International District

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 In the race for herd immunity, New Mexico is being heralded around the country as an unlikely frontrunner. Over half of the state’s population has gotten at least one dose of vaccine. But when it comes to some demographics hit hardest by the virus, vaccination rates are falling short. The numbers continue to highlight what the pandemic put into sharp relief—structural racism interfering with public health efforts.

Nash Jones / KUNM

The Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office is not going to press charges against four teenagers who were detained on Thursday, May 28, after a Black Lives Matter protest in Albuquerque’s International District. SWAT officers took them into custody that night, saying they had fired a gun near the demonstration, an allegation the teens deny. Police did not charge them with anything, and the District Attorney's Office won’t pursue it, saying APD doesn’t have evidence to support a criminal case.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Albuquerque residents have joined people around the world in protest following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In the media, peaceful demonstrations have been conflated with property damage done by smaller groups of people, playing into narratives that give rise to aggressive responses like what the Trump administration is pushing. In episode 70, we talk about how law enforcement responses to recent protests seem to differ for different groups. We speak with an organizer, a youth detained after a protest, Albuquerque Police Department leadership, and a longtime criminal justice reporter.

Shaun Griswold

Joining national protests against racist police violence, hundreds of people in Albuquerque participated in a Black Lives Matter car rally Thursday evening, May 28. Near the end of the rally, the Albuquerque Police Department deployed their riot teams, with military-grade equipment, and took into custody four teenagers of color after gunshots were fired nearby. They were not charged and were later released. Their detainment sparked a police altercation with demonstrators. The escalated police response to unarmed Black Lives Matter protesters stands in contrast to the lack of visible police presence at an anti-shutdown demonstration that included armed white protesters on Civic Plaza last month.

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. 

Nash Jones / KUNM

The New Mexico Department of Health Sunday, Mar. 16, announced amendments to the public health order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The changes involve new rules for restaurants, including staying at or below half occupancy, having no more than six people at a table, and positioning the tables at least six feet apart. Local restaurants in Albuquerque’s International District are working to comply with the order while weathering a significant drop in business.

Nash Jones / KUNM

After more than three years of planning, Bernalillo County and community partners gathered on Tuesday, March 10, to break ground at the Albuquerque Indian Center. That’s the site of the new Tiny Home Village, a community of 30 120 sq. ft. homes for those experiencing homelessness. After other neighborhoods considered for the project pushed back, lawmakers and community members say the International District is welcoming its new neighbors.

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.

KUNM

The Albuquerque Public School board members control a massive budget and policies affecting more than 80,000 students. Three seats are up for election this fall, and KUNM invited candidates on to a live radio show on Oct. 24 to ask what they hope to do about longstanding disparities related to race, language access, class and disability. 

Wikimedia Commons via CC

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent 50 state police officers to Albuquerque this summer to fight escalating violent crime. Public records show there wasn’t much coordination between state police and Albuquerque police before they came.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Public transit ridership has been declining all around the United States for the last five years or so—even in the biggest cities. Experts say one big problem is that the bus and train systems aren’t accessible. They don’t reach the people who need them, and they don’t take people where they want to go. In Albuquerque, a group called Together For Brothers is pushing for greater transit equity, saying it’s tied to income and economic development.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

It’s decision time for people hoping to get elected to leadership at the state’s largest public school district. Next Tuesday is the deadline to file for candidacy in the Albuquerque Public Schools’ board election.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People who live in the International District say their corner of Southeast Albuquerque has long been neglected by the city government and lacks some basic infrastructure, like parks. Residents and volunteers from The Nature Conservancy, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Artful Life got together Saturday on a hot summer morning to install a temporary green refuge on a vacant, privately owned lot. The park opens this week and could be around for about a year.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People say bad street-lighting contributes to fatalities and violence in some parts of Albuquerque—and national studies bear this out. There’s plenty of finger-pointing, but when it comes to info about broken streetlights, the public’s still mostly in the dark.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered dozens of state police officers to come to Albuquerque as part of a surge aimed at slowing violent crime after a baseball player for the University of New Mexico was killed in Nob Hill. Residents talked about the impact of their presence in a predominantly minority Southeastern neighborhood that they say has a history of being overpoliced.

Marisa Demarco/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/16 8a: All around the country, more people who are walking are hit by drivers in neighborhoods with low incomes and in communities of color. Here in Bernalillo County, one out of every five times there’s a pedestrian crash, it happens in the few square miles of Albuquerque’s International District. Residents say a big part of the problem is bad street lighting, speeding drivers, big roads, crumbling sidewalks, and not enough intersections or bus stops.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller got on a truck lift on Wednesday, May 8, and turned on a streetlight in the International District in a photo-op designed to announce that PNM will replace all of its streetlight bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs by the end of 2019. It’s still unclear when the area’s ongoing problem with broken streetlights and bad lighting will be resolved.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

At night, for long stretches of road on large busy streets and residential ones, it’s completely dark in Southeast Albuquerque’s International District. Residents say not having enough streetlights is an urgent problem, because it leads to hotspots of crime and more vehicles hitting pedestrians. Politicians failed to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for new lights in the area, leaving neighborhoods in the dark.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

There’s a part of Southeast Albuquerque that sees more than its share of people who are walking being hit and killed by drivers. In just five years, there were 26 pedestrian fatalities in the few square miles known as the International District—but none in neighboring Nob Hill. People who live in the district say a big part of this problem is broken streetlights that don’t get fixed, even though they’ve been asking for over a decade.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

For decades, people in a southeast Albuquerque district have been asking the city to light their dark streets. One neighborhood group eventually starting solving the problem by installing streetlights on their own.

May Ortega | KUNM / KUNM Radio

Having a lot of abandoned or foreclosed homes in your community can hurt morale and drag down property values. A group of neighborhood associations in Southeast Albuquerque are taking things into their own hands.

APS Mail-In Ballots On Tax Increase Due Tuesday

Jan 31, 2019
Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque school district residents are voting on property tax increases that would raise about a billion dollars for projects over the next six years. The special mail-in ballots must be received in the Bernalillo County Clerks’ office by Tuesday, February 5th.

May Ortega | KUNM

Pedestrian safety has long been a point of concern for residents of southeast Albuquerque. Joanne Landry, president of the Trumbull Neighborhood Association, is hoping that a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will help make things safer and boost her community’s morale.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

When you go to your doctor’s office to get help for something like high blood pressure, you wouldn’t expect to get a prescription to join a walking group. There’s a program that does just that for areas in Albuquerque that have higher rates of chronic diseases.

The opioid crisis in New Mexico has caused historically high numbers of overdose deaths and has overwhelmed law enforcement agencies.

 

But another side effect that we might not consider is the dangerous trash that builds up as a result of opioid use.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It can be hard to get motivated to exercise. But what if your doctor wrote you a prescription for it? One physician in Albuquerque is leading the charge against inactivity.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Dollar stores are everywhere these days—they’re being built at a record pace, according to industry reports. In some rural communities in this state, you might not see any store except a dollar store. A campaign is calling on these discount chains to make sure products are nontoxic.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Around the country, pedestrian deaths are most common in low-income areas. And New Mexico has had the highest average rate of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. for the last few years, according to the CDC.