The decision in the Yazzie/Martinez education lawsuit was a watershed moment for the state of New Mexico, allowing us to finally address the chronic under-funding of our public schools and to tailor them to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of our children. And while the Legislature did provide more money for the system, they failed to meet the judge's order.
This revision is not acceptable, it targets immigrant families who are already residing legally in the United States, and it does not reflect America’s historical tradition of welcoming those seeking to make a better life. But there is still time stop this rule from being implemented.
Several bills were passed during the 2019 legislative session that should improve family economic security. Because these bills were targeted to help families earning low and moderate incomes – and because workers of color and women are disproportionately represented in those wage groups – the bills should also improve equity by helping to ensure that we all have access to the opportunities that help us reach our potential.
Given New Mexico’s substantial immigrant population and that group’s important contributions to our state – which includes paying taxes – it is essential that we enact policies that promote opportunity for all families. During the 2019 New Mexico legislative session, lawmakers passed several bills that will have broad benefits to immigrants, their families, and the state as a whole.
Higher education is one of the most powerful engines of social mobility. Our economy and families thrive, and our future is brighter, when we make adequate, strategic investments in our public universities and colleges and ensure that they are accessible for all youth. But New Mexico has underfunded its public higher education institutions for years, and tuition has increased as a result. New Mexicans of color are among those who are hit the hardest by these budget choices.
Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by incarceration even though studies show they commit crimes at similar rates to whites. African Americans in New Mexico are more than six times likelier to be incarcerated as whites and Hispanics are about two times likelier. Women who are mothers are also disproportionately represented. The overall inequity in our justice system has dire consequences for the health and well-being of our families.
The first installment in our series on policies passed during the 2019 legislative session that will improve equity in New Mexico, this blog looks at how tax policies can help close income and wealth disparities that fall along racial lines. Makes sense -- since tax policies helped create those disparities in the first place.
Every child deserves to live in a society where they have an equal opportunity to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential in life – a society where neither race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender, disability, nor skin color can determine their opportunities and life outcomes. There are many ways to address equity in public policy. This blog is the introduction to a series where we focus on the outcomes of the 2019 legislative session and how they influenced equity, in policy areas such as taxes and spending, criminal and juvenile justice, college affordability, social determinants of health, family economic security, and more.
A proposed rule change by the Trump administration may lead to thousands of New Mexico children not receiving health insurance and food assistance even though they're eligible -- all because of where their parents were born. Find out more about 'public charge' and what you can do to help stop these changes.
This is a perilous moment for New Mexico’s children. There’s no getting around it. Yet the future is not predetermined for kids in New Mexico. This state’s leaders can be inspired by this moment to do better by its children. They can choose to collaborate inclusively and act boldly and swiftly. That’s what it will take — both to position the state well for the 2020 census and to give children a better chance to thrive.