Let's Talk New Mexico

Let's Talk New Mexico, Thursdays at 8a

We discuss a wide range of topics and stories on the show. News reporters explore their beats in greater detail during the hour-long show and listeners have the opportunity to weigh in, share their experiences and ask questions of our panelists. We cover culture, history, policy, government, the environment, education, lawmaking, criminal justice, public health, inequality and solutions to the problems we experience in our communities. 

Listeners can:

  • call 505-277-5866 to participate live during the show
  • email LetsTalk@kunm.org
  • comment on our Facebook page
  • tweet us using the #LetsTalkNM hashtag

Find the audio of our shows online and in our podcast on iTunes. 

Questions? Comments? Email the KUNM News Director.

Ways to Connect

Hyttalo Souza via Unsplash / Unsplash license

Let's Talk New Mexico 1/14, 8a: The COVID-19 vaccine has finally reached our state, and as of the beginning of this week, over 325,000 New Mexicans have signed up to receive their first dose. But folks also have questions: How does this vaccine work?  How soon can you expect to actually receive it? And how effective will it actually be, especially now that the new coronavirus variant strain has been detected here?

Megan Kamerick

Let's Talk New Mexico 1/7, 8a: The coronavirus pandemic has shut down performance venues and music festivals around the country. That's left many musicians with cancelled shows and tours, and struggling to connect with fans and make money.

American Rehab Part 6: Shadow Workforce

Dec 28, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/31 8a: Reveal’s American Rehab series investigates drug rehab facilities that send people to work but don’t pay them. In this final chapter, we answer two of the biggest remaining questions.

Since beginning this series, listeners have asked if rehabs are allowed to do this. Can they make participants work without pay as long as they’re providing housing and treatment? Does the work pay for the therapy?

American Rehab Part 5: The Work Cure

Dec 21, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/24 8a: One man’s journey into Cenikor leads to punishments and almost two years of backbreaking labor. The program will change him. But can it help Chris Koon put his addiction behind him?

American Rehab Part 4: Reagan with the Snap

Dec 16, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/17 8a: In the late 1970s, the drug rehab Cenikor was down and out. Founder Luke Austin had siphoned off almost all the program’s money, and participants were left eating cornmeal mush and green Jell-O to survive.

Reporters Laura Starecheski and Shoshana Walter explain how Ken Barun, a former rehab participant, brought Cenikor back from the brink, with the help of NFL football pad inventor Byron Donzis.

American Rehab Part 3: Cowboy Conman

Dec 9, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/10 8a: He was a liar, a killer and a wannabe country music singer. As Luke Austin moved from state to state and prison to prison, he created a persona. He claimed to have toured with Johnny Cash and made personal friends with Elvis Presley. By the early ’60s, he’d killed a man and joined a Synanon chapter inside the Nevada State Prison.

American Rehab Part 2: A Venomous Snake

Dec 2, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/03 8a: By the end of the 1960s, Synanon was a widely respected drug rehab with a celebrated treatment program. It had intake centers and commune-style rehabs all over the country. It subsisted by turning members into unpaid workers who hustled donations and ran Synanon businesses. As the money poured in, Synanon’s founder, Charles Dederich, transitioned the group from a rehab into an “experimental society.”

American Rehab Part 1: A Desperate Call

Nov 25, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 11/26 8a: For the next six weeks we will bring you this special series from Reveal in place of Let’s Talk New Mexico.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 11/5, 8a: There’s never been an election like 2020, and on this week's Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be looking at how the process played out and the consequences of Tuesday’s vote. From the President all the way down the ballot, join us as we sort through the results and what they might mean for our state. We want to hear from you! What’s been on your mind as you’ve watched results come in? What hopes or fears do you have for New Mexico or the nation in this moment?

Nash Jones / KUNM


Let's Talk New Mexico 10/29, 8a: As winter approaches and COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate, politicians will be making decisions that can mean life or death for their constituents. On this week's call-in show, we want to hear how things are going for you, and what you expect from the people you’re supporting at the ballot box. What lessons should our elected leaders learn from other countries that have avoided high death tolls? What do you hope to see from a next round of coronavirus aid money?

