Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Recommended Readings:

La Frontera, o,  La Muralla Trompista

The US-Mexico border seems quiet, but there is a lot going on silently in peoples' understandings of the levers of power on both sides of La Muralla Trompista.  As this shakes out it will have a significant impact on the national reality of both countries.  Fronterizos are not as shocked by the events of the past year as Chilangos.  Most Juarenses read Trump's sly winking humor-to-the-base better than we do, and, while they, like us, don't know what will happen next, they know by instinct what counts as serious policy and what does not.  After years of reading about Hugo Chavez and now Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela (amply covered in a refreshingly unindoctrinated national news media), they can tell the difference between a clown and a fool.  Since U.S.-Mexican relations appear to be in for a wild ride, and the stakes are high for people on both sides, this would be a good time for Mexico to elect someone President next year from a border state, but that does not appear likely.  At some point that has not yet been reached citizens from the border on both sides will begin to push back.  My guess?  It will happen first on the Mexican side.

Tijuana:  CJNG "El Tribi" cell leader detained;  Borderland Beat

A new report is out that about one third of the US population is or has been addicted to opiates.  The drug lords responsible for this serious threat to our nation's health are not Mexican outlaws, but pharmaceutical  companies with global reach that produce far more than meets the legitimate medical demand, and the doctors who prescribe them.  I have seen nothing to suggest we will soon see CEOs and medical practitioners hobbling off into chains into a federal prison.  Meanwhile there is still a crippling and costly war going on in Mexico, with the professed aim of impeding the flow of drugs into the US.

National Blogs:

Secrecy and Suspicion Surround Trump's Deregulation Teams:  ProPublica
There is No Political Center in Modern America:  Naked Capitalism
The Democrat's "Better Deal:"  Angry Bear

Nuevo Méjico:

With a gubernatorial election just a year away, after nearly two decades of poor governance from the fourth floor and an economy sinking slowly into the quicksand, you would think there would be a healthy, honest, and heated debate about what kind of governor and government and governance New Mexico needs to climb out of the hole:  is it quicksand, or just a muddy rut?  Is the hole big, little, fat, or skinny?  Where are the concrete proposals to fix it?  So far the bloggers have been, as usual, simply handicapping the strengths and weaknesses of high-profile politicians, as though the reason we have elections is to be able to gossip about the candidates and catch them making a mistake, rather than about what they are doing or might do, with our money.  The only one who seems to be collecting odd bits of stuff about this is Harold Morgan

Policy Perspectives from Senior Democrats Diverge:  Harold Morgan Capitol Reports

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mesilla Valley Flood (Un)Control:  The View from Vado, Hatch and La Union
Mary Carter,  La Politica New Mexico contributor

Sentenario Street, La Union
From 1996 to 2016 Dona Ana County had 54 floods, 16 in 2006 alone.  Global warming trends suggest more are on the way.  Recent floods created messes throughout the county, due to long-existing failures at all levels of government to provide either a drainage infrastructure for low-income communities lying in vulnerable areas, or to assist residents when floods cause severe damage.  In Hatch alone, for the umpteenth time, families, in this case 30 of them, were evacuated from their homes during the flooding.

Last week at a meeting in Vado (heavily affected by recent flooding) attended by about 20 persons, residents and community leaders expressed pent-up frustration about the lack of planning.  Listening to these were interim county manager Chuck McMahon, flood engineer John Gwynne, and other officials.  Co-hosting meeting was community leader America Terrazas, from Vado.

          "This conversation...should have happened a month ago, the planning for...evacuation.  Last week in Mesquite the elderly weren't being helped to carry sandbags to their doors." Arturo Uribe, community leader from Mesquite.

          "This flood is a gateway to community buy-in and prioritizing needs because what they did here with this grader after spending a million dollars...is not going to protect anything!  It's freaking dirt, its sand.!"  Pablo Martinez, resident of Hatch.
Pablo Martinez
 John Gwynne, an engineer for the Flood Commission, urged residents to buy sandbags and flood insurance.  As everyone there knew, this is a hopeless impossibility at the income levels of most residents.  He went on to say that officials had six grants from the Colonias Infrastructure Fund, but two of these were not handled is a timely way and about $100,000 in planning grants had to be returned.  Arturo Uribe, rumored to be considering a run for County Commission next year, said, "when you come and we hear that there isn't money and then you tell us that money goes back because you can't move it fast enough, then that is an issue."  Former county commissioner Oscar Butler urged residents to make their voices heard at the ballot box.

How much flood control money has been spent in DAC in the past ten years?  Is it enough?  What do other communities do to prevent damage from floods?  Has there been enough consultation with residents in affected areas?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mary Carter

La Politica New Mexico se complace en anunciar la participación de Mary Carter como autora contibuyente.  Carter es completamente bilingüe.  Actualmente sirve como directora ejecutiva del Centro Intercultural de Mujeres en Anthony, NM.  Bajo su dirección la participación comunitaria en el centro ha gozado de un aumento de 700 a 3400 personas.  El centro, cuyo trabajo consiste en la provisión de adiestramiento en las materias de autosuficiencia económica y espiritu empresarial, ha recibido numerosos premios por la obra que ha ejercido en los campos de empoderamiento y compromiso cívico.  Previaments, Carter trabajó como solicitadora de subvenciones el el Distrito Escolar Independiente de El Paso, y sirvió durante un período como coordinadora de proyectos especiales para el municipio de Sunland Park.  También ha trabajado en el sector privado.  Recibió el Premio de Liderazgo Ejecutivo del FBI en abril del año actual.

Con estos antecedentes, ella trae consigo un conocimiento amplio y profundo de las comunidades del Valle del Sur.  ¡Bienvenida!

La Politica New Mexico is pleased to announce the addition of Mary Carter, who is fully bilingual, as a contributing writer for this blog.  She is currently executive director of the Women's Intercultural Center in Anthony, NM.  Under her leadership center participation quintupled from 700 to over 3400.  The center, which has a focus on entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency, has received numerous awards for empowerment and engagement of women in the region.  She worked as a grant writer for the El Paso Independent School District and served for a time as a special projects coordinator for the City of Sunland Park.  Earlier in her career she worked in the private sector.  Most recently she received the Executive Leadership Award from the FBI, in April of this year.

Given this background, she brings a broad, deep understanding of South Valley communities to her perspective.  Welcome Aboard!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Recommended Reading:

Interested in the history of the decline of NM's economy?  Harold Morgan posted another piece yesterday in his ongoing series on the history of this decline.  Morgan asks us to contemplate the trend in ABQ for the boards of the ABQ Chamber of Ccommerce and the Association of Commerce and Industry to be filled with corporate lobbyists, lawyers, and healthcare officials who have no real decision making authority within their own companies.  This trend deserves a lot more attention.

Marjorie Childress has a piece on the current status of funding in the ABQ mayor's race.  Colon (no accent on the "o.")  has the most money.  Rod Adair (NM Political Journal, see below) asserts that Colon prefers his name to be prounouced "colon," as in colonoscopy, instead of "Colón," with the accent of the "o" as it is pronounced in Spanish.  Mr. Colon, an attorney, is of Puerto Rican descent, but speaks no Spanish.  Don't need to cultivate the Hispanic vote this time around, Brian?  Adair also comments on peculiarities in the names of other candidates.  Finally, Monahan, still the best political blogger in the state, has some comments on the mayoral race.

By the way, are any of these candidates addressing issues pointed out by Morgan in his series?