“New Mexico is ranked near the bottom for childhood poverty and childhood well-being. That benefit was really a lifeline for families. It’s really important what that money means for families. They’re better able to feed children so they go to school with a full belly. Parents are able to drop a third job, they’re better able to afford housing. They are big-picture impacts, what that money can do for a family,” she said.
“This type of relief is really crucial right now,” says Amber Wallin, executive director of the nonpartisan advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children. She anticipates the money will be especially significant for women, families with children, and people of color who have been particularly affected by recent economic challenges, including the pandemic and the highest inflation in decades.
Advocates welcomed the initiative at a time when families are still recovering from the economic fallout of the pandemic and are grappling with rising prices. “It is hard to overstate the impacts of ensuring that all families can afford great child care,” said Amber Wallin, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, an advocacy group. “It helps our families. It helps our workforce. It helps our businesses. It’s such an important step forward for New Mexico, and it comes at a time when families are in real need of any economic relief.”
By Amber Wallin, Santa Fe New Mexican April 18, 2022 After more than two years of a pandemic and its related recession, it’s hard to remember life in 2019, let alone what great things were [...]
“We know there are families having trouble buying food, having trouble making the next rental payment. If the state can give more money to those people making a lower income, that would be great,” she said.
As proud New Mexicans, we know our state has the best scenery and natural beauty in the nation. While we want to keep it that way, that’s hard to when our landscape is dotted with old, pollution-spewing orphaned oil wells. Here's how to fix this problem.
The U.S. Census Bureau is collecting data on how families are spending their monthly payments, so we know that the majority of the spending is going toward food. Wallin said that’s a good sign for a state that’s long struggled with childhood food insecurity. “We’re just glad to see that this relief is helping the families’ most basic needs,” she said.
In New Mexico, we have lived through many boom-and-bust cycles of the oil and gas industry. But recent years have shown just how much we need to break this cycle - particularly as we plan for the transition from oil and gas to clean energy - by tipping the scales away from the oil and gas corporations and back toward New Mexicans who have shouldered the consequences.
New Mexico stuck with $8 billion in cleanup for oil wells, highlighting dangers from fossil fuel dependence
The state has long suffered from the roller coaster cycles of extractive industry, according to James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, a health, education, and economic advocacy organization. “We’ve made policy choices in boom times that have really exacerbated our over-dependence on oil and natural gas revenues,” Jimenez told DeSmog.
Part of the social contract for companies operating in New Mexico is the straightforward notion that they should clean up after themselves. That’s especially true for industries like oil and natural gas whose messes contain deadly pollutants.