Jon S / Flickr / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 10/1, 8a: Newsrooms in New Mexico rarely reflect the diversity of the communities around them, and journalists of color across the country are calling out racism in their industry. On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll hear from local veteran reporters and media educators who are challenging the status quo. And we want you to join in on the discussion.

U.S. Census Bureau via Flickr CC

The census is one of the more important events in our democracy. Every 10 years each person is counted so that resources can be allocated, programs created, and a general understanding of the population is had. It should be a clean process. Should be. The 2020 census has proven to be anything but clean. Mud has been thrown on the process, as people and institutions attempt to manipulate the numbers, subsequently stripping power from some and giving it to others. Peppered throughout this episode is an editorial from NoMoNo about why the census matters: The state is counting on us to be counted. If you haven't completed the census form yet, do it now. It only takes a few minutes. Click here to get started.

Mrs. Gemstone via Wikimedia / Creative Commons


Let's Talk New Mexico 9/8, 8a: Voting rights are the bedrock of American democracy, yet for many people, that right is not a reality. Voter suppression has a long history in the United States and has largely affected people of color and women. On this week’s call-in show, we will focus on the white supremacist roots of voter suppression and how they affect the COVID-impacted 2020 election. We will explore felon voter laws and the fragile history of voting rights for Black people and Native Americans.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The 2020 Census ends on September 30, a full month earlier than previously announced. Nationally, 15% of households have yet to be counted, and response rates are even lower in New Mexico. This week, we’ll discuss the final Census push amid the dangers of COVID-19, and how an undercount could exacerbate racial and economic inequities in our state.

pxfuel.com / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 8/27 8a: School is back in session online, with some districts planning to stay that way all semester and others waiting to see whether it's safe to go back in person later this fall. On this week’s call-in show, we’ll center the thoughts and experiences of New Mexico students as they kick off this unconventional semester. And we want to hear from you!

SWOP

Let's Talk New Mexico 8/20 8a: Did you know that your kids can get free crafting kits from the Española Public Library? Or that you can take virtual tours of many of the state's museums? Or that several organizations around New Mexico provide free PPE to those in need? On the next Let's Talk New Mexico, it’s the return of our annual free stuff show (2020 COVID edition), and we’re talking about what’s available for no cost during the pandemic.

Paul Tashjian, Audubon New Mexico


Let's Talk New Mexico 8/11 8a: The Navajo community of To'Hajiilee faces severe water shortages and has worked with Bernalillo County to find a way to pipe in water from Albuquerque. But a land development company stands in the way. On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we'll discuss the To'Hajiilee water crisis, plus the aftereffects of the 2015 Gold King Mine spill and this year’s dramatic increase in water use in New Mexico's largest city.

Let's Talk Preventing Violence From The Ground Up

Aug 5, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico THU 8/6, 8a: With federal agents being sent to Albuquerque to fight violent crime as part of Operation Legend, many in the community are pushing back, saying more police officers aren’t what’s needed to make things safer. This week on the call-in show, we’ll look beyond the traditional criminal justice system, and discuss community-led and public health approaches to preventing violence.

Michael Kappel via Flickr / Creative Commons . https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/30, 8a: The Trump administration announced last week that it’s sending 35 federal agents to Albuquerque, saying they’ll fight violent crime as part of Operation Legend. But exactly what that means is unclear, and many people fear the agents will crack down on protestors, or target immigrants or low-income, largely Brown and Black communities that have borne the brunt of some past police operations. This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico we’ll talk with elected officials and community organizers about this deployment of federal agents, and we want to hear from you.

pexels.com via CC


Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/16, 8a: Journalism is changing. All reporters are both living in the pandemic and reporting on it. Local student journalists are calling on newsrooms to acknowledge the racism hidden in how objectivity plays out in newsrooms. On this week's Let's Talk New Mexico, we’re discussing decision-making in news and reckoning with a history of racism in media.

And we want to hear from you!  How do you decide whether you can trust a New Mexican news source? What might make you lose that trust? Join the conversation by emailing letstalk@kunm.org or calling in on the day of the show.

