Just How Unjust Is New Mexico?

Analysis of NM in terms of child welfare, poverty, housing affordability, health, and education, with a separate analysis of the City Not-So Different.

Santa Fe Plaza, TODAY, Saturday, June 17, 10am-11am.  Raise Your Voice for Healthcare. This is a nationwide event with over a dozen events planned throughout New Mexico. DPNM, Indivisible, PDA, and the Working Families Party team up to take a stand for our health and well-being. If you can’t be at an event this weekend you can share your healthcare story using the hashtag #HealthCare4NM on social media or email your 2-minute phone video to felicia@nmdemcocrats.org. In Santa Fe, come to the plaza at 10 a.m. to record your story and then share it via social media. Click here for a list of locations throughout New Mexico.

New Mexico: We Have Much To Do To Achieve Equity

New Mexico Rankings – Annie Casey Foundation

We’ve heard it before: Thank God for Mississippi. And as reflected in the table at left generated from Kids Count 2016, Annie Casey Foundation’s excellent annual analysis of the status of children in America, New Mexico again ranks near the bottom on every measure. Georgia and Mississippi keep us from ranking last on every indicator save health, and there we can thank our Governor for allowing Medicaid expansion under the umbrella of the ACA. NM’s performance in relation to health is mitigated by child access to care and coverage which helps compensate for our 49th and 50th ranking in relation to two key health indicators, low-birth weight and teen births.

A look at housing costs, puts into context just how difficult it is for low-income New Mexicans to simply stay housed. In the NM cities examined, it would take two individuals earning the Area Median Income (AMI) just to afford housing in a 2-bedroom apartment. What if you have 3 kids? What if one of you is disabled? What if there is no affordable childcare in your community? The far right column shows what affordable rent would be for an individual earning the AMI, with the range being between $352 and $467. An online search found just one apartment available in Santa Fe for under $600 per month. Admittedly, this was not an exhaustive search, but it gives you an idea of the challenge faced by low-income New Mexicans.

At left is a look at how economically segregated Santa Fe is, with low-income communities concentrated just as they are in so many US cities.

Just as we can’t normalize life under Trump, it is important that we New Mexicans do not become accustomed to ranking 48-50th on every indicator of well-being. We in Santa Fe can’t accept our city’s gentrification and the pushing out of Santa Fe families that have lived here for generations. As the map below illustrates, our low-income, Latino families have already been pushed from residences in the north and east of the city to the south and west. And as these communities gentrify, housing will become unaffordable there as well.

The map shows that the only places in the city with increases in the Latino population over the past 10-12 years have been in the south and west sectors, and the increases have been quite large.

We can mull these statistics and maps and become demoralized, or we can read them and get active. On June 25, 3-5pm Retake is launching its support for Chainbreaker’s Equity Summer. For details on this campaign, click here. For more details on the campaign kick-off and training and to RSVP, click here.

Santa Fe: This is not okay. This is something that together, with effort, we can fix. Or we can sit back and let gentrification happen. Gentrification is a community development puzzle for many of our readers. But for many Santa Feans, it is their passport to elsewhere. Until they run out of elsewheres. Let’s do this. Click the RSVP above and let’s get started.

In solidarity,

Roxanne and Paul

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