Monday, October 03, 2011

Santa Fe's Salazar Elementary to Host Harvest Celebration at Salazar Green, A Sustainable Food Project Supported by Earth Care

On Thursday, October 13th, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Salazar Elementary in Santa Fe will celebrate the bounty from their school garden by hosting a dinner from the garden for families and friends. The evening of community and simple pleasures will include live music, fresh bread from the horno, student tours of the garden and a gallery of garden art.

The garden is part of the school's Salazar Green landscape project, which opened in May of 2010, and includes a track + field and community + garden. The project's main focus was to design a space that could help to reverse the rising rates of childhood diabetes and obesity by encouraging positive habits of physical health and nutrition.

"At Salazar, we’re making a special effort to give children and their families opportunities to work and play in our excellent outdoor space, and to take care of living things," said Mollie S. Toll, Science Literacy Coach at the school.

The school garden program is supported by local non-profit Earth Care, which was recently awarded a renewal grant from AmeriCorps via the Corporation for National and Community Service to continue its Food Cadre program for a second year. The grant provides 14 full-time positions for AmeriCorps volunteers to work with schools, nonprofits and local government to strengthen the local food system in Santa Fe County.

The mission of the Food Cadre program is to build a sustainable and just local food system that addresses the needs of the environment and of the community’s most vulnerable populations. The goals of the program are to build a local sustainable food system, involving youth throughout the process; to bring the food system back into balance with the ecological system that supports it; and to increase access to healthy food, sustainability resources and nutrition education for underserved communities.

According to Bianca Sopoci-Belknap, Associate Director of Earth Care, "New Mexico ranks 46th in the nation for children living in poverty. The natural innovation and problem solving skills of young people are needed to improve this situation. Our approach with this program is to support the positive development of young people in a way that also benefits their nutrition, environment, local economy, and community."

The Food Cadre is hosted by Earth Care in partnership with the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, Santa Fe Public Schools, Cooking with Kids, the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market Institute, and the Santa Fe Alliance.

Santa Fe Public School Gardens
’s AmeriCorps members have been working with students, parents and teachers at seven school sites, including Salazar Elemenary, to implement school gardens. A on Earth Care's website explains that Salazar Green’s garden is the first garden officially installed by the Santa Fe Public School District and hopes to be exemplary for future school gardens and those with already existing programs. The garden supplies food to students through a variety of ways including Cooking with Kids, lunch programs, and in-garden tasting and to the surrounding community through the annual fall Harvest Fest.

The Garden and its facilities act as a classroom for all students at Salazar. At present, all K-6 classes spend an hour a week with the Sustainability and Garden Coordinator delving into the world of food and sustainability practices in an experiential and fun manner. The objective of these endeavors is to promote a local, just and sustainable food system and human system for all in the region.

You can keep up with garden activities at Salazar Elementary at the Salazar Verde Garden Blog. For further information, contact Science Literacy Coach Mollie Toll (670-8658), or principal Margo Shirley (467-3902).

Earth Care needs the help of the Santa Fe community to meet the matching funds requirement of $70,000 for its grant from AmeriCorps. Each dollar invested in this program leverages double the funds coming in to our community from the state and federal government. Donations can be made at or by calling 505.983.6896.

October 3, 2011 at 11:03 AM in Agriculture, Education, Food and Drink, Santa Fe, Youth | |

Saturday, October 01, 2011

10/1: Third Annual ABQ International Festival


From the ABQ International Festival:
You're invited to the Third Annual Albuquerque International Festival, which will be held in the Talin Market  parking lot on the SE corner of Lousiana and Central in Albuquerque's International Distrcit on Saturday, Ocober 1, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The free event will showcase a sampling of the food, music, dance and art that the melting-pot International District has to offer.

Logo-blk-bkgrnd-1-147x300 Organized by STEPS and sponsored by the City of Albuquerque, the ABQIF highlights the International District of Albuquerque, as well as STEPS clients. The day-long Festival is STEPS’ biggest community event and features a wide variety of entertainment, food, crafts and community organizations that represent Albuquerque’s many cultures. First held in 2009, the ABQIF is one of Albuquerque’s premier Fall events.

