief money destined for the state's businesses. 

Marc Cooper via Flickr CC

In episode 37, we're talking about companies and federal officials squeezing through changes to environmental regulation, oil and gas leases, and laws about anti-pipeline demonstrators while the nation's been focused on the pandemic.

William Warby via Flickr CC

In episode 36, we're talking about the struggle to pay rents or mortgages and to keep the lights on during the pandemic. Because when money's tight, people are forced to make choices. And some of those choices—about food and medicine—could interfere with their health and immune systems as we all try to avoid this virus.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

In episode 35, we ask people to reflect on shifts in their perspectives, about their lives, about how things have been working or not working for people in our country or around the world. KUNM's Nash Jones reports on delivery drivers working for corporate apps who saw a big shift in the urgency and necessity of their work. They speak about the human connections keeping them in it, despite the dangers. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

In episode 34,  we discover how prepared hospitals and health care facilities in New Mexico really are. And we go all over the state for this one.

Brad Charles

 

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.

Hannah Colton / KUNM


  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. 

Jobs For Felons Hub via Flickr CC

Episode 31 is all about jails and prisons during the pandemic, and it's packed. (Plus, Your NM Gov is airing weeknights at 8 p.m. on KUNM this week.) 

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