Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

NM Redistricting Committee Knocked for Lack of Diversity

Play

Friday, June 11, 2021   

SANTA FE, N.M. -- New Mexico is considered one of the 10 most ethnically diverse states, but its new redistricting committee is anything but.

Using 2020 Census data, the seven-member committee will redraw electoral district boundaries for the U.S. House, the state Legislature and the Public Education Commission.

Kathleen Burke, project director at Fair Districts for New Mexico, said 30 of the 69 people who applied were women, but only one was selected.

She contended women, along with people of color and rural residents, will need to rely on committee members to keep the discussions fair.

"There definitely needs to be strong Native American voices, and there needs to be rural voices," Burke argued. "And so, we have asked them to include that in their work plan; 'How are you going to accomplish that?'"

The panel includes two Democrats, two Republicans and three independents, but no Indigenous, Black or Asian members. A representative for Common Cause New Mexico said this week, redistricting advocates will push for a constitutional amendment to the Redistricting Act to ensure greater regional, ethnic and gender diversity on future committees.

Amber Carrillo, executive director for the All Pueblo Council of Governors and a community organizer for two decades, applied for the commission but wasn't selected. She said indigenous people are vital to the state's success.

"You can just look to New Mexico for any number of things, and you'll see our handprint," Carrillo pointed out. "Our cottage industry artisans contribute tremendously to the tourism industry of New Mexico, which is the leading industry."

Carrillo added given the political gains that women, and particularly Native American women, have made in recent years, the committee's composition is disappointing.

"I am hopeful that we will find some redress for the lack of diversity on this important committee, by way of our political leaders coming forward and offering some suggestions," Carrillo urged.

According to the guidelines set up by the Legislature, the State Ethics Commission was tasked with choosing three members, while individual legislators were required to pick one apiece, but they were not required to coordinate their selections.


get more stories like this via email
Nearly one third of people surveyed in June said they felt "very uncomfortable" with the level of their emergency savings. (wutzkoh/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…


Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …


Environment

Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

According to a 2021 study by the American Heart Association, people who take at least 7,000 steps a day have a 50% to 70% lower risk of dying than those who take fewer daily steps. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Even for people who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although often …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

Social Issues

Wisconsin is one of 33 states allowing Social Security benefits to be extended to teachers. As the future of the program is debated, a retired …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021