This should be a great festival with and an added attraction this year ... A KIDZ ZONE. Free parking is available at Alcazar and Central SE, and the Festival is accessible by transit via the Central Avenue (Route 66) bus and the Louisiana (Route 157) bus. For more info, call 508-9225 or visit

October 1, 2011 at 07:52 AM in Children and Families, City of Albuquerque, Events, Food and Drink, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New National Report: How Gov. Susana Martinez's Big Business Agenda Endangers New Mexicans

Susana1Cr Just the facts! Food & Water Watch, joined by Conservation Voters New Mexico and the New Mexico Federation of Labor, today (pdf) that outlines numerous examples of how Governor Susana Martinez has given special privilege to industries like oil and gas, industrialized dairy, homebuilders and mining -- at the expense of environmental protection and the local economy. The well-documented report also provide useful charts that demonstrate -- in no uncertain terms -- how and why the Martinez administration puts politics and campaign donor wishes ahead of the needs of New Mexicans and protecting our vital natural resources. 

Immediately following a press conference that took place in front of the Capitol Roundhouse at 12:30 PM, the groups and other concerned New Mexicans hand-delivered the report to Governor Martinez’s office and demanded that she give advocates for small business, working families and the environment a seat at the table that has otherwise been reserved solely for big industry.

“New Mexicans are fed up with Governor Martinez’s secret task forces, industry appointments and decisions that do little to address the dire economic and environmental problems we face,” said Food & Water Watch New Mexico organizer Eleanor Bravo. “We are here today to remind Governor Martinez that she works for us –- the residents of New Mexico -– and not the big industries that threaten our health, our environment, worker rights, and home-grown small businesses.”

As the report says, "From the moment she became New Mexico’s governor on January 1, 2011, Susana Martinez has worked overtime to dismantle key protections that the state put in place for the benefit of New Mexicans and the air, water and land they cherish ... Unfortunately, Governor Martinez, who swept into office with the help of campaign donations from oil and gas, mining, mega-dairy and other big industries, has demonstrated little restraint granting the wishes of those who want to see the state’s environmental protections rolled back."

161899_182186898472448_2411796_n Big money talks -- and Susana Martinez listens. The report notes that oil and gas, industrialized dairy, mining and the construction industries all were big financial supporters of the Martinez gubernatorial campaign. Oil and gas gave more than $1 million to candidate Martinez, homebuilders and general contractors gave $621,000 and the livestock and dairy industry gave $267,900.

The must-read report, (pdf), describes how in her first six months in office, Martinez has rapidly worked to roll back the rules and regulations that protect New Mexico’s natural resources, public health and working families. It explains how her “Small Business-Friendly Task Force” does not truly represent small businesses, and how Martinez's big business agenda is particularly harmful to lower income, predominately Hispanic communities in New Mexico.

The report chronicles many examples of how Martinez has ignored the concerns of health and environmental advocates to favor the agendas of the big industries that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to her gubernatorial campaign. Examples include:

  • Undermining pollution controls for factory farms
  • Attempting to abolish the Water Quality Control Commission
  • Paving over the Pit Rule that protects groundwater from oil and gas drilling waste
  • Pocket-vetoing local food procurement bill
  • Firing the State Labor Board
  • Vetoing unemployment benefits

"Governor Martinez has launched an aggressive attack on the safeguards on which New Mexicans depend to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe," said Sandy Buffett, Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico. "In our view, her systematic dismantling of these safeguards threatens the security of our families and communities."

Bottom Line:

This chronicle of Governor Martinez’s words and deeds during her first eight months in office makes her strategy quite clear -– she’s taken campaign cash from big industry, she’s appointed those industry players to key posts in state government and now she’s cutting the protections that keep New Mexicans and their precious air, water, food and land safe from those industries.

The report and corresponding fact sheets in Spanish and English can be downloaded for free at the Food & Water Watch website.

