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2023 Revisited: Constitutional Rights of Unhoused & Celebrating Albuquerque’s Bosque

This week on New Mexico in Focus, we look back at some of our stories and interviews from the last year. U.S. Attorney Alexander Uballez speaks with correspondent Russell Contreras in his first interview on NMPBS. Russell asks about Uballez’s background, his approach to the position, youth gun violence, the effectiveness of the Department of Justice’s police reform efforts in Albuquerque and several initiatives his office is pursuing to expand services on the Navajo Nation. 

Senior Producer Lou DiVizio speaks with two attorneys who are suing the city of Albuquerque on behalf of several unhoused clients. The lawsuit accuses the city of violating the Fourth and Eighth Amendments and due process protections for unhoused people by shuffling them from place to place and destroying their property. A state District Court judge issued an injunction in the case, barring the city from removing people from public property or taking their belongings. The city has filed a request for a stay on the injunction with the state Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in the case this week.   

Michelle Otero was the city of Albuquerque’s poet laureate from 2018 through 2020. This year, FlowerSong Press published her prose book, “Vessels: A Memoir of Borders.”  In conversation with Our Land Senior Producer Laura Paskus, Otero talks about the process of writing as an act of healing. 

Correspondent Antonia Gonzales visits the director of Free Flow New Mexico, and three other people who have been vital in getting a new “period pod” up and running at the public library branch on Santa Fe’s Southside. It’s one of three 24-hour kiosks in the city providing access to free menstrual products.    

Lastly, we show our appreciation for one of New Mexico’s greatest natural gems. Laura takes you deep inside the Rio Grande bosque in Albuquerque, as we revisit this Emmy-nominated Our Land piece. In the fall and winter, it’s an ideal location to spot not just sandhill cranes and migratory birds, but porcupines, beavers and coyotes. 

Host: Lou DiVizio

One-on-One with U.S. Attorney Alexander Uballez 
Correspondent: Russell Contreras 
Guest: Alexander Uballez, U.S. Attorney, District of New Mexico 

Attorneys Say Albuquerque Violates Unhoused Clients’ Constitutional Rights 
Correspondent: Lou DiVizio 
Guests: Adam Flores, civil rights lawyer   
Martha Mulvany, civil rights lawyer 

Writing as Healing 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guest: Michelle Otero, author, “Vessels: A Memoir of Borders”   

New ‘Period Pods’ Aim to Limit Period Poverty in Santa Fe 
Correspondent: Antonia Gonzales 
Guests: Laurie Merrill, executive director and founder, Free Flow New Mexico   
Margaret Neill, library division director, Santa Fe, New Mexico   
Israel Haros, Chicano poet, artist, muralist
Selena Fernandez, artist 

Celebrating Albuquerque’s Bosque 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus