New Mexico continues to have one of the worst poverty rates in the nation. It also leads the country in the percentage of children living in poverty. Those numbers have grown in the last few years, according to Census data. The impacts of this reality show up in numerous ways in New Mexico’s poor education outcomes, high rates of child abuse and domestic violence, and the outmigration of our educated young people.
PUBLIC SQUARE brings together a diverse group of people working on a variety of solutions to this endemic problem. They’re helping people build assets through buying homes, getting educations and starting businesses. Leadership includes: Sovereign Hager with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, and State Representatives Conrad James and Christine Trujillo.
Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE is provided in part by grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and American Graduate.
Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:
“We have a high rate of people in deep poverty – that’s living at 50% below the federal poverty rate, or less than $10,000 a year, for a family of three.”
— Sovereign Hager, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty
“There are lots of things that can remove barriers and create pathways, that don’t cost anything.”
— Ona Porter, Prosperity Works
“When we have programs and individuals like ourselves who believe in people and who make these opportunities available, that’s when change happens.”
— Francesca Duran-Lopez, PB&J Family Services
“Poverty does not mean you can’t do well in school. It does not mean you have a path that is always destitute, and that you cannot achieve.”
— Conrad James, State Representative
“It’s not enough. The kids who need help the most aren’t getting it.”
— Christine Trujillo, State Representative
Executive Director of United South Broadway Corporation
Francesca “Frankie” Duran-Lopez
New Mexico Home Visiting Program Manager
President/CEO of Rio Grande Credit Union
Homewise, Home Purchase Advisor
Allegra Love, Esq.
Director of Santa Fe Dreamers Project
Southwest Creations Hacia la Universidad
Attorney, NM Center on Law and Poverty