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control. See

September 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM in Energy, Environment, Food and Drink, Labor, NM Legislature 2011, Regulation, Susana Martinez, Water Issues | |

Thursday, September 08, 2011

New Mexicans No Longer Hungriest in Nation: NM Center on Law and Poverty Urges Legislature to Prevent Backsliding

According to new data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its annual report on food insecurity, New Mexico no longer leads the country in hunger. On average in the years 2005-07, New Mexico had the second highest rate of hunger in the country. The New Mexico numbers released yesterday covers the three years during the heart of the recession, 2008-10. During that time, New Mexico improved its ranking from 2nd worst in the nation to 13th. 

The y (NMCLP) largely credits the improved ranking to steps New Mexico had taken during that period to improve safety net programs and warns that New Mexico is at risk of backsliding if it eliminates the very improvements which proved effective during the economic downturn. 

The NMCLP offered the following as some of the improvements that likely contributed to New Mexico’s improved ranking, and which have been cut or are at risk of being cut:

  • In late 2007, New Mexico launched the Food Stamp/SNAP State Supplement to ensure that low-income older and disabled individuals received at least $25 a month in nutrition assistance. The program was slated for elimination effective July 1, 2011. Un-used federal stimulus funds were spent to keep the program in place through the end of September. Now the Legislature has the opportunity to restore funding for the program beyond September during the special legislative session. 
  • In 2008, New Mexico increased the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefit for the first time in 15 years. In January 2011, that increase was eliminated when TANF benefits were cut by 15% bringing benefits back down to their 1995 levels. At current levels, low-income children and their families who receive the maximum benefit amount are only brought up to 25% of the poverty line. That’s just $4,560 a year for a family of three. 
  • In 2008, New Mexico launched the Winter Clothing Allowance which provided low-income children with a $100 clothing allowance in January. This program was eliminated in January 2011.
  • In 2008, New Mexico launched the Employment Retention Bonus Program, which provides supports for families receiving cash assistance as they increase their earned income. This program was eliminated in February 2011. 

According to the USDA, one in seven households in New Mexico struggled with hunger on average in the years 2008-2010. Nearly 6% of these were considered to have “very low food security.” People that fall into this USDA category had more severe problems, experiencing deeper hunger and cutting back or skipping meals on a more frequent basis for both adults and children. “This demonstrates that now is the time to strengthen, not weaken the safety net,” said Patricia Anders, Staff Attorney, NM Center on Law and Poverty. “We should not cut the very programs that proved effective at staving off the increases in hunger experienced in other states during the downturn.”

With high unemployment and food and gas prices on the rise, thousands of New Mexicans are still struggling to make ends meet. The cuts will impact 50,000 low-income New Mexicans including 30,000 children and over 4,000 of New Mexico’s low-income older and disabled citizens. “They may undo the great strides New Mexico has made in addressing hunger” said Anders.

About the USDA Report
Since 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture, using data from surveys conducted annually by the Census Bureau, has released estimates of the number of people in households that are food insecure. Food insecure households are those that are not able to afford an adequate diet at all times in the past 12 months. The report also includes food insecurity rates for each state, but for states it uses three-year averages to give a better estimate of the number of households experiencing food insecurity.

Experts agree that the Census/USDA measure of food insecurity is a conservative one, with the result that only households experiencing substantial food insecurity are so classified.

September 8, 2011 at 07:53 AM in Children and Families, Economy, Populism, Food and Drink, NM Legislature Redistricting 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One in Four Households with Children in NM Unable to Afford Enough Food

The says that more than 28% percent of households with children in New Mexico reported in 2009-2010 not having enough money to buy food that they needed at times for themselves or their family during the prior twelve months, according to a new analysis of food hardship data released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). News of deep and widespread food hardship comes just days after the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) made another in a series of cuts to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, which are supposed to protect child from the devastating effects of poverty.

FRAC’s Food Hardship in America series analyzes data that were collected by Gallup and provided to FRAC. The analysis released today examines food hardship rates –- the inability to afford enough food – for households with and without children. Data are available for every state, every Congressional District and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), including Albuquerque. Findings for New Mexico include:

  • In 2009-2010, 28.3% percent of households with children in New Mexico said they were unable to afford enough food. The food hardship rate for households without children was 16.5% percent.
  • For the Albuquerque MSA, the food hardship rate for households with children was 28.2% percent in 2009-2010, and 19% percent for households without children.

