No More Normal

Sundays at 11 a.m.

Presented by Your NM Government, a creative, news-focused show about the pandemic and the fights against racism in our communities. We’re working to generate connections in a time of physical distancing and offer a global perspective. On KUNM’s airwaves Sundays at 11 a.m. and available always wherever you get your podcasts. This show is part of the collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS and the Santa Fe Reporter. Hosted by Khalil Ekulona and executive produced by Marisa Demarco. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

For more than a year now, this show has been keeping pace with changes large and small, noting them and documenting them. It’s about looking closely and creating a record of this historic year in human history. It’s also been an unusual time for journalists themselves. Today, we’re talking about the behind-the-scenes thinking and decision-making that goes into telling stories.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  Young people in the last decades have had to study more than academics—they’ve had to learn what to do when a person shows up to your school with a gun and starts shooting. And unfortunately those types of skills could help you anywhere these days—even on Capitol Hill. As the American pandemic of gun violence grows, so do the arguments about what can be done about it. Often those arguments are about the Second Amendment, but do we have the right to bear arms ... right? Or are we arguing about it wrong? NoMoNo hits part two of our look at gun violence.

Courtesy of New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence

As of Friday, May 14, there have been nearly 16,000 deaths due to guns so far this year in the United States, according to data from Gun Violence Archive. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic, protests about racial equity, and the general election dominated our attention, but that doesn’t mean that other serious matters like gun violence disappeared. Data from the archive shows that nearly 20,000 Americans died by guns last year—the highest total number of deaths in at least the last two decades. The problem didn’t go away. Our attention did. In episode 29 we take a look at the problem of gun violence in America, where we stand and what can be done about it.

Courtesy of Tony McAleer

  Humans are peculiar. We are capable thoughts, feelings, and expressions ranging from unconditional love to insidious hate. It begs the question: where do we learn those concepts? And then: How do we unlearn them? Here is a good one: How does someone who has been a member of a group that professes hatred of other humans leave that community and ideology behind? What are the steps? What’s the process like? Who are the people that can help them?

Jurassic Blueberries via CC

After many attempts over what seems like forever, New Mexico has finally passed a law making recreational cannabis use legal for adults. But the rollout is not as simple as lighting a match as special considerations for how this new law will impact New Mexicans must be addressed. It raises a lot of questions: What happens to people with prior cannabis convictions? Who will have access to the emerging industry? How will equity be enacted? And how will this affect you if you don’t have citizenship status?

The Seafarer via Flickr CC

The illness of racism was here long before Covid-19, but the pandemic brought it out into a brighter focus. It is too blinding not to see it. It is too loud to be silent in its presence. So we are going to make some noise of our own—the kind of noise you can dance to. On Episode 26, we highlight the dialogues we’ve had over the past year with anti-racist educators and leaders. As the country loops back through a national call to self-destruct on Sunday, April 11, NoMoNo spins remixes of conversations and wall-to-wall beats.

Vanessa Bowen

2020 was a long year. We don't have to tell you. It was a constant barrage of reality-shaping events, and it hasn’t stopped. What is different for us now that we are on the verge of—maybe, knock on wood—coming out of the pandemic? How are the leaders we elected approaching their duties now? How are activists applying what they’ve learned to push their causes forward? How are the people who experienced hardship pre-pandemic adapting to a possible post-pandemic life? No More Normal reflects on last year while keeping our focus on the future.

taberandrew via Flickr CC

Storefront lenders offering payday loans or title loans are a quick way to get money for people who are often in dire straits financially. And it can be a slippery slope when the interest rate on these loans can be as high as 175 percent in New Mexico. Around the country, other states have passed laws to make those rates lower. But a bill that would have capped that rate at 36 percent here didn’t make it through the legislative session. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke to Fred Nathan, a proponent of the bill and the executive director of Think New Mexico.

sonja langford

 

Things are definitely moving fast and furious in the Roundhouse, as you would expect with only 4 and half days left in this year's session. 

New Mexico PBS

A busy weekend in the Roundhouse, capped off by yes votes for Medical Aid in Dying and Mandatory Paid Sick Leave measures. But, the big news of the weekend was the lack of action on cannabis legalization, as both of the remaining bills did not come up for discussion in the Senate Judiciary Committee. One of those bills was actually pulled from consideration just minutes before the meeting. And, of course, all of the proposed measures are up against the clock, with time set to run out on this year's session at noon on Saturday.

bug carlson


 Twelve months ago, team NoMoNo was busy having conversations about how we were going to make a show that covered the response to a global pandemic. What did we want to talk about? What was not being talked about? What was the vital info? What were the nuances? What life-and-death decisions were being made by public officials? Who needed help—and where is the help? We’ve worked hard over the last year to provide those answers. 

