Author

Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.

All three Albuquerque mayoral candidates promise more police

By: - October 27, 2021

While the three candidates for Albuquerque mayor have tried their best to differentiate themselves, there are at least two things they agree on: they say police are doing a good job, and they seek to put more money toward policing. Despite a historic protest movement last summer that called for the defunding of the Albuquerque […]

Barelas resident files ethics complaint against Stop the Stadium

By: - October 26, 2021

A Barelas resident is accusing a local coalition of violating Albuquerque’s charter by not properly registering its campaign against the city government’s effort to borrow $50 million to help pay for a new soccer stadium. Joaquin Baca filed a complaint on Oct. 18 with the Albuquerque Board of Ethics alleging that Stop the Stadium failed […]

Organizers demand Federal Reserve work for workers

By: - October 25, 2021

Rhiannon Chavez-Ross sees stories of workers struggling to find jobs every day. Some messages and calls, she says, are from New Mexicans losing their homes and vehicles because they haven’t been able to find a job as a result of the pandemic. She started a group on Facebook in May 2020 hoping to help a […]

Juvenile justice advocates talk extreme sentences for young people

By: - October 22, 2021

Carissa McGee entered the prison system at age 16 and wasn’t released until three months before her 25th birthday. Now she is co-founder of a grassroots nonprofit in Albuquerque called Women in Leadership, and says young people lack life experiences that would otherwise give them an understanding of the consequences that come from their actions. […]

Albuquerque city bus

Head into the voting booth prepared about bonds

By: - October 21, 2021

Do you like schools? Libraries? Safe roads and bridges, maybe? What about high-speed internet? Do you like having easy access to bosque lands? Do you prefer your roads with or without traffic signals? Your fire and police departments with or without vehicles? At some level, the public need for all of these things is debatable, […]

Feds announce three-year plan to fight ‘forever chemicals’

By: - October 19, 2021

On the same day the White House announced its strategy to clean up dangerous chemicals that threaten safe drinking water, a nonprofit organization released long-withheld records showing that some 120,000 industrial facilities throughout the country “may be handling” per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data show that just in New […]

City’s expert: Agreements have not protected neighborhoods from gentrification

By: - October 18, 2021

At a public forum led by the Albuquerque contractor tasked with shepherding the “community benefits agreement” (CBA) attached to the city government’s push to build a new soccer stadium, the last question put to him turned out to be the hardest one. Julian Gross is a San Francisco-based attorney who has represented what he called […]

Cooks prepare a meal in the kitchen of Nexus Brewery in Albuquerque

State agency will need funding and investigators to enforce paid sick leave law

By: - October 15, 2021

With a new statewide paid sick leave law set to go into effect next summer, the agency charged with enforcing it will need more funding to make the law actually benefit workers across New Mexico. In the coming months, the Labor Relations Division of the state Department of Workforce Solutions will be preparing for when […]

Residents say new soccer stadium will raise rents and expand policing in Albuquerque

By: - October 14, 2021

Albuquerque voters will decide Nov. 2 whether to borrow $50 million to help pay for a new stadium for the New Mexico United soccer franchise. The team’s owner and the city’s mayor have been promising economic benefits from the new facility. “This facility will draw fans from across the state for sporting events, concerts, and […]

Behind the bar at Nexus Brewery in Albuquerque

Brewery owner touts benefits of paid sick leave: lower turnover, happier workers

By: - October 13, 2021

Tamara Dickinson, of Clovis, has been in the restaurant industry for more than two decades. Low pay and no paid sick leave are a given, she says. But in 2011, she left her job at a bar in Rio Rancho for better pay — $6 an hour, plus tips — at the Star Trek-themed Nexus […]

No same-day registration and voting on Election Day in NM this year

By: - October 11, 2021

Same-day voter registration won’t be available on Nov. 2, Election Day proper. Early voting has begun and voters can register at the same time they show up to vote early until Oct. 30, but same-day voter registration will not be an option on Election Day, KUNM reports. The Secretary of State’s Office is not asking […]

NM’s long fight for fair access to safety-net programs

By: - October 8, 2021

Michelangelo Morse found himself sitting in the middle of his living room floor in Española, N.M., surrounded by a circle of records, like doctor’s discharge orders, Social Security information — all the papers. A traumatic brain injury in 2012 left him with issues in cognition and executive function. He’d learned how to walk again over […]