HSD Making Cuts Despite Funds on Hand
HSD has made a series of cuts to programs for low-income children and their families. HSD said the cuts were necessary because it did not have enough money. However, HSD recently admitted to the Legislative Finance Committee that it did not spend $10 million in funds it had available to pay for these programs in FY2011. Usually children participating in the TANF program receive $100 in August for school clothing. This year, when families are struggling more than ever to make ends meet, they are receiving half that amount. Over 30,000 children will be affected by the cut despite the fact that HSD has the $1.5 million needed to provide this help. New Mexican families are being forced to choose between feeding and clothing their children.

“This unnecessary cut will put even more strain on families’ ability to put food on the table,” said Patricia Anders, Staff Attorney, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. “The new data reaffirm what we’re seeing in our communities –- that far too many people continue to struggle with hunger in these challenging economic times. It demonstrates, as if any further evidence were needed, that this is not the time to make our safety net weaker.”

Congress Must Protect Low-Income Programs
When Congress returns to Washington after its August recess, it will enter the next phase of consideration under the recently passed debt ceiling deal: the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the “Super Committee”) will hold its first meeting and begin to develop plans to cut an additional $1.5 trillion in spending. The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty urges Congress and the “Super Committee” to protect low-income programs such as SNAP (food stamps), TANF, Medicaid and WIC from cuts. “Congress must ensure that all deficit negotiations protect nutrition programs and other parts of the safety net that help low-income people,” said Anders.

“These data merely underscore what every Member of Congress should know already -- that his or her district has tens of thousands of households struggling with hunger or food insecurity,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “Weakening any of these key safety net programs will make hunger and malnutrition more common and deeper. It will increase fiscal deficits, further weaken the economy, and increase human suffering.”

New Mexico Needs Better Outreach
New Mexico has to do a better job using federally-funded anti-hunger programs. About 30% of the New Mexicans eligible for nutrition assistance through the SNAP program are not receiving it, according to the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. If New Mexico were reaching more people with this program, we would have less hunger, healthier children, more federal dollars flowing into the state, more economic growth, and more jobs.

The full analysis is available on FRAC’s website.

August 11, 2011 at 01:22 PM in Children and Families, Food and Drink, Poverty | |

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to Help ABQ Roadrunner Food Bank Respond to Fire with Santa Fe Food Depot

From Roadrunner Food Bank:
In response to the evacuation of Los Alamos, the Santa Fe Food Depot has begun preparing for food response to evacuees of the Las Conchas Fire. The Santa Fe Food Depot has asked Roadrunner Food Bank to help in its support of the efforts.

“To enable our community partners like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army meet the request of fire responders and those evacuated from their homes, we are launching special disaster relief drives now,” said Sherry Hooper, executive director of the Santa Fe Food Depot.

Hooper continued, “We have asked Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico to aid in our collection activities and help us collect food and funds in the Albuquerque area.”

Roadrunner Food Bank has already sent a load of water to the Santa Fe Food Depot. Roadrunner Food Bank will also be serving as a collection point for food and monetary donations. All donations earmarked for this effort will be given to the Santa Fe Food Depot. See below for details.


Monetary Donations

1)   Online Donation – please check the box labeled “Las Conchas Fire.”

2)   Text to Donate $10 – Text RRFB FIRE to 20222.  Visit for Mobile Foundation terms

3)   Call 505.349.8909 to donate during operating hours.