New Mexico PBS

 

If you are interested in the most inner workings of state government, today's Your NM Government update is just for you! The work Wednesday in the Roundhouse was somewhat overshadowed by technical problems with the virtual proceedings. But a lot of the business that was considered had to do with how the sausage is made, so to speak. Here's a quick rundown of what we talked about in today's update:

New Mexico PBS

 

 

And then there were 2 --- cannabis legalization bills. At least that's the way things seem to be shaping up in this 2021 Legislative Session. 

New Mexico PBS

Every 10 years after the census, the New Mexico state Legislature redraws its districts. While redistricting is always a contentious and often partisan task, this year, the drama is being felt by both parties. On Saturday, a compromise was reached: An independent committee would offer three to five maps that lawmakers choose from—and can change—before sending one to the governor. This clears the way for the bill to hit the Senate floor. KUNM spoke with Gwyneth Doland of New Mexico PBS to get a breakdown of the situation.

New Mexico PBS

 

 

New Mexico PBS

 

 

Another busy week in store for the session, and today also marks the second to last Monday of the 2021 Legislative Session. Lawmakers will definitely have their hands full in these last days, with plenty of high profile measures still to decide.

Blvck Astroknot

Where do you get your news? Rather, where do you get your stories? Even more: how do stories shape us? And who are the people crafting these stories—what’s their story? For our second episode on Black history, we are looking into storytelling and the people who craft the narrative, offering us insights we may have passed by. 

Naybeel Sayed

 

One of the big stories to come out of the Roundhouse yesterday actually involves Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. State Auditor Brian Colon announced that he was moving ahead with a special audit of the Governor's discretionary fund, after local reporting discovered more than $13,000 in groceries, liquor purchases and dry cleaning over a six-month period in 2020. A group of Republican lawmakers also requested the audit in a letter to Auditor Colon. The Governor's office has said the purchases were appropriate but may have been excessive at times.

When host Khalil Ekulona thinks about his purpose in life, he often thinks of his family. Family is where we get our first lessons and introduction to the world. On Episode 22, Khalil enters conversations with his family about the meaning and purpose of familial love, support, and collective dedication to passing those lessons along.

Mr.TinDC / Flickr

 

For 109 years since the Legislature was founded, New Mexico has not had an African American State Senator. In 2021, that changed when Harold Pope Jr. of Albuquerque took his seat representing the 23rd District. KUNM caught up with the freshman Senator and Air Force veteran to ask about what motivated a life of service and where he sees New Mexico's future.

"boombox" by A.rex is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It's the return of our Old-School Shoutout Show on Episode 21. The first one, we did back in May. Now, as the pandemic wears on, we wanted to hear from callers: Who do you love? Who do you miss? Who do you want to celebrate or honor? We did the episode live this year. 

NASA Global Climate Change / Public Domain

As much of the country suffers from the polar vortex that has brought record lows and winter storms, legislators at the Roundhouse are examining the Climate Solutions Act. House Bill 9 looks at New Mexico’s issues with climate change while implementing economic reform in addressing the state’s energy consumption. For Your New Mexico Government’s continuing coverage of the legislative session KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Laura Paskus from New Mexico PBS.

Laura Paskus / NM PBS

Your New Mexico Government is continuing its coverage of everything that happens at the Roundhouse with an interview of Laura Paskus from New Mexico PBS. Paskus talks about the Clean Water Act, SB 86, which proposes regulations on oil & gas companies in regards to produced water. And she tells us all about the Climate Solutions Act, HB 9, which looks to find solutions to the climate change issues New Mexico is facing, while using those efforts to boost the state's economy.

Eva Avenue


We get into what money really is. We take a dive into a bill that looks to create a public bank. We talk with a member of a financial innovation group about how universal basic income has helped businesses during the pandemic. We grapple with student loans. We hear the journey of how difficult it is to start a business as a pandemic is raging. And we have a talk with the secretary of workforce solutions about where the jobs are going to be.

Arianna Sena / KUNM


Coronavirus has infiltrated the Roundhouse, where New Mexico’s legislators are in the early weeks of a 60-day session. Since mid-January when the session began, at least three people in the capital have tested positive for the virus, including one GOP lawmaker. On Friday, Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf announced new rules, restricting participation in committee meetings to Zoom, and closing the House floor to most lawmakers. KUNM spoke with Matt Grubs from New Mexico PBS.

Khalil Ekulona/Zoom

 

If you have listened to the show for a while, a few months back, you may have heard an interview we had with Stephen Heintz, a co-chair of the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. The commission is charged with discovering ways to activate participation of U.S. citizens in democratic civil life. So that's what they did. 

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