Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @  Comments included here represent the views of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of KRWG or New Mexico State University.

Kids Count report: Economic well-being still poor in New Mexico

Jan 17, 2017
New Mexico Voices for Children

Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE—The annual New Mexico KIDS COUNT data book—a project of New Mexico Voices for Children—has some bright spots for child well-being as well as some trouble spots. Measures of children’s health saw the most gains, with declines in the rates of babies born at a low birthweight, children without health insurance, and teens abusing alcohol and drugs. The teen birth rate has also declined, following a similar national trend.

Commentary:  SANTA FE - Tomorrow, a coalition of organizations dedicated to furthering workers' rights in New Mexico will announce the filing of a new lawsuit against the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) seeking relief on a number of claims relating to failures by the department to properly investigate wage theft issues.

New Mexico Needs To Consolidate Elections

Jan 15, 2017
peter goodman

Commentary: Honestly, how many of you will vote February 7 for school-board members? (I'll vote to re-elect Maria Flores!) How many will vote in the Soil and Water Conservation District election in May – or even know that DASWCD elections violate the Constitutional “one person, one vote” rule? 

Fact is, very few. In November 2016, 71,362 county residents voted; in November 2014, 40,628; and in 2015, 3,798 for school board and 2,937 for DASWCD. 

Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Today, immigrant youth, together with hundreds of community members, people of faith and labor advocates, rallied through downtown Albuquerque to Civic Plaza to create an opposition force to deportations and to stand with immigrants and refugees. Advocates and people of conscience raised their voice on this national day of action to join hands and declare in no uncertain terms that they will fight to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and build sanctuaries of safety for immigrants and refugees in our city.

Democrats Blast EPA Decision Not To Pay For Waste Damage From Gold King Mine Spill

Jan 13, 2017

Commentary: WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján denounced the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice that the EPA is not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for damages caused by the Gold King Mine Spill. The lawmakers vowed to continue pushing for legislation that would hold the EPA accountable even though the EPA has admitted responsibility. They made the following joint statement:

  Commentary: New Mexico Ethics Watch, a new nonprofit in the state dedicated to promoting more ethics in governance, today releases its first report, Learning to Walk – New Mexico’s Anemic Financial Disclosure Regimen. The report discusses the Financial Disclosure Act and the release of personal financial information by elected and appointed state officials. This law is in place so that the public can see whether elected or appointed officials are operating to benefit themselves rather than their constituents.

Common Cause Outlines Good Government Priorities for 2017 Session

Jan 13, 2017

Commentary: Disclosing information about ever-more powerful PACS, creation of an independent ethics commission and better monitoring of the activities and expenditures of lobbyists will be top priorities of Common Cause New Mexico in the 2017 legislative session.  The non-partisan good government group will also continue its drive to increase voter participation in elections through measures to ease registration and open primaries to those who decline to state a party preference. 

Can the Legislature Play Tax Quarterback?

Jan 13, 2017

Commentary: When the State Legislature meets on January 17 two related crises must be its focus: the state budget and the state economy. Both are in deep trouble; both are connected. To jumpstart the economy, the legislature has to fix the budget mess. That means ending the Herbert Hoover policies of the Martinez administration. We need new revenue to invest in our state’s future.

Do Not Repeal The Affordable Care Act

Jan 13, 2017

 Commentary: Dear Elected Representatives,

Creating a 21st Century Budget for New Mexico

Jan 13, 2017

Commentary: There has been a lot of talk about how to fill New Mexico’s disastrous state revenue shortfall. Taxing out-of-state online merchants for purchases made in New Mexico is a common-sense fix and past due. New Mexico’s small businesses have been at a competitive disadvantage for too long. Taxing food, however? There are other ways to create revenue that make more sense in a state with the second highest rate of food insecurity among children.

Commentary:  Going back 18 months, media outlets saw the Trump candidacy as an opportunity to increase their viewership, because he was so controversial. They never thought he would be the Republican candidate and surely not win the general election. They recognized all his faults from being the birther in charge to being a bully and user of people with less power. They thought that rational people would eventually see who he was and reject him.


Don't Tell Poor People What Foods To Buy

Jan 13, 2017

 Commentary: For a few years, I worked at an organization providing services to youth in south Los Angeles. While our programs in sports and the arts attracted the most attention, one of our most consequential programs was nutritional education. Many of the families we served relied on packaged foods to feed themselves, which is expensive and less nutritious, as packaged foods are often loaded with additives, salt, and corn syrup.

Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep.

