We’re proud to announce our next News and Brews fundraising event will be a big one—and will be at a new venue and a new time! We will be hosting a discussion on University of New Mexico Athletics and open records at the UNM Foundation. Journalist Daniel Libit of NMFishbowl.com (who we profiled earlier this year) will be in town for the discussion. New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Board President Greg Williams will also be on hand to discuss the situation. Tickets for the fundraising event are free, though we do suggest a $20 donation.
NM Political Report hosted a discussion on environmental issues impacting New Mexico. Environment reporter Laura Paskus moderated the panel, the second in the News and Brews series, which included former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator and former New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry, science writer Cally Carswell and Pueblo of Acoma member Theresa Pasqual. The conversation ranged from the impact of federal policies and laws to how oil and gas production affect the state. Curry spoke about his time with the EPA and spoke highly of how involved New Mexicans are when it comes to environmental issues. “The communities are really engaged in their environmental activity,” Curry said.
We’re excited to announce our second News and Brews Summer Series panel. This time, NM Political Report will speak to three experts about the environment on June 8. Like our last event, tickets are free which you can get from here. Readers who are subscribed to our daily emails are first to hear about these events. NM Political Report’s Laura Paskus will again moderate the discussion. Paskus leads our environmental project, which includes in-depth stories on water, regulatory agencies, public lands, climate change and wildlife that no one else in the state is covering.
The kickoff of NM Political Report’s monthly News and Brews summer series Thursday night featured a candid discussion about how the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency affected New Mexicans from different perspectives. Our own Environment Reporter Laura Paskus moderated the event, which featured insight from immigration attorney and Santa Fe Dreamers Project Director Allegra Love, former U.S. Department of Agriculture New Mexico State Director for Rural Development Terry Brunner and former Islamic Center of New Mexico President Abbas Akhil. Brunner, who headed USDA grants for New Mexico for rural development under the Obama administration, described Trump’s first 100 days as “fast and scary, kind of like a rollercoaster.”
“You wake up in the morning, it’s something completely new and different every day,” he said. Brunner warned that the effect of Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric combined with picking officials without traditional qualifications to run federal agencies will “spread fear throughout the bureaucracy” and cause federal workers to “hunker down” and bring government’s delivery on services to the public “to a really slow lethargic pace.”
Brunner mentioned how in January, House Republicans evoked an obscure rule allowing them to drop federal employees’ salaries to just $1, which he argued is meant to “intimidate federal employees.”
“The [James] Comey firing is a sign that nobody’s job is secure,” he said, referring to Trump’s abrupt dismissal of the FBI director earlier this week. Love, who directs the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, a legal services group that helps undocumented families, said the immigrant community began to feel the effects of Trump‘s incoming presidency the day after he was elected.