Rick Obst via Flickr / Creative Commons

Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/9, 8a: Summer break looks different for youth across New Mexico this year. On this week's Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll talk about the challenges and opportunities for parents working to keep their kids healthy, occupied and engaged this summer despite the pandemic – from in-person COVID-safe programs, to getting outside and continuing to learn.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 7/2, 8a: Across the nation, people are calling for the removal of monuments and place names that glorify leaders who brutalized Brown and Black people. On Let’s Talk New Mexico this week, we’ll discuss the long history of resistance to Albuquerque’s Juan de Onate statue, the Santa Fe plaza obelisk, a White-centric mural at the University of New Mexico, and more. What do these monuments mean to you? How do they uphold narratives that contribute to the continued oppression of Native Americans and other people of color? What should be the role of public art in telling the whole truth about complex colonial histories? Join the conversation: email letstalk@kunm.org, use the hashtag #LetsTalkNM on Twitter, or call (505) 277-5866 during the show.

Hannah Colton / KUNM


Let's Talk New Mexico 6/18, 8a: With protests against systemic racism and violence continuing around the country, many people are questioning the role of law enforcement and imagining different ways of ensuring public safety. This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll discuss a spectrum of changes to New Mexico’s police forces that folks are calling for, from reform efforts like banning chokeholds and training officers differently, to more radical proposals that seek to eliminate traditional policing altogether. 

Pax Ahimsa Gethen / Wikimedia Commons


Let's Talk New Mexico 6/11, 8a: June is Pride month, and in the midst of mass demonstrations for racial justice and an ongoing pandemic, this year’s celebration will undoubtedly look different. On this week's call-in show, we look at the black roots of Pride, including the 1969 Stonewall uprising that paved the way for LGBTQ rights today. We’ll hear about the contributions of Black and Brown trans and cis women, and trans people of other genders, in the local and global Pride movement. And we'll ask how the Black Lives Matter movement influences this year’s events. We want to hear from you! How do you celebrate Pride? Email letstalk@kunm.org, use the hashtag #LetsTalkNM on Twitter, or call in live during the show at 277-5866.

Hannah Colton / KUNM


Police violence takes many forms, and some communities in Albuquerque experience it much more than others. On Let's Talk New Mexico this week, we'll hear about how law enforcement has responded to Black Lives Matter protests over the last week in Albuquerque. How do you see police operating in your community? What needs to happen to end racist police violence in New Mexico? Join the conversation by emailing letstalk@kunm.org, or call in live at 277-5866.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/28, 8a: Many of the people protesting COVID-related restrictions around New Mexico are white, while the virus has disproportionately impacted Native communities. This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we look at how whiteness plays into anti-shutdown responses in towns that border tribal communities.

Hannah Colton/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/21, 8a: Keeping our communities and public spaces clean is life-saving work as we fight viral spread. On this week's call-in show, we'll hear from those essential workers about the conditions they face during the pandemic. Do you work in sanitation or on a hospital cleaning crew? Do you clean homes or other businesses for a living? Are you a home health care worker? We want to hear from you about how things are going. Or do you have a special story or gratitude shoutout for someone who cleans the spaces you inhabit? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show.

Senior Airman Valerie Seelye, U.S. Army / CREATIVE COMMONS

Lets Talk New Mexico 5/14, 8a: K-12 schools across the state closed in late March and students have been finishing up their last months online. Many youth have had their extracurriculars cancelled and aren’t able to leave the house or see their friends. This week, we hear from the generation of young New Mexicans impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. As they approach the end of the semester, we’ll hear from middle and high school students about what the shutdown’s been like for them and what they think the future might hold.

Hannah Colton / KUNM


Lets Talk New Mexico 4/30, 8a: Some New Mexicans are talking about reopening businesses in defiance of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order, and mayors of 19 municipalities in the state recently signed on to a letter requesting that the governor allow them to reopen. However, health care workers say that could make things worse for those on the front lines of the COVID pandemic. This week, we’re talking about calls to reopen the economy, what that timeline could look like, and what it might mean for New Mexicans. 

Megan Kamerick / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 4/23, 8a: More health care workers in New Mexico are testing positive for COVID-19 as the state approaches an expected peak in cases later this spring. Hospitals are laying off workers as the ban on elective surgeries and other procedures slams their bottom lines. On this week’s call-in show, we’ll hear about how prepared the state’s health care system is for a surge of coronavirus patients. Are workers getting the protective equipment they need? How would hospitals handle potential shortages of intensive care beds and ventilators? To join in the conversation, email letstalks@kunm.org or call in live during the show on Thursday morning.

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