Food Donations

Food donations will be accepted at Roadrunner Food Bank during our regular business hours Monday-Friday from 7:30 AM to 4 PM. Or, people can visit our established food off sites throughout Albuquerque.  A list can be found on our website at:

Types of Food to Donate

  • Bottled water
  • Handheld snacks such as granola and breakfast bars, trail mix, nuts, dried fruit
  • Protein items such as peanut butter and beef jerky
  • Meal supplies such as dried beans, rice and pasta
  • Personal care items such as deodorant, toothpaste/toothbrushes, bar soap, shampoo/conditioners, hand wipes
  • Paper products such as toilet tissue, napkins, cups, plates, towels, plastic cutlery
  • Please note that we are unable to take donations of clothing and/or furniture

June 30, 2011 at 11:32 AM in Food and Drink, Los Alamos | |

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

AP: Gov. Susana Martinez Plans to Cut Food Assistance to Elderly, Disabled

If you're following the mean-spirited and misguided actions of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and her supporters, you know it just keeps getting worse and worse. Today, the AP is reporting that the Martinez administration is proposing to end a program on July 1st that provides food assistance for about 4,000 low-income elderly and disabled New Mexicans. Martinez plans to end a state program that supplements federal food stamp benefits for the elderly and disabled to ensure they get at least $25 a month in assistance. No, I'm not kidding. It's that bad:

"As you can imagine, $12 a month for these households can mean a lot of food," said Patricia Anders, an attorney for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. "That can be a whole basket, including whole grain bread, a dozen eggs, a box of cereal, a gallon of milk, a pound of apples, some frozen vegetables and some tuna. That's what we're taking away from the plates of our elderly, seniors and disabled folks every month by cutting this program."

In response, Scott Forrester, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, released the following statement.

"Cutting food assistance to the elderly poor during tough economic times is not a value shared by New Mexican's and the Martinez administration needs to stop this act of cruelty. From the Ryan budget that imperils Social Security and Medicare to this blatant attack on New Mexico's poor, New Mexicans are starting to see that Susana Martinez and the Republicans don't care one bit about the plight of our most vulnerable citizens during these tough times."

"Martinez had an opportunity to preserve these benefits for our struggling seniors, but chose not to take it. She could have closed a wasteful tax loophole that lets wealthy companies hide their profits. Now she's balancing the budget on the backs of the poor."

May 31, 2011 at 04:56 PM in Democratic Party, Food and Drink, Senior Citizens, Susana Martinez | |

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/14: Join Other New Mexicans in National Fast to Protest Federal Budget Cuts

The New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty released a statement today announcing they have joined other hunger relief and policy organizations throughout the United States in a national hunger fast to object to proposed cuts to federal programs that provide food and other assistance to millions of Americans at risk of hunger.

The Collaboration, the Center on Law and Poverty and New Mexicans throughout the state will participate in a day-long fast on Thursday, April 14th, in support of the national Hunger Fast, which began on March 24th and will continue through April 24th. This action attempts to save programs Congress is considering cutting that help low- and moderate-income New Mexicans meet basic needs such as putting food on the table.

“New Mexicans are choosing to fast because they are witness to the food insecurity many families in their community experience, they believe that food security is a basic human right and they strongly oppose federal budget cuts that further compromise that right,” Meghann Dallin, manager of the New Mexico No Kid Hungry Campaign, NM Collaboration to End Hunger said.

On April 5, 2011, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled the House Republican budget proposal for FY2012. The cuts included in the proposal will reduce food and other assistance available to the more than 45 million people in the United States living in poverty, including 15 million children.

In New Mexico, the budget cuts will have a devastating impact on the over 350,000 New Mexicans already living in poverty, including over 128,000 children, the organizations explained. More than 420,000 New Mexicans are already experiencing hunger; the budget cuts will push even more New Mexicans into hunger and place additional strain on families who are already struggling with unemployment and increasing food and energy costs.

Included in the House Republican budget is a proposed funding overhaul that would cripple the most effective anti-hunger program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program). This program has safeguarded against hunger for 40 years. Currently, over 400,000 New Mexicans rely on this program to keep food on the table during these difficult economic times.

“At the very time when more New Mexicans are reaching out for help, Congress is proposing significant cuts to vital safety net programs that ensure children and their families do not fall into deep poverty,” Patricia Anders, Staff Attorney, NM Center on Law and Poverty said. “Rather than cutting programs that are needed now more than ever, Congress should invest in the people these programs serve and take steps to secure the resources needed to do so by rolling back tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.”

How to Participate
Please join in participating in the New Mexico Hunger Fast Day on Thursday, April 14th. Fasting is a very personal decision, so you are encouraged to participate in the way you feel comfortable. Please go to this link to sign up as a participant in the New Mexico Hunger Fast Day

To learn more about the national Hunger Fast, please go to and

April 13, 2011 at 02:42 PM in Children and Families, Economy, Populism, Events, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)

Guest Blog: Join 4/30 AIDS Walk to Support Food Bank, AIDS Projects

Click image for larger version

This is a guest blog by Marshall Martinez of Albuquerque, NM. He has been an activist in community organizing around many topics for over fifteen years, beginning with HIV/AIDS Prevention work.

I recently wrote a guest blog for Democracy for New Mexico highlighting an often overlooked or under-discussed issue in New Mexico: the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the lack of serious prevention measures/programs in our area. It was well received, it seems, and hopefully began a discussion about the issue in homes and offices where it hadn’t been previously brought up.  

The biggest response I got to the essay was, “What can we do to help?” And I am writing now, to answer that question!

The Albuquerque Pride Joe and Jean Travis HIV/AIDS Food Bank was recently opened in Albuquerque. It is privately funded and run by local activists rather than the nonprofit, state-funded organization that used to house it. This opening is the first step to filling the void left behind by the huge programmatic cuts made by New Mexico AIDS Services. The struggle, however, is only beginning in this economy for this small, private non-profit with big hopes for our community.

So to help fund this project and the prevention and care projects coming in the future, Albuquerque will have its first AIDS Walk in years. On Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 11:00 AM, hundreds, if not thousands, of caring activists, families and friends will come together to celebrate life, raise awareness and, most of all, create a funding source for this Food Bank. The Food Bank will eventually be an entire resource center for HIV/AIDS issues in Albuquerque. All we are missing is your team!

Joining us for the AIDS Walk is easy and will be fun! Just check out the Albuquerque Pride webpage to download the registration forms. Recruit your team, and start raising money! Remember, any contribution you can raise or make yourself will help! If there are 600 people in Albuquerque who can bring $50 to the event, we will have $30,000 in the bank by May 1st -- enough funding for an entire year's worth of programs planned for the Food Bank!

As a 27-year-old gay man, few issues have affected my life as much as HIV/AIDS. I began working in the prevention field when I was 14 years old, and in the time since I have been affected deeply by the issue and the people facing it.

From meeting men and women who were among the first generation of HIV-positive people and watching them battle the disease over a decade later, to meeting young men my age and younger, who were failed by our lack of prevention programs and are facing the beginning of a lifelong battle with HIV, I have seen the face of HIV/AIDS too many times. I have heard even more stories of the struggles of my community to afford healthy foods, or simple pleasures like desserts and sodas. The quality of life, obviously the most important thing for these, our Sisters and Brothers, is often a stretch too far for their means.   

Please Help
Please consider putting together a team, raising money or simply donating to the teams already in formation. Remember, these are our Brothers and Sisters suffering, and they deserve compassion. 

You can follow Albuquerque Pride events and activities on Facebook.

This is a guest blog by Marshall Martinez. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.

April 13, 2011 at 12:58 PM in Events, Food and Drink, GLBT Rights, Guest Blogger, Healthcare | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Action Alert: Contact Lawmakers on CVNM 'Hope on the Horizon' Pro-Conservation Legislation

The 2011 Legislative Session is quickly drawing to a close and, although this year has seen a significant number of bills that would undermine New Mexico’s common-sense environmental safeguards, there has also been some positive activity. To help the general public and media identify these glimmers of hope, Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) presents the “Hope On The Horizon” list -- a compilation of pro-conservation legislation that is within a step or two of final passage.

This is legislation to keep an eye on. Good things are happening, and with a little help from the conservation community, legislative leadership and all New Mexicans, these bills, resolutions and memorials can pass.

Below you will find a short list of the Hope On The Horizon legislation, with more in-depth descriptions and current status in this document (pdf). Please contact your legislators and/or the committee members involved and urge their support.

