This week on New Mexico in Focus, correspondent Antonia Gonzales speaks with President Biden’s top tribal affairs adviser, PaaWee Rivera. The son of former Pojoaque Pueblo Governor George Rivera is working to advance Native interests as tribal communities emerge from the pandemic.
A group of leading civil rights attorneys gathers for a discussion of the impact on New Mexico of the George Floyd murder and subsequent conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin. Floyd’s death at the hand of Minneapolis Police spurred a New Mexico law that addresses legal protections for police officers.
The Line opinion panel looks at population news from the Census Bureau and the Legislative Finance Committee. Recent reports show the state lags its neighbors in population growth, with key parts of the population leaving New Mexico during their prime years.
The Line also discusses a report from Searchlight New Mexico that revealed the state Department of Children, Youth and Families has been using an encryption app to communicate about cases and departmental strategy. The app deletes communications and shields work from the public eye. Now, the state attorney general says he’s asked his lawyers to look into the practice.
Finally, the group explores the impact of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s new pandemic public health plan. With New Mexico aggressively vaccinating its population, the governor announced this week that the state could reopen businesses with few restrictions by the end of June.
Line Opinion Panel:
Dan Boyd, Capitol bureau chief, Albuquerque Journal
Dede Feldman, former state senator
Ed Perea, attorney
PaaWee Rivera, director of tribal affairs, The White House
Civil Rights and the Chauvin Verdict
Matt Grubs, NMiF Senior Producer
Frances Crockett Carpenter, attorney
Joseph Kennedy, attorney
Carolyn Nichols, attorney
Laura Schauer Ives, attorney