Report: Statewide Increase in Minimum Wage Would Benefit 248,400 Workers

Jan 12, 2017

Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE—New Mexico should increase its minimum wage in increments of $1 a year every year until it reaches $12.50 by 2021 and index it so that it increases with inflation. That is the policy recommendation in a new report from New Mexico Voices for Children, a child advocacy organization. The report looks at the demographics of the state’s minimum wage earners, as well as makes the case for indexing the wage.

  Commentary: Santa Fe - Today, a delegation of immigrant leaders from five New Mexico counties will travel to Washington D.C. to participate in a national rally to protect immigrants and refugees ahead of President-elect Trump's inauguration ceremony. The group will also meet with members of New Mexico's Congressional delegation to discuss local and federal immigration issues.

Vote In Your School Board Election

Jan 12, 2017
Scott Krahling- Doña Ana County Clerk

Commentary:  Doña Ana County had a successful turnout for the general election. I challenge us to keep the momentum going and vote in the upcoming school board election. Voting for the President is important but getting out to vote for our local elected officials is smart.  People are the heart of democracy so everyone should vote in every election.

Petition Seeks to Halt EPA's Use of Deadly Predator Poison

Jan 12, 2017
Tom Koerner, USFWS.

  Commentary:  WASHINGTON— Five animal-protection organizations submitted a petition today to the Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency to cancel its registration for sodium fluoroacetate,

  Commentary: As New Mexico prepares to mark the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday with celebrations across the state, President Barack Obama is designating three new National Monuments that preserve historic landmarks of pivotal Civil Rights actions.

Democrats: Budget Should Not Cut Pay For Hard Working New Mexicans

Jan 12, 2017
Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Sierra-35), Chair, Legislative Finance Committee

 Commentary:  Santa Fe, NM – Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth and Senate Finance Chairman John Arthur Smith issued the following statement after the Legislative Finance Committee’s FY17 budget recommendations passed with bipartisan support. (donald trump)

  Commentary: Albuquerque, N.M. - On Saturday, immigrant youth from all across the state, together with hundreds of community members, people of faith and labor advocates, will rally and march beginning at the corner of MLK Jr. Ave. and University Blvd.

Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – Today, State Senator Daniel A. Ivey-Soto pre-filed Senate Bill 72, the Public Accountability Act, which will significantly strengthen ethics enforcement across state and local government.  It creates a venue for the public to bring forward ethical concerns related to the conduct of public officials and the management of public dollars.

  Commentary: In a letter dated today, the National Education Association and its three million members, on behalf of the students they serve, opposed in the strongest terms the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education.

The letter notes the following: 

What's It Like To Be Part Of A Grand Jury?

Jan 8, 2017
peter goodman

Commentary:  Because grand jury proceedings are confidential, this column has limits.

When I got called, I guessed they'd throw me out for being a lawyer, a columnist, and an oddball. But I went.

A Wish List For 2017

Jan 8, 2017 (donald trump)

Commentary: As we wind down 2016, a series of issues preoccupies my thoughts. First, I think that the worst situation is to be in a state of suspense. Knowing what direction the new Trump administration will take will allow companies to take appropriate action. Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency, and as chief executive it is up to him to influence policy.  He will be the main force behind U.S. fiscal and foreign policy for the next four years.

Pearce Urges UNM And New Mexico AG To Address Fetal Research Issues

Jan 7, 2017
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement after the second criminal referral to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas was made by the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, imploring state and university leaders to address the serious violations uncovered by the Panel’s investigation.

Commentary: The City of Pasadena, Texas illegally and intentionally sought to dilute Latino voting power when it changed the system used to elect its city council members, in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary: The National Education Association and its 3 million members are urging the 115th U.S. Congress to renew its commitment to students and public education, to govern by putting families ahead of partisan politics, and to resist the temptation to undermine the American vision of public education.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

Texas Senate Democratic Caucus Responds to "Bathroom Bill"

Jan 6, 2017

Commentary: Austin - State Senator José Rodríguez, Chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus (SDC), released the following statement, on behalf of the SDC, in response to the filing of Senate Bill 6:

"The implications of this bill are truly frightening for all Texans. It would effectively deputize any person to report someone she or he thinks is using an "incorrect" bathroom for enhanced prosecution — including children.

 Commentary: President Obama and Congressional Democrats rallied to protect New Mexicans covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from Republican efforts to repeal the law.

‘Spaceport America’: 0 for 2016

Jan 6, 2017

 Commentary: If New Mexico’s spaceport offers “the world an invitation to space,” no one’s RSVPing.

In 2016, the facility launched … nothing. No satellites placed in orbit. No tourists sent on one-of-a-kind journeys. Heck, even UP Aerospace wasn’t able to launch a single sounding rocket last year.