HB9:  Homeowner Association Act (Stewart)

HB75:  Geothermal Pump Tax Credit Refundability (Gonzales)

HB145:  High Performance School Buildings Act (Stewart)

HB147:  Availability of Agendas for Public Meetings (Smith)

HB160:  Public Records Availability and Procedures (El Chavez)

HB161:  Tax Expenditure Budget Development and Report (El Chavez)

HB284:  Renewable Energy Facilities in Enviro Services Tax (K Martinez)

SB12:  Dental Amalgam Waste Reduction Act (Wirth)

SB52:  Electronic Copies of Public Records (Fischmann)

SB124:  5 Feet For Cars To Pass Bicycles (Wirth)

SB237:  Colleges in Energy Efficiency & Bonding Act (Keller)

SB271:  Inspection of Public Records Act Penalties (Keller)

HJM10:  Large Animal Traffic Safety Pilot Project (Stewart)

HJM20:  Importance of Local Food Systems (B Lujan)

HJM38:  Maintain San Juan River Trout Fishery (Taylor)

SJM3:  Electronic Handouts for Interim Committees (Sapien) 

SM12:  Study ABQ-Bernalillo County Water Authority (B Sanchez)

SM43:  Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge (Eichenberg)

For more information, contact Leanne Leith, Political Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico, at 505-710-8406 or The 2011 legislative session will end at noon on Saturday, March 19.

March 15, 2011 at 02:09 PM in Action Alerts, Energy, Environment, Food and Drink, Land Issues, NM Legislature 2011, Transparency, Water Issues | |

Thursday, March 03, 2011

FoodCorps Seeking Southern NM Applicants to Create School Gardens, Get Local Food Into School Cafeterias

FoodCorps, a brand new and much anticipated national service program for young leades, has opened applications for its first class of service members. Those selected will dedicate one year of full-time public service in school food systems -- sourcing local food for school cafeterias, expanding nutrition education programs and building and tending school gardens.

FoodCorps in New Mexico seeks up to 10 passionate individuals beginning in August 2011. Two service members will be based out of La Semilla Food Center, an organization working to develop a healthy, self-reliant and sustainable food system in the Paso del Norte region of southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

If you have any interest in helping to create school gardens and exploring local food sourcing in Doña Ana and El Paso Counties please consider applying for FoodCorps. For more information or to apply for FoodCorps please visit or contact Vanessa Apodaca at For more information about La Semilla Food Center please visit or email

March 3, 2011 at 04:06 PM in Agriculture, Food and Drink, Las Cruces, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Spirit of Giving: Coats, Hoodies, Thanksgiving Meals in Albuquerque

Through the month of December, the African American Cultural Association (AACA) will be holding its annual clothing drive to benefit over 5,000 homeless Albuquerque Public School students. Thousands of homeless students go to school each day without adequate clothing. As the colder weather hits their need becomes more and more critical. Especially needed are warm coats and "hoodies." Hoodies are allowed in schools but only if they are solid colors with no designs, stripes, etc.

All sizes of new or "gently used" clothing, for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, are desperately needed. If you can help please drop your donations off at Love Realty at 1524 Eubank NE in Albuquerque (map) or contact Lovie McGee at 256-8306 to arrange for a pick-up.

Also, your help is urgently needed by the AACA in providing Thanksgiving dinners to homeless APS students and their families. Donations (cash or supermarket gift cards) will help purchase pre-cooked meals. Volunteers are also needed to help with the final preparation and distribution of the meals. If you can help in either way, please contact Lovie McGee at 256-8306.

AACA also needs volunteers to pick up food and supplies the night before Thanksgiving. In addition, volunteers are needed on Thanksgiving Day to help transport food and supplies to Lowell Elementary and then to assist in prep, serving and cleanup. Prep is 9-11 AM, Serve is 11 AM-1 PM, and Cleanup is 1 PM-3 PM. Volunteers can sign up for any shift or as many as they can handle. Call 256-8306 talk to Lovie or Millie or email

November 24, 2010 at 02:02 PM in Children and Families, Food and Drink, Holidays | |

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