A proposal to rename two Roswell streets after civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and César Chávez is bringing attention to a growing dispute in the city. A public meeting in the city’s downtown library last week, according to the Roswell Daily Record “illustrat[ed] a deep ethnic divide” in the city between Hispanics and Anglos. The newspaper reports that “19 people who appeared to be Anglo” spoke in opposition to renaming the streets while four people who were “clearly Hispanic” spoke in favor. No final decisions were made, and some city councilors are characterizing vocal opposition to the street renaming proposal as racial in nature. The Associated Press spoke to one city councilor who had a theory on the opponents of the name change.
Republican Party of New Mexico chair Debbie Maestas outlined four Democratic targets in the party’s quest to take control of the state Senate. Included is the largest thorn in the side of Gov. Susana Martinez, herself a Republican, Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez of Belen. The Roswell Daily Record reported on comments Maestas made to the Chaves County Republican Women. Maestas said Republicans are targeting the seats of Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto of Albuquerque, Sen. John Sapien of Corrales, Sen. William Soules of Las Cruces and Sen. Michael Sanchez of Belen. Sapien has already received a challenger, Diego Espinoza.
A union that represents 50 service workers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia could be under investigation from federal authorities, the latest in a dispute between a contractor and the union. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reported that the contractor said in a press release that a National Labor Relations Board investigator has been at the facility. “The Union’s attempts to coerce the government into termination of Omni’s contract at FLETC is unlawful,” the release said. It also alleges that the striking employees have performed unlawful actions, such as interfering with FLETC traffic by jumping in front of vehicles. The weeks-long dispute has caught the eye of U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, who sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security head Jeh Johnson.
Gov. Susana Martinez said that she is speaking with legislators from both parties about a possible special session. The special session would be to pass capital outlay legislation, which pays for public infrastructure projects throughout the state. Martinez said this at the budget signing of the $6.2 billion state budget on Thursday. From Albuquerque Business First:”We have certainly been in conversations with representatives and senators from both sides of the aisle,” Martinez said. “We want to be able to come to a consensus and some agreement before we even decide whether or not we want to have a special session because it costs $50,000 a day to have the special session and we don’t want to go in there and not have these conversations and then end up with nothing, or something worse, so we are talking with leadership.”Martinez said her office had contacted Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, but had not spoke to him.